In the woods with the woods-people

Last week end, we rode the car for hours, me strapped in that hellish child-abusing contraption they call “car-seat”, to go to see friends that live in the woods. Not like: “their house is in the woods”. More like: “the woods is their house”.

We spent most of our time outside because their wasn’t much in the way of “inside”. At night it’s cold, so they built little cabins for sleeping in. There’s also a kitchen-cabin where they all cook and eat together. Continue reading In the woods with the woods-people

In the Silicon Valley with the Macbook hippies

We’ve been in the Silicon Valley for more than a week now. In case you don’t know (I didn’t until last week), the Silicon Valley is a pretty cool place. In a week, we went to a thick forests of super-high trees, a community of woods-people, a big abandoned industrial zone full of cool trash, and a useless beach. Why useless? Because the Silicon Valley has a pretty harsh cold weather, complete with wind and fog. You’d be crazy to want to go to the beach.

We live in this huge intentional community. A cluster of houses with 25 people living there. I’m not sure of the intention behind the community, but from what I have seen, it seems to be a MacBook owner club. Weirdo and cranky must look very silly with their cheap Linux laptop. That’s OK though, they’re used to it. Continue reading In the Silicon Valley with the Macbook hippies

Getting dirty in Central America.

Hitchhiking was so ridiculously hard in Southern-South-America that we ended up losing quite a bit of our edge. Salvador is where we turn it all around.

Salvador, day one

We flew there from Rio. Our actual destination was Yucatan, in Mexico, but flying to Yucatan means flying to Cancun which is one of the most overpriced tourist destination in America which is very much reflected in the plane ticket prices. Or so says Cranky. So she booked a ticket to Salvador, that was like half the price. I wanted to tell her that there may be a reason why Salvador was so cheap, and that we might not like that reason. I should have. The reason is: shotguns.

There are guys wearing fake uniforms, holding a shotgun everywhere in Salvador. Bank? Shotgun-guy. Supermarket? Shotgun guy. Gas station? Shotgun guy. This has got to be the richest shotgun-fetish-country we’ve ever been to. I mean, shotguns can’t be cheap, right?

When we landed, we didn’t know that yet. All we knew was that it was already 3pm and the kids in Yucatan were waiting for us. And we owed it to ourselves to make it to the Mexican border hitchhiking all the way. Continue reading Getting dirty in Central America.

Couchsurfing dance in Brazil

First impression of Brazil: It’s cold!

We got off the bus in Curitiba, that is remarkable in that it his build 1000 meters in altitude. So instead of moving north towards a warmer climate, we had come back to our starting point. Genius!

I can’t blame Weirdo and Cranky though. Curitiba was the only place we had a host in.

Since we left Australia, it’s been quite difficult to find a host. We were desperate to the point of using the Couchsurfing® company. BeWelcome needs some love in South America…

It was the first time we Couchsurfed™ for a long time. And our previous experience had weirded us out a bit. Continue reading Couchsurfing dance in Brazil

From Urugay to somewhere else

Platschi and Masha live in Uruguay. That’s old friends of Weirdo. So we went to their place. I think all of us needed a basecamp for a few days after the traumatizing hitchhiking in Argentina.

They live in a sort of ghost town. They kept saying that it was pretty crowded in summer, it being a resort town, but what I could see was that most shops were closed 24/7 and most homes were empty. If any of the people I’ve seen sleeping on the street are reading this, come to Punta del Este, it’s the place to be.

IMG_20140331_165050

We sort of hibernated there. Weirdo and Cranky had taken shots against yellow fever so Cranky was sick for a day and Weirdo was sick for a week. Continue reading From Urugay to somewhere else

Back to reality

Chile was a bit hard on us, but it got nothing on Argentina.

We got used to having it easy. Reunion, India, Australia and Chile must be the most hitchhikable countries on Earth. Incidentally, that’s all the countries I’ve been hitchhiking in. We’re back in the real world. Argentina sucks.

We left Santiago after the party was over and Weirdo’s hangover too. Crossing the border involved a crossing at 3000 meters altitude. The road that goes there doesn’t have much traffic. Thank Krishna, we found a ride in Chile that ended up dropping us in Mendoza, our city of destination. So we didn’t die freezing. Cheers to that.

We arrived late in the night and went straight to the address of some Niluge’s friends. A sort of huge flatmate thing, with ten people living in it. “Hi, we’re the ones that are going to stay over!” They all looked with those round eyes that clearly mean: “Oh, we didn’t get that part”. But they still put us in a room somewhere and it was all right.

We were a bit embarrassed by the situation. Weirdo got up super-early to make a mountain of pancakes for everyone. Then we left for the day. No one touched the pancakes. Or very few. Strange people indeed. Continue reading Back to reality

Way too cold. Wait… Way too hot!

What’s Chile to me?

Chile is far from Australia. 10 hours of traumatizing jet lag. Not an hour after the aircraft landing, Weirdo was already emptying glasses of alcohol with his college-years-friend Niluge. I had to watch them going at it until 7 in the morning, because of the damn jet lag. Of course, he was too hungover to play with me the next day.

Chile is cold. My whole life I’ve never been to such a cold place. I have to wear all my clothe and I still freeze when the wind blows.

But the worst of it is still that, in Chile, I almost boiled alive. Thanks, of course, to the lunacy of Weirdo and Cranky.

And they did it for fun too.

But let’s start from the beginning.

Continue reading Way too cold. Wait… Way too hot!

Stu, the perpetual tripper

Hi folks, I hope you’re enjoying your life and making the most of it. Me? Yeah, I’ve pretty much been doing that my whole life. There only one thing better than being a baby, it’s being a traveling baby. And my mom’s gotta be the best at finding impossibly cool stuff. Just give her an uplink and tell her: “find us some epic shit to do” and there’s not telling how far she’s going to reset the scale of awesomeness. For example:

We were in Townsville for only a day, having freshly disembarked the ferry from the island of aborigines. While Weirdo was nursing a hangover that he caught from meeting up with Hugo, an old friend of his from the road, Cranky went and found us some pure awesomeness. There’s a dude called Stu out there, that lives on his sailboat, and likes going to beaches on deserted islands and swimming above coral and fishing his dinner ; but he thinks it’s more fun with company. So he posts a call for crew on the interwebs, and since Cranky was on the lookout, she found it. Now, the dude was anchored in Airlie Beach, 300 km south AND he wanted to meet us before agreeing on setting sail with us on board, but that’s when you have to take risks. Within a couple of hours, the backpack was packed, thumbs were raised and cars were already fighting to take us to our destination. Continue reading Stu, the perpetual tripper

Black and deadly

When we were done hunting kangaroos and baby turtles (another story, ask me about it and I might write a post), we went off to a black-people-place.

Forematter

You would never guess it walking down the street, but Australia is a black-people-land. The reason why you only see white folks in the street is that 1- almost all the black folks died of disease (and the occasional murder) when the white folks showed up 200 years and a bit ago ; and 2- the remaining blackies are all rounded up in black-people-only-places. A sort of hybrid between unitedstater ghetto and old-time-german ghetto.

This one started off bad, as usual. Weirdo and Cranky had managed to get themselves stranded in a town they didn’t want to go to, and the sun was already set. They started hitchhiking at night in a random direction, with the idea that getting a ride to anywhere was better than staying in this godforsaken place. It was that time of the day when people mindswitch from daylight to night lights and everything takes a menacing attitude. People probably thought that of us, and sped away. The one that stopped was driving a corrugated old car and unsurprisingly looked like a serial killer. We all got in. Continue reading Black and deadly

Kangaroo run

When we told Bob, our host in Bundaberg, that we had never seen a kangaroo, he was all like “what!”. I could have told him it might be because Weirdo and Cranky are so stingy they won’t even pay for the zoo, but no one listens to what I say so I didn’t bother. I did well, because he pushed us all inside his car and off we went, hunting kangaroos in the bush.

We actually went to a neighborhood on the side of the bush. The kangaroos come to people’s backyard to eat the grass and they’re easier to spot in the open than in the bush itself. You might not know it, but the “bush”, how they say here, is a pretty thick forest that is probably full of snakes anyway so no way Weirdo is gonna go.
Continue reading Kangaroo run