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Derek & Lee - Latin Adventurers

Carnaval - Galapagos & Beyond! Share our journey through South America over the coming months. See us leap tall buildings in a single bound! (Or stare in amazement at the quality of our bird house construction). Marvel at the monkeys (if you can tell who's who in Bolivia), Watch in wonderment at our luxury cruise to the Galapagos Islands (or more likely laugh at us sleeping in hammocks in the garbage barge) And top it all off as you see Derek winding his way (& me whining my way) along the Inca Trail in Peru. Hope you drop us a line!

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 08 November 2006

Location: La Cumbre monkey refuge, Argentina

This one will have to wait till we get home. We need to save some stories to tell in person!

Wednesday, 01 November 2006

Location: Ushuaia, Argentina

What better place to recuperate from the flu than at the bottom of the world? Southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is full of tourists waiting for their boat to Antarctica or returning from Antarctica. Mostly middle aged - senior Americans. The US$3000 - US$15000 price tag tends to eliminate most backpackers. Not to be deterred, we head off in search of a garbage barge.......I'm just kidding. We enjoyed a week of R & R. We didn´t even venture out of the town, but when we flew out we were rewarded with a spectacular view that we hadn't previously imagined. Endless snow capped mountains. I imagine this is what the top of the world looks like. Well worth FLYING into Ushuaia if you're planning a trip.

Saturday, 28 October 2006

Location: Glacier Viedma - Ice climbing, Argentina

Excited about our opportunity to experience our first ice climbing on a glacier, we awoke early to discover........snow! Yep it's snowing and we're wondering if our trip will be cancelled but get ready and hope for the best. While we're waiting, the snow turns to sleet but lo and behold, the trip is still on! Yippee! When we arrive at the lake the weather has eased a little and our ice climbing adventure looks promising. An hour later, upon arrival at the glacier it seems OK. Not too cold, not too windy. After our briefing in the base camp tent we are fitted out with our gear, harness, helmet, crampons, ice axes and we're off. It's a bit colder but not too windy and.....uh oh! We move away from the sheltered rocks and the wind & sleet is overbearing. Our gloves are quickly soaked, our pants are quickly soaked, our, well everything is quickly soaked. We are wet and freezing! And do we care?
You're damned straight we care! Just not enough to stop. Evidently, we care more about ice climbing. Navigating the glacier, crossing crevases, using the ice ace techniques we were taught, we're on top of the world! We are sternly warned not to stand near the edges as the wind is so powerful we could be blown off and I don't doubt our guide as I fight the force of the wind. After lunch we are treated to a sunny change in the weather. Stretched out before us like a river of sparkling diamonds, is Glacier Viedma in all her glory. Our view had been restricted to just a few feet in the earlier weather so witnessing the change was incredible. We left our first ice climbing experience, planning our next. But we'll tell you about that later.

Monday, 23 October 2006

Location: El Chalten, Argentina

Neighbour to El Calafate is El Chalten, an amazing National Park containing the most difficult climbs in the world. Mt Fitzroy, Cerro Torre and some amazing hiking through beautiful terrain. And all this from the luxury of your hostel! Yep! Stay in the tiny village of El Chalten and all the park hiking is accessible on day walks. Very comfortable indeed. I think we were due for a break from camping in below freezing conditions. And, I was coming down with the flu to boot. It really nailed me after our ice climbing at the end of our stay. I guess there is some sense in Mum's advice to actually rest when you're sick.

Saturday, 21 October 2006

Location: El Calafate - Perito Moreno Gl, Argentina

El Calafate is a small town, not unlike Bariloche. It's quite touristy here due to it's proximity to the Perito Moreno Glacier. Although not the largest Glacier in the area it is certainly the most famous and most visited. So "why?" you may ask. Because it is the most active. Massive chunks fall from the Glacier regularly to form enormous icebergs and smaller shards break off constantly with an incredible deafening noise. I can only imagine how loud the larger chunks must be when they break! The Perito Moreno Glacier (named for the perito or "expert" Mr Moreno) is also situated perfectly in front of a peninsula for great viewing and an amazing spectacle that ocurrs every few years. Curious? Well, you´ll have to Google or ask us about it when we get home.
Incidentally the expert, Moreno had very little to do with the Glacier but did prove that rivers can change course. This enabled Argentina to force Chile to make the international border the mountain ridge. Result? More tourism for Argentina because they kept all the glaciers in the park.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Location: Torres Del Paine, Chile

Who did the 4 day hike in Torres Del Paine at THE EXACT TIME of the 30th Anniversary of mapping the park? And who ran into 2 of the climbing/hiking/exploring pioneers during their trip? Yep, that's right! During a leisurely conversation with 2 horsemen we bumped into, we discovered that said horsemen were in fact: John Garner & Torres Dickson, 2 of the pioneers who had clustered here to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Being the classy type non phased by celebrity, I quickly shouted "Wait, stay still..I'm getting my camera!"

Well, aside from meeting Patagonian Legends, Torres Del Paine was everything and more than you could hope for. Just check out the photos and multiply by 100 to try and capture the experience. There is surely nowhere in the world like Patagonia!

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Location: Navimag (P. Mont - P Natales), Chile

Where in the world can you sail through a patchwork of icebergs and cruise past glaciers spilling into the ocean?
No really, I'm asking because we thought it was here...on the Navimag. Oh apparently that is not until NEXT month. Funny how they did not mention that on the website/on the brochure/in the sales office.
Still unaware of the lack of icebergs and foolishly excited about our cruise on the Navimag, we arrived for boarding only to be told it is now leaving tomorrow due to delays caused by weather. Oh well, I guess I have inherited the delayed cruise gene from Mum. (Thanks Ma!) Unlike P&O however, here in SudAmerica they just say "No. No leave today. Come back tomorrow"

And so we meet a pair of English travellers who, having also been turned away, are later to become our partners in Canasta crime for the 4 day Navimag journey, Torres Del Paine and beyond.......Hi Graham & Ally!

Tuesday, 03 October 2006

Location: Puerto Natales - Bariloche, South America

Puerto Natales
Not much to mention about Puerto Natales but we did have our first fish and chips since February. It is just a transit stop really, we have booked our trip on the Navimag for 1 week from now and take the bus to Bariloche in Argentina for some hiking.
Oops! The 1st thing we discovered when asking at tourist office about hiking in the area is that THERE IS NO HIKING IN THE AREA. Not now, anyway because everything is under heavy snow. It was suggested that if we were experienced in snow (Hmmmmm? How hard could it be?) and had our own gear (Drat! maybe we could try that tennis racket trick?) Oh well, a week of forced R & R is not so bad but did they have to open so many bakeries & chocolate shops? Seriously! There are is quite German influenced here and the street dogs show the effects of all this good food. Although throughout South America the strays are in much better condition than their counterparts in Asia, the Bariloche dogs are simply FAT! I've never seen such a thing, strays that waddle!!!!!!!

Friday, 22 September 2006

Location: Macchu Pichu, Peru

It was strange to start walking at 4am to reach this place, miss the view from the sungate at sunrise due to overcast weather and then slowly notice that some people were walking up to the sungate instead of down to Macchu Picchu. Yes, it's true we've walked 4 days to reach somewhere these people caught a bus to this morning! Some of them are carrying (what are those things again?) Oh yes, handbags! Some are wearing coloured stuff on their face and they all smell CLEAN! Well, this is a definite ocassion where the photos best tell the story. Macchu Picchu certainly is breathtaking, and seeing the craftsmanship up close is quite amazing. Of course, there are many tourists here and you quickly give up on trying to get photos without people in them, it simply is not possible.

The Inca Trail was more of a social ocassion than a trek but we had a lot of fun and met some fun people. We even met a nice group of Americans with whom we shared a beer in town after Macchu Picchu. They even offered us the use of their 4 star hotel shower. (we thought we'd best declineas we don't want to get used to these things. Otherwise we'll be home in 3 weeks)
Macchu Picchu is amazing and well worth seeing even if we did only stay a couple of hours.

Monday, 18 September 2006

Location: The Inca Trail -We made it!, Peru

Well, it turns out the most challenging part of the trail was getting our supplies the night before we left! It is a nice walk though and it's great to see so many people of different origin, age and capability can come here to do this. Some of these people may, however, disagree with us on the level of difficulty of the trail (especially Edna from Germany age 79) but I did my hard yards in Huayhuash & think I earnt the right to skip up the stairs, leaving puffers & panters in my wake while merrily singing "I love my Leki!" Leki, for those who are not familiar, is the manufacturer of our brand new trekking poles purchased in Lima in the aftermath of Huayhuash. Sure it may have been a LITTLE in-sensitive but if you want to make something of it come over here so I can poke you in the eye with my Leki! OK, so of course I am joking, now the proud owner of what I once considered an item for tools (Australian colloquialism for person of questionable intelligence) and oldies has not overnight turned me into a tool however witnessing some behaviour on the trail has compelled me to write the following Leki Etiquette Guidelines:

1. Thou shalt not try to explain to others how great it is; one must use it to understand so if you prefer not to part with it for awhile keep your mouth shut.
2. As a youngster/semi-youngster the use of Leki is smart, the use of 2 Lekis however, is strictly for the oldies
3. If one has a Leki, 1 looks the part, therefore should be able to live up to the fitness image (Huayhuash doesn't count as nobody saw me)
4. Even if you are an oldie please DO NOT try to block the young, fit, single Leki owners from passing you with your Lekis. We like that everyone can do the trail, we do not like that everyone has to do the trail behind you.

Sunday, 17 September 2006

Location: The Inca Trail? Or Not?, Peru

We nearly missed the Inca Trail because someone (not naming names) rembered the start date as the 22nd instead of the 18th. Arriving in Cusco on the 17th after deciding to skip the Nasca Lines we were looking forward to a few days more of R & R before hitting the trail. And then it happened.....Derek was looking for the Tucan Travel address so we could dutifully check in a couple of days before the trek as was requested when he noticed that we were starting the very next morning. As it was already 4pm we literally ran to the office hoping they would accomodate us and well, got lucky. Now, just the supplies and pretrip meeting to take care of before we can hit the hay!

Friday, 15 September 2006

Location: Huacachina Oasis, Peru

Yep! You read right. What better way to rest after 8 days of trekking than kicking back at an oasis? Well, it's our first oasis and it's pretty cool. I mean we wouldn't swim in the water here but it is relaxing and WARM! Back in shorts for the first time in quite awhile. Here is THE PLACE for sandboarding and dune buggying and we are actually going to do neither. Yep, just relaxing in the sun and eating at all you can eat BBQ restaurants. We may have given the dune buggy a go but after Derek conducted a quick roadworthy test we decided eating 5 different types of meat in 1 sitting was much safer. We did meet a very fun couple from Germany here and had a ball at dinner with many languages being tossed around the restaurant and a lot of giggles with the staff.

Monday, 11 September 2006

Location: Huayhuash Day 8, South America

Last day today! Slow rise up a donkey trail which turns into a road in progress to our last high pass. Here we lunch overlooking the town where we will sleep tonight, IN A BED! AFTER A SHOWER! AND BEER! Just a loooooooooong winding road to get off this jolly mountain! Ali and his donkeys passed us during lunch and we're all a little over walking by now. Even Miguel was very tired last night, possibly because I have been using his trekking pole the last few days (or possibly because in addition to walking, he has to cook, make lunches etc etc etc)

Sunday, 10 September 2006

Location: Huayhuash Day 7, Peru

Yesterday we were told that today is a walk straight out of the valley! All flat! Woo! Hoo! To learn how quickly "woo hoo" can become "boo hoo" refer to the excerpt below.


FLAT: definition. any ground that lies under 4500 metres in altitude. Flat does not refer in any way to the actual incline of the ground regardless of how many hills or mountains are in the way of you reaching your destination.

Yes it's true, it was not flat at all, possibly more up and down than any other day but we're all feeling pretty good now and only a day to go. At lunch time we wait in a small village for Ali and the donkeys and notice as they arrive that Shaggy is even more perky than us because he has scored the food crates today (the nearly empty food crates). Bounding ahead of his mates down the Calle, he tries for a quick getaway when he realises that we have replenished some food supplies. But, alas, Lee is on the case and heads him off at the corner! So why was I so fast?? I am REALLY hungry!

Saturday, 09 September 2006

Location: Huayhuash Day 6, Peru

Today was a GOOD DAY! After a nice rest yesterday, my headache has gone and I'm a much more sociable person now! 5000 metres straight up was sunny, windy, warm & cold and then all over again! But it was good and the view at the top, superb! Here is the money shot of us in front of Suila. Feeling better I see no reason now to keep the horse...I vote we BBQ it! (well it was not very friendly, unlike Shaggy the donkey)
An hour or so spent basking in the sun in a beautiful, unoccupied valley next to a beautiful waterfall framed by snow peaked mountains sure sounds like a lot more fun than going up another 5500 metres only to return to the same place, doesn't it Derek? Derek? Ha! Ha! Who's crazy now?

Friday, 08 September 2006

Location: Huayhuash Day 5, Peru

Woo! Hoo! Today is the day we've been waiting for! A half day walking followed by a afternoon soaking in hot springs. A very welcome treat for sore muscles and our noses. Uggh! Only 2 pairs of socks for 8 days trekking. Our trusty guide had informed us that it was a short, flat walk to the springs. Well it was short at least, and over the coming days we learnt the definition of flat in Peru.

Thursday, 07 September 2006

Location: Huayhuash Day 4, Peru

I was given 3 options today: 1. Do the full walk around the lake & over the next high pass. 2: Take a shortcut bypassing the lake & straight to the high pass 3. Take the shorter trail with the donkeys. So guess which I picked? Yes, that's right - Number 1. So let's see how things turned out.........
Things went well, walking around the lake, the Ibuprofen has turned the pounding in my head down to a dull roar and it's a very pretty walk around the lake and through the valley with 3 lakes of different hues. Even starting up the pass began well, as today I decided not to try so hard at keeping up (which I might add is still allowing us to overtake other NORMAL groups who are not attempting the "pumped up steroid version")
Things took a little slide though, when I became lost. Had I not clumsily dragged myself up a steep and slippery path (OK, it was not a path) and found myself alone & needing to complete a sketchy traverse to get out of there, the afternoon would have been less icy. Now grumpy and exhausted, forgiveness did not arrive until evening even though Derek did come back to look for me. Unfortunately the night was icy anyway due to camping in minus 15 degress.

Wednesday, 06 September 2006

Location: Huayhuash Day 3, Peru

Guess how the day started this morning? Yep, you guessed it, over 1000 metres straight up! But wait, there's more! With 2 high passes to complete today we had to do it all over again! Unfortunately my pounding head progressed this morning to include some good old fashioned vomiting. Although it was very tempting to take the emergency horse (especially when it overtook us!) I am determined to do this thing on Shank's Pony so fortunately, the vomiting stopped by the time we reached the top of the first high pass.

Despite 2 high passes today and a solid 9 hours walking, we arrived at the next campsite in time to be treated by a glimpse of the infamous peak Siula (Joe Simpson, Touching the Void) behind a massive sparkling lake. Later we were treated to a feed of tasty trout, hand (yes bare hands) caught for us by our trusty guide, Walther.

Tuesday, 05 September 2006

Location: Huayhuash day 2, Peru

We set off early for our walk this morning and it came as no surprise that yet again the walk was straight up as there was no other way out of this small valley. Unfortunately my head has begun pounding today despite copious amounts of chocolate and Coca Cola (on Doctors advice, thank you very much!) There was a section on the walk today that was a bit scary, a steep gravelly slope over 1000 metres high. I teetered precariously up the slope trying (but to no avail) to keep up the pace with Derek and our guide Miguel, and near the top clutched desperately at a small rock about the size of a football that was the most sturdy looking thing I had seen in hours. Fortunately the walk from here was primarily downhill or flat and we arrived at camp with daylight hours left. I'm certain people were wondering why we looked so exhausted as this is normally campsite 1 after a half day walk along a flat road! Sure sounds good to me right now.

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Recent Messages

From Kim
Hi guys!
I ran into your Mum (Derek) down the street today, and after much resistance I got this website address out of her - don't worry she will recover very soon, we have the best doctors and nurses here (Michelle is back in town...) ;-)
After having spent several hours reading and looking at some amazing photography I really look forward to catching up with you sometime soon, Keep smiling!
Response: Hey hey Kimbo,
We are on the home straight. We are having xmas with the family in Holland and then on boxing day we head for Oz. We should be back in Grafton for a visit mid Jan so will catch up for sure.
Go easy on the old folk of town or their could be an uprising!!
Cheers Derek & Lee
From Glenn Sholdis
Hello, I have booked two appointments with Eddie for Thursday the 4th of Jan one at 1:00pm and one at 1:45pm both with Eddie. Guess that means that I will have a couple of hours to kill at the pub across the road, bags not driving that day I am affraid I will have to leave that to Derek, that is if you still remember how, better up my insurance. Cheers Glenn
Insurance, what type of sissy are you, lets just take a calculated risk!!
talk to you soon

Cheers Derek & Lee
Howler monkeys have big teeth don't they? I can imagine it being a bit like back here ,the boy quit the other week-he saved me the hassel of sacking him.Now he is waiting for Raymond to beg him to come back, but no chance.You two are going to have a lifetime of memories from this trip.breathtaking.
lots of best wishes Lucy & Ray.
Response: Hola Lucy & Raymond,
We are making a flying visit back to Australia for my sisters wedding in Melbourne in the new year so will call in and say G´day then. Your right about the big teeth on the monkeys, but with food of some type (Bananas, or bread in hot milk) they can always be persuaded.

Cheers for now
Derek & Lee
From Linda Clarke
Hi Lee and Derek, seems like the few lines I sent from your Mum didnt get through. I have been to Otorohanga today brought your Mum back to Uncle Garrys - Janice, your and Mum and I went to belly-dancing tonight - what a laugh! See if you get this one. X Linda
Response: Belly dancing! Were you guys watching or doing? I thought I replied to the last one, I guess the IT gremlin got it. Hi and love to all. L & D
From Jordan Birchall
HI Guys!

Nothing really to say apart from I still love checking in every now and again - what a super trip! Love the photos and stories.
Jordan :)
Response: Looking forward to a dress up party in January, and watch out fo all our new authentic latin dance moves. (OK, not really...would you believe we haven't danced at all since Carnaval). South America is not like the movies at all????
Response: It tends to be a little cold when you slide down it on your ass, but it is great FUN! We're in a monkey rehabilitation centre now in Argentina, hopefully they will release us soon. No, just kidding. We are volunteering there, looking after 70 black howler monkeys. It's a bit like being back at work.
From linda clarke
Hi Lee and Derek, I am having a lovely time taking your Mum out daily - Lee, whilst she is staying with your Aunty and Uncle in Hamilton. If I can still find your site on the computer tomorrow I will your Mum to tell me what to write to you. Until then. Love Linda
Response: Hi there! I only discovered yesterday that I had missed Mum before she left. (I'm not very good with remembering dates although Derek is on the "worse" list now after we nearly missed the Inca Trail when he remembered the dat incorrectly! Love from us to you all. Lee & Derek
From Nico & Barbara
Hi Lee & Derek,
Sabine tipped us about your adventure and gave us the webaddress. It looks great! Sabine told us that you're planning to come to Holland. It would be great to meet you both, Nico hasn't seen you in 22 yrs! If you need a place to sleep let us know, we live near The Hague (which is in the west). Bye Barbara/Nico
Response: Hola Nico & Barbara,
Yes thats right we are planning a flying stop in Holland just before Christmas for a week. We would love to catch up and stay for a while if it does not put you guys out. I´ll send you a email and talk some more.

Cheers Derek & Lee
From Glenn
Hello, just a quicky to say G'day, been checking out the web site every couple of days looking out for the next update and photos but you are obviously out in the never never with no mod cons. Hope all is well, have fun, travel safe Cheers Glenn
Response: Hey you, guess who!!
We are back and at the ass end of the world, even more so then Australia. Ushuaia the southern most city in the world, it´s so close to the antartic the penguins don´t even fly!! Maybe the cold is getting to my brain a little. We have spent the last few weeks treking around some great National Parks and even did a spot of ice climbing on a glacier which was so cool walking around with crampons (the big spiked boots) and ice axes just like the bad cop in terminator 2. Are trying to update the site with photos and maybe a video in the next few days before we return to the wild for a month in the monkey reserve in central Argentina (once again back to no power and cold water). I´ll call in the next few days and fill you in.

Cheers and massive 1.0 lt beers
Derek & Lee
From Emma
Hi Guys
I want to read more! It's been ages since I've been on your site to read what you're upto. M&D came to visit back at the end of July and Dad showed us your journey upto then on our lovely altas (thanks again). And of course after each of your calls to M&D they give us your updates and plans but it's much more amusing to read your diary segments!
We tried searching for your address on Skype and had no luck. Our is Jussi_Emma so if you get the chance give us a call.
Take care, Em XXX
Response: Hola Chicos,

Will try and call tonight on skype from Cusco in Peru. Have just come in from doing the Inka Trek to Machupicchu, it was great but not so much as a wilderness trek but more as a social event with 400 people a day on the trek. Still good fun. Hope to catch up with you soon.
Cheers Derek
From Jordan Birchall
Hi Guys - love checking in every now and again to read the fabulous stories and check out the super pics! I saw Rog's message - the dancing on the rooftop at my place was terrific, but it wasn't a costume party.................. what a great idea - I think that my next party will definitely feature lating dancing on the rooftop AND costumes! (Any idea about a theme?). Haven't been dancing too much of late, caught glandular fever and have been taking it easy lately, but am about to head back as I can't stay away form dancing for long! Are you coming home in Jan or staying over longer????
Buena viaje!
Response: Sorry to hear about your glandular fever (kissing disease is the other name isn't it?) How about Doctors and Nurses for your next party (in case you overdo the dancing and have a relapse!) Good to hear from you and look forward to catching up in January upon our return or stopover (not sure yet)
Response: Hola Amigos! Es muy bien recibimos mensaje de tu! Como estas? Y Inti, Wara, Yassi, Rupi, Jaguaru, Coco and Faustino? Neuvo jaguar llegar? Perdoname por mi excribir in Espanol es malo. Salud, Lee & Derek
From Glenn Sholdis
G'day, Have just checked out the latest updates, so glad you got to meet your world vision child, great photos must have been amazing to meet him. I have been looking at your web site everyday for the last few weeks waiting for an update, the suspense was killing me. Glad to hear all is well. Take Care, Have Fun and travel safe, Cheers Glenn PS Let me know when you can Skype again.
Response: Hey Sholdis! Stop sleeping every time we try to ring. Just kidding, We're in Cusco now so will try you again soon, Hi to Andrew, Cheers! Derek & Lee
From Mum & Dad
Hi Kids,
Good to hear that all is on track every which way and that you are about to go over to the G Islands. I know that you will love it over there, and hope that you get to see all kinds of things that you can't see elsewhere. Hope the weather is good for you and that you have finally gotten rid of your very close friend. Can't wait for your update after you get off the islands. Talk to you then. Love M and D
Response: Mum, were are back and still kicking. Check out some of the cool animal photos and the photos of Angel. Hope you enjoy and I`ll call soon.
Cheers Derek & Lee
From Roger
Hey Derek & Lee
Long time no speak!

Your adventures are humourous - I might ask my students to read them (Not really!)
Sounds like you're having fun!
Keep it going!
When (if ever) are you coming back to Brisbane?
Trevor came back - I'm not really sure why. I dont see many of the "group" anymore. Saw Jordan at his new flat in New Farm looking out over ther river a month or so back. He had dancing on the rooftop! Are you dancing at at all?
See Olga, Lauren & Gio occasionally at dancing. Suzy is still in Mt iSa or somewhere up there and apparently has a new boy in her life. Oh I see Carolyn from Caloundra around as well.

I'm travelling a bit next year. not sure where yet.

I'm well and having a lot of fun,
Still dancing and loving it..Take Care
Response: Hi Rog!
We will be back (at least temporarily) in January. Looking forward to seeing everyone and beating Carolyn to a good parking space. Dancing on the rooftop sounds just like Jordan.. but.. was it a costume party? Keep us updated with your travel plans & hope to see you in Jan. Cheers! Lee & Derek
From Glenn
Hey Guys, Just checking in again to say G'day, loved the latest update and photos, no dramas whenever you want to pop in is cool, hopefully will be in a different place by then. Very busy at work at the moment and will only get busier from August with the world premier of Priscilla The Musical starting at work, should keep me on my toes for a while. Talk to you soon Cheers Glenn, PS - Should try and organise another Skype chat soon.
Response: Skype away Mr Sholdis, we are only in internet contact for this week before we head into the jungle again. Booked our flight out of Sydney to Brisbane 08/01/07 you will enjoy this one it does not leave untill 2:00pm!
Skype you soon
Cheers Derek & Lee
From From Lyn
Your mum Derek, gave me the web address and we are green with envy. Might be too late for us now do you think? We like things a little more civilized these days & can't go without a few mod cons. I still like to climb the odd mountain or tall tree but Aust seems so much safer. Take care and come home safely.
Response: Hola Lyn & Peter,
It´s never too late to find yourself in a country where it feels like time stoped ticking about 60 years ago. Every day we find something new to get ourselves into, our biggest problem is we keep overstaying our visas, for some reason we just keep getting drawen back, especially to Bolivia. Are you still doing trips in the big van around Oz? Thanks for dropping in and having a look at the site, for us it will be a great travel diary in the years to come.
Cheers for now Derek & Lee
From Sabine
Hello worldtravellars, here in Veldhoven-the Netherlands we are following your adventures and love the funny ozzy comments at the pictures!! What a great trip you both are doing!!!! I will meet Sonya and Rob in august in London and maybe later on you too in the Netherlands, the key is under the mat for you anyway.
Have fun, i know you will, keep safe and i will keep all the old relatives informed (the non-computer-generation) over here about you two. Sabine and family.
Response: G´day Sabine and family,
World cup fever has hit here in Sucre Bolivia, the only problem I have is who to back, the little Aussie vegemites or as they say here, Holanda. We would love to drop in a say G´day, I think at this point we might fly into Amsterdam a few days before christmas, thats our christmas not your saint nic´s day. We are trying to be home for Emma´s wedding on the 29th Dec so we might have to change our flight days as it getts closer to have a few more days. We are heading back to the animal park next week for another 3 weeks, we just can´t get enough of those big cats. I hope you and the family are doing fine and would love to see you in the near future, as it´s only been about 22 years since we last caught up, I´m sure there are a few stories to share.
Cheers for now Derek & Lee
From Essex Boy Dan
Nice puncture marks Lee. That must be one of those unique Special Forces Cats!! Trained in countering all my techniques, dam those Cats.
Response: Dan, thoese boys from Ingleterra are still just hanging in there, you must be like a proud new dad!! Watch out for thoese thugs from Portugal, against Holland they didn´t play futbol, they tried some kind of karate!! Keep safe on your travel home and might catch up sometime soon.
Cheers Derek & Lee
From Jussi
Hi Derek & Lee!
Ok, now I am really jealous! (not that I haven't been all along your trip and to follow such amazing footage from the countries and people you've already seen is fabulous). Winter seems to have set in Melbourne, but despite the cold and dark days we are experiencing it is always warming to know that my compatriots in Finland are putting us on the map, again... You might want to refer to the following link on the web for yet another example of our world domination, this time in the world of music :) ainment/5002798.stm All the best to both of you and travel safely :) Jus
Response: World domination, I should think not!, we haven´t run into one single traveller from your neck of the woods yet!! and with all this world cup action going on whats your team doing!! It seems like they have been given a little helping hand to make it passed the first round. The Aussie´s have been playing "text book futbol" just from which text book I´m not really sure!!
Hey make sure you give it to Rob a few more times while your single and "young" as you know he´s about to hit that milestone the big 40!!
Good to here from you and will catch you on the big day!
Cheers Derek & Lee
From kimmi
i bet you never thought all that time you spent playing with jasmine would be training for playing with a bigger kitty! nice to see that you haven't lost your touch with keeping them nice and placid.. hahahaha.
Response: The first day in a new job can be hard! I learnt quickly how to keep them calm though (well mostly) Actually it´s more important to stay calm yourself because they do like to jump on your back & the easiest way to get them off is to bore them. The play with Jasmine was good practise though for wearing them out a bit before walking them on a lead (3 pumas together in the jungle are a bit of a handful especially when a monkey runs across the track) Hi to John & Lachlan.
burnt the photos sent to your mum she should have them by now. good to see all is going well & you are having a great time love the birds & animals & the falls spec views.keep having a good time back later.
Response: Having a great time in the Bolivian jungle, looking after a 4.5 year old male jaguar, have a look at some of the photos. It´s a chance in a lifetime to work with so many different animals. Thanks for sending the cd to mum & dad, it´s another one to add to the collection of photos.
Cheers Derek & Lee
From Scott Joyce
No excusses I have been slack not responding sooner. Our new Pest Control business is keeping me very busy and we are all well. No exciting news to report. I will be in touch again soon.

Love from Scott, Meredith, Tori, Mikaela @ Narkita.

P.S. Pirana infested waters !Sounds like suicide to me!
Response: Hey Slacker! Good to hear Pest Magic is going well - but could you not have fixed the mosquito problem in the animal reserve for us!?##? The piranhas were nothing! Try hanging out with pumas & jaguars & no emergency backup! Great fun actually & should have a couple of little scars each to keep for pub stories later. Cool huh? Love to the family xx.
From Mum J
Sounds like your trip is one big adventure. I was invited to go camping in Girraween national park with a young couple and 3 year old daughter for 4 days 1st night got down to 1degree so slept in trackydaks,beanie and sox. Had a great time.Next adventure starts 8May in Cairns love mum J
Response: Girraween is awesome - glad you had a good time and yeah you´re right it does get a bit chilly - I used to climb a lot there. Have a ball in Cairns - Talk soon! Love Lee & Derek
From Judy and Bernard Har
Hi Derek and Lee, Have read about your amazing journey here and seen the great photos. So many wonderful sights and experiences. Wanted to let you know we are thinking of you. Keep having the time of your lives!! Bern and Judy
Response: Hey you two, thanks for having a look at our site. Things are really good at this end, I´m starting to get into the swing of travel. The animal park in Bolivia has been the high light of the trip so far and we think we might go back for another month later in the trip. How are the kids? hope all is well at your end, catch up soon.
Cheers Derek & Lee