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Sean, Karl & Dan


28 Blog Entries
1 Trip
49 Photos

Trips:

Around the world in 180 days...

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Mammoth Waterfalls at Iguazu

Puerto Iguazu, Argentina


After the overnight journey from Sao Paulo, we arrived in Foz do Iguassu on the Brazilian side of the falls. We headed straight to the restaurant at the top of the falls to get some lunch before walking the various paths from which the falls can be viewed. The Brazilian side is further away from the falls than the Argentine side so it gave us a great opportunity to get some panoramic pictures. That afternoon we ventured back towards Foz to cross the border into Puerto Iquazu, Argentina.

Puerto Iguazu is a larger town than Foz so it was our choice for our overnight stay. That night we headed out for some well deserved drinks after a long period of overnight travel and unsuccessful nights out (Sao Paulo). This was our first opportunity to sample Quilmes beer - this proved to be our undoing, as after the big night out in the local nightclub we arose the next day with stinking hangovers. The beer could also be blamed for Dan sitting on a freshly painted wall and then retaliating against it by pouring his beer all over it.

The next day we set off to check out the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls. This was a great experience - Sean took a power boat ride around the lower falls and into the mouth of one of the falls, while Karl and Dan headed on the train to the Devil's throat area of the falls. The sheer size of the falls cannot be truly appreciated in pictures so many videos were taken to capture the moment.

The next day we headed on another overnight bus to Buenos Aires to meet up with Anil (Sean and Karl's housemate), Doug (from uni) and Calvey (from OW). (KC)

permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on February 20, 2008 from Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
from the travel blog: Around the world in 180 days...
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Overland Trek Through Brazil Continues

Sao Paulo, Brazil


The journey continued on south towards Sao Paulo with a quick one night return to Rio.

This gave us the chance to visit some of the sites we missed due to the Carnival madness and subsequently couldn't forgive ourselves for. Upon arrival we joined up with some other backpackers to head up to Christ the Redeemer for an afternoon photo shoot, and then along to Sugar Loaf Mountain for sunset. The views from both of these locations were awesome and thankfully dispelled any guilt from missing them the previous week.

The next day we continued on to Sao Paulo to check out the industrial heartland of Brazil. After walking around the city in the day, we realised that the rumours of Sao Paulo being scary and uninteresting were a little over the top. Central Sao Paulo was a very cosmopolitan place with a feel not dissimilar to The City in London. During the tour, we checked out the Sao Paulo Museum of Art seeing some big name artists: Picasso; Monet; Renoir; van Gogh; Bosch; Rembrandt; and Turner to name a few.

That evening we endeavoured to check out the night life but instead, as it was a Monday, we spent an hour and 60 Reais on a taxi tour trying to find a bar that was open and with people in it. Therefore, we headed home unsuccessful to get ready for our journey to Iguazu Falls. (KC)

permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on February 18, 2008 from Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Overland Trek Through Brazil

Porto Seguro, Brazil


After the madness of Carnival, we had to decide the best way to get to Buenos Aires by 22 February - either head to the northern beaches and endure an excessive number of flights, or choose the mammoth overland option south. We decided to take the scenic overland option with the first stop in the traditional Brazilian holiday resort of Porto Seguro.

With only one day in the town, we ventured to Barramares to check out the local beaches and the classical samba dancing in the many resorts. While soaking up the sun, we caught wind of a party on an aquarium island. As it sounded too random to miss, we headed there later in the evening. The aquarium had been converted to incorporate a huge samba stage and an underground dance arena. We duly obliged and drank and danced into the early hours.

The next day we continued the journey back down towards Rio. (KC)

permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on February 16, 2008 from Porto Seguro, Brazil
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Carnival Hangover

Salvador, Brazil


After the madness of the carnival in Rio we headed to Salvador, hoping for a quiet night before catching the boat to Morro de Sao Paulo for the aptly named 'Carnival Hangover' weekend. However, upon arriving at our Salvador hostel we realised that there was a big street party right outside! This reminded Sean of being at our flat in London when Karl and Kit had regular 'after parties', blasting out music as loud as possible...

Anyway, the next day we just managed to catch our boat to Morro, an idyllic island with gorgeous beaches (and ladies) and parties every night. The next few days generally involved sunning ourselves on the beach by day and drinking far too many Caipirinhas by night. As far as we can remember we never made it to bed before 7am (or out of bed before 12pm). On one of the nights we all managed to sneak into a club without paying - after Karl and Dan contemplated 'borrowing' a workman's ladder to scale the fence we opted for the old trick of 'get a stamp on your wrist and then smudge it onto your mates wrist'. After repeating this 5 times we managed to get the whole crew in (us three, Anil, Tim, and Alex).

One thing worth mentioning is that since cars are banned the only forms of transport are donkeys and wheelbarrows, with the latter being the local version of a taxi. At about 8am one morning Dan borrowed a taxi and had a race with Clairprinha (one of Pam's mates) inside, but unfortunately he misjudged the finishing line and accidentally tipped her into a pile of rubbish...

Since Morro was so good, we all decided to stay an extra day vowing that we'd definitely leave the next day at 1pm. By 2pm the next day Dan, Sean and Alex all awoke to realise they'd missed the boat back to Salvador so unfortunately we had to stay for another extra night.

On the boat back everyone was sick... (SM)

permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on February 8, 2008 from Salvador, Brazil
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Rio Carnival

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


We touched down in Rio still with our fourth member, Alex, who booked onto the flight at midnight the night before after many tequilas. We soon realised after our first night out that the next few days were going to be absolute madness. Everywhere you walk there was a street party or beach party with thousands of people following floats around and dancing. On the first day Dan and Chap went on an all day beach sesh, ordered some drinks from a bar then realised they were on the gay section of the beach (the rainbow flags did not initially arouse any suspicion!). To make matters worse the bar ran out of change so they got stuck there for about 20 minutes.

We spent most of our days on Ipanema and Copacabana beach then partied until daylight. On the last night of the carnival we went to the Sambadrome where all the floats perform in a huge stadium in front of judges. About 10 of us turned up two hours late and pushed right to the front dressed in huge costumes with ridiculous hats. We soon made a lot of enemies who started arguing with us and one local women even stamped on our costumes on the floor! So with the crowd divided between those who were on our side and those on the side of the local mentalist we stood our ground and continued to annoy her until 6am. In the 7 days we were in Rio we didn't even make it to any of the sights. We did managed to squeeze in going to watch a football match between Botafoga and Vasco at the famous Maracana stadium - it was a great game with two red cards and a penalty in the last minute to ensure Botafoga won 3-2!

After all the partying we headed to Morro de Sao Paulo, the carnival hangover island, for more punishment. (DD)

permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on January 31, 2008 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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The gay capital of South America!

Santiago, Chile


After New Zealand we flew to Santiago, Chile with our new recruit, Alex. Alex is an English guy we kept bumping into all over the world, after initally meeting him in Ko Phangan where we played football against him (dressed as a ladyboy). Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, everywhere we went he was there! We spent the last part of NZ with him and then realised he was on the same plane as us to Chile, so we decided to get a hostel together. We got a bus from the airport to town and then walked to the hostel soon realising that South America was not going to be as easy as Australia or NZ. Nobody spoke a word of English, every shop had at least one armed guard and we later found out that the park that we cut through to get to the hostel had recently been the location where the remains of an Irish backpacker had been dug up!

After wandering around all day we managed to stumble across a street entertainer comedy show who spotted us 'gringos' a mile off and kept the crowd entertained at our expense. We didn't have a clue what he was saying but everyone else seemed to find it funny...

Later that evening, after several tequila slammers at the hostel we decided to go into town. We began to realise something wasn't quite right when we noticed lots of strange looking men with moustaches get excited dancing to 'It's raining men' as we queued for the club. We quickly moved on and at the next place it was the same story - the whole city seemed to be having a gay night! Eventually we found a straight club and continued the drinking there. The next day we headed to Rio for the carnival (and Alex decided at 1am to book a flight and hostel and come with us). (DD)

permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on January 30, 2008 from Santiago, Chile
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Last Stop in Eastern Hemisphere

Auckland, New Zealand


The next leg took us through the North Island towards Auckland, through the adventure capital Taupo and Rotorua. On the way into Taupo, Dan and Sean were dropped off at the skydive centre to take on the adventure of a lifetime as Karl, having completed one in Australia, headed on into town. Sean and Dan completed the task ahead despite the unnerving moment when the plane doors open and the seemingly idiotic act of jumping out of a perfectly good plane. That night everyone headed into town for some well earned drinks.

The next day we headed on to Rotorua to get involved in some more activities. First was the Black Abyss outing - this involved abseiling into a pitch black cave; black water rafting; hiking through the caves; and climbing waterfalls to exit. A very interesting and exhiliarating experience. Second we played a couple of rounds of golf to finish off before beers. We also managed to fit in a visit to a Mouri village and be welcomed into their world.

The following day we arrived into Auckland to complete our tour of New Zealand. While in Auckland we checked out some of the tourist sites of New Zealand´s assumed capital: the harbour; the bridge; and the sky tower. We also managed to fit in a long overdue gym session to help everyone feel a little bit better about all the beer drinking over the previous two weeks.

Finally, we headed to the airport to take the long trans-Pacific flight to Santiago, Chile. (KC)


permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on January 29, 2008 from Auckland, New Zealand
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From South to North

Wellington, New Zealand


While Sean was still playing catch up after being left behind in Queenstown, Karl and Dan, after a short recovering night in Christchurch, left for Kaikoura.

Kaikoura is a very windy and sleepy town with very little to do but drink. And so, Karl and Dan headed for the local pub for some afternoon jars. A few pints later and we were back at the hostel getting everyone involved in the drinking session. At this point, Stefan, the German DJ, decided to put on some hard tunes and everyone seemed to accelerate into the night. Thankfully, almost everyone in the hostel stayed up to enjoy what seemed like an illegal acid party and it went on into the early hours (to the disgust of the hostel owner). There were a few enlightened soals the next morning (and some sore heads).

After Kaikoura we headed to Wellington in the North Island. While this is the capital city, and so expected to be the most cosmopolitan, it is certainly the roughest place we ventured on the island. Sean managed to get himself into a comfrontation with some of the Mouri locals after trying to help a girl who had been mugged - shouts of 'he has just hit me' (which he hadn't) from a nearby Mouri girl didn't help matters. Thankfully everything calmed down.

Wellington was used as a bit of a chill out destination and a chance for Sean to catch up to us once again on the ferry over. (KC)

permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on January 24, 2008 from Wellington, New Zealand
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Lake Wanaka and the Acid man rave

Wanaka, New Zealand, New Zealand


Our next stop on the west coast was the gorgeous Lake Wanaka where we went paintballing. This was quality, despite Karl being on the winning team...

After leaving Wanaka we headed to Queenstown for a few days. The days were spent taking part in various adventure activities and the nights drinking in the numreous bars around the town.

Some highlights:

All three of us went white-water rafting. The rafting was ok but by far the scariest part was the minibus journey along narrow winding mountain roads (featured in Lord of the Rings) with no crash barrier between the bus and the valley 300 feet below! Sean did a bungy canyon swing which involved jumping backwards off a cliff, freefalling 60 metres before swinging in a 200m arc over the river below - he survived.

Karl spent half a day riding a motor bike on the mountains, and yes, he did injure himself. Luckily it wasn't too bad - he hit a bend a bit too quickly and shot off the road and into a tree, with only a few minor cuts and bruises to show for it...

The best night out was the 'Acid Dan' night in celebration of Big Jen's (one of our friends from the Kiwi bus) birthday. We all got dressed up as early 90's ravers and went to the hostel bar. In the spirit of the theme we decided to go dressed as drugs: 'Acid' Dan, 'Bishi' Karl and 'Special K' Sean and it took us a good hour to create our costumes. The night was awesome - Jen (who's less than 5 feet tall and isn`t exactly the trouble-causing type) was thrown out of the bar and we all ended up in World bar where they serve cocktails in teapots!

Two days later Dan and Karl left on the Kiwi bus to head to the next destination, while Sean stayed in Queenstown for an extra day to do the canyon swing... (SM)



permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on January 18, 2008 from Wanaka, New Zealand, New Zealand
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Poo pub, possom pie and glacier climbing

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand


Our first stop on the Kiwi Experience bus was Lake Maninapua where we stayed at the curiously named Poo pub - a traditional west coast country pub with a crazy old man owner. We were told two hours before that in the evening there would be a fancy dress night so, given the short notice we resurrected the Rambo costumes that we last wore in Cambodia! It was a great way to get to know everyone and we ended the night by drunkedly wandering down to the lake in the dark to see the glow worms.

After a night at the Poo pub we travelled down the west coast stopping off at various places including a Possom museum where we learnt the fascinating history of possoms, ate some possom pie and Tony (another guy on the Kiwi bus) was attacked by a wild pig!

Our next stop was Franz Josef, a nice little town which is home to one of the world's fastest moving Glaciers. We spent the first day chilling in the 20 person hot tub with Karl's ipod and speakers providing entertainment for all. The next day we hit the Glacier - Karl and Dan did some ice climbing and Sean hiked up the Glacier (there were only two spaces left for the ice climbing). The Glacier hike was amazing and at the top Sean cooled off with a dip in the icy water!

Dan and Karl also had a great (and very tiring) experience, the highlight of which was when Karl was attempting to climb over a ledge. Just as he was almost over the ledge he fell and was left hanging on his ice picks, unable to pull himself back over the ledge, much to the amusement of Dan (who was filming it) and the rest of the group!That night we all went out and (don't ask me why) Dan ended up walking around the pub naked except for a strategically placed beer towel. For his efforts he was rewarded with a a temporary tatoo - just a typical night out. (SM)


permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on January 14, 2008 from Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
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