Tarija, Bolivia: It’s About the People

Oh, Tarija. The women there are beautiful. It’s their smiles. They are the dream of every Bolivian man. -- David, our Bolivian guide for the Salar de Uyuni tour, delivers an animated testimonial for one of Bolivia’s lesser-known cities.Cafés with outdoor seating line palm tree-dotted squares; cars broadcast opera from open windows as they cruise the plaza; wine … [Read more...]

Happy Holidays from Paraguay

School in Cambodia

A few days ago, we were enjoying the Paraguayan tradition of drinking tereré (a cold version of yerba maté) to cool off from the tropical heat. As we sipped, we chuckled at how the food stalls at the Encarnación bus station broadcast dueling Christmas songs -- a Jingle Bells here, a Frosty the Snowman there. Yet, there we sat sweating away.Hot or cold, the … [Read more...]

Cocaine: A Story That Begins in the Bolivian Jungle

I need to fill up the tank completely. Finding gasoline in Chapare can be unreliable. It’s one of the ingredients in cocaine production – and that gets first priority. -- Alvarro, our client and guide in Cochabamba, Bolivia explains why it’s necessary to gas up in the city before heading into the jungle.Paraguay customs. We had just crossed the 200 mile desert … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving in Bolivia, MacGyver* in the Kitchen

Thanksgiving may be over, but I’m still thankful.We admit it – we are the worst bloggers. Many wrote their Thanksgiving posts a week or two before turkey day while others prepared something to publish on the day itself.Then there’s us.We intended - we really did - to publish a reflection yesterday, but life took over and filled our day with a raft of … [Read more...]

From Ecuador to Turkmenistan: 10 Border Crossings We Have Known

What is it about land borders that attracts hookers, drifters, the down-on-their-luck and crazy travelers like us? The margins, the frontier: the domain of moneychangers, deal-makers, "friendship" bridges, duty free shops -- and occasionally, garden gnomes. Passing on foot from one country to the next, the feeling of adventure rises with a heightened sense of … [Read more...]