Monthly Archives: June 2014

The United States of America – My First Impressions

The USA ……..

How do you describe such a large and historic country…. Having never been to America before, I have always been influenced by other people’s ideas and experiences of America. It’s the main reason why I have always wanted to come here.

And to be honest I had no idea what to expect. The people I have spoken to have given me two very opposite opinions.

On the one hand I had people use phrases and words like “There’s nothing like it” “Incredible” and “Inspiring”. On the other people used the words “Ignorant People, “Commercialised” and “Arrogant”.

So I really was given a broad and wide scale experience of America.

Here is my opinion of America and its people when I first arrived and now.

At first, I found the people very rude and incredibly arrogant. When talking to some people I really felt as if I was nothing to them, I was treated as an object and not as a person.

However after being here two weeks, that impression has slightly changed for the better.

When dealing with the people you have to look beneath the exterior. You have to understand that person and only then will you be treated in an equal manner. It comes down to the fact that – “Respect is not given because it is a birth right or because of an age but it must be earned through your actions”

Americans will respect you only if they feel you have earned it. And only by being courteous, helpful and smiley will you earn their respect.

Finally when you read the National Anthem of USA you get a reflection of what America is all about:

“Government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

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15 Highlights of South America – Valparaiso (Day 10)

Located about 70 miles west of Santiago, lies the beautiful city of Valparaiso. Famous for its unique architecture, Valparaiso is nicknamed “The Jewel of the Pacific”.

Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, encompassing a rich architectural and cultural legacy. It’s no wonder that the whole city is a UNESCO World heritage Site.

However for me the incredible aspect of Valparaíso was the street art and graffiti that covers the city. Valparaíso is considered the graffiti capital of Chile. Amazing murals created by talented artists can be viewed on the streets, alleyways and stairways all over Valparaíso.

I have attached  photos of my favourite street art of the city.

15 Highlights of South America – The Cake and Coke Combination (Day 9)

Ok…so this highlight of South America is a bit weird but I would be doing Injustice to my trip if I didn’t mention this particular highlight.

For those of you who know me well enough, during this trip I have managed to gain a very slight addiction to coke and cakes.

Cake has always been a thing I savour however on this trip it has got to the point that I have a bottle of coke and a slice of cake a day :p oops 😉

Some people have their alcohol, I have my cake and coke. For me the best cake I had was in Sucre, where I had the Chocolate and Orange combo. It cost me an arm and a leg however it was worth every penny. Especially when you could feel the warm chocolate running down your throat.

Ahhhh…..Heaven!!!

An example of a Tentaciones Cake

15 Highlights of South America – Machu Picchu (Day 8)

For me a visit to the Incan city of Machu Picchu was a long anticipated trip, that was easily one of my highlights of the trip. Nestled in a spectacular scene, surrounded by mountains, hills and a windy river, Machu Picchu has an air of mysticism and grandeur which makes the atmosphere palatable for all visitors.

One of the wonders of the modern world, Machu Picchu was built-in 1450 and is often referred to as the “Lost city of the Incans” however the site was abandoned after the Spanish conquest, and it remained unfounded by the Spanish even though they tried and tried searching for the site. It was eventually found in 1911 by an american archaeologist.

I have attached an album of eight pictures which show my trip to Machu Picchu.

 

 

 

 

15 Highlights of South America – Salar de Uyuni (Day 7)

The world’s largest salt flat sits at a lofty 3653m and blankets an amazing 12,000 sq km of Bolivian outback. And yet this savage, white beautiful salt desert is one of South Americas beautiful sights. Filled with strange islands nestled in a sea of white, the salar is host to one of Bolivia’s most unforgettable landscapes.

I did my tour from Tupiza and it took 3 nights and 4 days, however every single of those days were amazing, visiting huge lagunes, chilling with flamingos and bathing in hot springs. The trek through the Salar was an unforgettable experience.

Below I have attached a slide show of my pics taken on the salar.