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

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Crap Elvis in ruins. (and other Mexican places of interest)

Somewhere on a Carribean beach in Mexico...

After leaving Miami, which seemed to be full of partying Americans on holiday, it was on to Cancun (Mexico), which seemed to be full of partying Americans on holiday.
So wanting to blend in (as much as a man in a ridiculously bad Elvis suit can), one night was spent in one of the wildest nightclubs in the world - Cocobongo.
You know it´s been a good night when a midget dressed as Beetlejuice flying above the dance floor is one of the more normal happenings of the night.

Midget and regular size Beetlejuices and a schoolmistress above our heads at Cocobongo.
Lots of people off their heads below them.

I have to admit that before I got to Mexico, I had a cliched image of eating tacos and drinking Corona every day. So far I´ve eaten tacos and drunk Coronas every day. In fact I now realise that the word coronary is obviously derived from said drink and should really be pronounced corona-ry.
However in a bid to eat something different one evening, I asked for the specialty dish, and was told it was 'tortoise'. I was shocked (shellshocked?), as they are a protected species where I come from, but I thought I'd stick my neck out and try it anyway. I have to admit feeling a bit disappointed when I was served normal meat in a roll. Apparently I was eating 'tortas' and not 'tortoise'. Easy mistake to make.

I'd been told I had to see the ancient Maya ruins of Chichen Itza while in Mexico, so I did. And guess what? I arrived to find out they were another one of the New 7 Wonders Of The World. That's 3 of the 7 I've already seen on this trip (giant Jesus in Rio, Machu Picchu in Peru) without even trying. How easy is it to get on that list? I reckon they just ask you if your place/thing is wonderful, and if you say yes, they ask you 'how wonderful?', and then if you say 'very', you're in.

This pyramid dates back to 800AD (around the time the Rolling Stones released their first record), and is actually a stone representation of the Mayan calender. I don't think they sold as many of these at Christmas as the ones with the photos of cats in hilarious situations.

Mexico accommodation. Lucky I went for the deluxe room then.

Somewhere on a rooftop in Mexico.

Friday, May 9, 2008

C.R.A.P in the U.S.A - hurricanes no longer the worst thing to hit Florida

When the travel agent said that to fly to Cancun (Mexico) from Lima (Peru) it would have to be via Miami, I thought it would be rude not to stop there for a week. And you know I hate to be rude.

First stop: South Beach, Miami

Having just come out of the Peruvian wilderness, this was a bigger culture shock than the day Victoria Beckham found out that "Cook Islands" is a place and not an extravagant recipe instruction.
Enough of the biggest, flashiest, sportiest, gas guzzling cars to give Al Gore 'An Inconvenient Heart Attack.' In fact they don´t have a ring road there, they have a bling road.
I think you get the point. But I loved it!

But it was strange that just an hour down the road, you could leave it all behind and jump in a park bench with a giant hairdryer on the back and cruise the Everglades looking for alligators. Every so often the driver would nonchalantly point one out just a couple of metres from the boat, so close that you could almost count the 80 sharp teeth staring up at you (which is approximately 79 more than what most of the local humans seemed to have).

"Houston...we have a problem"...

So then it was onto NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, where despite the thorough screening, bag searching, background check of your last 18 meals eaten etc, $29.95 worth of limp off-white polyester jumpsuit still made it through security. Their top scientists are still baffled as to how much sweat it can retain.

"Is that a 300 foot space rocket in your hangar or are you just pleased to see me?"

Actually I was thinking of putting fatter exhausts on it, having it lowered and installing a decent soundsystem, and taking it back down to South Beach, Miami for a few laps of the strip. That'll shut 'em up.

And of course no trip to Orlando is complete without a visit to Disneyworld...so I went to Universal Studios instead.

I bet those guys feels self-conscious in those ridiculous suits.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Crap Elvis and the search for Machu Picchu, Peru

So the train could have got me from Cusco to Machu Picchu in a few hours.
The trek was going to take 1 day mountain biking and 3 days of walking to get to the same place.
Altitude can make you decide stupid things. So a 4 day jungle/inca trail trek it was then.

Now some people think you should wear proper "hiking boots" on treks like this, but wanting to feel every little rock piercing my foot, blisters, and the thrill of not knowing if the grip would keep me from slipping off ridiculously high mountain paths...I decided my $30 trainers would be just right for the job

The King of Coca - walking through coca leave plantations.

Heading along an old Inca Trail.

Whilst gripping any semblance of something stable growing out of the mountain side of the trail, we carefully made every step along the stupidly thin track. The phrase "I'm an Inca, not a thinker" sprang to mind. The Incas could have just made a path along the river a few hundred metres below, but oh no, their god was a sun god, and as such they wanted to make the trail as close to him as possible. Couldn't they have just done what fellow sun-worshippers the Germans do, and just get up early and pop a beach towel down beside the pool before breakfast.

View from the Inca Trail. Including Norweigan stunt leg.

"Good evening rural Peru...are you ready to rockkkkkkkkkkkk?"

River crossings - Peruvian style. Why bother with bridges when an orange box on a piece of rope can quite dangerously do the same job.

Day 4 6,30am: Finally made it. Dawn just breaking at Machu Picchu.
However shortly after photos were taken, I was ordered to remove the suit as it was against the rules. I guess over the years they finally had enough of people in Elvis suits appearing and decided to take a stand. Fortunately I've spared you the photos of me wandering round afterwards in my underwear.

With the rest of the trek group - wow, don't they all look overdressed?!

And for obvious reasons, it's also another one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World. (Machu Picchu, not the crap Elvis suit...although there is a petition up and running).

I bet they caught the train - they've got that smug look on their face.

Crap Elvis in Peru - islands that shouldn't be there and food that shouldn't be eaten

I know what you're thinking - the perfect guinea pig would be served medium rare.

A few days spent at one of the best place names to ever be uttered by a geography teacher - Lake Titicaca. No, really, it's still funny.
Photos below are of the manmade floating islands of Uros in the Peruvian part of the Lake (it's massive, and is partly in Peru, partly in Bolivia).
A rare photo showing me not wearing the full white Crap Elvis suit...but fortunately the local kid had his on.
Oh yeah, and that's not a banana on my head.

The islands are made of reeds as are everything else on the island (although reed microwave ovens never really caught on). The top covering of reeds on the island has to be replaced every 15 days, as the bottom layer disintegrates. For that reason, houses like the one below are designed to be lifted up - really handy if you have an argument with your neighbour. Just pick it up and move it somewhere else.