Monday, March 22, 2010


When you are travelling through South America and Africa, God has created all kinds of bad juju that can mess with your lifestyle. Here are the ones you would be wise to get innoculated against:

Yellow fever
Hepatitis A & B
Swine Flu

You also need Doxy to safeguard against malarial mosquitoes when you are "in the J".

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fire Sale

We're selling the following items, if anyone's interested:

- my car (Ultra Blue Holden Astra CDX MY06, ~58K km, leather seats, front heated seats, tinted windows, $20K)
- queen-size bed incl. mattress + linens
- 6x pillows
- 3-seater lounge with queen-size bed SOLD
- 3-seater lounge
- 2x coffee tables
- 2x DVD/CD towers SOLD
- small bookshelf
- tall boy
- chest of drawers SOLD
- fridge
- Hoover 3.5kg dryer SOLD
- 2x laptops SOLD
- large bar heater
- small bar heater
- left-handed desk
- hanging rack
- weights set
- iron & ironing board SOLD
- large rubbish bin, near-new
- fan
- Dyson vacuum cleaner
- Nilfisk vacuum cleaner SOLD
- size 8 Scarpa Kailash men's hiking boots, worn once

Leave a comment or email us if you're interested in any of the above. First come, first served. Goods will be posted on Gumtree/eBay in a week.

The kit list

alarm clock
map of South America
electrical tape
ziplock bags
ear plugs
first aid kit
insect repellent
personal documents (passport, travel insurance, DAN membership, dive logs, airline tickets, bookings for inca trail, SAE membership. Photocopies of these documents.)
ipods & ipod charger
electrical adapter plug (220v to 240v)
swiss army knife
universal sink plug
wallet with cash
money pouch with cards and travellers' cheques
pegless clothes line
travel pillow
digital camera
mobile phone
travel journal
lonely planet guides
sheet liners
sleeping bag
sleep mat
camp stove
walking shoes
black shoes
sports socks
GP socks
casual shorts
swimming shorts
icebreaker thermal leggings
long pants
dress pants
dress shirt
icebreaker long sleeves
icebreaker long sleeve zip thru
icebreaker thermal top
windstopper jacket
Goretex shell jacket
padlocks & mesh pack cage
hip flask & shot glasses (kidding... actually, no, I'm serious)
glock 9mm and spare cartridges (just kidding)

Friday, March 5, 2010

In 4 weeks...

... we will be in Santiago! Can't believe it's so close. And there is sooo much to do before we leave.

Only one more week of work left for me, 3 for Jace.

Our farewell is next Saturday, from 4pm at Zanzibar in Newtown. See you then!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Well, it looks like we might be in for an interesting time on the first leg of our journey. The coast of Chile was hit by an 8.8 earthquake on Feb 27th and it threw up a tsunami that belted the coastal cities.

For the first few days it sounded to me like no great big deal, all I heard was that Bachelet refused UN aid, and the Vargases had none of their people hurt or anything, so if they have it under control, then no biggie, right? Well, a few days later Bachelet has had a rethink and the situation is bit more dire than she originally thought it was, apparently.

Chile has lost a huge number of vineyards and wineries and several cities have been smashed. Criminal gangs, some armed with rifles and hatchets have been looting and terrorising the population, prompting President Bachelet to deploy 14000 troops and place several cities under military imposed curfews designed to contain chaos and provide security for humanitarian aid. Perhaps surprisingly, the death toll is only in the 700's. Apparently they have been smashed like this before; Concepcion was flattened by an 8.3 in 1939 (30,000 dead) and then a 9.5 hit in 1960 (6000 dead)- the biggest quake ever recorded in the world. After that they built a lot of new buildings with advanced engineering in case it happened again. Way to go, Chile.

Concepcion, which seemed like a wonderful place to visit has been belted pretty badly and who knows where it will really be at when we arrive in a month's time. Chile is a robust place and they will get back on their feet sooner or later, I just hope they get their act together sooner rather than later.

In other natural disaster news, the rains came early and heavy in Peru's wet season and the rivers of Cusco burst their banks, flooding local villages and smashing the railway line. Mudslides have literally washed the railway tracks away in no fewer than four places, claimed 5 lives and smashed up 2000 odd homes in the area. As another consequence, there is no way to get to Machu Picchu until they fix the railway line, and the tourists who were stranded in Aguas Calientes had to be evac'd by chopper.

The Peruvian govt say that the railway line will be up again in April, but it seems more likely that April is an aspirational tourism department sort of a timeframe. I pity whoever has to deal with Alix if they don't have that train line up again by the time we get there in June.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Inca Trail

Hi folks,

This is Jace. I just finished the booking for the Inca trail. Alix and I are booked to do the trek to Machu Picchu from June 18th to June 21st. I hear it is breathtaking. Quite literally, if you haven't acclimatised to the altitude properly before you start.