Two Backpackers http://twobackpackers.com Backpacking Around the World Fri, 18 Feb 2021 23:28:10 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.5 Photo of the Day: Virgen de la Candelaria Festival Copacabana, Bolivia http://twobackpackers.com/6946/photo-of-the-day/virgen-de-la-candelaria-bolivia/ http://twobackpackers.com/6946/photo-of-the-day/virgen-de-la-candelaria-bolivia/#comments Fri, 18 Feb 2021 19:30:01 +0000 Aracely http://twobackpackers.com/6946/photo-of-the-day/virgen-de-la-candelaria-bolivia/ Fotos de Bolivia

Celebration of the Virgen de la Candelaria Festival & Basilica in Copacabana, Bolivia

Copacabana is the main Bolivian town on the shore of Lake Titicaca, from where boats leave for Isla del Sol, the sacred Inca island. The town has a large 16th-century shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana. Our Lady of Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia.

The town is a destination for tourism in Bolivia. The town is also known for its famous Basilica, home of the Virgin of Copacabana, its trout, and its quaint atmosphere. Built between Mount Calvario and Mount Niño Calvario, the town has approximately 6,000 inhabitants. Copacabana’s religious celebrations, cultural patrimony, and traditional festivals are well known throughout Bolivia. – Wikipedia

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Cerro Calvario, Copacabana
  2. Photo of the Day: Virgen de la Candelaria Festival in Copacabana, Bolivia
  3. Photo of the Day: Black & White Sunset on Lake Titicaca


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Review of TravelJournal.com http://twobackpackers.com/6926/reviews/products-gear/travel-journal/ http://twobackpackers.com/6926/reviews/products-gear/travel-journal/#comments Fri, 18 Feb 2021 12:30:08 +0000 Sponsored http://twobackpackers.com/?p=6926 Online JournalI had a chance to experiment with the new website and provide a review on 2 Backpackers.

What is it?

Travel Journal / TravelJournal.com is the latest, most advanced online authoring and publishing platform for travel writing.

What is it for?

Travelers looking to document, share, and search for travel experiences online.

What does it cost?

It’s entirely free and you might even be able to earn some money.   Travel Journal offers the opportunity to participate in Google AdSense revenue sharing under their Professional Travel Writers program.

First Impressions

The domain name is obvious (traveljournal.com), the website design is clean and the interface is easy to use and understand.  In a matter of a few minutes, using Facebook to sign up, I had a 2Backpackers profile.  During my testing I wasn’t sure if I would have to make my journal entries up, considering I am sitting in a rented home in Miami right now.  To my pleasure, you could create a journal entry for any trip from any time.

It doesn’t have to be one continuous never ending journal.  You have the ability to create separate journals for different trips.  I find this extremely important, since Aracely and I do take breaks and most likely won’t be keeping a journal between trips.

I entered in some journal entries from late 2021 as part of our “Backpacking Central & South America” journal.  Step 1 was to enter the content for the entry.  Step 2 was determining the location.  I must mention, it scanned my text and gave me a choice of locations.  Step 3 was adding a date and time.  Step 4 was to review the submission and decide on saving it for later or publishing now.

Your journal can be kept personal by selecting private or made public and contribute to the travel knowledge base on TravelJournal.com.  Everyone’s public journal becomes a searchable travel database providing information and tips for locations around the world.  So, don’t just document your journey, prepare and do research for it too!
Online Diaries

Pros

Create public or private journals

Add photo entries which display in a nice gallery

Assign a photo cover to each journal

Share your journal on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to a journal’s feed

Search a database of travel journals for travel research

Establish friends and contribute to a travel community

Library of 7 million locations to assign a journal entry to

Improvements We Look For

Faster loading of journal cover images – sometimes the images didn’t load.

Allow positioning of journal cover image – we wanted to move and crop our image.

Personalized urls for profiles

Improved Facebook integration

Related posts:

  1. Preparing to Travel To-Do List


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7 Waterfalls Tour El Salvador – Ep 11 http://twobackpackers.com/6347/travel-videos/7-waterfalls-tour-el-salvador-ep11/ http://twobackpackers.com/6347/travel-videos/7-waterfalls-tour-el-salvador-ep11/#comments Wed, 16 Feb 2021 13:00:30 +0000 Aracely http://twobackpackers.com/6347/travel-videos/7-waterfalls-tour-el-salvador-ep11/ When we decided to begin our journey in Central America, El Salvador was the country we decided to avoid. The decision was not based on any specific reason, we simply preferred a more direct route south and planned to travel from Guatemala to Honduras to Nicaragua and onwards. However, with Honduras’ political instability, which was causing some border issues, we decided to take a detour through El Salvador instead.

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Small towns and villages in El Salvador surprised us with their cleanliness, friendly people and active community events. Juayua was the highlight with its weekend food festival, colorful street buildings and amazing surrounding landscapes and towns. If you enjoy coffee plantations, Juayua is a great base to visit nearby towns to tour and taste coffee beans.

Hostels in Juayua

Hostels in El Salvador

Hotel Anáhuac in Juayua, El Salvador

Our style of travel thus far has been extremely spontaneous; we do the research of where we are going the day before we get there. It has worked out well so far. As usual, we consulted our twitter followers and fellow travelers for their suggestions in El Salvador and they brought us to Hotel Anáhuac in Juayúa (don’t worry I still have some trouble pronouncing that myself). Once again, we’ve found a gem in an unexpected place.

Fotos de El Salvador

Iglesia Juayúa, El Salvador / Juayua Church

Juayúa is located two and half hours from the west coastal Guatemalan border. It’s a small town in the Routa de las Flores (a compilation of picturesque towns) with much local charm and is most widely known for their weekend food fair. The hotel is perfect: it’s very clean, has a gorgeous open courtyard filled with tropical plants, and the walls of the room display varying local art. Anáhuac also provides walking and adventure tours to neighboring natural attractions, one of them was the 7 Waterfalls, which we eagerly signed up for.

7 Waterfalls Tour

Nature Pictures

7 Waterfalls Tour in Juayua, El Salvador

Our guide, Mario, met us at Hotel Anáhuac at eight in the morning. He led us through the empty Spanish streets of town towards its outskirts where we would begin to find our way into the thick forest. Before the hike began we stopped at Mario’s house which was at the foot of our hike. Mario and his family live in a small structure built with metal roofing and wooden logs. His brother and five dogs accompanied us on our trek.

Coffee Plantations

As we made our way up the path to 7 Waterfalls Mario explained the different plants and vegetation. During our hike we encountered large El Salvador coffee plantations where we learned about cultivating coffee and how elevation increases a coffee’s grade. Mario told us that most of El Salvador’s high quality coffee is exported elsewhere in the world. Only the lowest grade of coffee stays in the country.
Previous hikes have had at a minimum wooden steps or rock laid into steps to reduce difficulty and risks. On this hike not one single portion of the trail is built up and it’s not well maintained. There are large branches to climb over, thorn filled trees to duck under, rivers to cross, rocks to hop over, and waterfalls to repel down from. The reward was majestic views of nature in its purest form.

Waterfall Nature Pictures

El Salvador

Chorros de Calera - 7 Waterfalls Tour

Once we arrived at the top of the mountain there was yet another large wall of waterfalls that fed a pool of fresh water where we swam. This area was popular for the locals to picnic, however we never passed any along our hike. We assume they take a different trek. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of trash around the swimming area. Mario explained the cultural challenge of changing this problematic behavior. Of course, since Mario benefits from tourism in El Salvador directly, he is able to see the benefit of a cleaner environment. We all enjoyed fresh sandwiches filled with tomatoes, onions, avocado, eggs and salt and pepper. They were probably some of the most refreshing simple subs we have ever had.

Ultimate Adventure Tour

Fotos de El Salvador

Stick Insect Landed on My Hand

As we ate, the local families were jumping from rocky cliffs into the water. Jason eyed the possibility of jumping from the waterfall. Mario escorted him up to a rock that stood out slightly from the wall. He jumped and softly hit the sand in the bottom of the pool. It was only about 9-10ft deep and the area that was safe to jump in was considerably small. Next, Mario climbed another 2.5 meters up the wall and dove head first into the shallow pool. As he entered the water he curled his body immediately to avoid being paralyzed. It was very impressive.

Water Channel Tunnels

Videos de El Salvador

Mario Taking Our Portrait With the Largest Waterfall

Along the hike Mario also explained to us that there were tunnels or caves we could explore. Once at the pools we realized they were man made tunnels bored for sending the water to a hydro station. At first I was up for it, but when we got to the opening of the tunnel and I watched Mario go in first, I decided to back out. It was very dark, the water came to his shoulders and there was hardly any head room. I knew Jason wanted to do it; I told him I would wait for them at the opening. After they returned and heard about their adventure, I was jealous.

Just as we began to pack up for our return, clouds rushed into the valley at our elevation and suddenly we were engulfed in clouds full of mist. The scene of the clouds squeezing into the valley seemed very Jurasic Park. It wasn’t a slow process, the clouds came in fast at five miles per hour. I still carry this scene in my mind. We could hear heavy rain hitting the leaves of all the trees in the valley, but we didn’t see or feel any on us. I can only assume it was raining below. We arrived back at Mario’s home where he changed again into jeans and a clean shirt to walk us back through town to our hostel. You won’t find any locals wearing shorts in the streets of El Salvador. The rain did catch up to us during our walk back through town, but it felt simply refreshing.

A Challenging Hike

Although we’ve already been on a few hikes during this trip, the hike to the 7 Waterfalls in Juayua was still unique due to its primitive trails, abundance of rivers and waterfalls and varying terrain. The trek was not difficult from an endurance perspective, but it was a hike that required a lot of focus and caution. It’s muddy, wet, slippery, itchy and wonderfully adventurous. Juayua is a must see in El Salvador, and the 7 Waterfalls hike is their hidden gem.

Fotos de El Salvador

Weekend Festival in Juayua, El Salvador

How Can You Help?

When Mario isn’t conducting tours to the Seven Waterfalls he is looking for work doing odd jobs in construction, harvesting and anything else he can find. We kept him busy over the next few days, since we highly recommended the tour to every traveler that wandered into the hostel. We booked the tour through the hostel, but you can book the 7 waterfalls tour by contacting Mario’s family directly, providing his family greater income. If you plan to book directly, then please send an email well in advance (doesn’t have access to a computer daily) to douglas.martinez1203(at)gmail.com. I set up an email account for them and taught them how to access their mail. Mario and his brothers William and Douglas were the kindest of people and we encourage you to enjoy their tours and friendship. They speak Spanish only, so please email in Spanish as well.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Elderly Woman, El Salvador
  2. Photo of the Day: Elderly Woman, El Salvador
  3. Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador


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Photo of the Day: The Neon Museum Las Vegas http://twobackpackers.com/6713/photo-of-the-day/neon-museum-las-vegas/ http://twobackpackers.com/6713/photo-of-the-day/neon-museum-las-vegas/#comments Thu, 10 Feb 2021 12:30:01 +0000 JoAnna http://twobackpackers.com/6713/photo-of-the-day/neon-museum-las-vegas/ las vegas holidays

An Old Ornate Golden Nugget Sign from 'The Neon Museum Las Vegas Boneyard'

A lot of people think that Las Vegas has little history or culture, which is understandable given the fact that the city is often about the newest, biggest, brightest and fanciest thing.  What many people don’t know is that the storied history of Las Vegas is documented in the Neon Museum Boneyard, which is a collection of more than 150 of the city’s old neon signs.  Several signs have been replaced with modern, fanciful ones, but others remain from hotels, businesses and attractions that no longer exist on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

Those who visit Las Vegas can check out the Neon Museum Boneyard by scheduling a tour time on-line with the Neon Museum of Las Vegas.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas
  2. The Best Things to do for Free in New York City
  3. Photo of the Day: Philadelphia City Hall


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Photo of the Day: Elderly Woman, El Salvador http://twobackpackers.com/2798/central-america/elderly-woman-el-salvador/ http://twobackpackers.com/2798/central-america/elderly-woman-el-salvador/#comments Wed, 09 Feb 2021 17:30:29 +0000 Aracely http://twobackpackers.com/2798/photo-of-the-day/elderly-woman-elsalvador/ pictures of old people

Elderly Woman Resting in the Square of Juayua, El Salvador

The town of Juayua, El Salvador organizes a food festival every weekend. It’s a large production and after experiencing it, we were very impressed with how much work goes into this on a weekly basis. This photos was taken while walking around the town. We noticed an elderly woman sitting on a park just people watching.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Marching Band in Juayua, El Salvador
  2. Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador
  3. Photo of the Day: Volcano Santa Ana, El Salvador


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How to Use a Polarizer Filter http://twobackpackers.com/6689/travel-gear/how-to-use-polarizer-filter/ http://twobackpackers.com/6689/travel-gear/how-to-use-polarizer-filter/#comments Tue, 08 Feb 2021 12:30:06 +0000 Michael H. http://twobackpackers.com/?p=6689 Ushuaia Light House

Ushuaia Lighthouse

I am leery of writing a photography guest post on Two Backpackers, only because their photography is so amazingly good, but when Jason asked me to do a guest post, I was in the midst of posting one of my lucky-good photographs on my blog, so I thought I’d take a few paragraphs to explain how and why this particular shot turned out.

Patagonia Lighthouse

The Patagonia Lighthouse photo was one that I took fairly on during my RTW trip. The best photography tip I can give people in these days of digital photos is that you just need to take a few thousand photos and learn from the shots you take. Since there is no cost to taking photos anymore, just shoot like crazy with some different settings and techniques and learn from trial and error. That was far less possible back in the days when you had to pay to develop all your shots to look at them, but now there is no cost barrier.

In any case, this photograph was taken before I hit the 5,000 pictures mark on the trip. I was still in the baby phases of learning how to shoot photography. I was finally shooting in full manual mode and experimenting — in this case, I was experimenting with a circular polarizing filter.

Polarizer Filters

Polarizer Lens Filter
In these days of post-production manipulation via Photoshop, Aperture or Lightroom, some people might tell you that lens filters are unnecessary, and while that might be generally true, you do need a polarizer filter lens in my opinion.

Basically, a polarizing lens filter can darken the sky, turning it to a rich blue and reduce glare off objects and water. It is a really handy tool. In this particular photo of a boat in the Beagle Channel, I somehow managed to get the filter turned correctly which results in a deep, dark blue sky. In addition, the sun’s reflection off the water has been reduced, allowing the lighthouse reflection to shine through nicely.

I use a polarizing filter that screws into the end of my lens. When the filter lens is rotated the amount of effect changes.

Photography Tips

Polarizer Lens Tip 1

The filter is most effective if the sun is entering your picture at a 90 degree angle from left or right. It will have no effect at all if the sun in coming directly towards you or directly behind you. There are a variety of tips on how to judge this, but I find it simply this — keep the sun on my left or right shoulder — if the sun is 90 degrees to your camera lens, the filter will have its highest effect, lessening as the sun moves more towards to center (or immediate rear) of your shot.

Polarizer Lens Tip 2

Frame up your shot (with the sun hopefully on one of your shoulders or close to that angle), look through your viewfinder, and start rotating the polarizing filter lens around. You will have to rotate it to get the maximum effect — it isn’t just a “screw it on and shoot lens,” you need to fiddle with it a little. What you need to concentrate on is the sky. Rotate the lens all the way around a few times and when the sky is at its deepest blue, you have found the maximum effect. I almost always want the maximum effect, but you can adjust from there. Once you have done this a few dozen times, you will get the hang of it.

Polarizer Lens Tip 3

The lens does cut down reflection off objects and off water, so you might take shots where you aren’t focusing on the sky, but are shooting down nearer to the ground. If so, using the same direction you are going to shoot your tree or river shot, pan up to the sky and do the rotating looking at the sky until you find the sweet spot. Since you are shooting at the same angle to the sun, you can then reframe the shot down at what you are going to shoot and the lens will still be working to its maximum effect.

Polarizer Lens Tip 4

Since the filter is filtering out light, your camera is going to need to adjust with a longer shutter speed or bigger aperture. If you are shooting on any sort of automatic mode, your camera should do this automatically. If you are shooting on manual mode (which I highly encourage), you will need to make the adjustment, although it should be simple to see the exposure meter in your viewfinder to do so. The absorption is about 1.5-2 stops usually.

Polarizer Lens Tip 5

Shoot, shoot, shoot. When you start off, you can’t shoot too many photos. Experiment with sun position and the rotation of the polarizer lens. In the beginning, I thought there was some easy method for rotating the lens depending on the angle of the sun — there might be, but now I just go with the first two steps and shoot enough slightly different shots to compare later on my computer screen. Additionally, in the beginning, I’d shoot a couple shots of whatever you want to capture without the polarizing lens, just to make sure you don’t screw up all your shots and miss everything.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Here is another example photograph that helps show the correct sun position relative to your shot. Joshua Tree was a shot that I took in that park near the end of the day. Notice the shadows cast by the tree and bushes — they are at a right angle to the direction that I am shooting. In other words, per tip #1, the sun is on my right shoulder.

I then rotated the lens around a bit until the sky took on that deep blue hue and clicked a few shots off. I hope you agree that the sky really sets off the tree and the hill quite well with that deep color. Its a little harder to notice in this shot, but you can also tell that you aren’t getting any annoying glare off anything either, mainly off the tree’s leaves, which you might have got without the filter.

Go Forth and Shoot

I hope you add this lens to your camera kit. It will cost you around $30-50 for one, but I think you’ll find it has so many uses that it is well worth the investment.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Cactus Tree on Isla de La Plata
  2. Photo of the Day: Flying Heron at Tayrona Beach in Colombia


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Photo of the Day: Marching Band in Juayua, El Salvador http://twobackpackers.com/1876/photo-of-the-day/women-dancing-juayua-el-salvador/ http://twobackpackers.com/1876/photo-of-the-day/women-dancing-juayua-el-salvador/#comments Mon, 07 Feb 2021 22:30:01 +0000 Aracely http://twobackpackers.com/1876/photo-of-the-day/juayua/
Sexy Latin Women in El Salvador

School Marching Band Competition in Juayua, El Salvador


Bands are used to celebrate throughout all of Latin America. Nearly every type of celebration whether it be religious, patriotic or otherwise incorporates marching bands with colorful costumes and loud synchronized music. The bands include people of all ages and gender. Typically, even during celebrations, the bands compete for trophies and respect.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Guatemala Independence Day
  2. Guatemala Independence Day – Ep 9
  3. Photo of the Day: Inti Raymi Festival in Cusco


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6 Things To Leave Off Your Packing List http://twobackpackers.com/6502/travel-gear/6-things-leave-off-packing-list/ http://twobackpackers.com/6502/travel-gear/6-things-leave-off-packing-list/#comments Thu, 03 Feb 2021 12:30:41 +0000 Ayngelina http://twobackpackers.com/?p=6502 What to Pack for Hiking

When you finally take the leap to travel long term, one of the first things on your mind is all the things you think you need to buy for your trip.  The travel gadget industry is making a fortune from us thinking that we have to pack a lifetime of gear into our tiny backpacks.

Pack List

I remember the excitement, scouring the internet for packing lists, creating a ridiculously long and expensive what to pack list.

And before you march to your favourite outdoor adventure store armed with a list of outrageously expensive travel gear you absolutely must have to be a true and authentic backpacker, you may want to rethink these ones.

Pack List

1. Special Travel Soap and Clothesline

I washed my t-shirts one time with the high priced travel soap.  Guess what?   I had soap stains on my shirt and it still smelled manky.  I have yet to visit a hostel that didn’t offer cheap laundry service or at least know where one was located nearby.

2. Universal Sink Stopper

I always carried one, but never used it.  If you arrive somewhere that doesn’t have one, just ask another backpacker to borrow it.  You can also use your smallest piece of clothing, possibly socks, to block the drain while you hand wash your other clothes.

Pack List

3. Silk Sleep Liner

Completely unnecessary in Latin America.  If a hostel is that dodgy, the thin silk layer isn’t going to convince me to stay.  If you really think you need one save yourself 50-80 dollars and get your mother to sew $2 sheets together.   When you realize I was right and you throw it away, you will have only wasted $2.  If you are a camper, then you probably have different reasons for needing one.

4. Hanging Toiletry Bag

Before you start daydreaming of waking up in the jungle, about to take a rainwater shower to the sounds of birds chirping and butterflies floating by, you need to know this.  There is no where to hang that bag, so half the time it’s on a toilet.  It also doesn’t fold well and takes up too much room in your bag.  Just buy a regular toiletry bag, not a special travel one.

Pack List

5. High Performance Travel Clothing

Unless you are planning to run a marathon you probably don’t need a $75 shirt.  Talk to anyone in a hot climate and they’ll tell you that the overpriced shirt becomes a sauna.  I fell for it too.  But, then I left my $100 merino wool sweater, that I wore once, in Panama.

Since then, it’s $10 fake Abercrombie and Fitch hoodies for me.

For the record, I do have zip off pants and while they are amazingly useful, but also a $100, they make me look like a gringo, so I wear them sparingly.  If you can’t find a cheap pair just forget them all together.  I would throw them out if they didn’t cost me so much.

Pack List

6. State of the Art Swiss Army Knife

Maybe it’s because I’m not in the jungle for months on end, or I’m a wussy girl, but I have only ever used my knife to clean my nails.  The other other thing I wanted to do with it was open a bottle of wine, but I realized it didn’t have a cork screw on it.

So tell me folks, what outrageous travel item have you bought and then realized you had absolutely no need for it?  What did you do with it?  Throw it out or continue to carry it in hopes you may use it one day?

Related posts:

  1. Preparing to Travel To-Do List
  2. Preparing to Travel To-Do List
  3. Lack of a Travel Itinerary


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Photo of the Day: Church at Parinacota Chile http://twobackpackers.com/6557/photo-of-the-day/church-parinacota-chile/ http://twobackpackers.com/6557/photo-of-the-day/church-parinacota-chile/#comments Mon, 31 Jan 2021 09:30:16 +0000 Jason http://twobackpackers.com/6557/photo-of-the-day/church-parinacota-chile/ Northern Chile

The Church at Parinacota in Northern Chile, Tarapacá Region

This photo was taken during our 3-day 4×4 road trip through Northern Chile’s Altiplano.

“The church was built in the 17th century in the form of a central nave with two side chapels. The walls are made of stone and clay and are supported by exterior arches of stones without mortar. The floor is made of bricks with a central band of stones. Originally there was no choir. A choir without railing was built later on whereas one of the most interesting frescoes of the area, the “Last Judgment” was destroyed. The atrium is surrounded by a clay wall on which are situated several figures made of red stone: A bishop, lilies, phalli and others. The square tower was rebuilt in 1789 and painted with white lime.

Noteworthy are the frescoes in the interior which were painted in water colors by Indians in the Andean baroque of the 17th century. The “Last Judgment” suggests that only women were condemned. The archangel St. Michael weighs a nude woman on a scale and there are trails to get to the purgatory, over clouds to heaven as well as stairs to the mouth of a dragon which leads to hell, where there are several torture instruments. The condemned women walk or are dragged by the hair or are ridden by demons. One of them leads the helpers of evil with a broad smile, not knowing what is expecting her.” – Wikipedia

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Adobe Church in Bolivia
  2. Photo of the Day: Church of Guadalupe in Granada, Nicaragua
  3. Photo of the Day: 12-Sided Inca Stone


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Photo of the Day: Crazy Bus Picture in Ecuador http://twobackpackers.com/6493/photo-of-the-day/crazy-bus-picture-ecuador/ http://twobackpackers.com/6493/photo-of-the-day/crazy-bus-picture-ecuador/#comments Fri, 28 Jan 2021 17:15:51 +0000 Aracely http://twobackpackers.com/6493/photo-of-the-day/crazy-bus-picture-ecuador/ Crazy Bus Pictures

Riding on top of a bus in Ecuador, near the coast

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Canoa Beach Ecuador
  2. Photo of the Day: Blue Footed Boobies, Isla de la Plata, Ecuador
  3. Photo Of The Day: Impressive Cathedral Entrance In Ecuador


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Photo of the Day: Filming a Beach Sunset http://twobackpackers.com/6468/photo-of-the-day/filming-beach-sunset-guatemala/ http://twobackpackers.com/6468/photo-of-the-day/filming-beach-sunset-guatemala/#comments Sat, 22 Jan 2021 20:45:51 +0000 Aracely http://twobackpackers.com/6468/photo-of-the-day/filming-beach-sunset-guatemala/ Beach Sunset Guatemala

Filming a Sunset on Guatemala's Black Sand Monterrico Beach

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Monterrico Beach, Guatemala
  2. Photo of the Day: Giant Waves in Guatemala
  3. Photo of the Day: Canoa Beach Ecuador


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Photo of the Day: Bus Ferry Across Tiquina Straits http://twobackpackers.com/2778/photo-of-the-day/bus-ferry-tiquina-straits-bolivia/ http://twobackpackers.com/2778/photo-of-the-day/bus-ferry-tiquina-straits-bolivia/#comments Thu, 20 Jan 2021 04:45:51 +0000 Jason http://twobackpackers.com/2778/photo-of-the-day/bus-barge-tiquina-straits/ Bolivia Border Crossings

Bus Ferry Across Tiquina Straits in Bolivia

We were leaving Peru and crossing the border into Bolivia to arrive at the beach town of Copacabana. During our border crossing drive, we arrived at the Straits of Tiquina. The bus dropped us all off at the waters edge and we quickly discovered what was about to happen based on other floating buses and cars in the distance. The buses drove onto these fragile bare-bone barges, thankfully without us, and they were towed across the lake using very small outboard motors. It was a constant operation that seemed to work rather efficiently, as long as buses weren’t sinking.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Ancient Ruins at Isla del Sol, Bolivia
  2. Photo of the Day: Isla del Sol Lake Titicaca
  3. Photo of the Day: Cerro Calvario, Copacabana


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Mendoza Argentina Wine Pictures http://twobackpackers.com/6430/south-america/mendoza-argentina-wine-pictures/ http://twobackpackers.com/6430/south-america/mendoza-argentina-wine-pictures/#comments Fri, 14 Jan 2021 15:00:54 +0000 Jason http://twobackpackers.com/6430/south-america/mendoza-argentina-wine-pictures/ Mendoza Wine Pictures
One of the most popular wine regions to visit in Mendoza, Argentina is Maipu.  Maipu is easily accessible from Mendoza by local bus or your own transportation.  The entire Mendoza wine region is most known throughout the world for it’s Malbec wines.  Experience the thin skinned grapes in a variety of vineyards serving the intense red Malbec wines.  The greatest reward for tasting wines in the Mendoza region is the dramatic landscape featuring the Andes (Los Andes) Mountains and high plains.

This compilation of Mendoza wine travel pictures was taken during our visit to the Maipu wine region in 2021.
Mendoza Wine Pictures

Mendoza Wine Pictures

Wine Museum in Maipu, Mendoza


Mendoza Wine Pictures
Mendoza Wine Pictures
Mendoza Wine Pictures

Wine Museum in Maipu, Mendoza


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Wine Tasting in Maipu, Mendoza


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Olive Orchard in Maipu, Mendoza


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Wine Vineyard Irrigation System


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Wine Fermentation Tanks


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Antique Wooden Wine Barrels


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Antique Wooden Wine Barrels


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Modern Cement Tanks and Antique Wooden Barrels


Mendoza Wine Pictures
Mendoza Wine Pictures

Antique Wine Tools & Supplies in the Maipu Wine Museum


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Antique Grape Smasher in the Maipu Wine Museum


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Antique Wine Tools & Supplies in the Maipu Wine Museum


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Antique Wine Tools & Supplies in the Maipu Wine Museum


Mendoza Wine Pictures

Antique Wine Barrel Label from Maipu


Mendoza Wine Pictures

You might also enjoy reading… Mendoza Wine Country

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Making Wine In Mendoza
  2. Photo of the Day: Making Wine In Mendoza
  3. Photo of the Day: Perfect Mendoza Wine Grapes


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Where to Travel Before the World Ends? http://twobackpackers.com/6405/reflections/where-travel-before-world-ends/ http://twobackpackers.com/6405/reflections/where-travel-before-world-ends/#comments Tue, 11 Jan 2021 20:17:31 +0000 Jason http://twobackpackers.com/?p=6405 Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Apocalypse

All signs are pointing to the world ending on December 21, 2021, or at least according to the Mayan Calendar, I Ching, and Nostradamus.  Birds and fish dying in mass and flash floods in Australia aren’t helping subdue our fears either.  So what better way to react than go travel to some place unique, exciting and on the brink of extinction via an apocalypse.  This scenario poses two exciting questions for Aracely and I.

The first question is based on truly believing in an apocalypse leading to the end of the world.  Basically, there is no budget limitations.  If the world is going to end, why not spend it all!
The second question comes from a more skeptical view of the end of the world.  Let’s go travel and see something before we die, while leaving money in the bank in case it’s a false alarm.

And one other criteria.  We can only travel for 1 week, because we want to spend time with family too. After all, then end of the world may be coming.

Travel Ideas?

  1. Where would you recommend we travel with no travel budget limitations?
  2. Where should we travel with $1,000 USD per person?

Let’s get some travel ideas down in the comment section.  Try to be as specific as possible, considering we would only have a week to travel including flight time.  Aracely and I are ready to get back on the road!

Related posts:

  1. Decision To Travel
  2. Lack of a Travel Itinerary
  3. The Impact Of Travel And Blogging


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Machu Picchu Pictures http://twobackpackers.com/6381/south-america/machu-picchu-inca-pictures/ http://twobackpackers.com/6381/south-america/machu-picchu-inca-pictures/#comments Mon, 10 Jan 2021 19:44:54 +0000 Jason http://twobackpackers.com/?p=6381 Cusco Inca
The Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru is perhaps one of the most spectacular sites you can visit in South America. From the complexity of building the city on top of a mountain ridge surrounded by mountains, to the unbelievable story of how it remained intact and untouched for hundreds of years all contribute to becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

This compilation of Machu Picchu pictures was taken during our visit to the cultural Inca site in 2021.

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Click Here to Purchase Photos From Machu Picchu.

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Cusco Inca

Click Here to Purchase Photos From Machu Picchu.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Machu Picchu
  2. Photo of the Day: Flowers of Machu Picchu
  3. Photo of the Day: Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu


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Puerto Natales, Patagonia Chile http://twobackpackers.com/2837/south-america/puerto-natales-patagonia-chile/ http://twobackpackers.com/2837/south-america/puerto-natales-patagonia-chile/#comments Wed, 05 Jan 2021 19:33:47 +0000 Jason http://twobackpackers.com/?p=2837 Puerto Natales

Puerto natales 1 371 by Adriuu, on Flickr

If you are planning on visiting Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, you will inevitably arrive to Puerto Natales.  Lying next to the cloudy turquoise glacier shores of Seno Ultima Esperanza, extreme wind conditions are common.  It’s a small town with most buildings only a single story with the main street clearly more developed and groomed than the less traveled side streets.  Like many of the towns visited in Patagonia, they have become entirely dependent on tourism, from the backpacker to tour groups of retirees.  Towns centered on tourism mean you will typically find a modern super market, plenty of adventure rental equipment, touristy restaurants and unlimited lodging.

Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales by darobin, on Flickr

If you are looking for traditions and off the beaten path villages, you won’t find it here, however Puerto Natales has a relaxing charm, with German influence,  that suits the Patagonia landscape well.  And most importantly, Germans make good beer.

Adventure Gear

Most streets are lined with hostels and tour agencies.  If you plan to hike Torres del Paine on your own, you may only need to rent equipment, visit the super market and purchase a bus ride to the park’s entrance.  With new businesses opening often in Puerto Natales, it is best to ask others in your hostel where they rented equipment.  Doite is the most common brand of outdoor equipment offered by outfitters in town.  In comparison to Cusco, Peru, Patagonia outfitters offer much higher quality equipment.  Several hostels offer equipment rental, but be sure to shop around first, prices will vary.

Puerto Natales offers more than a visit or trek to the three towers.  Ice climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and fly fishing are all popular activities that can be booked in town.

Austral Calafate Ale Patagonia Beer

Austral Calafate Ale Patagonia Beer

After a long trek in Torres del Paine, be sure to spoil yourself with some cheer and wonderful food from the many choices of restaurants.  We preferred the Austral Calafate Ale, a berry (Calafate) flavored brew and a delicious seafood bowl for dinner.

Budget Travel Tips

Save money by seeking out dorm hostels for $5,000 pesos a night.  We scored this rate by visiting Nancy’s Hostel and staying in their adjacent building with no sign.  The hostel had a warm shower and kitchen, but no refrigerator.  They will still allow you to visit the main hostel, Nancy’s, for wifi, cooking and to keep your food cool.  It is also possible to hitch hike your ride to the park’s entrance, saving $10,000 pesos.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Sun Setting On Patagonia Landscape
  2. Photo of the Day: Massive Sliding Ice In Patagonia
  3. Photo of the Day: Nature in Torres del Paine Patagonia


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Photo of the Day: Snowman in NYC 2021 Winter Blizzard http://twobackpackers.com/6318/photo-of-the-day/snowman-nyc-2021-winter-blizzard/ http://twobackpackers.com/6318/photo-of-the-day/snowman-nyc-2021-winter-blizzard/#comments Fri, 31 Dec 2021 19:00:16 +0000 Jason http://twobackpackers.com/6318/photo-of-the-day/snowman-nyc-2021-winter-blizzard/ Snow in NYC Winter Pictures

A Snowman in NYC During the 2021 Winter Blizzard

Photo courtesy of Michael Kowalski. This picture of a snowman in New York City was taken during the winter blizzard of 2021.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Christmas in NYC Times Square
  2. Photo of the Day: Cruise Ships & NYC Skylines
  3. Photo of the Day: Statue of Liberty Monument


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Photo of the Day: Long Shadows on Salar de Uyuni Bolivia http://twobackpackers.com/6310/photo-of-the-day/shadows-salar-de-uyuni-bolivia/ http://twobackpackers.com/6310/photo-of-the-day/shadows-salar-de-uyuni-bolivia/#comments Mon, 27 Dec 2021 16:30:16 +0000 Aracely http://twobackpackers.com/6310/photo-of-the-day/shadows-salar-de-uyuni-bolivia/ Salar de

Long Shadows Captured during a Sunrise over the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Flamingos in Bolivia Altiplano
  2. Photo of the Day: Sunrise Over Salt Flats in Bolivia
  3. Photo of the Day: Dali Desert in Bolivia


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Photo of the Day: Nags Head Beach North Carolina http://twobackpackers.com/6303/photo-of-the-day/photo-of-the-day-nags-head-beach-north-carolina/ http://twobackpackers.com/6303/photo-of-the-day/photo-of-the-day-nags-head-beach-north-carolina/#comments Wed, 22 Dec 2021 16:30:16 +0000 Jason http://twobackpackers.com/6303/photo-of-the-day/photo-of-the-day-nags-head-beach-north-carolina/ Pictures of the Beach

Nags Head Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Visiting Nags Head, North Carolina any time of year has it’s advantages. Even during the winter, the sky can be perfectly clear for a walk along the water in a brisk cool wind. This photo was taken during our visit to our Grandparents in Nags Head during the cool season.

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Grays Peak Colorado Mountains
  2. Photo of the Day: Best Colombian Beach
  3. Photo of the Day: Funny Beer Bait & Bullets Picture


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The Best Things to do for Free in New York City http://twobackpackers.com/6291/north-america/best-things-to-do-for-free-new-york-city/ http://twobackpackers.com/6291/north-america/best-things-to-do-for-free-new-york-city/#comments Tue, 21 Dec 2021 12:30:29 +0000 Sponsored http://twobackpackers.com/?p=6291 Pictures of New YorkThe Big Apple, the city that never sleeps and where anything is possible – including having a great time on a budget.  Backpacking in a big city can be pricey, especially in a prosperous country such as America.  But it is possible to find cheap accommodation in New York City, to see the sights and experience life in New York without blowing your meager backpacker’s budget.  After all, it costs nothing to soak up the atmosphere of bustling, neon light-filled Times Square, gaze up at the jagged skyscrapers, or watch the sun set over the Hudson River from Battery Park.  The best of New York is completely free.

New York City PicturesSpend Hours in Museums

Whilst the most famous museums in New York charge an astronomical fee, believe it or not free ones do exist in the city.  Try the National Museum of the American Indian, housed in the beautiful 1907 Beaux Arts U.S. Customs House.  This National Historic Landmark, worth a visit in its own right, contains an impressive collection covering over 10,000 years of mainly North American and Hawaiian Native heritage. Other museums have free evenings, such as the highly regarded and diverse Brooklyn Museum, which opens its doors admission-free every first Saturday after 5pm.

Ride the Staten Island Ferry

A ride aboard this commuter ferry provides the best way to the see the city, and it costs absolutely nothing.  Fantastic views of the lower Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the New York Harbor can all be experienced from the ferry, making it possibly the best attraction in the whole city!

Relax in Central Park

For over 150 years, New Yorkers have taken refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city in the 843 acres of green parkland in central New York.  Wander through the winding paths past green meadows, woodland, lakes, bridges, gardens and monuments, and take a breather in the city’s lung.

Christmas in New York CityWindow Shop

Just visiting Macy’s, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, and Barney’s is an essential New York experience.  In November and December, the windows of all the major stores are spectacularly dressed for Christmas – Sak’s Fifth Avenue is arguably the best.

Walk and Gawk at the City

It costs nothing to use your legs and your eyes so don a pair of comfy shoes and walk around the city.  Don’t miss the iconic art deco Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, the imposing and always busy Grand Central Station and, in December, the fabulous Christmas tree and ice skaters at the Rockefeller Centre.  You may not be able to afford to stay in them but don’t miss a couple of New York’s grand, beautiful and historic hotels, such as The Plaza and The Waldorf-Astoria, the only 2 hotels in the city to be designated National Historic Landmarks.  With the GFC leading to great deals on hotels, you may even be able to stay in a fabulous hotel in New York City yourself!

Related posts:

  1. Photo of the Day: Statue of Liberty Monument
  2. NYC Marathons
  3. Visiting Lost City of Petra on a Budget


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