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    Saturday, December 19, 2009

    Blog from San Diego, CA

    After 20+ hours I arrive in San Diego from Colombia!
    Enjoying a cold Pacifico with my bro Pablo. Good to be home!

    Greetings from sunny n warm San Diego! In flip flops n short in wintertime. Dig it!

    My 9-country South American tour is officially over and happy memories are swimming in my head and heart. Very grateful for all the people and opportunities that came my way in the last 10 months. Pictures are worth a thousand words so I'll let them do the talking as I head out to surf at sunset here in SD! There's some exciting news in there too! Colombia was full of surprises! Enjoy!


    http://picasaweb.google.com/peacepedalers/ColombianAdventures1?feat=directlink




    Big love!

    Jamie

    Saturday, December 05, 2009

    Blog from Medellín, Colombia

    The colors of Cali, salsa capital of the world


    Wow! All I gotta say is COME TO COLOMBIA! Don't believe the hype! See this place with your own two eyes!

    Okay, done venting. Been a VERY eventful few weeks with a tons of good news and a few big surprises. Exciting things happening in many directions and very grateful for it all.

    I'm amongst great people here in Medellín listening to salsa music and getting the feet warmed for a night on the town. The 5 days in Cali and 7 days of adventuring up here to Medellin have been loaded with unforgettable experiences. I'll let the photo album do the talkin below. We're off to San Andres Island for 10 days of sun, surf, diving and riding before my home for the holidays.

    Enjoy the ride!




    http://picasaweb.google.com/peacepedalers/ColombianAdventures1?feat=directlink

    Friday, November 27, 2009

    Blog from Cali, Colombia

    My Colombian guest rider Fernando in the Ecuadorian Amazon


    Greetings from Cali, Colombia--Salsa dancing capital of the world! Listening to Salsa now and on my way to a live show and dance before riding north to Medellin, about 500km north. I just posted a newsletter that has the latest photos from the 3rd part of our Ecuadorian adventures and it can be found at www.peacepedalers.com/ecuador-nl.html. Check it out!

    Life is good! Loving Colombia so far! Tons of cyclists (finally!), great people, music, food, nature...

    Big Love!

    Jamie

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Blog from Quito, Ecuador

    Filming the band Solar up above Quito. Priceless!

    We are loving Quito! We had to stop here to pick up spare parts, a replacement camera and other supplies and are grateful for the detour. We met this band Solar at a live performance and they put on a private concert for us and the viewers of our TV series yesterday. Today we spent 12 hours launching our latest charity project "Ecuatopia"--a grassroots team of Ecuadorians and lovers of Ecuador (like me!) who want to protect it from any more crazy mass destruction to the environment. Check out the first version of our site at www.ecuatopia.org.

    Heading into the "caliente" Amazon jungle for about a week or so then into Colombia. Off to do some salsa dancing and take some time away from the computer!

    Peace,

    Jamie

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Blog from Esmeraldas, Ecuador

    The sunset after our 2nd surf session...lovely!

    Just finished filming and enjoying some musicians here in NW Ecuador and we are finally leaving the coastal life and heading to Quito then the Amazon jungle. Life is good! Check latest pics of our life on the coast here:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/peacepedalers/EcuadorPart2TheCoast?feat=directlink

    The pictures tell it all...it's been more about friendships and "staying put" then pedaling away and past all the lovely people here in this stunning country of Ecuador. Will be putting on some miles in the Amazon to work off all this seafood!

    Peace,

    Jamie & Cristina

    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    Photo Blog from Southern Ecuador
    10/31/09

    My last of a long list of fun n friendly Ecuadorian riders Sergio :) See the pics!

    Happy Halloween! In Guayaquil now with a LOVELY family and off to the beach soon since the folks here are celebrating a 4-day weekend! Nice! Some truly stunning pics with captions take ya with us on the adventure from the border of Peru to Guayaquil. Enjoy!

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Blog from Machala, Ecuador

    A smiling escort from our host and Ecuadorian brother Juan Angel

    I'm in Ecuador after an amazing 3 days ride of Northern Peru and tons of great adventures in that lovely country. We are staying w/ a very cool Couchsurfing host named Juan Angel who is an Angel, and this mother Cecilia in Machala. We have been eating, playing, riding and mostly working on preparation to ride north and secure the footage and stuff from Peru n all. We were going to leave today but our host had to leave suddenly and said he could ride with us tomorrow if we stayed another day sooooo, it was meant to be. I am going to post a journal entry soon so check out www.peacepedalers.com/journals.html for a full update.

    Check some pics of North Peru here:



    Head here to see a full slide show

    As you’ll see in the pics much of the trip was off the bike and with great people and on the beach in the famous waves of Peru. My passion for surf and skiing made Chile and Peru far different than any typical bike trip and I look back on my months of indulgence in great food, wine, skiing, surfing, sun, relaxing, more food and wine….no wonder I have my first significant belly and chubby face in over 7 years! But one great thing about my lifestyle is that all I have to do is live my life on the bike and it melts off like butta…so goodbye gut and hello sun n strength!

    I now have some time to connect, write, plan, chill and recoup for the adventures ahead. It's a 4-day holiday weekend Halloween here in Ecuador so it should be super duper fun. Friday we have a host in Guayquil named Alejandra who seems super cool, spiritual and a real traveler. Also, we have a pseudo host named Pachi who gave us a lift part of the way from the border in his truck who is a huge surfer and eager to show us around too. This weekend we are hoping to get to the beaches to do some surfing and freak out a bit w/ Halloween then ride the "Ruta del Sol"--a smaller coastal road that is meant to be super duper fun and full of cool characters we can play with.

    But all the future plans after Halloween will depend on what happens with LAN Airlines and our proposal to them. We sent a proposal to them to make them our “official airline” of our Latin American Tour and all sorts of benefits in return for 2 first class tickets from Guayaquil to Easter Island :0). I am a stubborn guy when I want to get my way and we sent a proposal to them and others in Chile but no go so we left Chile without really getting enough footage for my show or seeing one of Chile’s very coolest places to visit (and surf and mountain bike ;)). The proposal is in the final stages and we’ll know in a few days!!! Cross our fingers!!


    Big smiles in Puerto Pizarro, Peru :)

    So just ate some granola and fresh milk and I’ve got shirt and shoes off—the way I love to chill out when the weather is right—and it should be nice and cozy all the way to Mexico! Yesterday had the most massive seafood feast ever and I’m loving all the fresh fish by the coast. I’ve got a full day of work planned but still hope to take my host Cecilia out on the bike for a ride and interview before the sun goes down. The bikes just got tuned up and tomorrow we’re on the road again into the long roads of banana plantations. If you like bananas this is the place to be! You can buy a pound of bananas for about 5 cents and it’s my chosen fuel source on the bike so I’m stoked for that.

    On the personal side of life I think I have finally crossed the tall wall of the 9-month travel burnout point. I have hit it before and usually head home for a visit to recharge by now but not an option since I lost my flying benefits w/ Mom’s airlines till March next year. I’m still really missing home and would love to be with my friends and family far more than pedaling a bike with strangers but I’ve mustered up a few appreciation for the lifestyle of travel and adventure I choose and things are good. I had the chance to have long chats with Skype with my family and friends in Peru and we are all excited about the fact that I’ll soon be home for good—able to finally plant some roots and connect at a much deeper level with the ones I really care about most. In all my travels the one common thread of all humanity I’ve witnessed is the contentment people have being connected to their family and the importance of family in everyone’s life. I’m grateful that I have been able to come home every year for 3-6 months and not feel so disconnected like many long term adventurers, but still I am excited switch the balance of time and make the majority of my life now with my community and as many weeks or months as I can out adventuring with my family. But this is all still months away…for now, off to do some ridin’. If all goes as planned I’ll have a nice visit w/ family over Christmas but ya never know :)

    Peace,

    Jamie

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Blog from Lima, Peru


    Greetings from lovely Lima, Peru. I am in awe how fast time flies by lately. On one hand I don’t want to “rush” through countries while, to be honest, I’m trying to keep some momentum to land in the arms of my family and friends by next year. It’s been a long journey and country 73 here in Peru has been a mix of it all—fortunately mostly positive stuff to report, minus clawing over the wall of travel burnout which I have nearly reached the top…

    We finally got out of Iquique, Chile where our lovely connection with Roberto, Amor & Cristian was hard to leave. If you have not had a chance to meet this crew, and the other Couchsurfers I was blessed to bond with, here’s an album below of my 2 week basecamp in N. Chile.




    But after a few hard days of dusty, bumpy, boring travel we made it to Cuzco, Peru to start our adventures on our Inca Expedition. Cristina and I had been at each other’s throat a bit, mostly due to being cooped up for so long, and getting moving helped the situation quite a bit.

    Pictures tell a thousand words they say so take a trip through the Inca Expedition here and I’ll write more in the journal. For now, just know we had an epic time riding with four soulful characters exploring nature, history, culture, food, music and all the yummy stuff I adore in traveling. Enjoy the ride!

    After the Cuzco adventures to Machu Picchu we ended up staying 3 days right on the beach at the famous surf spot Punta Hermosa with the parents of Burlingame High School classmate Ramon Mifflin. Ramon’s parents Ramon and Ingrid were super sweet and took us in like family while I took my beatings from the strongest waves I’ve surfed in years. From the beach we hit up Lima to visit more friends of friends a few days and did some media work with Cable Magico’s hit show Entre Titulares before finally getting back into pedaling road in Northern Peru. Southern Peru is grey, cold and depressing this time of year so we are hoping for warmer, sunnier weather as we ride the northern region (not to mention, more great surf up there…I’m not going to lie…for me, Peru is as much about surf as riding, if not more)

    Okay, that’s the latest. Hope to get a journal out next week for more detail. We’re also still waiting to hear from LAN Airlines to see if they are sending us from Ecuador to Easter Island for the biggest and most stylin’ u-turn in Peace Pedalers history :) Say some prayers for us as we sorted skunked out on the epic riding in Chile and are eager to pedal down there in Paradise :)

    Big hugs!

    Jamie & Part Time Peace Pedaler Cristina

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    Blog from Iquique, Chile
    September 26, 2009

    Gabriel and his crew of llama herders in the Atacama Altiplano

    Big love from Iquique, Chile! I’m at my Chilean brother Roberto’s studio/apartment/couchsurfing capital of Northern Chile and it’s truly the nerve center of positive creativity. I met Roberto in late July coming in from Bolivia and we have grown to become great friends and now partners in an exciting new project called Positive Press/Prensa Positiva (www.prensapositiva.tv is best link and translate to English on the site)

    I’ve received all sorts of emails asking for an update on what’s new and I’m happy to report so, so many exciting reports. Here goes:

    1) Atacama Adventures: Yep, we had a thrilling expedition into the Altiplano of the Atacama Desert. It was Cristina’s first taste of high altitude cycling, spending 4 days over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet+). You can take a photo slideshow adventure below.




    2) The Chile Stop: I was first grounded in Chile due to a bike break down and now I’m here in limbo waiting to hear if we are going to Easter Island next week or not. While waiting to hear from a sponsoring network Megavision who may be buying our tickets to one of the world’s most stunning islands. Cristina and I are busy planning our adventure to Columbia onwards and, at the same time, I’m also working on moving all the charity projects forward:

    3) Operation Agua: What started as two strangers connecting in Muyupampa, Bolivia has now led to an active project to bring water to our first village—the Ayango community. Our Pilot Project is in motion and more info at www.operationagua.org. Please, take 3-minutes to check out a video/photo intro on our launch project.



    4) Good Hope Schools: I’ve been working hard as well on this project as now we are starting a school in Rwanda! Not only that, but we are expanding Good Hope Uganda from it’s 150+ student capacity to support over 300! Both schools need funding and we have a 2009 goal of about $40,000 so help us by getting involved or making a donation. Fresh updates, budgets, photos and more at www.goodhopeschool.net. A new 7-minute video is below. Enjoy!



    5) Positive Press: If you are like me, you don’t like watching negative news over and over again. If you have half a brain you know that the negative news represents the vast MINORITY of the true state of our world. Positive Press will be a TV network dedicated to bringing you a balanced report what’s happening in our world. It’s an internet-based network at first and we are off to a great start with thousands of visitors and contributors. Check out www.positivepress.tv (English) or, a better site right now, is www.prensapositiva.tv (Spanish but with translation available).

    6) Expedition Update: We should be on the road rolling somewhere in a few days. I’ve made some exciting changes to my route, which will now bring me to the Caribbean for adventures in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba. I had to pull out a few Central American countries but hey, I’ll still be at all the epic wave spots in true Live Big form ;) Latest at www.peacepedalers.com/stage3.html.

    Sooooooo, my trip is not all about hammering the pedals day after day. It’s changed quite a bit over the years, if you have not noticed. I've realized many other passions besides riding and traveling. I really dig the charity incubation role I'm taking in the world for the time being. Personally, I’m filled with an enthusiasm not only for my life and projects as they stand today but also for the fact that I’ll be back in my own home country about 6 short months. I do miss my family and friends a LOT, but I have no desire go home quite yet. I’m in the final stretch and excited about the adventures ahead!

    Over n out from Chile!

    Live Big. Give Big. Love Big.

    Jamie ;)

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Back on the road in Chile!

    My first Altiplano guest rider at over 4,200 meters, almost 14,000 feet ;)
    (Note the geyser behind at Tatio)

    So I am just back from an amazing adventure in the Altiplano with my Part-Time Peace Pedaler Cristina and nursing some sunburns, chapped faces and tattered respitory systems but spirits are high! I sent off this newsletter with fresh photos from my over one month being grounded in Chile getting my bike frame welded so enjoy some great pics, stories n a nice video. More on the adventures in the Altiplano soon...enjoy!

    Photos from Iquique to Week 1 in Portillo at: http://tinyurl.com/mje7t8
    Photos of Week 2-3 in Portillo and onwards to sea level: http://tinyurl.com/lhsjvj
    A great video on my 3 week stay in in the Andes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3oH6eVJV28

    Since landing in Chile I have been blessed by a constant stream of soulful, generous and super fun people who have made me feel right at home. As you may know, the frame of my titanium tandem finally cracked after over 7 years of use. My efforts to find a titanium welder in both Iquique and Santiago were fruitless so it was looking likely I would have to send it to the USA for repairs. At first I was pretty bummed out about this but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Check this out….

    My first stop coming in from over 13,000 feet in Bolivia with a nasty cold, broken frame and slightly shattered spirits was the home of Roberto Corona in Iquique who I met on Couchsurfing.com. Roberto and his family took me in, nurtured me and made me feel right at home. I was cured in no time at all and ready to make my way to meet my good friend Sara in San Pedro de Atacama for some R&R and to formulate my plan of attack. We sucked up some of the epic mountain biking, salt flats and stunning sunsets in the world’s driest desert but I still could not find a titanium welder for my frame.

    While there I ended up meeting a cool cat named Brandon who worked at Tierra Atacama Hotel and he mentioned that the manager there Chris Purcell is connected with Portillo Ski Resort down south. I had already sent a proposal to them to see if they would host me during the bike repairs and allow me to do some skiing but the proposal was not moving along so well. Sara and I stopped by Tierra Atacama to chat with Chris and share the current challenges and intentions with him. Chris and I got along like brothers right from the get go and I took him on a spin on the tandem while explaining my goal to do some skiing in Portillo and to use the Atacama as my launching pad when I get back on the road.

    Chris and I connected on a solid level and he really liked the Peace Pedalers project. Before I knew it I was being hosted at the hotel (you gotta stay at this place if you head to Atacama—it’s divine! www.tierraatacama.com) and he also helped move my proposal along down in Portillo. The day before I made my way down to Santiago to send the bike frame I got an email from Ski Portillo accepting my proposal and they offered me an all inclusive 3-week ski vacation! I was jumping for joy! Sara was also invited to stay, ski and eat with me too. We were jumping for joy! Sara had my skis delivered via FedEx and even used her family’s account to send my bike part back to USA! Go Sara!

    Down in Santiago my best buddy Garryck pimped Sara and I out with a killer 4-star hotel room with this Sheraton points and the next day we charged up to Ski Portillo where my 3-weeks of bliss would begin. The food, hotel, scenery, skiing, entertainment, people, staff—all totally first class but without the pretentiousness at some nice resorts. There are accommodation options ranging from bunk beds and cafeteria-style dining to posh suites with world-class meals a day. I have to honestly say it is my favorite ski resort on earth—and I’m only a few days into it!

    As if this is not enough—the magic continues. I spotted a white-haired man named Tom sporting a Mammoth Ski Patrol shirt on the first day. Turns out he was there traveling with his son Dan and his girlfriend Nicole, both ski patrollers at Mammoth. My little brother Nick is also a patroller and they are good friends with him and his wife Kari! Small world, eh? So I found great new friends and ski buddies right off the back and have my brother Nick’s spirit with me as I charge the terrain with some of Mammoth’s finest.

    I cut a video of the magic in Chile—hope you enjoy it!

    My first week in Portillo was like a dream come true. My new friends Dan, Nicole, Ane, Stein and Tom were an excellent addition our ski adventures. Sara and I enjoyed our room overlooking the Inca Lake and we ate gourmet meals around our daily ski missions into the breathtaking mountains of Portillo. The first of 3 storms finally came in and dumped about 6 feet of fresh, cold Andes blower powder on the first Friday and Saturday, stranding our friends one extra day. The result was a ripping Sunday blue-bird (blue skies) day with literally perfect conditions. One lift after another opened as they dug out the chairs and slingshot poma rope tows to bring us into a white wonderland of fresh, dry, untouched powder. There is nothing better than riding these conditions than doing it with great friends and at a resort that only allows a few hundred skiers to ski per day—thus keeping the snow fresh for days after it falls.

    Dan, Sara and the crew finally left and the 2nd week crowd of vacationers arrived next. I missed my crew dearly but soon met new friends and the fun continued for another two weeks. I could write dozens of pages about my magical experiences in Portillo but I’ll sum it up for you. I skied daily, unless the mountain was closed due to a storm. In this case I set up my “office” by the window and cranked away tasks for my projects. I also gave a total of three slideshow and video presentations on Peace Pedalers and our projects. The final result was finding several volunteer fundraisers and about $500 in donations I was able to send off to Rwanda to get our 2nd Good Hope School launched. All the projects are moving along well—check out www.peacepedalers.com/projects.html for the latest. Of course, a few times a week I hit the live music and late night dance activities at the bar and La Posada with the guests and friends. I must say it was 3 of the best weeks of my life.

    I met some lifelong friends in my 3-weeks at Portillo and know I will be returning for regular ski holidays south of the border for years to come. There is something magical about this mountain that cannot be put to words, it just must be experienced. The 2nd and 3rd weeks of my holiday flew by pretty quick and before I knew it I was heading back down to sea level with my Portillo Princess Veronica for a weekend on the ocean in Valparaiso. Veronica is a ski instructor at Portillo in the southern hemisphere winter and a does the same in Europe for the northern hemisphere winters. We met my first week in Portillo and spent almost every day together doing plenty of skiing, hot tubbing and dancing the night away.

    Valparaiso is by far one of the coolest cities on earth! Every corner I turned my jaw would drop with the colors, views, architecture, eclectic shops and art galleries. Veronica went to university in Valpo and had family there so I had the perfect guide to show me around. We spent one night in a hotel overlooking the bay, the second night her good friends Aldo and Maryorie and the final evening with her parents and family at their country home outside Valpo. I could not have asked for a better return to sea level than my 3-day weekend with Veronica and crew.

    We finally had to make our way back to Santiago and get down to “business”. I was lucky to reconnect with my good friend Polo who I met up in Atacama and he offered me to stay two nights in Santiago with his girlfriend Macarena and roommate Paulina. In Santiago I began my mission to return some value for the gracious generosity of the Ski Portillo and Tierra Atacama by first doing an interview with CNN Chile. The interview broadcasted live and I sported a Tierra Atacama shirt so all was well. I then went over to a meeting with Oxford Bicycles where I managed to meet the CEO and he agreed to donate a new bike to Peace Pedalers so Cristina could ride with me up to Columbia. Cristina and I rode together in Argentina and Paraguay and were looking forward to more adventures together. Finally, I had a meeting with William, another Portillo friend and CEO of Megavision, one of Chile’s largest TV networks, to chat about other cool projects.

    So it was mission accomplished on the business side of things and now it was time to welcome in the famous Mamacita in from San Diego. Mom was coming in to hand deliver the fixed part of my bicycle frame and get a bit of bonding time with me. One of my good friends Andres I met in Portillo offered to host mom and me in his flat on Wednesday night. He then went many of extra miles over the next few days that put this man Andres on the top of the Most Hospitable list by far. Check this out…

    So Portillo was getting a dose of fresh new snow and I was dying to have mom see Portillo and dive into more fresh turns. So I proposed to Andres that all three of us head back up for another few days of skiing and enjoying the mountain paradise. Andres agreed to pick mom up from the airport, drive all of us up to the mountain, share a hotel room with us, drive us back down, pick up Cristina at the airport fresh in from Brazil, host all three of us at his pad for the weekend and then take us all to a backpackers lodge when it was time to move on. All this he did even with a nasty cold and plenty of work to do launching his new law firm. Go Andres! Mom LOVED Portillo and Andres and I were super stoked to get one more powder day in the sun!

    So now Cristina was in town and we began sorting the new gear that was donated by Ortlieb and Assos (panniers and clothes) brought by Mamacita and began planning our adventures north. One of the big goals we have now is to do an expedition of Easter Island, or Isla de Pascua, one of Chile’s gems about 3,000km off the coast of Chile. I had heard so much about it and met people connected to it so I felt like the logical place to explore after our adventures in Atacama. Cristina and I are hoping to get tickets either donated by LAN airlines or picked up by Megavision as they are not cheap. In the meantime, William invited us to dinner at his house on Monday and I was invited to yet another cool media gig being on the popular talk show Cadena Nacional last night.

    So mom left back to USA last night, Andres drive mom and Cristina to the bus station, I rode Cristina’s new bike there and last night we bid our “see you next time” to Andres and a teary-eyed goodbye to mom. Cristina and I are now on a 24 hour bus ride back up to my bike and gear in San Pedro de Atacama. Tierra Atacma hosted me a few days before I left down south, then they watched my bike and gear while in Portillo and now they are hosting me and Cristina 3 more nights while we gear up for an adventures ahead. I could not be more stoked! I’ve got a fixed bike, new gear, a super cool travel partner and the road is calling once again!

    Over n out from somewhere in northern Chile!

    Live Big. Give Big. Love Big.

    Jamie

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009


    Powder Perfection in Portillo, Chile

    The snow is STILL falling--another several feet expected. Just after this sunset we were hammered by a massive dumping...followed by a bluebird powder day.


    The calm before the storm

    And the fruits of the storm...

    Big Powder day in Portillo Chile with the Vail Resorts Epic Tour from Rex Lint on Vimeo.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009


    Blog from Portillo, Chile

    Greetings from up high in the Andes Winter Wonderland—Portillo, Chile! Since landing in Chile I have been blessed by a constant stream of soulful, generous and super fun people who have made me feel right at home. My efforts to find a titanium welder to fix my broken bike frame in both Iquique and Santiago were fruitless so I had to send it to the USA for repairs. At first I was pretty bummed out about this but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Check this video out!



    I met up with my good friend Sara in San Pedro de Atacama for some R&R and to formulate my plan of attack. While there I ended up meeting a cool cat named Brandon who worked at Tierra Atacama Hotel and he mentioned that the manager there Chris Purcell is connected with Portillo Ski Resort down south. I had already sent a proposal to them to see if they would host me during the bike repairs and allow me to do some skiing but the proposal was not moving along so well. Sara and I stopped by Tierra Atacama to chat with Chris and share the current challenges and intentions with him. Chris and I got along like brothers right from the get go and I took him on a spin on the tandem while explaining my goal to do some skiing in Portillo and to use the Atacama as my launching pad when I get back on the road.

    Chris and I connected on a solid level and he really liked the Peace Pedalers project. Before I knew it I was being hosted at the hotel (you gotta stay at this place if you head to Atacama—it’s divine! www.tierraatacama.com) and he also helped move my proposal along down in Portillo. The day before I made my way down to Santiago to send the bike frame I got an email from Ski Portillo accepting my proposal and they offered me an all inclusive 3-week ski vacation! I was jumping for joy! Sara was also invited to stay, ski and eat with me too. We were jumping for joy! Still am!

    Down in Santiago my best buddy Garryck pimped Sara and I out with a killer 4-star hotel room with this Sheraton points and the next day we charged up to Ski Portillo where I’m currently resting my sore legs after four days of beautiful skiing. The food, hotel, scenery, skiing, entertainment, people, staff—all totally first class but without the pretentiousness at some nice resorts. There are accommodation options ranging from bunk beds and cafeteria-style dining to posh suites with world-class meals a day. I have to honestly say it is my favorite ski resort on earth—and I’m only a few days into it!

    As if this is not enough—the magic continues. I spotted a white-haired man named Tom sporting a Mammoth Ski Patrol shirt on the first day. Turns out he was there traveling with his son Dan and his girlfriend Nicole, both ski patrollers at Mammoth. My little brother Nick is also a patroller and they are good friends with him and his wife Kari! Small world, eh? So I found great new friends and ski buddies right off the back and have my brother Nick’s spirit with me as I charge the terrain with some of Mammoth’s finest.

    So a huge storm is on the way and everyone is awaiting the monster dumping of 3-6 feet over the next few days. Chris is on the way here so I’ll have another ski buddy and brother to chill with as I enjoy the slice of Andean Mountain Paradise. Some pics of Chile to date can be seen in the photo album below:



    I highly recommend a ski holiday down here—it’s like nothing you ever experienced and will leave you smiling and coming back for more! Check out www.skiportillo.com for more info.

    Over n out from Portillo!

    Jamie

    Monday, July 27, 2009

    Blog from Iquique, Chile
    July 27, 2009


    The newborn puppies of my host Roberto. Too Cute!

    I made it to the Pacific Ocean and am fired up! The crack in the frame has indeed grown worse from 2-weeks of pedaling in Bolivia and not a titanium welder in sight so far. Looking like the frame piece will go back to USA and I'll take some time to do some skiing and writing while repairs are done.

    I landed into the arms of a super warm and open Corona family. All in all there are 11 of us under one cozy roof and I feel like part of the family. My host Roberto has styled me out with a portable office, place to stay and so much caring hospitality. He's a stellar photographer and visionary I'm sure you'll enjoy meeting in the near future. The Chileans are known for their tight family unit and I can certainly feel it here--and it's lovely.


    My Chilean brother Roberto and I in his studio workin' up some beautifully evil plans :)

    Off to Atacama for some adventures and relaxing later in the week followed by a search for snow in the Andes--been way too long without skiing and the broken bike frame is permission to ski, baby!

    Over n out for now!

    Jamie

    Friday, July 24, 2009

    Blog from Potosi, Bolvia
    July 24, 2009

    Greetings from 13,420 Feet!

    A quick post here from Potosi where the wind has been howling and temperatures pretty darn chilly. I gave it my all to connect w/ the indigenous folks in the countryside including bringing a kilo of coca, learning Quechua & the traditions, and sharing tons of great Bolivian music upon arrival in the villages w/ my Ipod sound system. But I'm sad to say I simply could not crack the fear and prejudice that is rampant of white faces on a long tandem bike.


    My Quechua language class in Sucre with Bruno


    Learning to chew Coca and how to invite the locals in the villages

    To make a long story short I was gutted when I was told, after being as consdierate and kind as I could at my first night's village stay, that I was there to "steal their blood" of the people, and they feared I would "open their chests and steal their hearts". No joke, this was my wakup call yesterday morning.

    Yesterday was a tearful, frustrating day that started with some tough interactions with the elderly folks, then led to insane headwinds and brutal solo climbs (5 people the night before wanted to ride the next day and zero showed up...sorta bumed me out more...). While eating on the the side of the road a truck came by and offered to take me to Potosi with a smile. It was perfect timing...I was done.

    I was hoping to have a start fresh in a new region and do some riding in the stunning area of Uyuni but there have been unseasonal wind storms raking havoc for days and the report is for at least 4 more. So, all day I've been pondering...do I spend 4 days in freezing cold Potosi or dusty n cold Uyuni or do I hop a few buses to rock some warm waves in Iquique, Chile where the weather is perfect, waves divine and several lovely souls eager to host me and show me some good, nurturing hospitality...hummmmm. A few years back when my ego was a bit stronger I might have waited it out so as not to seem like a whimp in the eys of whatever folks that might be following my adventures. But right now the waves, warm weather and friendly people are callin' like never before. I'll be in the water as soon as Sunday night and am stoked about it.

    That's the skinny...totally stoked on the majority of my expereinces in Bolivia--just the one crusher of not really being able to ride, connect, understand and be understood by the Quechua people of this region. But I'll be back...they ain't goin' anywhere! On the positive side, my new partner Bruno has located our first pilot community to launch "Operation Agua" to bring fresh water to the first of many villages who lack clean water. More to come on this, but I can say happily "mission accomplished" here in Bolivia--great new friends, amazing adventures, lovely music and so much more. OFF TO CHILE!!!

    Big love!

    Binks

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Blog from Sucre, Bolivia

    July 20, 2009


    More photos at:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/peacepedalers/BlessingsInBolivia?feat=directlink


    Big Love from lovely Sucre, Bolivia!

    Bolivia is rocking my world in every way. My three days in Camiri were magical with live music, traditional dance and a huge festival going on to sample food, people and tons of smiles. Mauro was my first rider in Bolivia and he and I adventured both in Camiri and out of the city to my first stop in Ipati. We rolled the cameras into Ipati and the magic unfolded by meeting a cool cat Oscar who invited us to stay the night, eat and share a slice of life in the Bolivian Chaco with he and his family. My adventures in Bolivia were off to a great start.


    Festivals = Treats = Happy Binks!


    My Bolivian Brother Mauro with his 2 pets--Cat and Rat


    Mauro and I out on a sunset ride in Camiri



    Our host Oliver and his family in Ipati--unforgettable home stay!

    Mauro headed back the next day and I began riding the rugged dirt roads heading for the highlands. The climbs and roads were brutal but I was having a blast. But at my lunch stop I realized that the small crack in my bike frame I discovered back in Camiri was getting worse from the off-road riding. I checked my map and decided to do a wild hitching mission to some roads in better condition. My map turned out to be wrong and the roads were not much better up in Padilla but I rode onwards with low tire pressure looking for adventure.


    My first broken frame--still rollin...


    I could not find any guest riders going my way on the challenging head-wind infested rocky road to Tomina but I ended up meeting a handful of friendly locals when I arrived who invited me to stay with their family. The experiences were unforgettably rich, living and bonding with some truly special souls beating to a drum so pleasantly different than mine. My two planned riders the next day had to cancel in the morning so I hit the road solo for another day of tough riding, getting painful rejections from a few very worthy riders who, for some reason, chose walking or taking a bus than riding—perhaps it has something to do with the insane climbs and butt-crushing bumpy roads?


    By the time I was just outside the town of Zudenez my body was totally exhausted after climbing over 3,000 vertical feet on sandy roads into a headwind—oh, without any suspension since it’s been out since Argentina and parts on the way to Chile. Again I struck out with riders all day and my physical and mental state was not so hot. I met a truck driver Jose who offered to take me up to Tarabuco where proper asphalt would start and to give my body and bike a much needed break. I was battling a cold to boot, so the rest would do me good.


    I asked at least a dozen people to come riding in Tarabuco but again had to hit the road solo for a 65km ride to Sucre. Luckily the 14 hours of sleep did me good and I was feeling strong for another tough day of climbing the endless hills of Bolivia—and now I was pedaling up at about 10,000+ feet so the air was thin. Luckily the headwind mellowed out and the pavement and stunning views were just what the doctor ordered to get my spirits back again—not to mention the thought of getting a proper meal, shower and checking some music and nightlight that weekend (always a good motivator for me)


    After six of the most challenging days of touring to date Sucre was a site for sore eyes. After climbing again well over 3,000 feet over the day I descended from the dry, brown and mostly featureless countryside into an oasis that blew me away. Sucre is called the “white city” for its lovely white colonial architecture and it’s a true gem. I felt at home from the first moment I arrived—just the right size, not too big and not too small. I was eager to rest up my sore legs and explore what Bolivia’s capital had to offer.







    I could write forever on the magical experiences I’ve had since landing in Sucre but I’ll keep this blog short and encourage you to read the newsletter when it comes out. The summary goes like this…

    Met the owner of Bibliocafe Renato and his sister Marcia who LOVED the Peace Pedalers project and invited me to film a local rock concert the next day and styled me with yummy food and cold beers. Next day I rode with some cool indigenous folks on the way to search for traditional music and ran into Renato and his family who took me to a private concert that was just starting the moment I arrived by Los Masis, one of Bolivia’s top traditional music groups.


    From there I met one of the band members Roberto, who became like a brother at first site. From there I met Sonja, a cool Czech volunteer English teacher who offered to be my assistant at the rock concert later that night. Then a cool cat Bruno I met way back in Muyupampa joins Sonja and I at the concert location where Renato styles our team out with lovely food and some of South America’s finest beers. Nice!


    The concert rocked until 2AM and Bruno and I began to talk about starting a charity project to bring water to small villages in the campo. Roberto and Rene then show up, members of the Los Masis band, and after the concert we kept the party rockin heading out to enjoy Sucre’s nightlife until 5AM with great new friends from around the world. Life is good!


    Yesterday was another magical day where I ended up riding with Roberto up to a small barrio to meet an musician Miguel at his family’s salt stall. This turned out to be a private concert by Miguel, Roberto and an old drunk yet talented guy who grabbed the guitar and ripped out numerous stellar songs that Roberto just happened to know as well. Roberto sings like no other and has performed worldwide so I’m sure the hi-def video will be stellar. Trying to get a utube video on this for ya…classic! From there we went back to Los Masis cultural center where we discovered food, culture, history and a personal interview with one of the founders Roberto, followed by another private concert by Miguel and his sister playing traditional pan flutes of Bolivia—unforgettable.


    A private concert by Miguel and his sister


    As if it could not get any better, today we were invited to film and experience some of Sucre’s best food and top chefs at Restaurant El Huerto. They had a full spread set up and showed us and the world via video how to make two yummy traditional meals with many lovely touches and we ate, drank and celebrated just before Rene put on a private show of his skills playing the “kena” flute that blew us all away.


    I’m now just ready to go meet with Bruno and Roberto to talk about our charity project, now called “Aqua por Vida” or Water for Life. We hope to get the ball rolling on our first pilot project at a small village near where Bruno and I met that is in dire need of water. Stay tuned—very excited.


    My first kilo of coca--I have a new strategy to bond with the locals on the way to Potosi


    The two founders of "Operation Agua" in our office makin' plans--stay tuned!!


    I’ll be heading out on a very tough 3-day ride Wednesday to Potosi, the world’s highest city at 13,420 feet, with a new strategy to find riders and connect with the local people. I’ll be bringing coca leaves as a gift to the elders and have a new sound system for the bike to crank Bolivian music—that should warm up the locals for my next journey! I’ve got 2 riders lined up between now and then and many more cool experiences to be had. Super excited about how Bolivia is shaping out! From Potosi I’ll make my way to Uyuni to experience the stellar Salar before making my way to Atacama to relax at Atacama Adventure Wellness & Ecolodge where much needed rest and massages await!


    Come to Bolivia! You’ll love it!









    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Blog from Bolivia
    July 10, 2009

    My last day of riding in the Chaco, Paraguay--Magical

    I just took the most dusty and bumpy bus ride I’ve had since back in Africa! I’m covered in dust as I write from the bus, looking out on the grey skies. I’m in Bolivia and feeling a bit low in the energy department but still pretty excited. Not as excited as I would be if my partner in crime Cristina was still with me, to be honest. We spent 18 days together adventuring Argentina and Paraguay together we grew quite close and used to being together. She was a great teammate, travel companion and now one of my best friends on the planet. Needless to say, yesterday was a teary one as she hopped a bus back to her backpack in Argentina and will be returning to Brazil soon after. I’m still recovering as I’m sure she is as well.



    Divertido=Fun!

    Golfing with Friendly German-Speaking Mennonites in Chaco Desert of Paraguay--Priceless

    4 Flats in one sittin'. Classic. A grand adventure in the Chaco

    And the people we met were just stunning...see the photo album for more!


    Paraguay was magical. I’ll be writing a newsletter shortly so stay on the newsletter list for a full journal as you’ll love the stories. From golfing and staying with Mennonites in the dry Chaco Desert, to adventures with two indigenous families way off the beaten path, it was unforgettable. A few pics are below and a rough cut of the photos can be found at http://picasaweb.google.com/peacepedalers/ParadiseInParaguay?feat=directlink#.

    Here in Camiri, Bolivia I really lucked out. Although I lost my partner in crime Cristina I am blessed with a big festival that is here in town with live music, happy people and good times. Going to find some cool music and art for the show over the next few days and begin my ride into the mountains soon after.


    If you are not on the newsletter list sign up. The next one will be a winner.


    Peace,

    Jamie

    Thursday, July 02, 2009

    Blog from Asunción, Paraguay
    July 2, 2009

    The rodeo clown at the San Juan festival in San Juan...stellar!

    So we are about 24 hours from departing on an expedition into the Chaco region of Paraguay! We are being hosted at an amazing crib in Asunción by a cool cat Ruben and life is grand. I just posted a newsletter for Argentina if you wanna check that out hit this link here. He're the update....


    Giving a lift to the local tailor in Encarnacion

    Cristina ended up buying a cheap bike in Encarnacion for about 50 bucks which was totally rebuilt by the super cool bike shop owner Batlome. We hit the road during the tail end of a cold southern storm that soon cleared in San Ignacio to tail winds and blue skies.


    Cristina's bike all ready for the road :)

    We had a magical adventure to San Juan where a huge festival was going on and we picked up a rider Christian who guided us into the wild festivities. From there we met Ronald who decided to join us the next day to Florida and offered to host us both at his house! Bonus!


    Cristian led us to the San Juan festival--cool cat!


    Live music in every direction...there is serious talent in Paraguay!




    On the road with Ronald and Cristina

    Ronald was an epic guest with lots of positive messages on the rolling interview to Florida. We found a sweet campsite there and pedaled our way towards Asuncion. We got word from a Couchsurfer Ruben he'd be at Lake San Bernardino so we made our way to the lake. The magic continues as we get invited to stay for free 2-nights with the gracious hosts Osvaldo and Tony at the historic Hotel del Lago founded back in 1888. Epic! Osvaldo is the king of culture and took us to check out artists of ceramics and a wild indiginous festival.


    Lakeside in San Bernardino


    The costumes n characters at the festival in Los Altos

    From there we rode to Asuncion to stay here with Ruben where we've been treated like kings cooking, eating, jamming to music from all sorts of artists coming and going and doing final prep for the Chaco to Bolivia mission. Cristina is joining me in the Chaco and will finally head back to Argentina and on her own adventures next week. It's been nice having a partner in crime with her own bike for company, massages (she's really good...), help with filming/admin, and she's having just as much fun.

    Off tomorow pedalin' northwest! Over n out!
















    Monday, June 22, 2009

    Blog from Paraguay!
    22 June, 2009

    It´s pouring rain but meant to clear by tomorrow and could not be more stoked on it all. In Encarnacion, Paraguay on the border of Argentina staying with a lovely family Jazmin and her lovely daughter Costanza and more.


    I crossed over after a wild adventure in Argentina starting on a low note with a last second cancelation by my planned rider Luis, back up with a picnic accompanied by dozens of butterflies then jungle riding for desert, down with 2 crashes in the dark, back up to sunshine and tail winds, then back down to a blown out front fork. Spirits were again high when Garryck got on the hunt for the part to fix the fork but back down when some guys I bought dinner for stole my camera.


    My neighbors staying with the Guarani tribe near San Ignacio...special

    Pedalin´with pure blood Guarani power! Niceness! Renato had POWER!

    A taste of the Jesuit ruins...breathtaking!

    Diego had to cancel but Cristina takes his place

    Ohhh, but then it gets rockin in San Ignacio where I am invited to stay with an indiginous Guarani tribe, ride with a Guarani boy Renato and sunshine and tailwinds set for my ride with Diego (same name as the guy who stole my camera!...ironically) after checking out the ruins of the Jesuits...yummy. But Diego had to cancel and in comes a new wild character Cristina from Barcelona, Spain. Cristina is a solo traveler and got word of the journey and hoped on for a short 20km trip to some more ruins.


    The Statue of Victory. Posadas, Argentina. First stop...ICE CREAM!


    After 20km she was hooked and we were having so much fun she went back for her passport and clothes and joined me all the way to Posadas and over the border to stay here with me in Encarncion. As we looked over the maps together and chatted about her coming on the tandem she decided to buy her own bike and pedal along to Asuncion and sell it up there or give it away to charity. Nice! So have have a massage therapist and acupunturist adventuring Spainard on the first leg of Paraguay and life is perrrrdy groovy.



    Our lovely hosts Jazmin and Costanza


    We´re off tomorrow into the wet winter wonderland of SE Paraguay. Stay tuned....


    Big love!


    Jamie

    Friday, June 12, 2009

    Blog from Argentina
    12 June, 2009

    Mom and I at Iguazu

    My private tango teacher--awesome!

    Riding the streets of Buenos Aires!

    Greetings from Iguazu in Argentina. I'm on the border of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina now and preparing my route through Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile. Also finishing the last edits for my agent, doing admin work on various business projects and grounding up personally for a long adventure ahead. Once again I'm going to let the photos tell the story of my few weeks here in Argentina with Mom, Sara and some great new frineds. Check out this link to see photos of Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls. Enjoy the ride! Once I get rollin' I hope to keep the blog a bit more colorful but for now this should keep ya stoked.

    Peace,

    Jamie