Tilcara to Mendoza and the Next Iteration

See all the photos from the final Argentina segment here…

In late 2007, after a year of traveling west around the globe mostly in a charitable tuxedo, I returned to the US and immediately launched back into my old, high-energy life. I organized a big social event in NYC and then headed directly to Maine to work at a high-minded conference called PopTech. One affliction that long stretches of traveling brings is that you quickly get used to the ease of living in the moment and your ability to create and follow intricate schedules greatly suffers. Not yet understanding this fact, I had given myself no time to acclimate and I quickly burned out. Actually, it was a very similar feeling to the edge that I’d found myself approaching a few months before this trip: way too over extended and way too much going on. A few of my friends who were also working at the conference noticed the shift in my energy but overall, I managed to keep it together. On the final day I quietly slipped off the grid, escaping to my sister’s wild life sanctuary in the woods of Ithaca, where I spent a few weeks working on web projects, helping Victoria care for broken animals and plotting my return to LA in a more mindful way.

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Chaos, Tranquility and a Cosmic Soccer Game

See all the Isla del Sol pictures here…

Back in La Paz and on second thoughts not much has changed: it’s truly an insane place. There’s no stop signs or round-a-bouts. There’s some street lights but no one seems to really pay attention. Instead there’s a system of honking: if you’re about to speed through an intersection, you honk and hope. If anyone gets too close, you don’t slow down, you just jab a series of short honks. Dogs chase the wheels. Indigenous women and children fly out of the way. It’s chaos, but it seems to work. At some of the busiest intersections you might see an odd sight; various characters trying to protect the pedestrian public. Individuals in zebra suits or the rather elaborately costumed ‘seven dwarfs’ (Snow White apparently had the day off) who run into the intersection during red lights and prevent pedestrians, and themselves, from being hit.

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Life on Death Road

See the rest of the Death Road pics here…

That corner, we call that ‘Italian Corner’.” Our tour guide, the self appointed Speedy Gonzales laughed.

Why do you call it that?” I asked, although I already knew the answer.

A few years ago, an Italian – he fell down!” Speedy grinned, “And the jungle, it ate him. So be careful amigos! Let’s go!” Speedy pulled a mini-wheelie and headed down the rocky, cliff-side trail.

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