Following my last post, I decided to go into detail about some of the more interesting less known places I've been ... starting to feel like a travel journalist!
Lethem, Border Town, British Guyana, South America:
If I had to describe this town in one word it would be AIDS. (Because, as I found out after I left, over 90% of the population suffer from the disease.) The other word would be backwards – their border was a river you could have swum across, and when I got stamped into the country the guy signed his name on my passport – Pugsley. What a joke. The entire place was like an open farmyard and the woman who we stayed with ran a restaurant that received one customer in our three day visit. Her daughter was obsessed with the colour white, I bought flip-flops and she convinced me to get white ones, when we watched the horses go past she said she dreamed of having her own beautiful white horse one day, and she stared at my skin so much it started feeling embarrassed. This Country receives little tourism, but it was the biggest eye opener I experienced during my three months in South America.
This towns closest airport is Kulu, and from there it takes one hour to reach the breathtaking town of manali. Marijuana plants grow freely by the roadside, adn as we were walking up one day from the town to the hotel a gorilla about twice as large as me was casually having a good old rummage in the bins. Being at the foothills of the Himalayas you obvious have a stunning backdrop and the air and the water (especially coming from London) is really something else.
Recife was the last town I stopped in as I was heading South before I really got to the most visited towns in Brasil (Salvador, Rio and Sao Paulo.) It was in Recife where I saw my first favela, with a street kid I got talking to as my tour guide. It was wierd. My “tour guide’s” girlfriend was pregnant but wouldn’t let me buy her any food, she only wanted money (undoubtedly for crack.) I did give her some clothes though which she could grow into as she got bigger! The favela in that town was, as I said something else! It was like walking into a miniature town where they were running an open plan laundrette, old peoples home and nursery all meshed into one, in the street. Clothing lines, wrinkled old men, scrawny dirty kids, screaming babies, bags of drugs and disgustingly dirty banknotes everywhere you looked. And everywhere you looked everyone was looing at you, the gringo. Memorable and definitely worth a visit if you can get someone to show you the real side.