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...]

Our U.S. Radio Debut…and Behind the Scenes in Bolivia


In case you haven’t already heard, I was recently interviewed by Pauline Frommer for The Travel Show, a weekly radio program she co-hosts with her father, Arthur Frommer. We chatted about one of our recent articles - Fawlty Tours - and some of the pitfalls one encounters when booking local tours.The entire interview experience was terrific.But there’s more to … [Read more...]

Fawlty Tours: 7 Games Tour Companies Play

Our experience

We began this piece by writing a narrative tracing the hiccups in our Salkantay to Machu Picchu trek, but soon realized that our lessons learned go beyond Peru’s tourist-laden Inca corridor.So what happened? Our guide got drunk two nights in a row, tried to pinch us for more money with unplanned and overpriced transport, didn’t buy our Machu Picchu tickets in … [Read more...]