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  • Mad as a Bucket of Frogs

    Mad as a Bucket of Frogs

    On our early morning jungle walk, temperatures already climbing, we came across all manner of spiders, insects and an abandoned beehive which Doug began wearing as a hat. We eventually reached a primitive, remote village on the bank of the Amazon.

    There we were given a real treat as a boy allowed us to hold a one year old beautiful orphaned jaguar he was looking after before releasing it into the wild. It was a truly beautiful cat and already much larger than most dogs, let alone cats. Its growing maturity indicated by the dozens of scratches the boy had received while looking after it.

    That afternoon Juan took us across the lake where we visited a GARGANTUAN tree. It was 450 years old and was sacred to the indigenous peoples there who completed an annual blood-letting ritual around the tree. The trunk spanned more than ten metres at its base.

    Jungle Night Walk

    That night we finally went for our much-anticipated night walk into the jungle. We had been promised that the darkness would mean a wholly new array of wildlife would appear. Immediately upon leaving the lodge we came across a huge three metre long snake crossing the path.

    It was red with bright yellow patches and upon seeing us it curled fiercely. Juan bent down to pick up a stick with a ‘Y’ shaped tip. Doug asked him ‘Is it very poisonous?’ ‘Deadly’ Juan replied, before leaping towards it, thrusting his stick like a spear. The snake dodged and slid off into the undergrowth. Juan is as mad as a bucket of frogs.

    We also saw huge toads and Doug spotted a big spider-like creature with crab claws on a tree, midway through eating another bug. Juan revealed that this was the adult form of the larvae he had eaten the night before! Urgh! Although we didn’t see anything else quite so exciting it was great fun trekking, listening to the sounds of the jungle.

    Leaving the Lodge

    Up at 5 am the next morning we paddled the canoe out onto the lake to catch a stunning sunrise and visit the monkeys one last time.

    Later that afternoon we said goodbye to Juan and were taken back to Leticia and Gustavo’s where we rewarded ourselves with giant pizzas (which were slow to arrive, Aukje impatiently asked Gustavo ‘How many seconds are there in a Colombian minute?’ to which he replied ‘Many, many’).

    The girls all left us the following day, heading for Bogotá in northern Colombia, whilst we were booked on an even lengthier cargo ship journey back to Iquitos.

    Hell-hole Part 2

    [...]

  • Vegetarian Fishing Deep In The Jungle

    Vegetarian Fishing Deep In The Jungle

    Fresh with excitement, our group bounded out of bed, silent and industrious in expectation for our next adventure into the heart of the jungle. Bags packed we set off through the confusing network of towns to a port made entirely of spare wooden planks.

    Each was precariously balanced on tree stumps and scrap which was slowly sinking into the thick, muddy sand. At points locals told us to walk one at a time for fear the plank would snap in half.

    Balanced on a group of discarded wood we found our tour operator’s ‘office’ and waited patiently for our boat to arrive.

    An enthusiastic man pulled into the dock, threw our belongings onto the boat and told us we were going with him on a little scenic tour before he dropped us off on the borders of the jungle.

    Fruitless Search

    We spent the next two hours fruitlessly searching for the rare pink dolphins which are only found in the Amazon. With disappointment painted across all our faces, our captain tried to pep us up by a visit to a shack next to the river with a freezer in it.

    Confusedly we bundled out of the boat, clambered into the hovel and opened the freezer. Inside was the frozen carcass of a huge, ugly fish. We were given no explanation and our captain soon wandered off for a smoke.

    This was when Doug first spotted a tell-tale fin poking flirtatiously out of the water. Dark grey dolphins, a huge pack of them. Shouting for the captain, we chased the group down the river for half an hour or so before it was time to head towards our original destination.

    Jungle Lodge

    Juan, our 19-year-old jungle guide, welcomed us with a smile as we pulled up to the verge. He helped us gather our gear together and told us to drink lots of water due to the heat and the long trek ahead. A crowd of children collected around us, one girl with a pet sloth casually hung from various pockets on her clothes. Its expression was that of a senile old man, completely content but vacant all the same.

    Juan guided us for two hours, pointing out giant ants industriously dismantling fallen trees. He pointed out that we should never put our hands on the trees due to dangerous insects and spines growing from the bark itself.

    Tired and aching from our long, sweaty day so far, the sight of our jungle lodge retreat was bliss. The grounds for the lodge were huge, alongside a vast, calm lake. We were given a 30 person room to [...]

  • Carry On Up The Amazon

    Carry On Up The Amazon

    Joined by the two British girls, Prina, Jess and Aukje the Maths teacher from Holland, we piled our luggage onto spindly Tuk Tuks bound for the port. Narrowly avoiding a misunderstanding, we boarded the boat to take us down the Amazon to Colombia and the Tri-Border region.

    This was going to be unlike any boat trip any of us had taken before. There were no private cabins, no seats and mostly no walls. Instead, each passenger brought their own hammock and strung it up between various poles holding the roof up.

    With only a little help from an amused local, we set up our hammocks along in a row of five while others filled all the gaps around us and secured our luggage as best we could. Once it filled, it became clear that the boat would very quickly turn into a shit hole.

    Chaos, Obviously

    In true South American fashion the boat was two hours late in leaving. We grew increasingly worried as we had not been able to find anyone to pay for our tickets. Finally a man, who could have been the captain, found us and angrily demanded payment though we were more than happy to oblige.

    Our discomfort grew upon realising that every single passenger apart from us had rushed to put on life jackets. Thinking that the boat was sinking we dashed around in a panic until it was explained that it was a requirement for each passenger to have one – spares were brought for us.

    The journey did not get off to the best of starts, but we still had the best part of two whole days aboard to get used to it. The Amazon River was incredibly wide, 8 km at its widest point in Peru and 12 km in Brazil and very impressive to look upon.

    Quiet time on the boat began at 9pm lasting until everyone woke up for breakfast (a cup of steaming hot filth) at 6am served by one of the strangest and ugliest men on the planet, who danced about during the day in tight shorts and t-shirts, apparently ecstatic to be glared at menacingly by 90% of the passengers.

    During the day we entertained ourselves talking, sleeping, playing cards and watching the ship dock every few hours at Peruvian villages along the Amazon where cargo from goats to motorcycles were delivered and other things loaded onboard.

    Freezing Nights

    We slept uncomfortably during the freezing cold nights (yes surprising indeed).  On our second and last night we hoped to drink Jess’s rum, realising a quarter of the bottle through that it was actually [...]

  • Visions of Ayahuasca

     

    Mick is a mad bloke from Birmingham who’s brummie accent, when mingled with Spanish, is fantastic to listen to. In the bunkhouse we met resident American crackpot George Viste, this fact was immediately evident from the fact he was wearing two pairs of glasses.

    Visions of Ayahuascawas in his 60′s and looked like he had been on the road for a long time. He proceeded to explain to us that Iquitos was dangerous and he had been robbed including through changing money on the street.

    He gave us a quick tour of nearby restaurants and sights and introduced us to the Peruvian teenagers he played football with saying if we got to know them they wouldn’t rob us either.

    Having watched several documentaries on the subject previously, Doug was very keen to find a Shamanic ceremony to experience what tribes in the area had enacted for thousands of years. George recommended Ron, another American expat who practiced the Ayahuasca ceremony in the area.

    We met some English teenagers back in the bunkhouse, fresh from their Ayahuasca experience with Ron and George the night before. Mike began regaling this new audience with volumes of information garnered from ingesting the guidebook whilst Doug quizzed George on his Special Forces involvement in the Vietnam War.

    Aukje, a Dutch Maths teacher arrived who insisted that she would also like to join us with Ron the following night.

    Doug lost the coin-toss that night, leaving his accommodation as the filthy hammock in the kitchen/bathroom. Morning was greeted with enthusiastic stories from George about the bot-fly grub embedded in his arse for two months which he had bloodily ripped out in the shower during the night (disturbingly, right next to where Doug was asleep).

    Two girls from London arrived, Prina and Jess, who had plans like us to travel down the Amazon by boat. Jess also agreed to join us that evening in the Shaman ritual with Ron.

    Tuk Tuks took us out to the mysteriously named ‘Mile 9′ where we eventually met Ron who led us into his barn. Inside we found a circle of beds around a central area with the Shaman’s shrine.

    Two of his apprentices would also be joining us for the ceremony. Both students were in their 50′s, one American named Jim and an Aussie called Mark.

    Ron left us talking to them about ayahuasca for an hour in which we asked them all sorts of questions. We told them that we were curious and had heard of its use as a powerful medicine for hundreds of years.

    Ayahuasca had helped Jim to overcome depression in 90 or so ceremonies. Mark co-founded the [...]

  • A City in the Jungle

    A City in the Jungle

    An incredibly uncomfortable stay in Loja spurred us into an early morning transit back across the border into Peru. Mike was still reeling from some truly vivid dreams he’d had whilst attempting to sleep in the crack-den-for-a-hostel the night before.

    Travelling through Piura and into Chiclayo, we stayed in the same hostel as three weeks before, though our taxi driver was, as ever, keen to convince us to stay elsewhere. He went as far as to lie that the hostel had burnt down. We didn’t fall for his crap and urged him onwards.

    Doug came down with a stomach bug and so we decided to stay an extra night. The extra-ordinarily kind hostess became his surrogate Mother for the day, fetching him medicine and brewing up healthy doses of chicken soup.

    Doug felt very touched and remarked that he hopes to one day be able to return the favour in some fashion as she would not accept a tip from us on departure.

    Coinciding with Peruvian Independence Day – our bus left the following evening bound for Chachapoyas in the northern highlands.

    Bleery eyed – we arrived at 6am with no map or clue where we were. Luckily we found a combi heading to the village of Tingo, which took us a bit closer to the ruins of Kuelap (a great fortress built by the Chache culture in the 6th Century).

    Realising we were still too far to walk the rest of the journey, and had arrived to early to hope for any local transport to be heading that way, we dismally trudged into the one open ‘restaurant’ in the village.

    Doug was particularly displeased our order for scrambled eggs had mysteriously translated into fried bananas, fish and dry rice – turning Doug’s stomach. We then sat for an hour, dejectedly, on a bench in the square next to a friendly old man who told us to cheer up.

    Luckily, a minibus with a tour on its way to Kuelap happened to stop almost in front of us, with two spare seats. The old man clearly had powers of foresight beyond our imagination!

    The young tour-guide took us around the ruins imparting his vast knowledge on the area which was stunning in size and for the ever hanging cloud forest around its cliff borders. We also spotted bones protruding from the foundations of a temple.

    Mike choked down an awful Cuy (guinea pig) for dinner before we returned to Chachapoyas.

    Feeling somewhat rested, we booked a bus for the next afternoon to take us to Taropoto, a town on the edge of the Amazon jungle. Sensing [...]

  • Rafting, Biking and Chickening out of Bungee Jumping

    Rafting, Biking and Chickening out of Bungee Jumping

    Embedded into the jungle, Banos could not be surrounded by more dramatic scenery. It is entirely surrounded on all sides by mountains covered in a thick layer of foliage and visible is an active volcano, constantly smoking in the distance.

    The activity we chose to do first consisted of a familiar 40km bike ride involving a wrong and subsequent hour’s ride uphill. Eventually we found the correct route, reaching a town called Rio Negro before turning off the road onto a track heading high into the hills in the search of a trout farm. 2.5km further up we found a house surrounded by fish ponds into which we slung our fishing rods and caught lunch. T

    he proprietor killed the fish and cooked them right in front of us. It cannot be beaten for freshness!

    When we returned to our hostel room a new roommate had moved in, a middle-aged American man who held very pessimistic views, asked us how every individual moment of our trip had been and insinuated Russians are rude.

    To top it off he had unashamed flatulence problems, filling our room with noxious gas. Unfortunately we also learned that due to our airline TAM being incompetent we were unable to change our flights.

    This meant altering our plans to go down the Amazon River as far as the Colombian town of Leticia, return to Peru and fly as arranged from Lima.

    Our second activity was white water rafting, something neither of us had done before, but something we would love to do again following this incredible experience!

    The waves were huge and powerful, a difficult challenge for first timers according to our guides, but we got stuck in never baulking from the challenge of taking the difficult route through bigger waves and whirlpools.

    Doug sat at the front of our raft and appeared to Mike as a blur behind walls of water most of the time. Incredibly no-one from our raft fell into the river; however Mike was called into action to rescue a guy who had fallen out of another, hauling him in by his life jacket.

    By the end of the thrilling adventure we were ready to tuck into lunch and a well deserved beer.

    We left Banos for the southern transit town of Loja the next day on our way to an alternate border crossing with Peru.

    In Loja we stayed in Hotel Mexico, boasting nonchalant staff with coked up friends, creaking floorboards, filthy lavatories and real concave beds. Luxury.

    We ate at a pizzeria where the young staff found it amusing to [...]

  • Ecuador (Hijacking Edition!)

    Ecuador (Hijacking Edition!)

    We left the lazy, sun soaked beach town of Mancora on an overnight bus to the Ecuadorian capital, Quito.

    Arriving at the notoriously dodgy border crossing out of Peru, we were told to depart the bus with our belongings at the Ecuadorian passport control, before being put in a taxi, driven to another bus terminal and told to board a new coach.

    Our seats were stationed one row back from the front where another English guy, called Ben, was sitting. The bus was packed mainly with locals, Ben and an American couple making up the only tourist contingent.

    The bus departed the terminal after a short wait and we seemed to be making good progress. We had all been forced to sit through a truly terrible martial arts film called simply ´Ninja´ and the passengers had all lulled themselves into a quiet, restful state.

    At roughly 11.15pm one man in a black leather jacket knocked loudly on the security door electronically locking out the driving compartment from the passengers.

    He seemed to be motioning that he wanted the bus to stop so he could relieve himself. He got a response of ´No´ from the drivers. A few moments later a woman approached the door and asked the same question, this time the door did open a fraction.

    Suddenly the man wearing a leather jacket and a thin man in a cap burst from their seats, battered their way into the driving compartment and overwhelmed the drivers.

    They brought the bus to a halt, opened the doors and received weapons from others who had been following in a jeep. They fired a pistol into the roof of the bus to signal their intent before Thin Cap followed up on this threat by beating anyone within arm’s reach of the aisle with a blunted knife and his gun.

    His aggression and free use of the gun quelled any desire of the passengers to rise up against them.

    He swiped at Ben and us, catching Mike on the head several times with the knife and Doug at least once causing some minor wounds. We later worked out that he had been shouting at us in Spanish not to look at him, but of course not realizing this our staring may have contributed to the beating we received.

    Throughout this part he and his gang forced us all to give up valuables. Doug had been listening to his Mp3 player when it started and had his bag on his lap.

    They took close to $1000 worth of cash and electronics whereas Mike, whose bag on the floor was left untouched, took out $40 from [...]

  • Mosching, Lima and Loki

    Mosching, Lima and Loki

    We dropped our bags off at a quaint little hostel before rushing out the door to satisfy a ferocious hunger that had gripped us all. The lure of the first Burger King in months proved too great, we devoured the food feeling a mixture of pleasure and guilt.

    Later that day, to continue our western themed day, we decided to go bowling. We discovered that the lanes were a part of a huge entertainment complex carved into the side of a cliff. Doug played miserably whilst Spanish and Mike excelled beyond all expectations.

    We walked to Lima’s Barracco district, famed for its buzzing nightlife. Sat in a decent bar we indulged in some cheaply priced beer before moving on to a club where we drank some more and had a bit of a dance.

    The club closed at 3am leaving us in search of a taxi. Doug’s normal ability to haggle had obviously been affected by copious amounts of alcohol; on the first round of negotiations over price Doug rebuffed the 15 Soles price, suggesting that 12 would be fairer.

    The taxi driver slammed his accelerator and disappeared. A rather more sheepish Doug accepted the 15 Soles price given by the next available taxi. We ended this despicably gringo day with a McDonald’s.

    Groggily we rose in the morning to get on a bus to Trujillo, a little way further up the coast. Our journey rather unfortunately took us to Chimbote – the country’s fish processing capital – for a bus change.

    The entire town stank to high heaven; we were forced to quell gagging reflexes the rest of the journey as the smell lingered in our noses.

    Trujillo is a town of huge cultural importance, surrounded by the incredibly well preserved remains of the Chimu people who ruled the region before the Incas.

    We visited the huge 20 square kilometer site of Chan Chan, once a city made entirely of mud bricks. The Temples of Iris and Esmereldas stand surrounded by what is now modern Trujillo, this does not detract from the beauty of the constructions all of which are adorned with various symbolic carvings of fishes, birds, rainbows and serpents among others.

    This was not all Trujillo had to offer, on our second day we visited the Mosche ruined temples of the Sun and the Moon.

    The temple of the Sun is off limits as it is heavily degraded, though from the exterior we clearly saw some of the 140 million mud bricks used in its construction. Its smaller neighbour, the Temple of the Moon was the religious centre for the Mosche civilization, and was used [...]

  • The Mystery of the Nazca Lines

    The Mystery of the Nazca Lines

    We had travelled to Nazca for the single attraction of a flight over the Nazca Lines, strange formations and carvings into the ground of the desert 1700 years ago, which are for the most part clearly visible today and can only be appreciated from a bird´s eye view.

    We bargained a while for a flight and settled to go with the least sleazy salesman.

    As we tucked into our pasta that evening, talking excitedly about tomorrow´s flight, a commotion below our balcony seating attracted our attention. A feral looking woman with wild, matted hair was going ballistic!

    She teared down the street growling and snarling whilst chasing two men. Suddenly, she gave up the chase, turned, through a chair into the street and knocked a lit signboard down before changing her demeanour quickly, her rage apparently appeased, and walking quietly off into the night.

    We were picked up early the next morning and driven to a briefing centre where we sat in a room, watched half a British 80´s documentary on the Lines before we clambered back into the van and drove to the airfield.

    There we stood for an hour with not much going on, so we managed to see Holland put Brazil out of the World Cup. Soon after we boarded our six person plane with a French couple and took off for our 40 minute flight.

    The scenery was dramatic; looming over the town is the World´s biggest sand-dune at a whopping 2km in height! The plateau stretched out in the opposite direction, containing the 800 or so Lines, most of which have unfortunately been disrupted by modern human interference; there is a highway cutting straight through the middle. However, some Lines are still intact.

    The pilot banked back and forth over some formations, giving us clear views of the whale, spider, condor, Alcatraz, monkey and the strange astronaut figures among others etched into the sand. The flight was expensive but extremely worthwhile in our opinion.

    We jumped on a bus to Paracas, a coastal town not far south of Lima, in an attempt to meet Spanish in Pisco. From these towns tours run to the Islas Balletas, the so-called poor man´s Galapagos.

    We arrived in Paracas around 8pm, delayed by the idiotic antics of our driver who had driven straight through a police checkpoint. The disgruntled cops chased us down, pulled us over and had a raging argument with the driver before allowing us on our way.

    At the terminal a series of people informed us that it would be very expensive to travel on to Pisco at that time [...]

  • Floating Islands of the Uros

    Floating Islands of the Uros

    Our coach from Cusco to Puno, a town bordering Lake Titicaca, left bright and early, though not early enough to beat the local touts who were out in their droves.

    One tried to con us into paying tax included in our ticket and another signed us up for a hotel promising the world upon our arrival in Puno.

    7 hours later we pulled into Puno, were met by a hotel representative and whisked on our way. The remainder of the day was spent briefly walking through town and visiting an Internet café before getting our heads down for an early night.

    The lavish breakfast promised to us at Cusco terminal arrived at our table the following morning. Instead of freshly scrambled eggs, fruit and coffee, we received stale flat bread, margarine and a spread of suspicious origins.

    We were not impressed. However, unperturbed we walked down the docks to join a boat visiting the famous floating islands originally created by the Uros tribe to escape aggressive Inca expansion 500 years ago.

    Today, as we unfortunately discovered, the islands´ modern inhabitants have not retained much of the culture or history of the Uros people. They replace the reeds with new ones to stop them sinking, but instead of showcasing the trials and tribulations of a long gone community desperately trying to avoid war, the floating islands are a tourist trap, giant bric-a-brac tables spread with all sorts of ´handmade´ tat.

    Our captain come guide gave our group a totally incomprehensible talk on the construction of the islands. He had the quietest voice we had… well… never heard!

    All the more confusing when he began eating the materials used to float the islands, before passing round more reeds for us to try. They tasted of slight saltiness and had the texture of a balloon. It took us a while to realize he had stopped speaking, giving us a while to peruse the ´goods´ on offer.

    After loitering on the small island for far too long we were taken to the capital of the Uros islands for lunch. We sipped at fish head soup, nibbled at our cremated trouts and chugged down half a cup of coffee which resembled mud in colouring, consistency and taste.

    We were finally allowed to leave; our experience had not been an impressive one. For all the shameless exploitation we managed to see through enough to see what an ingenious method the people of Uros had created to save their people peacefully.

    Once back on dry land we marched straight for a tour agency to book a trip the funerary towers of Silustani, an [...]

  • Machu Picchu

    Machu Picchu

    We continued hanging out with Emily who revealed that she could speak fluent Spanish, very useful for making our way to Machu Picchu via local buses and trekking.

    The usual reckless driving combined with the narrow, cliff edged road winding through the hills did not please Doug who sat Cliffside the entire journey.

    Hot, tired and hungry we rolled into Aguas Calientes, the base town for Machu Picchu, after nightfall having trekked in the dark along defunct railway lines for over two hours.

    At 4am the next morning, after suffering a parrot squawking somewhere in the building all night, our alarms chimed signaling the start of our trek to see one of the wonders of the world.

    It was imperative to leave so early so as to beat the rush of tourists boarding buses at 5.30am. Only the first 400 people in the entrance queue are given another ticket to climb Huayna Pichu, an adjacent mountain overlooking the ruins.

    We donned our boots, turned our torches on and went out into the pitch darkness. We arrived at the bottom of the mountain, greeted by steep cut steps creeping upwards.

    The arduous ascent continued for an hour, spurred on by fear as the buses had started departing earlier than billed! We eventually made it, dripping with sweat to join the queue literally minutes before a dozen coaches arrived, and luckily we secured our Huayma Pichu enlistment before it was too late.

    The crowds, bristling with excitement, were allowed to enter the site of Machu Picchu at 6am. The impact of viewing the ruins with our own eyes was monumental.

    The ancient city seemed so complete and set against the cruel, mountain landscape it was hard to imagine what determination it must have taken to create such a place. It truly is awe inspiring.

    We quickly posed for the traditional postcard photos before the overwhelming numbers of tourists flooded into the picture, before head off up the side of the mountain to the Sun Gate to watch the sun rise over the mountain crest.

    We returned to the city to walk around the various ruins including the guardhouse and some of the temples, some of which were remarkably in pristine condition. Doug became hugely fascinated by visible staircases leading into the undergrowth, to either undiscovered or destroyed locations, wondering where they might have led for the people living here at the time.

    We decided to join the second group ascending Huayna Pichu and raced up at 10am. The views afforded at the top were breathtaking, even though the summit was crowded and difficult to move around.

    From here we could really get to grips [...]

  • Festivities in Cusco and Guinea Pig for Dinner

    Festivities in Cusco and Guinea Pig for Dinner

    We left La Paz, thrilled to be finally reaching one of our top destinations on the trip, Cusco in Peru. Our route took us back through Copacabana, hopping across part of the lakes on a ferry, sorting out border formalities in the now regular chaotic manner and switching onto a new bus.

    Doug was made to feel physically sick after we were rudely awakened by blaring pipe flute music at 5am, signaling our arrival into Cusco. We had befriended some South American travelers and happily followed them to their chosen hostel.

    Morning light struck through the shutters to our room. We opened them to view the city before us in its entire splendor. We had been awoken by the noise of a huge rally taking place in the city centre.

    Banners were flying everywhere adding brilliant colour to the scene. June is festival month in Peru, climaxing on the 24th with Inti Raymi, which we had arrived in time for later that week. However, the party had already started and various groups of dancers all dressed in traditional attire meandered through the expectant mass of proud mothers and fathers. We felt extremely lucky and privileged to witness it.

    We met up with Tessa and Lotte that evening for Tessa’s birthday. To treat ourselves we splurged at a pricey but unique restaurant called Fallen Angel. We ate at a table made from a bathtub, covered with a large sheet through which we could watch the tropical fish swimming below.

    The toilets were simply marked ´Heaven’ and ‘Hell’. Hell was a small chamber whose walls were covered in barbed wire and illuminated by a red bulb. Fallen Angel has a rather pessimistic idea of what Heaven is; as the room is covered in mirrors… apparently Heaven is watching yourself urinate.

    Lotte had been suffering with an illness and so went back to her lodgings. We continued to celebrate Tessa´s birthday in a bar on La Plaza De Armas (you aren’t a South American town unless you have a plaza named that!)

    Mike left at 2am to sleep before his morning phone interview with UCL for his proposed PhD in the morning. Doug and Tessa carried on with the evening, happening on a club called MamAfrica.

    Doug somehow managed to get embroiled with an English ex-prisoner whilst visiting the lavatory, who was looking for a fight. One provocative Peruvian man became the centre of his attention. Doug managed to step in, calm things down and sidestep an invitation to join this nutter for a drink.

    On the Friday we endured the abysmal England [...]