Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

October 5, 2018

Chile to Australia

Filed under: General,South America — Tags: — admin @ 10:47 am

Valparaiso to Newcastle

It was time to go home. I caught a local bus from my hostel on the hill to the terminal at Valparaiso centro.

Valparaiso Bus Terminal
Valparaiso Bus Terminal.

I had some lunch and then caught the bus at 1pm to Pajaritos terminal. At Pajaritos I bumbled around getting a uber taxi to my airbnb room.

My Room in Santiago
My Room in Santiago

This was my airbnb room in Santiago near the airport. I had crashed a teenage girl’s room with posters of anime and korean boy bands. Hideous. There was even a purple unicorn. Yewww. And five scottish terriers.

My breakfast in Chile
My breakfast in Chile

This is your standard breakfast I used to have in Argentina. Two media lunas and a cup of coffee. I got a colectivo taxi from my airbnb room and had breakfast at Pajaritos terminal, where I caught the bus to the airport.

On the way to the airport
On the way to the airport

This is the freeway on the way to Santiago Airport.

Flying over the ice flows
Flying over the ice flows

This is the view from the airplane flying to Melbourne. We flew over the edge of Antarctica and the ocean was covered in icebergs.

My plane to Newcastle
My plane to Newcastle

I stayed in Melbourne at a hotel near the airport and in the morning got a plane to Newcastle.

Flying into Newcastle Airport
Flying into Newcastle Airport

Here I am flying over Stockton Beach coming down to Williamtown airport. At the airport I got the bus to Newcastle and then another one to Swansea. Home again.

September 29, 2018

Valparaiso Harbour

Filed under: General,South America — Tags: — admin @ 10:42 pm

Valparaiso – Chile – Day Two.

Yesterday I caught the bus into town. I got a pino empanada from the panaderia and sat down at the bus terminal and had my lunch.

Traffic Jam at the markets
Traffic Jam at the markets.

It was chaos around the markets. Buses and cars and taxis were hussling with people with loaded vegetables on carts, with shoppers rushing around all over the place. A complete mad-house.

Selling Vegetables
Selling Vegetables

There were stalls surrounding the markets with people selling all kinds of stuff, mainly vegetables. You can buy anything on the streets – even toilet paper and dish washing detergent.

Launching a rubber ducky
Launching a rubber ducky

I worked out how to get to the water-front and made my way to the wharf, where there were lots of scuba divers getting ready to go on their dives.

Harbour and foreshore
Harbour and foreshore.

Valparaiso has a pretty massive bay with deep water, so it is perfect for a port.

Coastal Train
Coastal Train

This train ran along the coast past Vina del Mar, and beyond that I have no idea.

September 27, 2018

A Tourist in Valparaiso

Filed under: General,South America — Tags: — admin @ 11:01 pm

Valparaiso – trendy and bohemian

I was up at 5:30am this morning. My taxi came early and I was off to the airport at Arica. I was hours too early so I bought an expensive coffee and cheese sandwich for breakfast and sat down to wait for the checkin to open. I checked in and went through security. I am like a robot now going through security. Belt off, wallet, phone, passport in a plastic bag. Step through the gate, get patted down, get dressed again.

The view from my hostel room
The view from my hostel room

I arrived in Santiago at 12:30 and jumped on a bus to the Pajaritos Terminal, where I bought a ticket to Valparaiso and jumped straight on the bus.

Steep hills of Valparaiso
Steep hills of Valparaiso

At Valparaiso Terminal, the tourist kiosk told me which bus to get to my hostel, and I settled in for a while.

Trendy cafes
Trendy cafes

In the afternoon, I went for a walk down the hill. The area is all trendy with boho cafes and shops. So funny. I wanted to get to the water but got as far as a big steep drop-off and could not get any further so I turned back.

The harbour
The harbour

A little corner of the city
A little corner of the city

Too many steps to go down there.

September 26, 2018

Paseo Lancha Puerto Arica

Filed under: Birds,South America — Tags: — admin @ 9:25 pm

Arica Harbour Boat Tour

After I took some surfing photos at El Gringo, I wandered down to the fishing harbour to see about a boat tour “Paseo Lancha”. The guy said I was the only taker and to come back at 12:30. I went and got a cup of coffee and some lunch and then went back to the wharf.

big fat Sea Lions - lobos Marinos
big fat Sea Lions – lobos Marinos

There were still no people so I wandered around the fishing harbour checking out all the cleaning of fish and the birds and sea lions fighting over the fish scraps.

Black-crowned Night-heron waiting for some fish
Black-crowned Night-heron waiting for some fish

Cleaning Fish
Cleaning Fish

Peruvian Pelicans want their share too
Peruvian Pelicans want their share too

Fish cleaning wharf
Fish cleaning wharf

Finally there were enough people so we set off on out boat tour. The boat ride cost 3000 pesos, about $5.

Panoramic view of the  harbour
Panoramic view of the harbour

We went along the wharves and then out to sea a bit to the buoys where a bunch of seals were sunbaking.

Seals on a buoy
Seals on a buoy

Then back into the harbour and back to dock. Short and sweet. But I think we saw enough.

American Oystercatcher
American Oystercatcher

Red-legged Cormorant
Red-legged Cormorant

immature Inca Tern
immature Inca Tern

adult Inca Tern
adult Inca Tern

Peruvian Booby
Peruvian Booby

Street wiring
Street wiring

And last but not least the sight outside my hotel room window. The wiring in the street is very chaotic. But not as mad as India.

Arica bird list

American Oystercatcher
Red-legged Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant
Inca Tern
Peruvian Booby
Black-crowned Night-heron
Peruvian Pelican

El Gringo Day Two

Filed under: South America,Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 7:47 pm

El Gringo – Arica – Day 2

This morning I went to El Gringo again. It was a bit smaller but there were a few more guys out. The wind was blowing off-shore nicely and there were shifting peaks to be had.

maxi
maxi

Diego in the tube
Diego in the tube

Maxi in the barrel
Maxi in the barrel

maxi in tube
maxi in tube

getting bounced around
getting bounced around

and getting launched
and getting launched

Nice turn Alberto
Nice turn Alberto

Upside down
Upside down

going right
going right

September 25, 2018

El Gringo

Filed under: South America,Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 5:38 pm

Surfing El Gringo – Arica, Chile

I got out of bed about 7:30am because that is when the sun comes up. Chile is two hours ahead of Peru. Do not ask me to work that one out. I walked down the end of the street and caught a bus to La Isla del Alacran. There was nobody out when I went surfing but I bumped into a couple of dudes named Max and Diego who allowed me to tag along when they went for a surf out at El Gringo.

Diego's First Wave
Diego’s First Wave

El Gringo is really scary. It breaks onto rocks. There is no easy way out or in. You have to jump off the rocks and force your way out through the very powerful breaking waves.

Maxi taking the drop
Maxi taking the drop

After this wave Maxi lost his boogie board and had to swim in. It was a major struggle with waves breaking all over him and the rip dragging him out again.

Maxi in the barrel
Maxi in the barrel

Maxi eventually got in and retrieved his boogie board and then paddled straight out again!

Maxi take off
Maxi take off

Maxi hit a bump on the take-off and got launched.

Diego going right
Diego going right

There were some good right-handers coming in as well. Some of them were lining up and tubing massively.

Maxi drop
Maxi drop

The wind starting blowing onshore about ten o’clock so the waves were still glassy.

Diego in the tube
Diego in the tube

Diego made sure that his last wave was a good one. Thank you to Maxi and Diego for the opportunity to take some photos at this famous surf spot. Woot!

September 15, 2018

Peru Sierra Tourist Photos

Filed under: General,South America — Tags: — admin @ 1:26 am

Huanuco to Huanacavelica

From Tingo Maria I wound my way up the mountains to nearly 2000 meters at Huanuco. I only stayed there one night. Then I went to Carrhuamayo where I stayed for three nights.

tunnel
tunnel

This is a tunnel on the way to Huanuco.

Main Plaza Huanuco
Main Plaza Huanuco

From Carrhuanmayo I caught a collectivo taxi to Huancayo where I stayed with a family at a very nice hostel. It is a pretty large city, so I was not inclined to stay for very long.

Huancayo rooftops
Huancayo rooftops

Loading the bus
Loading the bus

This is the bus to Huancavelica. The locals were loading pineapples, huge pumpkins, big stacks of grass and a whole bunch of logs. I was very much amused.

Precarious road
Precarious road

The road from Huancayo went through some very high mountains the road was perched scarily about a thousand meters above the vally below. It was so scary, there were no guard rails and if we went over the edge it would have been curtains.

Dry country
Dry country

It is so dry up here in the altiplano. Everything is brown. Today I made it to Huancavelica, which is at an altitude of around 3000 meters. In the afternoon I walked along the river, had a burger and fruit salad, then hung about at the main square.

Waterfall into the river
Waterfall into the river

The river is so polluted. All the crap from the town just flows straight in. And there is lots of plastic in the river as well. It is not good.

River and hills
River and hills

The river going through town and the surrounding hills.

Main Square
Main Square

This is the main square at Huancavelica. It has a big church and a lot of old buildings surrounding it.

statue
statue

They have these very strange statues in most of the towns in this area. I have no idea what they are about.

December 28, 2010

Birding in Venezuala Spots

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 12:04 am

Backpacker Birding Venezuela

There are conflicting reports about Venezuela, so check facts carefully. Quite possibly expensive and dangerous.
$1 ~= 4VEF.

Caracas – PN El Avila
Maracay – PN Henri Pittier – Posada El Limon.
Valencia – Tucacas – PN Morrocoy
Chichiriviche – Cuara Wildlife Refuge.
Coro – PN Los Medanos de Coro
Santo Domingo – PN Sierra Nevada
Guayana Region – Orinoco Deltat and Rio Orinoco.
Merida – Tabay – La Mucuy – Humboldt Trail. Posada Mara.
Barinas – Hato Cedral
Puerto Ayacucho – The Gavilan Road in Amazonas State.
La Escalera – Bolivar State, southeastern Venezuela near Santa Elena.

Backpacker Birding in Peru

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

Backpacker Birding in Peru

$10 ~= 30 Soles. Get a Yellow Fever Vaccination. No visa needed for most. Air Europa and Iberia fly from Madrid to Lima. Electricity is 220V, 60Hz, both flat and round 2 prong plugs.

List of birding sites in Peru

Paracas National Reserve – 15km from Pisco Puerto. Go for a boat trip to Ballestas Islands from the jetty at el Chaco, the beach and fishing port. Stay at Pisco at Hostal Pisco Playa or Hostal Pisco.
Lomas de Lachay – Camp at Visitors centre, bring all food and water. Near Savan. The Lima to Huacho buses stop at km83. One kilometer north of the southern turn-off to Sayan is a track sign to Lomas de Lachay. It is a 4km walk to park entrance. In Huacho stay at Hostal Carolina.
Huascaran Biosphere Reserve – Ranger posts at Llananuco and Huarascan. Maybe a trek from Caraz to Santa Cruz Valley. Stay at Familia Aguilar or Hostal las Casona at Caraz.
Laquipampa Reserved Zone – 2 hours past Sican on road to Incahuasi. White-winged Turkey.
Sanctuario Nacional los Manglares de Tumbes – north coast mangroves. Near Tumbes.
Parque Nacional Cerros de Amotape, NE of Mancora.
Zona Reservada de Tumbes – NE of Tumbes.
Casa Grillo Centro Ecoturisto Naturista – between Bocapan and Los Pinos. 30km from Tumbes.
Lago Junin National Reserve – fishermen can take you around lake. Near Junin.

Manu N.P. – near Cusco, Huancarane, Atalaya, Salvacion. Must go in with authorized operator and guide. There are many lodges in here. The (unnamed) hotel on the street that runs at the back side of the market in Salvacion, near Pilcopata in the Manu forest.
The road from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado is very rough.
Tampobata National Reserve – get here from Puerto Maldonado. Go up the Tambopata River or down the Madre de Dios River. Posada Amazonas Lodge. Local families have Casas de Hospedaje. You need to pay a fee in Cusco to enter the reserve.

Reserva Nacional Pacaya-Samiria – get permits from Iquitos office. Mainly river tours but can enter via Maipuco. Illegal to enter park itself, only can go around fringes. There are many jungle lodges around Iquitos. Get boats up and down river.
Pucallpa – Lago Yarinacocha – 1000 bird species.
Maranon Valley. Chiclayo – Cajamarca.
Route -> Lima – Huaraz – Chachapoyas – Pedro Ruis – Tarapoto – Yurimaguas (cargo boat – 3 days) -> Rio Maranon – Nauta – Iquitos.
Huaraz – Yungay – Caraz – Huamachuco – Cajabamba – Cajamarca – Chachapoyas.

Pampa Hermosa Reserve
View the Cock-of-the-Rock, the best time is September to November. There is a bus from Lima to San Ramon. ( www.pampashermanoslodge.com ) .

Mollendo and Mejia Bird Sanctuary
The bird sanctuary is just south of town and can be reached by collectivo from top end of Caille Castilla. In Mollendo stay at Hostal Cabana or Hostal Brisas del Mar.

Mirador Cruz del Condor
Start at Pinchollo to see the condors in the Colca Canyons. Stay at Cabanaconde at Hostal Valle del Fuego or Hospedaje Villa Pastor.

Budget Accommodation in Peru

Lima – Hostal Espana, Pension Ibarra.
Cuzco – Las Chosas Lodge, Flying Dog.
Hosteria El Sol, in Coina near Trujillo
Huanchaco – My Friend , Casa Suiza, Hostal Huanchaco, Cherrys, and Chill Out.
Puno and Lake Titicaca – Hostal Europa or Hostal Illampu.
Arequipa – La Reyna, Home Sweet Home.
Huaraz – Jo’s Place, Familia Meza Lodging.
Trujillo – El Conde de Arce, Hostal el Ensueno.
Chiclayo – Hospedaje san Lucas, Katuwira Lodge.
Mancora – Hospedaje Crillon.
Tumbes – Sudamericano, Toloa 1 or 2.
Huamachuco – Castilla 354.
Cajamarca, Hostal Prado, Hostal Plaza.
Chachapoyas – Hotel Karajia, Hotel Plaza.
Tarapoto – Hostal san Antonio, Misti 1.
Junin – Hostal Leo, Glanmarco, Patricia
Tingo Maria – Hostal Cusco.
Pucallpa – Hostal Komby, Hostal Peru.
Lake Yarinacocha – El Pescador, Don Jose’s Alojamiento.
Iquitos is 80km downstream from Pucallpa. Go to Allpahuayo-Mishana Reserve which is 22k south. Boats go to Indiana, then walk to Mazan. Pilpintuhasi Butterfly Farm is near the village of Padre Cocha. Hobo Hideout, Hostal Alfert, Isabel, Hospedaje La Pescana.
Puerto Maldonado – Hostal Moderno, Hospedaje Royal Inn.
Pisco – Hostal san Isidro.
Huacachina – Desert Nights, Hostal Salvatierra.
Mancora – surfing – HII La Posada, The Point

Birding Peru Resources

Google Map with pins of North Peru

Surfing
Pimentel, Pico Alto, Chicama, Pacasmayo, Punta Tur, Punta Nonura, El Golf, Cabo Blanco, Los Oreganos.
Punta Hermosa, Punta Rocas, Santa Rosa, Cabo Negro, Sangallan, El Olon, Piedras Negras, Caleta La Cruz.

December 27, 2010

Birding Sites in Paraguay

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 11:56 pm

Birding in Paraguay

US$1 ~= 5000G. Electricity is 220V, 50Hz, 2 round pins.

Wildlife Reserves in Paraguay

Reserva Naturel del Bosque Mbaracuyu – rain forest
Parque Nacional Serrania San Rafael – forest and wetlands. Stay at Estancia Nueva Gambach(0768-29-5046). To get there, take bus from Encarnacion to Ynambu, 12km outside reserve. Arrange to be picked up before.
PN Tinfunque – on Rio Pilcomayo, 300kms NE of Asuncion.
PN Teniente Agripino Ensiso
PN Defensores del Chaco – difficult access
PN Cerro Cora – camp.
PN Ybycui – camp or Hotel Pytu’u Renda, 151 km SE of Asuncion.
PN Serrania San Luis – subtropical forest. via Concepcion.

Itaipu Ecological Reserves
Refugio Tati Yupi is 26km from Cuidad del Este.
Reserva Itabo – 100k north of Ciudad del Este. Good places to stay here.

Mbaracayu Biosphere Reserve
Accommodation at Jejui-Mi, bus from Asuncion.

Budget Paraguay Accommodation

Asuncion – Pension da Silva, Hotel Embajador.
San Bernadino – Hotel Brisas del Mediterraneo.
Villa Florida – Hotel Nacional de Turismo
Cuidad del Este – Hotel Caribe, Hotel Tia Nancy – Salto Monday – Monumento Moises Bertoni.

Northern Paraguay

Concepcion – Hotel Center, Hospedaje Puerta del Sol – “Paraguay Cruise” -> PN Serranio San Luis
Pedro Juan Caballero – Hotel la Siesta – boat ride up Rio Paraguay -> PN Cerro Cora.
Pozo Colorado – Parador Pozo Colorado
Filadelfia – Hotel Florida
Fortin Toledo -> Proyecto Tagua Reserve.

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