Five Nights to Departure (An Introduction)

Trip Start Apr 01, 2007
Trip End Jun 26, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hello strangers, my name is Geoff. Hello friends and family, it's me, Geoff!

On April 1st, I will be leaving Edmonton for a semi-planned trip to South America. As it stands right now, I will be landing in Sao Paulo on the 2nd, then making my way to Rio. From there, I will be going to Iguassu Falls, and then south to Buenos Aires. Next will be north west to stay for a couple of days with an acquaintance in San Rafael before making my way in to La Paz. To finish up, I'll go to Lima (via Cuzco, with a day trip to Machu Picchu). Outside of my flights in/out of South America, I will be doing this entire trip by bus. The only time I have ever left Canada was two years ago, when I went to Finland (with a Finn, at that, so there wasn't even really a language barrier). This time, I'll be traveling alone, with my knowledge of Spanish and Portugese being limited to whatever I can find in my pocket phrasebooks.

Most likely, anyone who even skims this will be a friend of mine who is just expecting that I'm going to quiz them on the details of my trip when I get back, but I suppose there's an off chance that some strangers might end up reading it as well. I base this on the fact that while preparing and planning, I read a lot of these things and they ended up being one of the most helpful resources I found. If you (yes, you) are in fact a total stranger, I decided that it would be appropriate to introduce myself and give you a few tidbits to explain who I am.

As you may remember, my name is Geoff. I'm 19 years old and still haven't been in the real world long enough to be cynical or jaded. I finished high school last year and decided to take a year off so that I could work full time and then travel. Working was miserable, but now that I'm almost ready to leave, I think it was worth it. I hope it was worth it. Next year I'll be going back to school, and hopefully being able to put off the real world for at least a few more years.

Since this is a travel blog, I would imagine that the most important thing about me to you, the reader, is where I'm from. The humble answer is that I am from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The City of Champions. The greatest city in the modern world. Now, you may believe this to be an overstatement, and I can understand that. Which is why this morning, I set out to capture the true essence of what Edmonton is all about. I hope it inspires you to drop what you're doing and come on over!

This first picture is a shot from the outskirts of the city, looking in. As you can see, a lot of people come in to Edmonton, be it for shopping, socializing, or just soaking in the amazing culture.

This part of Edmonton is called Bourban Street, in tribute to the incredible Bourban Street in New Orleans. Many of Edmontons artists and free thinkers gather here to discuss and share their views of the world.

The Edmonton Zoo attracts a lot of tourists. This shot shows a small group of flamingos in a close replica of their natural habitat. The zoo is also home to seals, tropical fish, and any animal you can find at a pet store.

We also have a bustling sports scene (hence the title "City Of Champions"). Many people associate Canadian sport with hockey, but our affections are centered mainly around the noble sport of indoor Segway racing. This photo was taken from the upper balcony at a recent event.

And what world class city is complete without a beach? Here, beach-goers take time out of their busy lives to soak up some sun and play in the ocean.

Unfortunately, Edmonton is not without its problems. Recently, a dragon has migrated in from Calgary and has been terrorizing the townfolk. I am convinced that our municipal government is doing everything that it can to get rid of this menace.

There you have it, my hometown. I hope that you now see just how vibrant the city of Edmonton can be. You may have also gained insight as to why I am the way that I am.

That's all for today, the next time I write will be from Sao Paulo.

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