Author Archives: Dan Perry

About Dan Perry

Dan created this blog to document his South America trip, which covered every country on the continent and lasted over two years. He currently lives in Madison, WI.

AtW #77: India Roundup

Picture of Katie hiking in India.

India has some excellent hiking.

With only a few days left in our ten-month trip, Katie and I recapped our time in India and discussed how travel has changed us. Lots of good philosophical advice in this one.

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Show Notes:

Here's a video I shot while walking around Varanasi. This doesn't begin to capture the true chaos of the moment. So much is missing: the sweltering heat, the festering cow dung, the pestering touts, and more. The only way to truly experience a place like this (absent lifelike VR) is to go there.

And here are a few photos from some of the places we discussed:

Picture of border crossing between India and Nepal.

Land border crossings can be quite interesting. You might need all day to get across, but I still highly recommend going over land when possible. You'll get a much better feel for the place from the moment you set foot into the new country. This is the border between India and Nepal, taken from the Indian side.

Picture of men with guns.

Your gun must be at least this long to take a photo with me.

Picture of Katie sweating in India.

The torrid heat was almost too much for us at times. On this day the mercury touched 46 Celsius (115 Fahrenheit). I know this is hard to believe, but some of the locals still looked comfortable wearing jeans and long sleeve shirts in the midday heat.

Picture of door frames in Lucknow, India.

A major siege occurred in Lucknow, India 150 years ago. You can still see the bullet holes today. Or maybe the cement is simply crumbling.

Picture of man pushing heavy load on his bike in India.

These guys work unbelievably hard, pushing heavy loads around the city.

Picture of market in Lucknow, India.

Lucknow was the most chaotic city we visited in India. Or maybe that was just our perception because we were staying in the heart of the main bazaar. This photo was taken from our hotel balcony.

Picture of bicycle rickshaw driver.

Bicycle rickshaws are very common in most Indian cities. This guy is relaxing while waiting for a fare.

Picture of Katie sneaking around a cow.

Skills you'll pick up if you travel long enough in India: how to sneak around a cow in a narrow alley.

Picture of bathing people in the Ganges River.

The locals come down to the holy Ganges at dawn to bathe.

Trekking the Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna: Picture of Martijn and Manon.

Annapurna romance: Martijn and Manon, the Dutchies.

Katie and I had an amazing month of trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. Along with the gorgeous scenery and the extreme physical challenge of hiking to the 5416-meter Thorung Pass, the people were the highlight of our trek. Those who lived along the trail were extremely friendly, as were the other trekkers we met. And among them were today's guests, Martijn and Manon. We made some time a few days after finishing our trek to record a podcast and reminisce our month in the mountains.

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Show Notes:

  • We talked about Jitterbug Perfume at the beginning of the show. Still no word about where the Bandaloop caves are, but I have a feeling they're somewhere in central Nepal.
  • Upon coming to Nepal in the middle of April, I was surprised to learn that it was New Year's Eve, and we were entering the year 2075. This is because Nepal uses the Bikram Sambat calendar, which starts counting from when Indian emperor Vikramaditya won a decisive military victory over the Sakas.
  • Although theories abound about the origin of the Easter Bunny, Time Magazine makes a case that the rabbit is an ancient pagan symbol for fertility.

And here are some photos from our trek:

Picture of subtropical landscape on the Annapurna circuit.

For the first few days the landscape was dry and subtropical.

Picture of waterfall.

There were many waterfalls along the way.

Picture of suspension bridge across the Marsyangdi River.

As we walked along the bottom of the canyon, we had to cross the mighty Marsyangdi River many times. Luckily, there were plenty of suspension bridges to aid us.

Picture of guesthouse kitchen on the Annapurna Circuit.

The guesthouses we stayed in were able to produce a huge variety of dishes, considering their humble kitchens.

Picture of Chame and mountains.

Soon we reached Chame, where we got our first look at the snowy mountains of the Annapurna range.

Picture of Ghyaru.

Ghyaru is a tiny village located just below the snowline. The locals were busy plowing their potato fields using oxen.

Picture of Ice Lake.

The journey to Ice Lake (4600 meters) was our first true test. Annapurna III is in the background.

Picture of group walking from Tilicho Lake.

A side trip to Tilicho lake, one of the world's highest at 4910 meters, was also quite the challenge.

Group photo from Thorung La.

Made it to the Thorung Pass (5416 meters, 17,769 feet)! Pictured here are Manon, Katie, Kasper, Martin, me, and Martijn.

Picture of Muktinath Temple.

We still had to walk all the way back down. One of the first places we visited was the famous Muktinath Temple.

Picture of Katie and Dan.

After three weeks of walking, Katie and I made it to Poon Hill, where the mountains gave us their final curtain call.

For more of my photos from the Annapurna Circuit, click here.

Tattoo Witness: What Do You Ink?

Picture of Dan and Ruwan and Ruwan's tattoo.

Tattoo me a river.

Ruwan Perera hosted Katie and me at his home near Colombo, Sri Lanka. While we were there, Ruwan was also hosting a couple of tattoo artists from Ukraine. They asked Ruwan if he would like a tattoo in exchange for hosting them, and he said yes. In our podcast, Ruwan discusses getting his first tattoo, as well as some of the history of his country, and the importance of Couchsurfing and similar networks in this age of modern travel.

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Show Notes:

Pictures from Ruwan's new tattoo:

Picture of tattoo ink.

The design.

Picture of Ana draws the tattoo.

Concentration.

Picture of Ruwan in pain.

A little painful.

Picture of tattoo in progress.

Almost finished.

Picture of tattoo.

Complete!

Picture of new CS friends.

New CS friends: Katie, Ruwan, Ana, Max and Dan.

AI and Sunburn with Ondrej and Nina

Sunburn: Picture of Ondrej Nina and Dan.

Ondrej, Nina and I are trying to avoid sunburn.

I met Ondrej and Nina at a guesthouse near the southernmost point of Sri Lanka. They both have become obsessed with surfing, so that factored into a large part of our discussion. And, I must admit, the beach we were staying on was perfect for beginner surfers. If only we could avoid the sunburn, we might still be there.

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Show Notes:

  • The earthquake that caused the 2004 tsunami happened at 6:30 AM in Sri Lanka, and the actual tsunami hit two hours later. It killed upwards of 280,000 people, including 35,000 in Sri Lanka. Aldo, the Italian man I met on the Amazon, told me that he had gotten up early that morning to go for a walk. He survived by clinging to a tree. Several people in his hotel were still sleeping and were killed when the tsunami struck.
  • Ondrej mentioned a book called Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. You can find a copy by following the link.
  • Since we talked about sunburns, I thought I would include a link to some of the most painful sunburns ever.

AtW #72: Chris Hunter

Picture of Chris and Dan.

Chris and Dan, hanging out in Kandy.

I met Chris Hunter in a hostel dorm room in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Chris has lived in Berlin for most of his life, though he also spent five years in India and several years in San Francisco during his youth. Needless to say, he's an experienced traveler, full of knowledge. We discussed some of the places he knows well, and some of the ways in which travel has changed during his life.

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* * *

Show Notes:

Think you're taking unique travel photos on the road? Think again!

And finally, I bring you a dog with dyed red fur:

Picture of dog with dyed red fur.

Philippines in Review

Picture of horse in Vigan, Philippines.

From Vigan, in the Philippines.

In this episode, Katie and I talk about our six weeks (or so) in the Philippines, with a bonus of traveling to Bangkok for a job fair.

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Here are a few of my photos from the Philippines:

Picture of tarsier.

A Philippine tarsier, from Bohol island.

Picture of Jagna sunset.

Sunset from Jagna, Bohol.

Picture of Vigan at night.

Vigan's central square at night.

Picture of hanging coffins.

The hanging coffins at Sagada.

Picture of man at Sinulog.

A man dancing at the Sinulog festival.

Picture of queen of Sinulog.

The queen of Sinulog.

Picture of man at Sinulog.

This guy really wanted his picture taken.

Picture of Lepaks and Perry.

A family shot at Puerto Princesa.

Picture of Sunset at Corong Corong.

Sunset at Corong Corong.

AtW #70: Patrick Robert Scott

Picture of Dan Perry and Patrick Robert Scott.

Pigeon speak-easies, Muay Thai fighting, and more!

Last week at a job fair in Bangkok, Thailand, I met a number of interesting characters. Among them was Patrick Robert Scott, a travel writer who is journeying across southeast Asia for the first time. We talked about his recent adventures, as well as some interesting experiences in other parts of the world.

You can find Patrick's writing at PatrickRobertScott.com. His Instagram feed is @PatrickRobertScott.


And now for this week's episode:

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Patrick's Instagram Feed

Show Notes:

Here's an example of a Muay Thai pre-match ritual dance. Interesting how one guy just stands there, trying not to look preoccupied, while the other one is preforming the elaborate dance.

An Introduction to Freediving

Freediving: Picture of Dan and Jerome.

Freediving: A whale of a podcast.

Jerome Hulin and I met in the small town of Jagna, on Bohol Island in the Philippines. He's a world traveler and a freediving instructor. I knew next-to-nothing about his underwater passion when I met him. He was gracious enough to sit down with me and talk about the sport of freediving in great detail. Whether you're an avid freediver or simply interested in learning more, buckle up and get ready for a great podcast.

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Show Notes:

  • Jerome's friends run a company called Apnea Sailing. Highly recommended if you are in the area.
  • And if you want to listen to a freediving podcast, you can check out Freedive Cafe.

Here's a video of a Filipino diver from the Badjao tribe. His methods aren't honed in the same way that Western freedivers' are, but damn, this is impressive to watch.

And here's a video of a guy diving to 145 meters. Totally insane!

Bicycling Around Taiwan

Taiwan: Picture of Dan and Katie.

The southernmost point of Taiwan.

On this episode, my wife Katie and I talk about our time bicycling in Taiwan. We go over all of the highs and lows of our trip, as well as the unique cultural aspects we discovered on this small island.

As usual, you can get more info about my new book on Amazon.

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Show Notes:

  • I mentioned this podcast about trash collection in Taipei and the rest of Taiwan.
  • You can also check out this podcast about the Taipei 101.
  • And here's that Joe Rogan podcast with Russell Brand that Katie mentioned.