VIDEO: The Gringo (2002)

In this eight part series, I take THE GRINGO TRAIL through South America. Starting in BUENOS AIRES, I have a quick look around URUGUAY and CHILE before heading up to BRAZIL just in time to miss the 2002 World Cup Final. But I didn't miss the party afterwards!! Then I head over to Bolivia, the most BRILLIANT country in the WORLD (and I should know, I've been to a few!). From the salt plains of UYUNI to the rivers of the AMAZON RAINFOREST via the Health and Safety-baiting Silver Mines of POTOSI and the CAMINO DE LA MUERTE (the Road of Death), Bolivia is just a powerhouse of nutty hilarity from beginning to end. After hitting the INCA TRAIL to MACHU PICCHU, I head up through PERU and ECUADOR and end my journey in Bogota, COLUMBIA, one of the most dangerous capital cities in the world.…

Continue Reading VIDEO: The Gringo (2002)

Day 883: A Breath of Fresh Air

02.06.11: For somebody with my fun-seeking personality traits it may come as a shock to some of you that I’ve never knowingly taken an illegal drug. The closest I’ve got was haplessly sharing a ‘Happy Pizza’ in Cambodia back in 2002: coming from the country that also has a ‘Happy Rifle Range’ I (rather naively) thought it would be the Cambodian equivalent of a McDonald’s Happy Meal.  Well it wasn’t for kids and I didn’t get a toy, but do I have to concede: it did make me happy. So despite all the travel, all the gigs, the random house parties and music festivals I’ve attended over the years, nobody has ever seen me smoke a joint, snort a line of cocaine or declare I can fly after taking acid.  I don’t need acid to fly, I have Ryanair. Okay, some people may have seen me…

Continue Reading Day 883: A Breath of Fresh Air

Day 11: My Guardian Angels

11.01.09: Got to Bogotá yesterday, but there was barely enough time to pull my undies out of my backside before I was bang! on another overnight bus heading up to the border with Venezuela. For some reason, Colombian buses must be kept at a constant -5 degrees C at all times, so I was forced to wear pretty much all the clothing I own and my sleeping bag. But that's the way they like it. We were roused from our collective slumbers at about 7am for some breakfast on top of a mountain. And I thought the bus was cold...! Luckily, the driver kept us all locked out of the coach for half an hour so we all got to experience the full freezing coldness of an Andean mountain on an early Sunday morning. What is this with countries near the equator being cold? I don't…

Continue Reading Day 11: My Guardian Angels

Day 10: The Need For Speed(Boat)!

10.01.09: I think I'm about 3 days behind schedule now; I really need to make up some time in the Caribbean. Don't know how easy that is going to be, absolutely NOTHING has been arranged. I feel quite sick just thinking about it. There are hardly any ferry services in the Caribbean, cruise ships flat refuse to take on casual travellers and the chances of working my passage on a private yacht are probably less than 50:50. In short, I could be stuck in the Caribbean for quite some time. If any of you know anyone who is in the Caribbean at the moment and has a boat (preferably a speed boat!) PLEASE let me know. It's getting to the 11th hour here and I don't want this whole thing to fall apart at the first hurdle. Thanks. At the moment I'm on the bus to…

Continue Reading Day 10: The Need For Speed(Boat)!

Day 9: Hey Hey We’re The Monkees

09.01.09: Okay - day of ACTION! Got up at some ungodly hour and rendered the podcast, got to the Internet café at 7.30am and uploaded it. Got to bookshop at 9am and bought new Lovely Plant guidebook (PHEW!) Jumped on the first bus to the border (11am) and CROSSED THE EQUATOR!! So I'm now back in the Northern Hemisphere. Exciting stuff!! Got to the border in good time, 4pm. Then.... Waited, and waited, and WAITED to get my exit stamp. It was 7.30pm before I got across. And I pushed in. I bribed a Canadian guy called Matt who was in the middle of the queue (rather than the end) with a Coca-Cola and he let me in. Thanks Matt!! It was the old South American trick of employing just one guy with a stamp to process 500 people. Urgh! Entertainingly enough though, there were actually…

Continue Reading Day 9: Hey Hey We’re The Monkees