4 months of South America in Video

One of my fellow remotes, Laura Pounds, does a video montage every month of our groups experience. They are rad. And awesome to have every month because they are going to be great to look back on. Here are the past 4 months in South America with a bunch of us ding dongs loving it.

CORDOBA, ARGENTINA: Month 1

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Month 2

LA PAZ, BOLIVIA: Month 3

CUSCO, PERU: Month 4

 

 

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My Love/Hate Relationship with Bolivia.

My third month on this journey was in La Paz, Bolivia. I have a love hate relationship with it. Hate it because I was sick shitting my pants for 10 days in a row. Not cool Bolivia. Not cool. Loved it because it was so different than any place I’ve been too. I just wish I could have had less time being sick and more time to enjoy it as I missed out on a lot.

LOVED THE UYUNI SALT FLATS: One of the best and surreal things I’ve ever seen in my life is Salar de Uyuni. The world’s largest salt flat reaching over 4,000 square miles of gorgeous bright white landscape. Anyone can look epic in pictures here even people you think smell like 20 day old lasagna. I plan on giving this side trip it’s own love with it’s own blog post soon because there’s to much to talk about.

I also shot my third Film here about “The Salt Flat People.” It was a gorgeous place to shoot. Jonathan my actor below is a trooper as he’s coated with white paint on his body.

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HATED GETING SICK FOR 10 DAYS: I had Altitude sickness, food poisoning, coughing insomnia and crapped the bed for 10 days straight. I wrote a whole blog post about me being sick and living off Coca Tea if you want the sad details.

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LOVED THE WITCHES MARKET: I thought this was going to be bigger and crazier with witches stirring cauldrons with llamas blood, creating potions of inca kings and sidewalk sacrifices of baby goats. But it was more chill and felt more like a tourist thing than something that was dark and scary. But it was still very interesting as they had dried up baby llama and baby llama fetuses. They also had colorful candy looking things that you put as sacrifices with candles. And figurines that are supposed to have special powers and stuff.

Below is a little statue that Remote Year gave to us which is supposed to protect you and stuff. This statue made me feel a bright colorful power around me. Oh wait, that was just me vomiting in the toilet over and over from being sick for 10 days straight. Apparently this 3 headed baby didn’t protect me at all. But then maybe I got hexed because I mocked the rope around the statue saying it looked like dyed llama pubic hair.

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HATED MISSING OUT ON CHOLITA WRESTLING: Missed out on Cholita Wrestling because I was sick. Old ladies in Cholita clothes dropping elbows on each other. My friends said it was weird in the best way possible.

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LOVED LAKE TITICACA: For starters I just love saying the name because it awakens a 5 year old boy inside me. “Hello, this is 5 year old Patrick! And I’m going to repeat Caca 20 times in a row with a side of 7 Titi’s,” said the 5 year old boy inside me.  However Lake Titicaca is far from a 5 year olds dream. It was a relaxing and beautiful side trip. We skirted along the lake on a speed boat to check out Copacabana where we saw people paying the church to have priests bless their cars with holy water. What a racket. We then went to the Sun Island where we met some llamas and caught a gorgeous sunset. I plan on writing its on blog post soon as their is to much to talk about in this recap blog.

HATED THE ALTITUDE: 12000 feet is no joke and I was huffing and puffing up like a pregnant walrus down the street. It seriously takes your breathe away after every hill in the most unflattering way. Here’s some tips for Battling Altitude from a man who loss the fight because he got upper cutted right in the groin. Drink Coca Tea. Drink lots of Water. Don’t drink beer for 4 days. Don’t do extensive exercise for 4 days. Take altitude pills. Respect the shit out of it or you will be taken down. This is not Cusco at 11,000 feet, somehow there’s a big difference. Here some sick people having a coca tea party.

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LOVED THE CHOLITAS: Cholitas are the more indigenous women who wear colorful dresses, bowler top hats and carry things on their back with bright multi colored blankets. How the bowler hat is worn tells people if the woman is married or single. The hats came into style for the women when a tradesman realized he had  shipped hats that were to small for men but fortunately the women liked them. I always felt disrespectful trying to sneak pics of them like they are a sideshow. However my friend just approached this little lady and asked her for a pic. Her modeling put Gisele to shame. I would hate to be Tom Brady right now as Gisele’s mascara cascades down her face and she hugs him ruining another one of his white GQ shirts. Also this dog is modeling better than her, I’d love to see it in a swimsuit.

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HATED MISSING OUT ON DEATH RODE: 40 miles of narrow road going straight down a mountain is called Death Rode. Two big groups from Remote Year went but I was still to sick to go. Everyone who went raved about it even the 3 people that got injured. A guy scraped up his arms falling off, a girl broke her nose falling off her bike, and the last girl fractured her collar bone. She whizzed by a guy in our group riding down the mountain and said, “Eat my dust, Andy!” Moments later she’s on the ground eating her own dust. I joke about it because she’s fine and has a great attitude about wearing a sling on her arm for a couple of months. But they say beginners can do it, just go slow down the mountain. But it’s called death rode for a reason because people actually die on it.

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LOVED THE GRAFFITI: The street art was pretty good in La Paz and had a variety of interesting styles. 

LOVE/HATED THE FOOD: Food poisoning was rampant in my group. I wasn’t the only person who was put to sit on a porcelain throne for days. Fear of trying any vegetables or fruit was a real thing and my fiber count was low for the month.

But then there was food that I really enjoyed and their beers were good like Huari pictured below. They were usually a darker and more flavorful beers.

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SALTENAS: There version of Empenadas were Saltenas. Which are a sweeter and I didn’t enjoy them as much as empenadas. Which is probably why you see empenadas all over the world and don’t ever see Saltenas. They weren’t bad but just not at the same level as empendadas.

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FRIED CHICKEN. If you don’t like fried chicken it’s probably because you smell like a camels fart. Who doesn’t like fried chicken, Boliva sure did as it was on every corner. Yeah, it’s not healthy and I’d prefer grilled or roasted but it was damn good. There was one right next to our hotel that everyone in our group probably indulged in more than they should. I didn’t take pictures of it because I was ashamed I was eating it.

PEANUT SOUP: I was expecting more of a thai peanut flavor but this was a lot lighter and was absolutely amazing. I loved it. Probably my favorite food in Bolivia by far. It had chicken, noodles, potato in a light peanut broth.

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WATER BAGS: They sell water, juices, milk and more in bags. Which is something I’m not used to and I found interesting.

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HATED THE SMOG: The Smog in Bolivia is the worst I’ve ever experienced in a city. I’m sure there is worse, I hear China sucks a fatty on smog. But when you are sick and battling a nasty cough the smog becomes debilitating.

One cool thing they did have was short buses and they were everywhere. It’s not really a tourist thing it’s more for locals and costs almost nothing to ride. I got to try one out with a local but if I was left with my spanish skills I wouldn’t attempt it.

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LOVED THE VIEWS: The views in Bolivia are amazing. Bolivia is shaped like a giant bowl with houses all around it.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS OF MY LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WILL BE DONE IN A POEM :

Dear Bolivia, I love/hate you. I want to look deep into your beautiful snow white salt flat eyes. Say Lake TitiCaca 10 times in a row to awaken the 5 year old inside me. But damn girl, you treat me like a llama’s ass hole. Shitting on me. Or worse making me shit all over my hotel bed. You want me to be your king but I don’t want your porcelain throne of food poisoning. When I see you I’m a loss for words because your altitude is suffocating. I loved you and wanted your mouth watering peanut soup to keep me warm at night. But no you had to make me look like a fool, instead of me projecting my love for you I am projecting vomit all over the place. Why? I ask why my little Cholita? I love/hate you.

La Paz, Bolivia: Crib

Welcome to a tour of my La Paz, Bolivia Hotel Room. This is the first hotel, instead of an apartment, so far this year and 50 of the 70 remote year people are in Hotel Copacabana. I was sick for 10 days and trapped in this hotel room with a combination of altitude sickness, food poisoning, vomiting, coughing insomnia and shitting the bed. Here’s a video tour of my literally sick hotel room. Enjoy because I did not.

I am Bolivia’s Bitch.

Where the hell have I been. I haven’t posted in weeks. I was shooting my second film in Buenos Aires for a week. Then I went to Bolivia and I’ve been sick for 10 days straight. I’ve been Bolivia’s Bitch.

Here’s a story of how an idiot became Bolivia’s Bitch.

La Paz, Bolivia is one of the highest altitude cities in the world at about 12,000 feet. Everyone said you’ll get Altitude sickness for 2 to 4 days. Pounding headaches and feeling extremely dehydrated like you just got done from a good night of drinking. Ok, no big deal.

About 3 years ago I went to Cusco, Peru (the city that connects to Machu Pichu) which has an altitude of 11,000 feet and I only had Altitude sickness for a day there. So I thought I was a bad ass with Altitude stuff. I was so confident I was talking about getting a group together called the “Diareahea Kings” in La Paz and trying all the weird food that Bolivia had to offer. I wasn’t scared of everyone warning me about food poisoning or the altitude. I felt like an experienced altitude dude. So I came to Bolivia cocky. So cocky that Roosters became my friends on the street. So cocky I was going to dropkick Bolivia’s altitude in the face and make it wear a hot pink leather suit and walk on it’s hands in knees with ball gag as I tugged it across the streets with a leash as my bitch. Little did I know that the roles were going to be reversed.

DAY 1 SUNDAY: We land. I am openly acting like I don’t need altitude pills. I’m told to avoid beer for 4 days till you feel acclimated. Hells no, I’m a cocky altitude man. KaaaaKaaaaa! I go to the bar with some friends and have 2 or 3 beers. By the time I walked home from the bar I already felt hung over and immediately regretted it. Realizing I need to slow my roll.

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DAY 2 MONDAY: I wake up with a crazy headache and feel extremely dehydrated. Everyone is feeling the same thing and I write it off as nothing. I’m winded easily walking but I take this as normal for a couple days till I get acclimated. I still am cocky and have a Bolivian Beer for dinner as everyone else I’m eating with just has water.

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DAY 3 TUESDAY: Same thing as Day 2 but it’s worse and now I’m getting concerned. Why did I have a beer at dinner? Because I wanted to try local Bolivian Beer that’s why. But why am I not listening to anyone? I’m getting a slight fever and feel nauseous all day. All I want to do is lay down and sleep. I realize I am becoming Bolivia’s Bitch.

DAY 4 WEDNESDAY: Shit gets real. I’m worse than Day 3 as I’m stuck in my hotel room the whole time feeling like I’m going to die. Then I vomit like a mad man. Bolivia just drop kicked me in the face. As tears from violent vomiting pour down my face. I crawl into bed shivering in pain as I slowly pull the covers up on me. A couple minutes go by and I’m still shivering like someone put a quarter in the bed and then I see a cockroach crawl on the covers. Fuck me. I’m so exhausted from being sick I don’t even want to move. Hell, I may become friends with this guy since I have a feeling I’m going to be stuck in this hotel room with him for days. Eventually I muster up some energy to flap the covers up and make him fly across the room. I lie in bed wondering, where is that fucker. He’s in my room, a dirty filthy cockroach just chilling in my room. I want to stomp him but I’m to exhausted to move and I realize I just need to let the cockroach live his life. This is the beginning of me being Bolivia’s Bitch. This Bolivian Graffiti is a representation of me vomiting.

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DAY 5 THURSDAY: Today was Cholita wrestling. Where old woman wrestle WWF style with Bolivia clothes. It’s supposed to be amazing, I was so excited to go. And I was going to pull my strength together and go even if I had a fever now. At 5pm I meet with friends and try to go. I push myself. But after walking half a block down the street I realize I have nothing in me and walk back sad and lonely and full of FOMO. I lay in my death bed and watch the pictures on Facebook and Instagram roll in from my friends of woman doing suplex and flying dropkicks and I’m so bummed I’m missing out. It looks amazing.

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Now that I have a fever and a nasty cough I reach for some NyQuil pills I brought along. I can’t wait to sleep and try to get better by getting knocked out by NyQuil. But Bolivia has other plans for me. Every time I lay down I’m having coughing fits and can’t sleep. The only way the coughing fits stop is if I’m standing or sitting straight up. I’m like what the fuck NyQuil I thought you were the coughing, sneezing, etc so you can sleep medicine. I read all the fine details on the NyQuil package and it says don’t take if you have minor bronchial cough. Apparently I must fit in that boat. So now I’m super drowsy and I can’t sleep. I find my self sitting on the side of the bed trying to sleep but every time I do I fall over and wake up. I create a pillow seat on the bed and still a fail. I think I got one hour of sleep. Fuck me. The only thing positive I got from the night is that I watched 10 of 12 episodes of the new season of House of Cards. I sign up to Bike “Death Rode” with a group on Sunday with the optimistic notion that I’ll be fine by then to ride.

But I’m stupid because Bolivia has just put the Pink leather outfit on me. I’m becoming more and more of Bolivia’s Bitch.

DAY 5 FRIDAY: Sleepless. Exhausted. Fever. I shiver in my room repeatedly saying “Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus.” Why? I have no clue why. What’s going to happen a Baby crawls into my room named Jesus and says, “What’s up man? Heard you were sick and calling for me. Can you change my diaper I just shit myself.” But nonetheless I chanted “Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus.” Over and over.

Trying to get some type of food and energy in my body I went to dinner with 2 other sick feeling friends. We had a dream of finding Rice, sick people’s dream food apparently. We went to a place and ordered chicken and rice. It wasn’t bad. Then we enjoyed Coca Tea which I had been drinking religiously daily to help with the altitude.

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Then I attempted to sleep but I couldn’t because of my cough. I’d doze out in 10 min increments adding up to an hour and half of sleep. But that wasn’t the worse of my situation. I got food poisoning. I don’t know if it was the food or the PowerAde bottle that had a black residue on the bottom of it. In Grocery stores in Bolivia they have a sticker on top of the bottle to show it’s never been tampered with. But on the little kiosks on the street the bottles don’t have these stickers. I just stared at the black residue and said fuck my life. And during one of my 10 min slumbers food poisoning had poisoned my pants as I had diarrhea in them. I get up and go to the bathroom and clean myself up and try to clean my underwear in the sink. Hanging up my underwear on the shower to dry. I go back to bed and see that I have made diarrhea stain on the bed. Fuck me. I’m 37 years old and shitting the bed literally.

I have another 10 min nap and the same thing happens again. I diarrhea my pants again. Baby Jesus!!!! Can you come over and change my diapers now!!! Or just come and chill and we’ll be diaper buddies together. Also Bring the cockroach from before he was a nice guy and I want to apologize for flinging him across the room. Please. Please. I repeat my clean up process of shitting my pants and stare at the two pairs of underwear hanging from my shower drying. And I shake my head and smile. It’s so bad that it’s humorous.  I walk back to my bed and there’s another shit stain on the bed. I stare at it and I never want the cleaning lady to ever come in here because I won’t die from being sick but of pure embarrassment.  With the pic below I have acknowledged that I have zero shame.

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Bolivia has dropkicked me in the face, put a pink leather outfit on me and now has put a ball gag in my mouth. And I still haven’t fully accepted that I’m Bolivia’s Bitch yet.

DAY 6 SATURDAY: I sit on the toilet all day. Shitting my brains out from the food poisoning. As I sit on the toilet and admire my underwear hanging on the shower from the night before.

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The cleaning lady knocks on the door and I say No as I’m to embarrassed for her to clean my room and see my shit stained sheets. My dumbass would rather sleep in shit stained sheets again than face that embarrassment. That is the stupidest logic in the world, my only excuse for thinking like an idiot is that I’m an idiot or I was pretty sick at the time. Yeah, I’m just an idiot. I go to the pharmacy to try and get a cough remedy to help me sleep so I’m not coughing like a mad man all night so I can actually get some sleep. I mime a cough to the Spanish speaking Pharmacist. She offers cough drops and I shake my head and mime a spoon for cough syrup. She comes back with Codeine a drug you need a prescription for in the states. But in Bolivia you just get it over the counter with no prescriptions. My friend, whose come with me, eyes light up and tells me to take it and that it’s the good stuff. You know the stuff Lil Wayne and Bieber drink, Sizzurp. Which is a mix of jolly ranchers, Sprite with cough medicine. This is that cough medicine. I go back and take the recommended 3 teaspoons. And in 15 minutes I feel really good. I’m loose and a lot of the pain goes away. I also realize I can’t fuck with this shit as it’s so good it has to be addictive. So I decide only to take it if I’m having coughing fits trying to sleep. As much as it made me feel amazing I was still having coughing problems when I laid down. A little less but still not enough to get sleep as I got an hour and half that night.

Bolivia has made me a full bitch now as it has drop kicked me, made me put on pink leather suit, ball gagged, and made me walk on the ground in all fours pulling me on a leash and making me attempt to bark like a miniature dog while I have a ball gag in my mouth. It’s very difficult to bark with a ball gag. But at this point I realized I am Bolivia’s bitch and I will try. This is the first step in me giving Bolivia the Respect it deserves. Because I am its bitch.

DAY 7 SUNDAY: Death Rode day. But I’m on my death bed still. I gave my ticket away to my friend and missed out on another great adventure as I wither in my bed saying “Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus.” Over and over. I still am having sleeping issues with my cough and get about an hour and half of sleep again. I can’t get better without sleep. I’m told the pharmacy has antibiotics as a friend comes with me to get the right kind from the no prescription pharmacy. I get one and am told to take it for 5 days. I’m hopeful as Baby Jesus feeds me the pill of antibiotic magic. I sleep 3 hours which is an improvement. One thing that I’ve noticed is that I’m so emotional when I’m sick and for the past 3 or 4 days any sad Facebook video has made me cry. I don’t know what is happening to me beyond that I’m Bolivia’s crying little bitch. And I need the damn tears because I’m dehydrated all the time.

DAY 8 MONDAY: I have been told that the antibiotic that I have is a bomb to my system and I need to combat it with yogurt that has probiotics. I’m told to get Kefir yogurt at the grocery store. I force myself out of the hotel for the first time in a while and take 15-minute walk to the grocery store. I’m so exhausted and winded from a lousy 15-minute walk. I get a shitload of yogurt and Gatorade. I taxi back to my hotel because I don’t have the energy to walk back. I find my room cleaned and I’m ashamed of my shit on sheets. I just imagine some nice old lady coming in and wanting to vomit. Oh the shame. I get over the shame and drink one of the yogurts. An hour later I’m vomiting up peach mango yogurt into my toilet. Fuck me. I nap. And force myself to my first social gathering of a dinner party with friends. I’m exhausted the whole time but it’s a great first step. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am Bolivia’s bitch. But now I respect Bolivia. And the respect I give Bolivia is giving me strength.

DAY 9 AND 10 TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY: I’m finally getting 3 to 5 hours of sleep a night. Apparently insomnia is a side effect of altitude sickness. I force myself to walk each day at least 15 or 20 minutes that make me winded and have coughing fits. The car pollution is horrendous and makes my cough sound like a non stop barking dog. My non stop cough also gives me superior abs to Channing Tatum, he’s sending me hate mail now. “Patrick, stop having chiseled abs you dirty piece of shit!!!” Just now that he maybe beautiful but he’s a vulgar and ab jealous bitch.

DAY 11 THURSDAY: I turn the corner. And I walk to breakfast and the world feels amazing. I’m human once again. I’ve given Bolivia respect and I’m not it’s bitch anymore. It’s one of the most amazing walks I’ve had in a long time as a I take in everything in the beautiful sunshine. There’s something about being sick that makes you appreciate everything so much more. I love you sunshine. I love you lady with the Bolivian top hat. I love you weird bus thing that people cram into for one boliviano. I love you La Paz. I love you Bolivia. I respect you Bolivia. Because I was your bitch and I deserved it.

PEOPLE ARE GREAT: When you are sick in a foreign place you feel alone. But people in my group are fucking awesome. So many have offered help in so many ways. People brought me Gatorade, crackers, bananas, diarrhea pills, other pills and tons of sweet WhatsApp messages. It truly is a blessing to be with so many kind people. I had to turn down so many people’s offers to help because so many people offered. I feel sickly blessed.

RESPECT BOLIVIA: Wow. I was Bolivia’s Bitch. I respect the living shit out of her now. She’s a beautiful lady. Don’t drink till you feel acclimated. Do everything that is recommended. Be careful what you eat. Respect this beautiful Cholita and she will respect you.

Or you can be sick for 10 days and shit your bed as a 37-year-old. Your choice.