travel the voyage of self discovery

Posts tagged “latin america

Rio de Janeiro 2003

A snapshot of a cold and wet Rio yet still intoxicating.


Paraty is stunningly beautiful, an idyllic setting of steep jungle covered mountains plunging into secluded beaches.
The town is also a hidden gem, centuries old architecture and cobbled stoned streets.Its a delightful place to stroll around as the streets are closed of to traffic.When that all becomes too much the sea food is to die for, some of the best I’ve ever had the joy of encountering.


Foz De Iguazu – Argentina side.


Sights & Colours Of Buenos Aires 2003

Trying To Be A Gaucho

A highlight from my time in Argentina was my three night stay at Anglo-Argentinian estancia.


Learning necessary gaucho skills

horse riding on the fabulous estate


wine tasting local wines whilst watching the sunset

traditional Argentinian BBQ whilst listening to live local music


wine tasting tour

Cafayate, a scenic place reached from Salta by the stunning natural carved rockscapes of the Quebrada de Cafayate.
Vineyards famed for the quality of its wines are backed by soaring mountains.


Salta, North-west Argentina.



The streets might be dry dusty and empty but walk through a door and the atmosphere is alive. Social and laid back, sitting around fires listening to live music.

Heading to Chile

The stunning scenery heading into Chile.




Maria La Gorda

Most westerly province on the island, a great get away for a couple of nights as long as you do not mind mosquito’s.

The Cuban Barbecue.


We sat around , the rum was flowing.
The more the rum flowed the makings of a great bbq began with lots of dancing.
We could smell the food and how amazing it smelt.
But then from out of no where the rains came, just like being back home.


Cuban-style salsa, also known as Casino, is a form of salsa dance that originated in Cuba. It is an expression of popular social culture.
What gives the dance its life, however, is not its mechanical technique, but understanding and spontaneous use of the rich Afro-Cuban dance vocabulary within a “Casino” dance. In the same way that a “sonero” (lead singer in Son and Salsa bands) will “quote” other, older songs in their own, a “casino” dancer will frequently improvise references to other dances, integrating movements, gestures and extended passages from the folkloric and popular heritage.

The nearest to salsa i had ever been before in my life revolves around zumba.Yes i might dance however with this i was completely out of my comfort zone and no amount of rum could alter that. I seemed to have a natural dislike of being led, this normally ended up with me being picked up and spun around.



Cuba has a tropical climate that is split into two seasons, one wet and one dry. However, year round it is generally hot with regular rainfall and high humidity, but also with plenty of sunshine.
When the Rain falls it tends to be fast and heavy , high winds can whip up ferocious storms and flash-flooding is a risk.

The verandah did flood however with a little hard work after the storm past the waters were cleared and a mighty feast was had.



Vinales is a small town and municipality in the north-central Pinar del Rio Province of Cuba. Vinales is an agricultural area, where crops of fruit, vegetables, coffee and especially tobacco are grown by traditional methods.


Yank tank or máquina are the words used to describe the many classic cars (for example: 1957 Chevrolet, 1953 Ford, 1958 Dodge, etc.) present in Cuba. Due to the presence of a past strong Cuban middle-class,classic cars have been the standard, rather than an exception. With an estimated 60,000 vintage cars still in Cuba, these old classics are a tribute to the nostalgia of the old days.

American cars that were present, at the time of the embargo, have been preserved through loving care and ingenuity.
No new parts have been shipped to Cuba to service these auto’s since the early 60’s, and they currently run on the sole ingenuity of the Cuban people. They either manufacture their own replacement parts, use common household items, or use parts from older Soviet vehicles to keep these running

The old American cars on the road today have “relatively high inefficiencies” due in large part to the lack of modern technology. This has resulted in increased fuel consumption as well as aiding to the economic plight of its owners.

It is unknown how many are “yank tanks” and are considered road worthy

When In Rome.


Mum , Dad please don’t scream and shout but it would have been rude if I refused.

Revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were often seen smoking a cigar during the early days of the Cuban Revolution.

Despite American trade sanctions against Cuban products , Cuba grows significant quantities of tobacco and cigars remain one of the countries leading exports.

The word cigar is said to originated from Mayan cultures and translated to mean” to smoke rolled tobacco leaves”. In Cuba cigars are rolled from tobacco leaves found throughout the country. However the filler, binder, and wrapper may come from different portions of the island.
All cigar production in Cuba is controlled by the Cuban government.

Did I enjoy it well not really but do I have any regrets , defiantly no.




The typical one story wooden houses with porches that make up the Vinales Valley.No home would be complete without the rocking chair on the porch to sit back and watch the world go by.