Sava River? Sava Me! by Potomac Enterprise

Clearly, I'm trying to do better and write more "at the time of."  Sooooo...I'm in Belgrade Serbia now. I have to do an update for Slovakia and Greece (But later).

Random thing about Belgrade: I get stared at a lot. Like, so much that others I'm with notice and stare back at the locals on my behalf. lol. In my two days here, I've seen a car accident almost happen and a guy trip and almost busted his ass. It's kinda crazy. lol.

Today I went kayaking on Sava River for the Six Bridge Tour with 7 other remoters! It was painful and fun. Haha. Now, I thought I had kayaked before--granted only once and in Puerto Rico on a phytoplankton tour. However, my experience today had me wondering if my arms had done anything of value before.  This 3-hour experience worked out muscles I didn't know I had. And, the guide was Mr. Olympic it seemed. He had great form, stamina, and tan--like he rows out on the river in the sun every day.

At some points, my partner and I literally just sat there. I held back tears. lol. Overall, it was a fun and very wet experience. I really enjoyed the group that went and our dinner afterwards where we discussed muscle relaxers, as well as the benefits and varied uses of honey. lol.

In general, I haven't been feeling the most connected lately and have been very frustrated with my relationships with people or lack thereof; but, at dinner, I genuinely felt that I'm going to miss this/them when I head back to the district. This are very special people and this is a very special experience.

Check out some pics of the Kayak experience below. 



Playing Catchup: London and Prague by Potomac Enterprise

I really hate writing long posts, but I can't seem to help it. I promise to keep this one short...kinda... by just going over the highlights of the last two months.

Emotionally: It's been very draining. My mom has been sick and I really want to visit.  Three people I really connected with left Remote Year (all within three days). And, one of my best friends told me I treated him like a conditional friend and was cause for the strain on our friendship.  So, essentially someone I talked to everyday was done with me.  1-2-3 punch! 

Physically: In London, I stayed at The Collective. It's cute, new, and reasonably priced for London. I enjoyed to themed rooms on each floor which consisted of a spa, a library, a Japanese garden, a game room, and a cinema room. I wouldn't want to live there because the living quarters are quite small, but if I was fresh out of college, it'd be the move. In Prague, we stayed and lovely apartments on Belgicka. They were huge three-bedroom apartment with full-kitchens and terraces. I loved the space!  Sadly, I did not work out much in either city. I ate.

Health-wise: I was pretty tore down in London. I was tired, stuffy, and had a runny nose almost the entire time. At one point, an inner ear infection ensued and I had to go to the doctor. Y'all, <praise break> London healthcare!!!! I think the Collective was killing me but I heard from locals, it's allergies---a whole different level of allergies in London. It's so bad and constant that it turned into an infection. During the course of the entire month, I was "in" a lot on meds. In Prague, I was fine in terms allergies, but I got terribly sick mid-month. A nasty nasty cold and I hadn't had one of those in a long time. 

Activities: In London, my friend and expert branding coach, Dr. Talaya Waller paid us a visit. It was very refreshing to hang out with her. She is part of the #goodpeople group at home in the DC that does monthly dinners together. In London, we did A LOT together! All the typical touristy stuff, the Royal Ascot, and The Bunyadi. In Prague, I visited the typical touristy stuff as well. Also, I took a road trip to Cesky Krumlov (please go!), Sedlac Ossuary (Church of Bones), Saint Barbara's Cathedral, and Bastei Bridge in Germany. Two activities stand out to me: 1. Rafting down the river in Cesky Krumlov with the girls and 2. The Escape Room Prague. A B-L-A-S-T.

The City: Of course, both cities are modern European cities. London is New York-ish (not really but kind of), so I prefer Prague over London. London in June was 60 degrees and uber rainy. On the other hand, Prague was so so so so cute and warm. Its architecture had me enamored. Food, drinks and nightlife in both places were good. Both had an expat community; however, London actually had African-Americans in those expat communities. lol. Granted, the one I made contact with upon the recommendation of a friend of a friend--Xpat Life--was not welcoming to non-long-term London expats. If I had to choose where to live, I'd go for Prague (I think? IDK. lol). At the least, Prague's worth a visit in July or August. 

London Recommendations:

  • TapeLondon - great party, excellent DJ, clean, non-smokey, sexy well-dressed attendees
  • Duck and Waffle - Number one, this place is open 24-7!!! So, when it's "5am and struggle", you can get a great meal and view here. Delicious duck and waffle. Excellent cocktails. 
  • Dishoom - Really good high end Indian food. It's a bit cutesy, but delicious.
  • Bambola - Yummy Jamaican food in Brixton

Prague Recommendations:

  • K The Two Brothers - some of the best Indian food (and ice cream) I've had in life. And, I tried practically every dish so go there and try anything. 
  • Sansho - get your delicious 7-course meal on here for only about $40 (including wine and cocktails). 
  • Mr. Bahn Mi - Sandwiches are yummy. Some say it's too much bread. I agree but the meet and other fillings are delectable. 
  • Dish - Just burgers and fries but amazing! Especially the smoked pepper mayo. Drooling. 

London, here I come! by Potomac Enterprise

 It appears I can no longer frame my pictures with the burnt looking edges. Great. lol. This is a pic of the wonderfully delicious ceviche from Limo in Cusco, Peru.

It appears I can no longer frame my pictures with the burnt looking edges. Great. lol. This is a pic of the wonderfully delicious ceviche from Limo in Cusco, Peru.

Leaving South America is bitter sweet because I really have had some beautiful and happy moments here.  Granted, I’m excited to be able to flush toilet paper again, for take-out and delivery again, and to not be looked at as a tourist again.

We stayed in Cusco, one of the highlights of Peru. Cusco is beautiful. It’s filled with so much preserved architecture and narrow cobbled streets. Every corner was an eye treat.  Its landscapes are amazing. I lived in Pension Alemana, which I recommend to folks looking to stay in Cusco. It’s a quaint bed and breakfast and the staff is very attentive. The place is up the hill a bit and away from the crowds, but still just five-minute walk to the main square.  Plus, there are spas, shops, and restaurants all around even before you get to the square.

I tried to get into the nightlife, but, like the rest of South America, it wasn’t really my scene. Clubs were full of very young people and clouded with cigarette smoke.  Day drinking and playing billiards or darts was really a better use of fun time. Lol.

What was hard to deal with was the lack of oxygen. Walking up just one flight of stairs was a major choice because breathing was just that difficult. The only other annoying thing is that as you walk, people are CONSTANTLY trying to sell you things. Ma-sa-hey (massages), pictures, jewelry, and pictures with alpaca…it’s exhausting. I’ve never been anywhere where this is so constant and aggressive. So, oftentimes I'd find nooks and crannies to walk through to avoid the tourist trap streets (or what we lovingly termed “gringo alleys”).

While in Peru, I took a side-trip to Lima. Lima was so different from Cusco. It’s at sea-level so I could breathe. Lol.  In terms lof look, it reminded me of Soho Palermo in Buenos Aires. It was fresher, higher-end, sleek than Cusco but I preferred Cusco’s warmth. While in Lima, I had the most fabulous hot stone ceviche that I can’t stop talking about. If you visit, check out Osaka

I also took a side trip to Manchu Picchu. Manchu Picchu is one of the “new seven wonders of the world”. It was indeed a wonder climb and to see.  Visiting of course isn’t all smiles and giggles, particularly when you learn about the Inkan history. One of the most upsetting things I learned is that part of Manchu Picchu was removed so that the King and Queen of Spain could use it as a helicopter landing pad (in the 1970s).


How disrespectful and unnecessarily so. Then, in the 2000s a beer commercial was shot there leaving some of the premises damaged. SMH.  If you go to Peru, you have to go.

Okay, so I know and feel a little bad that I didn't give any details on Peru...mostly because I waited till 3 months later to write about.  Lol. Things that stand out are that, I played poker for the first time at a casino in Lima and I road ATVs to the salt flats in Sacred Valley. By the time we were returning, it was dark so that was quite an adventure.  

Lastly, there were lots of great places to eat in Cusco, but here are a few that I kept going back to.

  • KusiKuy – known for the kuy but I had the trucha (with limon) and it was super delicious!!
  • Kion for the seafood stirfry, wings, fried chicken, and more
  • InkaZuela for the curry chicken stew
  • Morena for the any of the entress (lomo saltado, seafood fried rice…)
  • Juanitas for sandwiches
  • Limbus for a great view and drinks

Other food/drink related fun:

  • Pisco Museo, where you get the history of their local liquor before getting a flight of four (i.e., think and drink)
  • Choco Museo, where you make your own chocolates

Click through the pics above and check us out riding ATV's in Peru (video courtesy of #JeffreyGaughan) below!

Peru, I Luh You. by Potomac Enterprise

I know I'm not acting like it. I stayed an entire 5 weeks and didn't blog once. Now I'm in London creating new experiences but I promise I will catch you up on Peru....soon :) Then, London. lol. 

Bye La Paz. Bye Dribble. by Potomac Enterprise

Okay so, it’s been over a month since I posted and I apologize. I haven’t been very photographically motivated since my camera was stolen. In addition to that, I’ve been loving Peru so much, I haven’t stopped to post. Sorry-Sorry.

In essence, while there were many things to love about the country of Bolivia (as shown in the “borrowed” pictures below), I was not a big fan of the city of La Paz though. And, I don’t believe La Paz was a big fan of RY2. Lol. A good percentage of remoters got sick, food poisoned, had surgery, or otherwise went to hospital last month. Dribble was an everyday occurrence and if that’s all you experienced, you were lucky. Lol.

Don’t get me wrong, the country is definitely worth a visit. You can see amazing sites like the worlds largest salt flats or bike down “Death” road and there is so much history to learn and explore. I really enjoyed my visit to Copacabana, which is a cute hippie beach town on the way to Isla Del Sol (Lake Titicaca). I recommend visiting this beautiful island.

Lastly, despite an overarching hygiene problem in the country, I managed to find some great spots to eat that I highly recommend…so I will list them here.

  • VinaPho – Vietnamese. Try everything on the menu. I loved love love the spring rolls and pretty much all the other dished I tried.  Also, they have a hot tea (te) there with alcohol in it whose name I can’t remember that I recommend.
  • Taj Mahal – Indian. I had the chicken tikka, butter chicken, lamb, lentils.... Loved it all.
  • Luciernagas – Family-owned. Try anything!

Check out some pictures of the beautiful and eclectic landscape of Bolivia that one of my friends called “Hell in the Hills” below. 

Everyone knows I LOVE being on the water! To the right are pictures from my time at Isla Del Sol for you to click through.  Enjoy J

El Valley De La Luna (Moon Valley) by Potomac Enterprise

Today I hopped on a minibus with three friends and rode about 30 minutes to Moon Valley. Minibuses are part of the transportation system here and are essentially vans that list maybe 3 streets on the windshield. They slow while passing you on the street so you can read the names and sometimes the side door open and someone on board yells out the streets it will be going to. Our roundtrip journey cost $4.60 USD total (not each).  And entry to Moon Valley cost an additional $2.30 USD each. Overall, certainly should be on the to-do list anyone who visits La Paz. The site was beautiful and the pictures don't do it justice but try to see for yourself :)

Check out some pictures below.  

The Three Rules by Potomac Enterprise

  1. If you see a package on the street or landing on the street, don’t pick it up.
  2. Don’t take prison tours
  3. Don’t pass out on the sidewalks

So, today I took the Red Hat Tour of La Paz. It’s rated #1 on Trip Advisor for a reason. Recent tours I have experienced, lacked interesting info or organization and this one had both.  The guides, Brian and Marasol kept it interesting. The tour used to be free until the rules were enforced requiring tourist pay for the experience. Thumbs up to the Red C&P Tour folks for charging the minimum, $20 BoB, which equates to less than $3 USD. Not to bore you…back to the rules.

So, number one, packages of drugs (and by drugs, I mainly mean cocaine) get in and out of prison via holes in the roof. Dealers toss the drugs up and the rest is history. Now, this sounds insane, and I need to do more research, but it’s my understanding that the inside of prisons in Boliva are not guarded--only the exits. Inside is much like a neighborhood, where prisoners do what they need to do to make money (sitting in prison is not free, nor is exiting prison). Strangely enough, anyone can stay the night. Some prisoners families stay with them. During the day, the woman may go out to make money for their guy.

So, number two, there is an interesting history in how prison tours became popular in Bolivia (check out the book: Marching Powder)  Soon enough, these tours got bad reputations (read more here). Visitors were getting assaulted and robbed and so forth and so on. So, prison tours became illegal. Well, “don’t take prison tours” seems intuitive then right? Wrong! Again, anyone can enter...just pay a entry and exit fee. So, some street hustlers will sell the dream of a prison tour and run away with your cash or lead you there and disappear after you enter (leaving you to have to pay at least $2,000.00+ BOB to exit unless you've made friendly with the guards).

Moving on to #3. There is a witch market here and lots of beliefs about spells and sacrifices. For instance, if you want to build a home, you may create a alter and sacrifice a baby lima (dried ones or carcasses can be found all over the witches market). If you want something bigger and better, you may sacrifice an adult human (that must be alive). So, as a visitor here, avoid getting your drink spiked at bars and avoid being drunk alone at night because you could end up buried alive at a future construction site. Oh, I’m just playing. The easier targets are drunk and homeless people with no family to miss them. That’s if any of this is true. And it might be. Lol. 

Anyway, the pictures below could well have gone into the first Bolivia post. They include some shots from the tourist witches market (the original is further away and looks.... ...authentic).  There are also shots from Tiwanaku Ruins as well as shots from the Fighting Cholitas (wrestling). 

Jacked in Bolivia! What a Welcome. by Potomac Enterprise

One of the first things I noticed in Bolivia, was the women, called Cholitas (see picture above) on every block selling snacks, fruits, breads, and an array of other goods. Cholitas are the women that are all around selling products on the street in traditional multilayered skirts and long plaited hair. Don’t let the attire fool you or put them into a box—they fight, drink, and party. They are strong and hard working women and there is no way to become one except to be born one and decide to carry on the family’s tradition. Being a thick woman is still admired in this country to a great degree although western influence is relentless in the media, marketing, and ads. Cholitas are thick hunty. And in the meat-loving South American and 4000-types of potatoes having Bolivia, how could you not be.  They also have a sense of pride about themselves that I admire. 

Commerce is the biggest industry in what is known as the poorest country in South America. Even being the poorest, I will say, the sidewalks stay down when you walk on them and there isn’t dog poop every 15 steps like in Soho Palermo (BA, Argentina). lol. However, you still must look down because there are random two feet deep holes that you could easily step into if you’re not paying attention. Something else to watch out for (I was told by locals) are the shoe shiners.  There are also a good amount of them about the streets of La Paz. These men tend to be tiny and keep their face hidden with a knitted ski-mask like covering, which is a little scary to me. I was told they cover their face because it is a shameful profession here, reserved for alcoholics and drug addicts.  

Overall, the city of La Paz is strangely beautiful in a chaotic, train crash kind of way. It's enormous and yet small at the same time. As the sun sets, you'll witness miles and miles of lights covering the vast land for as far as you can see. It's relatively authentic and a good number of people here appear indigenous or at least mixed. Interestingly enough, the poorer people here live higher up and further out, while the richer people live lower down and in the center of the city. I'll let you guess the aesthetic differences.

One day we rode "the world's highest" cable cars (Ciudad Satelite) from the poorer area to the richer area which, coming from my area, was surprisingly immaculate.  That same night, I was robbed of my camera and other belongings (in the "good" area). lol. I was a rather devastated initially, but it's been a few days now and my friends back home and here on RY here have really been helpful in providing support as I recover from the incident. There's no better place than here I guess to insert that some of the pictures on this post are borrowed from other remoters. lol.  

Besides the likelihood of being robbed, another thing I don’t like here, is the hygiene. It's generally lacking compared to The States. For instance, some restaurants don’t have sinks in the bathroom.  It's common to see people use the bathroom and not wash their hands. A friend of mine even witness more than one person waiting in line for the bathroom just resolve to peeing on the bathroom floor. And, that's not it! There are more hygienically shocking things, but I'll stop. Just know that many remoters have gotten sick already and we have only been here 7 days. I realize, I'm making things sound terrible, but there is much charm to this little big place too. 

For the RY welcome event, I was able to visit a lovely little art gallery, Fundación Mamani Mamani, at the end of the oldest road in Bolivia--Calle Jaen. It was: Quaint. Cute. Charming. The art by San Miguel was so unique, bright, and beautiful; yet, totally represented Bolivia. That is what I admired most about it. Also, during my first week, I took a walk through an open air food market which was something I’ve never seen or experienced before. Cholitas were selling rice out of bags as big as a zip car and offering samples of types of potatoes I'd never seen before in my life. I eyed enormous squash, plantains, and pineapples; passed by parts of animals that I could not identify on site; and, grimaced at raw, plucked, drained chickens laying stomach split open with the head still on. The market was packed with people bumping and passing you at every step. 

As you can read, I've learned quite a lot since being here; but, in all honesty, I prefer a place where I don't have to be so concerned with my safety (physically or health wise). It's quite the experience though and there is so much more to share; therefore, more to come!  In the meantime, check out some photos from my first days in Bolivia.