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From Anguilla to Venezuela, sailing in the Caribbean to trekking in the Andes, Latin America is a world of wonderful contrasts.

Map of Latin America - TravelNotes.org

I first visited Latin America in 1989, landing in Puerto Rico (from Miami) not long after Huricanne Hugo.

The Publishers failed to buy the idea, but I had already sold it to myself.

A continent was in the headlines, yet somehow the full story seemed missing.

South America is so far removed from England, and as the publishers said: ‘Our interest in Latin America is slight’.

Besides, the Brits and other Europeans continued to head for Australia, and the Asia stopover; to the hill tribes in Chiang Mai, and their daughters in Patpong; to the moon parties on the glorious beaches at Goa and the relative cheapness of India; and to the tempting fake brand shopping in Hong Kong and Singapore.

I felt an urge to get behind the emerging headlines, as an eyewitness to the process of democratic shake-up in Spanish America; the fall of Augosto Pinochet (Chile) and Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), along with the capture of Manuel Noriega in Panama.

Machu Picchu - Lost City of the Incas
Machu Picchu – Lost City of the Incas.

Old Lands in the News could have been the title of my proposal, instead I bought slow-speed Fujichrome for my cameras and set out to take pictures for an expanding travel guidebook series; sell photo features to adventure travel magazines and syndicate stock photos through international picture agencies; while collecting more material for my Nomadic Gatherings manuscript.

At least that was the plan, and it might have worked; had I not been a victim of the notorious pilfering in Peru.

That minor mishap apart, I managed to travel through every country in South and Central America during an eventful six months; mostly by bus, with a little float down the Amazon thrown in.

Many travellers enjoy Central America, it’s culture, the climate and the chance to learn Spanish in a wonderful environment.

There are trekking possibilities, ancient ruins to discover, countless colourful festivals; and it’s just across the border from the United States.

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Michel
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06.06.2016 (06.06.2016)


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