I made an impulse buy of a $30 Elvis suit 3 weeks before leaving Australia in Jan 2008 to travel for a year.
It's crap....and now it's coming with me.
I don't sound like Elvis, look like Elvis, or sing like Elvis.
I am Crap Elvis.


World trip montage - Crap Elvis in 25 countries

Monday, March 31, 2008

Crap Elvis finds religion...hilarious (and other videos!)

Well have been extremely crap at updates recently, but just letting you know that have just made it across the Chilean/Bolivian border in a 25 year old 4WD, hacking thru the desert for 3 days. All a bit silly, and came down heavy with altitude sickness (slept at 5000m the other night but now at a comfortable 3600m above sea level). All details later when we get back to civilisation proper - currently in a llama powered net cafe.

But as promised, here´s the video from the amazing(ridiculous) Tierra Santa in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It´s the worlds first religious theme park. Nuff said.

Also, found someone else´s clip on youtube of a football game that I went to in Santiago, Chile. Probably the craziest crowd I´ve ever been in. Police in riot gear everywhere, 8 police escorted the ref onto and off the pitch, more police with shields protected any away player that had to take a corner. The clip starts fairly normally (wild chanting) then gets interesting about a minute in(for interesting see DANGEROUS) . I´m amongst the bit that looks like its on fire.
Unfortunately I´d left my fireworks at the hostel, so didn´t really feel like a local.
For the record, the hometeam Colo Colo won, beating Argentina´s best team Boca 2-0.

...and a quick phone vid clip from a bloke standing next to me at the game...

Check in again soon!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Crap Elvis in Argentina - from dentist to death

Well, I guess the welcome to Buenos Aires could have been a little better - having jumped in a cab at the airport, the driver proceded to scream down the freeway towards the city at a pace suggesting his wife was having a baby and his house was on fire at the same time. Unfortunately at it's last service (which by the condition of the cab looked like was somewhere around 1969), mechanics must have failed to check the bonnet securing mechanism as it suddenly flipped up, smashed the windscreen and blocked any view of the middle lane we were in. Just a bit scary. Nevermind, we veered across the other lanes to the side of the road, screeched to a halt, and then the driver got out, flipped it back down and then bashed it a lot to hold it in place. 30 seconds later we were screaming towards the city again, and I was screaming internally until we arrived.

Then there was a flood in the area where we stayed, and a tornado hit the nearby river.

Then I had to find a dentist as my face felt like someone was sticking a screwdriver in it constantly. Having clarified it wasn't the cab driver actually sticking a screwdriver in it constantly in another quick fix situation, the dentist started root canal surgery straight away. 4 days of dentist visits later I was back to normal and quite disappointed not to be visiting the sister/brother team of Marisol and Gustavo again (it was the first time ever my dentist has given me a kiss each time I arrive!) If you want some stupidly cheap, but amazingly good dentisty done contact them at http://www.dental-argentina.com/

If you're in the UK, USA or Canada I think they have a freephone number to contact them. You can pay for your flights, hotel and dental work for the price of just the dental work back home. Smash your teeth now and get over there.

Can't avoid the Tango

Checking out the local music scene - if you ain't got a squeezebox, get off the street.

So the rest of the 2 weeks spent in Buenos Aires was just hanging around, enjoying the place really. It felt like a European city, except you don't have to mortgage your house to buy a cup of coffee. And if you eat meat, it's heaven. Cheap and really tasty steaks every night. And if you don't eat meat, you're probably too weak to turn on a computer and read this anyway.Took a while to get used to the fact that if you have dinner before 11pm, you're a bit strange. Off to the pub around 1am, then hit a club after 3am, because of course no-one will be there before then. The weekend pretty much starts on Tuesday, and I think that normal working "portenos" (Buenos Aires people) have some sort of time-shifting ability because they obviously get up for work about 2 hours before they've arrived back in from the night. Maybe

The day I nearly died: during a tour of La Bombonera stadium (home of the legendary Boca Juniors - Maradona's team), I whipped out the suit, completely forgetting it was the exact colours of their arch rivals River Plate. Oops!

Fortunately I didn't make the same mistake when I went to this "clasico" local derby between Boca and Independiente undercover in plain clothes. 60000 people went abosolutely loco.

Crap Elvis and Crap Maradona on the streets of Camonito, Boca

Another thing I loved about BA is the dog walkers. There are so many dog owners in BA, that a professional dog walker will take up to 15 dogs out at a time, so the owner will never have to deal with the whole dog-owning experience. But of course with so many dogs in a city without much grass, that means a lot of mess on the pavements. This is where I reckon Argentinians get their amazing dancing ability, as a walk anywhere in the city will involve shimmying and sidestepping your way around the steaming piles. Trust me, it's an art.

So many bums to sniff, so little time.

Now for the big one - you may have been to many of the world's biggest theme parks, but have you been to Tierra Santa - the world's first relgious theme park? Complete with anamatronic "Last Supper", please please please check back here soon to see the video of a 18 metre high plastic Jesus resurrecting by popping out of a fibreglass mountain ONCE AN HOUR!!!

Also, no trip to Buenos Aires is complete without checking out Recoleta Cemetery where Evita is buried in one of the stupidly extravagent death huts (probably not the official term). Up until this point, I didn't know it was possible to get thrown out of a cemetery.

Evita's grave.

In a pensive mood in our street corner guesthouse

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Crap Elvis saves in Rio

Woohoo...finally a few words to go with the piccies, and a bit of video at the end of the post....

Crap Elvis - The Redeemer

So it was a photo that had to happen. And barring a few healthy discussions (and threats to forever burn in hell etc) here I am at Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro. Recently voted one of the world's new 7 wonders, closely behind "cheese on a stick" and the popularity of David Hasselhoff (OK, I may have guessed those last two), it really is an amazing sight from all around the city. At night I like to think that rocket burners light up underneath, and he takes off and flies around the city...but nobody in Rio could confirm this.

Here I am in Lapa, Rio De Janeiro with an artist called Selaron (or maybe a moustache called Selaron with a man attached) who is devoting his life to making these stairs a living work of art. He tiled them all, but continuously adds more tiles either with his own artwork on or sent in from all over the world. Every bit of art he now produces, whether for the stairs or not, features a pregnant woman due to something that happened in his past. So far that is over 30000 paintings. He could have quite a long chat to Dr Phil. He says "THIS CRAZY AND UNIQUE DREAM WILL ONLY END ON THE DAY OF MY DEATH'."
I also confirmed with him that he's not rushing it, and he's just taking it one step at a time. Sorry.
(find out more on Selaron and send him a tile from your country - info here www.selaron.net )

A fine debut performance in goal at Copacabana Beach

A Rio night boatcruise - it's all very funny until someone loses a Crap Elvis overboard and a 7 year old drives the boat.

Rio was a great stop, and also included a couple of trips where I heeded the advice to not unleash Crap Elvis. This included an amazing game of football at Maracana Stadium with 90000 fans between Flamengo and Botafogo. Both big Brazilian teams and both from Rio, it was the final of a local competition with Flamengo winning and becoming "Bi-campeon" as they also won last year. I was told that if I went in costume someone may decide i'm wearing the wrong colours and pin me down and shove a firework up my bottom. Wasn't overly keen on that (not on a sunday afternoon anyway). It was everything I'd imagined though - drums, chanting, flares being let off, huge insults, lots of stuff being thrown everywhere...and that was just on the bus getting there.

Also did a tour of Latin America's biggest Favela, Rocinha. Favelas are the slum areas which are usually controlled by drug gangs. This one is home to 200000 people, and only on very rare occasions will the police enter them, and then only heavily armed. My first interaction with anyone there was someone shouting out "Hey gringo motherfucker!", but I was assured that it was just friendly banter. However when your guide tells you "no photos" at a certain point, and then you turn a corner and see a kid with a walkie talkie and a huge gun (looking out for police), you realise the non-suit-wearing advice was right. An amazing tour, where despite the obvious poverty, you meet some really happy fun people who enjoy meeting you, and also the tour donates money to various projects within the favela. If you're ever in Rio, contact Marcelo at www.bealocal.com

At Rocinha Favela - why pay for electricity when you can steal it as easy as this

Rio - yes it is quite nice isn't it?!

Crap Elvis in Brazil video: