• Category Archives Travel info
  • SAE Biking Books

    SAE Biking Books South America Bicycling Packet

    SAE Biking Books

    Don’t see what you’re looking for? If we don’t have it, Amazon.com probably does. Even if we do have it, Amazon.com probably does. Important: If you order directly from Amazon.com, they get all the money, but, if you click here, you’ll see our list of books, and, if you order through our title links, we get a cut. Think. Do you want to give all your money to Amazon.com or support your club? Ordering multiple books? It takes a little longer but order every book through our page.


  • Mountain Biking in Bolivia

    Mountain Biking in Bolivia

    We have received warnings from members about the many dangers of using cut-price mountain biking agencies from La Paz. Reports of serious accidents occurring on the “World’s Most Dangerous Road” route to Coroico have filtered down to us — accidents that happen when a) the bikes used are not capable of coping with the conditions related to the type of riding involved and/or b) no instruction and guidance was given before and during the ride.

    Also Read : ASK THE DOCTOR : Typhoid Fever


    Always check that the bike is a decent brand (for example: KONA, TREK or CANNONDALE), preferably US- or UK-built and in good condition. Cheaper Asian bikes do not have the capability to withstand the road conditions in the region. Also make sure to ask whether the guides have ample riding experience, can give instruction in English, will be riding with the group, and have radios. For a list of recommended agencies, contact one of the clubhouses.


  • ASK THE DOCTOR Ascariasis

    Q: When I was in South America, I saw some children in a remote village that had worms in their stools. What is this and is it dangerous?

    A: What are you describing sounds like an infection with roundworms. There are a number of species of nematodes (the scientific word for roundworms) that could be the culprit here. One likely candidate is Ascaris lumbricoides, the common roundworm, which is distributed worldwide and thought to infect more than one billion people – the most common parasitic infection in the world.

    Q: What happens if I get infected with these worms? What symptoms will I have?

    A: Most travelers have no symptoms, or merely vague abdominal complaints, in part because they may have only mild infections. Some with heavier infections will have epigastric pain, nausea and vomiting, and lung inflammation from new worms maturing by passing through the lungs or passage of a mature pencil-sized worm. There can be more serious symptoms such as intestinal blockage.

    Q: How do I find out if I have them?

    A: A diagnosis is made by looking at a stool sample under a microscope for the eggs of the worms. A mature female living in your small intestine can produce close to a quarter million eggs a day! Each type of worm has its own characteristic ova or eggs. It can also be diagnosed by identifying a mature worm that passed out your rectum. If this happens please save it in a jar. Blood tests are not useful for determining if you have Ascaris worms, though a type of white blood cell called eosinophils is often elevated with these infections.

    Also Read : All Things Gamers Must Know Concerning Agen Domino Online

    Q: How do I get treated if I do get these worms?

    A: Albendazole, mebendazole, or pyrantel pamoate will treat ascariasis. The choice of appropriate medication depends on which other worms are also present. If you have multiple types of worms and need more than one medicine to get rid of them, always make sure the first medicine you take is effective against Ascaris worms. This is because mature Ascaris worms that are irritated but not killed by drugs (or fever or starvation) have a tendency to migrate to unusual places rather than staying in your small intestine. This can result in appendicitis, pancreatitis biliary obstruction, an intestinal perforation or obstruction.

    Q: How can I prevent getting worms?

    A: You want to prevent the eggs that are in contaminated soil from getting into your mouth. Avoid contaminated food – raw or uncooked vegetables are common culprits. Wash your hands with soap and water before eating or preparing food. Prevent children from pica (eating dirt).

    Q: Does this infection occur in the US?

    A: Yes, it continues to be a minor problem in the southeastern part of the US.


  • Bahia Blanca, Argentina Water Alert

    The Argentine city of Bahia Blanca has warned its 420 000 residents to avoid using tap water because it says it is laced with toxic bacteria that cause skin irritation and possibly neurological damage. “I’ve worked here for 25 years and I’d say this is the worst water crisis I’ve ever seen here,” city public health chief Ana Maria Reimers said on Tuesday. Reimers said several cases of skin rashes had been linked to the water.

    She quoted medical literature as saying the bacteria caused skin irritation in the short term and if consumed in large enough quantities could cause neurological damage.

    Bahia Blanca, 420 miles (685 km) southwest of Buenos Aires, is Argentina’s main petrochemical production base and a leading agricultural center. Residents first noticed a bad smell in their tap water on 10 Apr 2000. Municipal official are waiting for test results they requested a week ago from the city’s water supply company.

    ASK THE Bahia Blanca DOCTOR

    Ascariasis

    Q: When I was in South America, I saw some children in a remote village that had worms in their stools. What is this and is it dangerous?

    A: What are you describing sounds like an infection with roundworms. There are a number of species of nematodes (the scientific word for roundworms) that could be the culprit here. One likely candidate is Ascaris lumbricoides, the common roundworm, which is distributed worldwide and thought to infect more than one billion people – the most common parasitic infection in the world.

    Q: What happens if I get infected with these worms? What symptoms will I have?

    A: Most travelers have no symptoms, or merely vague abdominal complaints, in part because they may have only mild infections. Some with heavier infections will have epigastric pain, nausea and vomiting, and lung inflammation from new worms maturing by passing through the lungs or passage of a mature pencil-sized worm. There can be more serious symptoms such as intestinal blockage.

    Q: How do I find out if I have them?

    A: A diagnosis is made by looking at a stool sample under a microscope for the eggs of the worms. A mature female living in your small intestine can produce close to a quarter million eggs a day! Each type of worm has its own characteristic ova or eggs. It can also be diagnosed by identifying a mature worm that passed out your rectum. If this happens please save it in a jar. Blood tests are not useful for determining if you have Ascaris worms, though a type of white blood cell called eosinophils is often elevated with these infections.

    Q: How do I get treated if I do get these worms?

    Also Read : Europe of South America – Argentina

    A: Albendazole, mebendazole, or pyrantel pamoate will treat ascariasis. The choice of appropriate medication depends on which other worms are also present Bahia Blanca. If you have multiple types of worms and need more than one medicine to get rid of them, always make sure the first medicine you take is effective against Ascaris worms. This is because mature Ascaris worms that are irritated but not killed by drugs (or fever or starvation) have a tendency to migrate to unusual places rather than staying in your small intestine. This can result in appendicitis, pancreatitis biliary obstruction, an intestinal perforation or obstruction.

    Q: How can I prevent getting worms?

    A: You want to prevent the eggs that are in Bahia Blanca contaminated soil from getting into your mouth. Avoid contaminated food – raw or uncooked vegetables are common culprits. Wash your hands with soap and water before eating or preparing food. Prevent children from pica (eating dirt).

    Q: Does this infection occur in the US?

    A: Yes, it continues to be a minor problem in the southeastern part of the US.

     


  • Europe of South America – Argentina

    Often called the “Europe of South America”, Argentina and, in particular it’s capital city of Buenos Aires, is unique among the South American countries due to its political history and geographical location away from the jungles of the Amazon. Famous for its tango, gauchos, pampas and yerba mate, (among other things, of course) Argentina has something to offer for both the city and country – minded traveller. You can dance the night away in a club or ride off into the horizon on horseback.

    South America

    MAP DESIGNATION Non-Member
    Price (US$)
    Member
    Price (US$)
    Item
    Number
    ARGENTINA
    Argentina Road Map (1:4,000,000) 8.95 7.95 #400
    Aconcagua Topo (American Alpine Club) 7.00 5.00 #412
    Tierra del Fuego (1:750,000) 8.95 7.95 #402
    Argentina & Chile Border (Rutas Camineras Entre Chile y Argentina) 11.95 10.95 #532
    Patagonia (1:2,300,000) 15.95 14.95 #578
    Valdez Peninsula (1:275,000) 15.95 14.95 #561
    Monte Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre (Ruta 23, 1:50,000) 15.95 14.95 #562

    Also Read : Ability Play DominoQQ Proficiently Acts As Agen Domino Valuable Edge Currently

    Important Information for Travelers
    • Travel Advisories– posted by members and our clubhouses
    • Entry Requirements– for US citizens
    • Health Precautions– from the Center for Disease Control
    • Argentine News – read up on current events before you g
    General Argentina Info
    • Argentina– from the CIA world Factbook
    • Lonely Planet Online– guide to Argentina
    • Introduction to Argentina– from interknowledge.com
    • Argentina Guia– a guide to the best of Argentina
    • Map– of Argentina
    Places to go, things to do…
    • Buenos Aires – things to do in Argentina’s capital city
    • Cordoba– known for beautiful architecture
    • Iguazú Falls – a magnificent waterfall
    • Los Glaciares – an informative guide to the Glaciers National Park
    • Mar Del Plata– visit the famous beaches
    • Pampas– home of the Gauchos
    • Tierra del Fuego – the southern tip of South America
    • Patagonia – popular with hikers and climbers
    Where to stay
    • Hotels– search for yourself or email us for a list of member recommendations
    History & Culture
    • Argentina– general History and Culture info
    • Argentine Colloquialisms – from Wally’s Dictionary…
    • Evita Peron- all about Evita from her Historical Research Foundation
    • Polo– Argentina has some of the world’s best polo players (in Spanish)
    • The Gaucho– tiny writing…but an interesting site about the Argentine Gaucho
    • The Tango– Argentina’s famous dance.
    Glimpse and WebGlimpse, Copyright © 1996, University of Arizona

  • Argentina Books

    SAE Aconcagua Information Packet
    South American Explorers Argentinta books
    $20.00[Members $15.00] Item #53

    Everything we get in the way of magazine articles, member trip reports, equipment lists, in short, just about everything that might be useful to climbers of Aconcagua is thrown into this packet.

    Order Now!


    Argentina Handbook
    Charlie Nurse (Footprint Handbooks, 1998)
    $21.95 [Members $20.95] Item #145

    This book would be a lot more readable if it had information on that memorable occasion when Evita and Juan booked into a cheap hotel, forgot to take precautions and nine moths later named their offspring “Accident Perón.” But it makes up for it by being the authoratative guide on Buenos Aires, the Pampas, Argentinta books the Central Sierras, Mendoza, Argentine Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and much more. Rates hotels (in every price range), excursions, tour companies, restaurants, language schools, nightclubs, medical services, places to shop. Includes safety warnings, historical sidebars, great maps. Travel Advisory: Arequipa and Volcan Misti

    Order Now!


    Backpacking in Chile & Argentina
    Tim Burford (1998)
    $17.95[Members $16.95] Item #222

    Non-member Nancy Medford declined to buy this book over our recommendation and was last seen wandering the canyons of Northern Argentina and howling like a wolf. Buy this book, and if you come across Nancy, convey our respects. This is the best book around for backpacking in Chile and Argentina, with lively Argentinta books descriptions of mountain scenery, food, wine, walks around Santiago, the spectacular national parks, lake district, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, wildlife, hot springs, and geysers—everything you should know before setting out to backpack in Chile and Argentina. New edition.

    Order Now!


    Don’t see what you’re looking for? If we don’t have it, Amazon.com probably does. Even if we do have it, Amazon.com probably does. Important: If you order directly from Amazon.com, they get all the money, but, if you click here, you’ll see our list of books, and, if you order through our title links, we get a cut. Think. Do you want to give all your money to Amazon.com or support your club? Ordering multiple books? It takes a little longer but order every book through our page.

     


  • Travel Advisory: Arequipa and Volcan Misti

    Arequipa is now probably the most dangerous city in Peru. We are receiving increasing reports of robberies; muggings are occuring in crowded streets in broad daylight and the police seem to be powerless. Our advice is take a taxi wherever possible. Climbers returning from El Misti have been subjected to armed hold-up and rape. Our advice is to hire an accredited guide before setting out.

    Challenge Trek To Summit Of Active Volcano – 1 Day Tour

    El Misti volcano (5825m) haves symmetrical cone of considerable scenic beauty, is located in southern Peru near of Arequipa city, the second largest city in the country, lies at the foot of El Misti in a fertile valley located 2400m above sea level. El Misti is a Quechua name, means the gentleman. El Misti volcano stands at 5825m and lies between the mountain Chachani (6075m) and the volcanoPichu Pichu (5669m), these impressive mountains, located northeast of Arequipa, are visible almost year-round, but especially during winter (April-December).
    Misti has been active numerous times since historic records began. The last strong eruption of Misti is thought to have occurred between 1438 and 1471. Many other eruptions have been reported since the mid-15th century affected Inca inhabitants living near the volcano. The last eruption of this volcano was in 1870. Also the archaeologist found several Inca mummies near the crater. Most of the city’s colonial buildings were constructed from El Misti’s white volcanic stone (sillar).

    DAY 1: AREQUIPA – CHIGUATA – MISTI BASE CAMP (4600M)

    At 8AM we pickup at hotel and travel 1 1/2 hours in our four wheels drives vehicle to the base of the volcano (3400M). We arrive at the West part of the base of Misti volcano.
    At 10AM arrival to Los Pastores (3400 meters above sea level) which is the maximum point for our four wheel drives and begins our ascent. This is six to eight hours to the Eagles Nest base camp (4800 meters above sea level). This is a hard day as we walk up the sandy and slippery trail. You need to be in good physical condition and acclimatized to the altitude.
    At 5PM arrival to our base camp, energetic dinner, set-up our tents and rest.

    TOUR ITINERARY OF HIKE AND CLIMB TO MISTI VOLCANO

    At 00:00HRS (midnight) you will collected from your hotel by experienced and certified mountain guide and 1 hour of travel in our 4×4 truck from the city to the trailhead (3400m), this is the highest point reached by the 4×4. Trek on stony path climbing through bushes and Andean tree forest as known Queñuales and Andean grass. This climbing will during the night following sandy path and sometimes will be necessary to climb small section of rock walls like 1 or 2 meters high.
    After 7-9 hours of hard climb you will arrive to the small crater of the Misti volcano (5730m), hike around the crater to see the deepest point of the volcano, you will appreciate volcanic activity of sulphuric gas coming out.
    After amazing break we continue climbing to the highest point of the volcano following a sulphur track, where is planted iron cross looking to Arequipa. The highest point of Misti volcano is above 5825m, 30 minutes for picture and spectacular views of volcanic and snow-capped range of south of Peru and the amazing view of Salinas lagoon.
    Fast downhill following a dark volcanic sand trail to meet our 4×4 truck located at the bottom of the volcano. Aboard the 4×4 and return to the hotel of Arequipa and end the service.
    Trek To Volcan Misti

    DAY 2: MISTI BASE CAMP (4600M) – ATTACK THE SUMMIT OF MISTI VOLCANO – DOWNHILL – AREQUIPA

    At 4AM following an early and healthy breakfast, we start to climb to the summit of the volcano. After four to six hours, we enter the snow area, depending on the season, and adjust our climbing equipment (crampons + ice axe – Snow season only). We will carry only what is needed for cold windy conditions, something to drink, some energy food, a first-aid kit and our mountain gear. The time of ascent will depend on the physical condition and acclimatization of each climber. This day we need to follow a vertical ascent (hard and freezing), to reach the cross at the summit (5825m). If the time permitting descend into the mayor crater from where is possible to see volcano activity or have a short walk over the top and around the biggest crater of this volcano. There is time for pictures and enjoying the landscape of all the highest mountains in this volcanic chain. At 12PM decent to our base camp. This will take approximately one hour.
    At 3PM arrival at the Base Camp, have lunch, pack up camp and descent to find our transportation waiting for us at the base of the volcano.
    At 4PM transfer back to Arequipa driving one and a half hours.

    NOT INCLUDED

    1. Travel insurance
    2. Soft drinks are okay but alcoholic drinks are prohibited
    3. Drinking water – 4 liters per person for all day
    4. Extra batteries for your headlamp
    5. Tip for guide and camp staff
    6. Wind proof jacket or wind proof pants (can be hired from our office of Arequipa $3 USD per day each thing)
    7. Water proof climbing boot (can be hired from our office of Arequipa $5 USD per day)

    WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING/CARRY

    1. Backpack 45Lt minimum
    2. Windproof jacket
    3. Strong comfortable and waterproof boots
    4. One complete change of clothing
    5. Headlamp and plenty of batteries
    6. Sweater and thermal pants and everything you can have to be warm
    7. 4 liters of water per person minimum
    8. Hat or cap and sun block to be protected from the strong sun
    9. Toilet paper
    10. Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits, etc
    11. Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries
    12. Sunglass is strongly recommended to protect your eyes from the snow and sun
    13. Your personal medications

    PORTER SERVICE will cost $95 USD per day, to carry your personal items. You will need to carry with you a daypack with your Camera, bottle of water, snacks, a fleece or something warm and a poncho in case of rain (unlikely in Dry season but as a precaution) and anything you will need before lunch as porters do not walk alongside you. Your bag will be waiting for you in your tent at campsites. Please note there are fines if you give an excess of 18 kgs so try to underpack rather than overpack. You can hire a porter from Arequipa to carry your pack over the base camp.

    Also Read : South American Explorer articles on Judi Online Argentina 2018

    IMPORTANT BEFORE YOU BOOK A TREK TO EL MISTI VOLCANO

    PERU ADVENTURE TOURS as a certified tour operator never works as intermediarian or pass our customer to other local operator to develop this adventure – We sell our treks/tours/services and we develop them according our own logistics (transportation, guides, equipments, camp staff and others) without compromise with other tour companies – We really recommend to take lot care before you book a cheap trek to Volcan Misti with other “tour company” because easily they can cancel the depart if they don’t get more than 4 participants to make a group or they can change the date of your trek to join other later group or they will refund your money saying fake excuses to avoid any responsability as intermediarian.

    4×4 RESCUE EVACUATION SERVICE (Group & Semi-Private Service)

    This service is available at any time and for Group & Semi-Private Service for $105 USD for picking up from the base of the volcano and drop off at your hotel or near hospital – Normally this happen with people feeling high sickness or other accident on the mountain.
    Our tour price doesn’t include this service but easily can be covered by your travel insurance.
    The PRIVATE SERVICE already have included this service at any time.

    RAIN SEASON

    December to March. Some days blue sky with good conditions for trekking up to Misti volcano – During the rain season easily we can find lot snow close of the summit and for this section of the trail we need to use ice axe, crampons, rope and harness but everything depends how high is the snow up there – Of course we recommend to bring good rain gear as waterproof backpack and hiking boots, and others.

    BEST TIME TO CLIMB THE MISTI VOCANO

    April to December, on the rain season same days are with good weather (blue sky) permiting to climb this volcano. before to book your tour please see the weather report – Between June and September is the dry season in all the Andes and the coldest season during the night and we recommend to bring good sleeping bag to stay warm during the night.

    Anyone who becomes a victim should make a complaint (denuncia) to the police and also make a report at their Embassy.

    We would like to receive written reports from anyone that has been the subject of crime in Arequipa so that we can send documentary evidence to the appropriate authorities. Please send these either by e-mail to limaclub@terra.com.pe, by fax to (511)425-0142, or by letter to Casilla 3714, Lima 100, Peru.


  • South American Explorer articles on Judi Online Argentina 2018

    • Issue 54, Winter 2018 Aconcagua: Life at 22,000 Feet to Judi Online Terpercaya
    • Issue 52, Summer 2018 Motorcycle South
    • Issue 49, Autumn 2018 Evita Perón, Argentine Obsession
    • Issue 43, Spring 2018 Kayaking Rio Cotahuasi Canyon
    • Issue 41, August 2018 Hitchhiking in Patagonia
    • Issue 38, September 2018 Gran Bajo de San Julian
    • Issue 37, June 2018 Wild-West Shows & Rodeos in the Early 1900’s
    • Issue 20, January 2018 Skiing,   Penguins of the Valdez
    • Issue 15, October 2018 Mountain Passes Through the Andes
    • Issue 13, July 2018 Lost El Meson Meteorite
    • Issue 2, March 2018 Jewish Gauchos

    Explore Judi Online Guides

    BUS TICKETS
    Does anyone know the price of a bus ticket from Buenos Aires to Curatiba (Brazil)??
    Phil
    philord76@hotmal.com
    April 23, 2001
    AR027 Just got back from a non-commercial, un-guided climbing trip of Aconcagua, via the normal route, if anyone is planning or thinking about a trip like this & needs current info. feel free to contact me.
    Also, my wife spent 2 or 3 days in the following cities: San Luis, Cordoba, Tucuman, Salta, & La Rioja. We also spent 6-days in Mendoza, & 5-days in Santaigo, Chile. We are more than willing to share our travel information. Here’s my name, Address,
    Ken Abeldt
    624 Dettmar Ave.
    Baden, PA. 15005
    jandk@access995.com
    (724) 869-7046
    April 22, 2001
    AR026 Argentne products
    Where can I find products from Argentine? ie shampoo, foods, soap. Things of this sort.
    Jay Tillery
    jaytillery@hotmail.com
    8/21/00
    AR025 Travel to NW Argentina
    Hi, I am planning a trip to Salta/Jujuy in Argentina this November. Would appreciate info on sights to see-nature/forest oriented. Also, ideas on whether to rent a car or use public trans. Other tips.
    Thanks
    Mark Willhite
    bwillhite@juno.com
    7/18/2000
    AR024 Welcome to ARGENTINA
    ARGENTINA –> meet people in Buenos Aires
    We are a team of Argentinians and foreign residents who hold social gatherings every tuesday in a beautiful cafe in Recoleta Area. We welcome you to join us during our meetings! Find a more natural setting to learn about the people, culture and customs of ARGENTINA. We offer long or short term visitors and argentinians also a friendly setting in which to talk with locals and foreigners, in addition we participate in cultural activities at no cost. Don´t miss this chance! Our activity is totally free and serious. Visit our site and email us now to: bafreetime@yahoo.com
    BA Freetime
    bafreetime@yahoo.com
    6/6/00
    AR023 TRAVEL COMPANION
    Hi, I’m a 23 year old Sydney girl who is travelling to South America between March and September this year. Looking for anyoone who is interested in nature, trekking, rafting, taking it easy, eating and also hoping to improve their Spanish (although if you can already speak it that is an added bonus). Had planned to start in Chile then fly to Ecuador and head down thru Peru to Bolivia and northwest Argentina. I’d like to go a little bit of the beaten track, well as far as you can go while avoiding day long bus trips anyway. And I don’t mind hooking up with local tours to go hiking and that sort of thing. But apart from that I would prefer to get around using local transport so I actually get a chance to meet the locals. I’ve got a few must sees but apart from that I’m pretty flexible. I would love to hear from anyoone with similar interests who is planning on being in South America at the same time.Also, does anyoone know what is the cheapest way to phone Australia from the above countries? Buy a phonecard over there or use an Australian phone home card? Or some other method I haven’t even thought of?Bye for now, Jenai (jenaidavies@yahoo.com)
    3/17/00
    AR022 Recent travel information: Argentina
    WWW.HUPJE.NET Yes an excellent site. Even if it is my own. I’m currently uploading my travelogue of my current trip around the world. It has a detailed travelogue on how I sailed the Chilean waters on a ferry, surprised a large cat (puma) in Los Glaciers National Park and how I ventured into unknown trekking country to find myself catching fish with local settlers and in the end reach my goal by boat and not on foot. Other travelers will be interested in the country specific information section and trekking route descriptions. Anyone will enjoy the 100+ pictures which load in a few seconds. Be my guest and sign the guestbook. Suggest other items to include.
    KEEP THE ADVENTURE ALIVE AND JOIN ME
    HAVE A GREAT TRIP
    P.S. Anyone going to Ecuador or Northern Peru over the few month?
    Hans Hupje
    hhupje@hotmail.com
    2/22/00
    AR021 WANTED ! Looking for Insects dealers!
    I am looking for Insects dealers (Beetles). This is FUKINUKI(Mr) a Japanese entomologist. I am Taxa of world Lucanidae. Also, I like all beetles. Please give me contact.
    Kiyotami FUKINUKI
    Rainforest Laboratory 6-18-22 Kasuga, Fukuyama-city, Hiroshima 721-0907 Japan
    Fax: 81-849-41-7692
    rainforestjp@mx4.tiki.ne.jp
    1/12/00
    AR019 The Argentina Connection
    Hi: My name is Andres, I love backpacking and I’d traveled some through Argentina.I just wanted to tell you that if you ever need some help from a “native”, just mail me. I live in Buenos Aires so maybe I can be helpfull. Just mail back.
    Bye, Andres
    andy@inea.net.ar
    11/10/98
    AR014 Russian-speaking Buenos Aires
    Has anyone ever been interested in visiting or actually visited the Russian-speaking or (Ukrainian-speaking) area of Buenos Aires? If such area exists it should be around “Barrionce”. Has Judi Online been there? Also, a very old travel guide recommended a Russian restaurant called “Rosalka”. Does anyone know anything about this establishment?
    Aleksandr
    AVS003@drake.edu
    4/1/98
    AR005 Visit Buenos Aires?
    Argentina (my country) offer magnificent landscapes, friendly people, the best steaks in the world, incredible, inexpensive wines, and it’s Capital –Buenos Aires– a lot of cultural events, cafes everywhere, salsa and tango bars, etc.If any of you are thinking to come to south-america, your trip will be not complete if you don’t visit Buenos Aires and, from there, the diff. interesting turistic places in Argentina.Also it’s a good place to learn Spanish, because there are many institutes and private teachers, and it’s not so expensive as people says, when you live with a local.

    I will be glad to help travelers with some first hand turistic info, and with a cheap lodging –homestay– in BA.

    • South American Explorer magazine
    • More information about Argentina

  • Antisana Mountain Route

    Main Climbing Route: Because of numerous large crevasses that opened up during the 1997 – 1998 season, the traditional Main Summit route has become impassable. Currently the best way to reach the main summit is to follow the route outlined above. The route starts from a base camp situated in a moraine at the base of the North West. Ascend the southern ridge leaving camp to obtain the glacier 1/2 hour away. There is an obvious trail which leads out of base camp.

    Antisana Mountain

    Once on the glacier skirt an ice fall on your left, and head for the saddle between the main summit and the south peak. Once the ice wall has been skirted turn back towards the main summit and follow the glacier to the left of the large rock wall. Continue towards the main summit cap avoiding the many crevasses. Careful route finding is needed through this area as the crevasses are numerous, large and deep. As the grade steepens head left for the triangular snow patch which leads onto the summit cap. This requires a steep 1/2 hour left traverse up and over a large open slot. Protection is a good idea.

    Antisana – 5758 Meters

    Additional Routes: East Peak, North Peak, South Peak, Northeast Peak

    Suggested Reading: Climbing and Hiking in Ecuador, 4th Edition

    Getting There:
    You must contact the Delgado Famliy in Quito to obtain an entry permit. The cost is usually $10 per vehicle. Contact Mario Palleres 5932 455 697 for permit of entry. A four wheel drive vehicle will take you within 30 minutes of base camp. Drive through Pintag heading east towards Hacienda El Hato.

    Just after a gravel mine at the foot of the 200 year old lava flow there is the first of two gates at which you must present your entry permit . You must keep your permit for the second gate further up the road. Take a left just after the entry gate and head east on a beautiful well paved road towards H. El Hato. Continue climbing on this road up into the paramo for at least an hour.

    Also Read : Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    As the road levels and crosses a large paramo plain it will fork. Antisana will be directly in front of you, causing jaw dropping stares. Head left at the fork in the road and towards Antisanilla on your left and Antisana on your right. Shortly after this fork look for a 4 wheel drive track heading off into the paramo on your left. Take this poor road and be careful.

    You will cross a series of up and downs and a few streams before leveling out at the base of Antisanilla. Continue on this track until you see a track heading east towards the mountain just after you have reached the base of Antisanilla. Turn right and follow this road up towards the mountain as far as you can. Basecamp is a 30 minute haul east from the end of this track. Look for cairns and a path up and to the right.


  • Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    I want to tell you a story.

    It’s probably the closest thing to a real-life fairytale I’ve ever encountered, and it takes place in the middle of the rainforest in Far North Queensland, Australia.

    Our starting point is an unexpected location, though. We pull into a tarmac car park beside the highway where white cars shimmer in the heat and walk beneath a row of metal letters, their edges slightly crumbling with rust.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    We keep on going down a small dirt track, letting the tree branches knit themselves closer and closer together as we step deeper inside the forest. The sounds of the outside world fade away: car engines and human chatter replaced by bird calls and the breeze moving through the leaves.

    And then we see it.

    At the edge of a clearing is a giant waterfall cascading over soft rock and splashing to a lake below. We’ve found the centrepiece of Paronella Park – the ruins of a castle built almost a hundred years ago, which have lain abandoned for half that time.

    But now the castle is coming back to life.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    The century-long history of Paronella Park

    In 1925, a young Spaniard named Jose Paronella arrived in Australia. It was his second visit to the continent, and he’d decided to start a new life in Queensland along with his new bride, Margarita. Back in his Spanish homeland Jose had originally trained as a pastry chef, but during three years spent working in Australia he’d become a wealthy man.

    Now Jose was planning to recreate a dream he’d had since childhood. Thanks to countless stories his grandmother told him about Spanish history, Jose had decided to build a replica of Spain in Queensland: his own recreation of a Spanish castle for other people to enjoy.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest
    And that’s what he did.

    Despite having little experience in construction, Jose Paronella bought five hectares of virgin land at Mena Creek Falls – much of it covered in a tangle of trees and vines – and began to build.

    The resulting structures which sprang up were not just his dream castle, but also botanical gardens and tennis courts, a cafe and a grand staircase, and even a ballroom which doubled up as a theatre and cinema.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    Because the famous Mena Creek waterfall provided ample opportunity for swimming, Jose built picnic tables on the ground beside it along with diving platforms, a toilet block and a set of changing cubicles nearby (which guests could pay to use!).

    If you haven’t already realised, this man was one hell of an entrepreneur.

    Before long the park had attracted curious visitors. Paronella became known as the Pleasure Gardens of Cairns, and each week there were groups of people eager to ride boats around the lake, swim beneath the water falls, and dress up on weekend evenings for dances, movies and music concerts under the stars.

    Paronella Park, north Queensland - 1930s

    [Photo courtesy of Aussie Mobs]

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    A lost taste of Europe in the rainforest

    Jump forward almost a hundred years though, and today’s lost world of Paronella looks quite different to Jose’s initial dream.

    Now the sloping pathways lead past thundering falls and toward a steep flight of narrow stairs, their bannisters covered with ivy and twisting vines.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    At their base are heavy stone tables, some of them cracked and most covered with layers of spongy moss. It’s almost too easy to imagine plates and picnic baskets laid out on top; and if I squint at the falls beyond I can half-see a rowing boat filled with excited guests.

    It’s as if the ghostly guests of Paronella Park’s past are still just around the corner.

    An old mossy bench at PParonella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    As we wander further through Paronella Park, I begin to see this place as more than just a set of abandoned ruins.

    Of course there’s something undeniably magical about discovering a lost jungle world– particularly when it looks like a modern-day Angkor Wat – but the human touch here is undeniable too.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    Our guide tells us that the Grand Staircase was actually used as the main thoroughfare to carry countless bags of sand and cement around the site. I skim my fingers over the rough surfaces of the bannisters and balustrades, all of which are covered in fingermarks from Jose’s own hands.

    I start imagining Jose Paronella himself, valiantly striding through tree-lined pathways as he planned out his legacy.

    An extremely ambitious man, Jose seemingly always had a new invention in mind: everything from creating a hydro-electric plant to power the park to attempting an underground aquarium by slotting fishtanks into earth walls he carved out of a tunnel – and when that failed, he used the humid earth to grow mushrooms instead.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    When word spread about the crazy Spaniard building a castle in Queensland, a local municipal department even gifted Paronella Park with thousands of exotic and native plants, including hundreds of Kauri trees which can live for two thousand years.

    Although he must have planted them with the knowledge that he’d never actually see them grow, Jose seemed certain that his park would live on despite him – and he was absolutely right.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    The rediscovery of Paronella Park

    Jose sadly died from cancer in 1948, and after the park changed hands a few times it eventually fell into disrepair. The jungle began to reclaim it.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    For almost thirty years Paronella was forgotten, until a Perth-based couple named Mark and Judy Evans came looking to buy a caravan park.

    The estate agent suggested a small piece of land which included some castle ruins hidden in the tangled undergrowth – and just like that, Mark and Judy found themselves the new owners of a lost civilisation.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    When they realised how incredible this place was, the couple came up with a plan to restore the park to its former glory in whatever way they could. The paths have been cleared and the gardens reconstructed; the family’s cottage has become a museum filled with artefacts and memorabilia; and the park is becoming a popular wedding venue.

    The arrival of a long-lost Paronella relative

    The only thing missing from the restoration was history, as the Evans’ didn’t know what stories the park could still be hiding from them. Everyone they asked said that the park’s original owners had all disappeared – until one day, when an old lady arrived at the gates.

    As Mark welcomed her to the park and asked if she’d like to visit, the woman replied,

    “Actually, this was my father’s park. I’m Teresa, his daughter. I haven’t been back here for forty years.”

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    Thanks to Teresa filling in the gaps, Mark and Judy were able to begin constructing a mental picture of the people who built Paronella Park.

    A vulnerable, nature-powered park

    Despite the restorations, Paronella is sadly still extremely vulnerable. The landscape which Jose chose is built on a cliff, and the propensity for cyclones and flooding in Far North Queensland means there’s always a danger of nature wreaking havoc on the park.

    In 1946, it was flooded by thirty feet of water and was precipitous in the park’s eventual closing by Jose Paronella; and since Mark and Judy resurrected Paronella in 1993 there have already been three separate cyclones which have knocked down walls, taken off roofs and threatened them with extreme flooding yet again.

    The entire park is powered by nature, and despite the resulting beauty it’s also extremely likely that everything could vanish tomorrow.

    What’s fascinating though is how different generations view and experience this place. Jose had initially envisaged Paronella Park as a well-kept set of gardens complete with outdoor entertainment, yet by the start of the 1960s people had TVs and their own local cinemas which meant the park’s visitor numbers started to drop.

    Strangely enough, allowing the forest to take over the park for a few decades has meant a resurgence in tourism. Nowadays this part of Far North Queensland is attracting visitors precisely because it’s a lost, forgotten place to be explored.

    Australia’s very own Angkor Wat.

    Paronella Park: an Abandoned Spanish Castle in the Australian Rainforest

    If you’ve got a dream, hard work does pay off

    Jose might not have expected his park to end up exactly like this, but his dream to create a place of magic in the rainforest has stood the test of time.

    I’m still amazed that more people don’t know about Paronella Park. Then again, there’s something rather special about it remaining a secret.