Tag Archives: tour
June 27, 2012

PV021: Salar de Uyuni (part 2)

This video, of course, continues where our first Salar de Uyuni video left off.

With everything I’ve got on my to-do list while we’re living in Australia, I haven’t had as much time as I’d like for editing more travel videos. The biggest hurdle has been recording new voice-overs.  Oksana is usually off working for 40+ hours a week, so there’s not much time for us to collaborate on the next big show-and-tell.  I realized, however, that I had a set of voice-overs still on my hard drive — the ones we recorded last year during our Bolivian salt flat tour.  ‘Bout time I followed up with the second part of that fantastic tour…!

It wasn’t until I started editing that I realized how little footage I shot during day two and day three of that tour.  Lots of great photos, very little video.  I suspect it was because we didn’t have a reliable power source until the tour was over and I was worried about draining my batteries.  Made the edit a little harder to pull off, but thankfully, I was able to supplement it with extra photos (as well as some of Wendy and Dusty’s videos.)  I trust the beauty of the landscape still comes through.

Show Notes:


April 14, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve been meaning to update the Postcard Valet FAQ for a long time; lots of people keep asking us what our favorite place was and now I have something to point to!  This’ll go up on it’s own page, too, but I realized it serves as good summary of certain parts of our trip and thought I might make a post about it as well.

If you have a question that’s not on here, let me know.  Be happy to add something to the list.

Post Travels FAQ

Index of questions:

Q: How long did you end up traveling?

Q: Where are you now?

Q: What are your plans for the future?

Q: What was your favorite place/tour/country/thing out of all your travels?

Q: What was the craziest/most disgusting thing you ate?

Q: Which countries did you visit?

Q: Which country was your favorite?

Q: What was your least favorite country?

Q: What was the most dangerous thing you did?

Q: Did you have any trouble while traveling?  Was anything stolen?

Q: How much did you spend?  Were you able to stick to your $100/day budget?

Q: Did you ever get sick on the trip?

Q: Are you still married?  How has being together 24/7 for 18 months affected your relationship?

Q: Do you miss it?  Does life seem boring now that you’ve slowed down?  Did you burn out on travel?


Q: How long did you end up traveling?

A: Almost exactly 18 months.

Although… that answer doesn’t really tell the whole story.  In our minds, there are three or four distinct parts to our time away from home:  Crossing the US and Canada, staying with family, active travel, and living in Australia.  (more…)

July 3, 2011

PV016: Elephant-Back Safari

Oksana and I spent a week in Livingstone, Zambia, next to Victoria Falls.  We made time to visit both sides of the park – Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Part of the reason we spent so long in the area was that I was trying hard to justify one of the many excursions one can do in the area.  Although Zambia is cheap, the tourism around Victoria Falls isn’t.

Even though we were way over-budget, I so wanted to take a helicopter over the falls or bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge!  I couldn’t see myself leaving this part of Africa without doing something unique.  Well, we got our wish!  On our day-trip to Zimbabwe, we hooked up with a tour agency called Adventure Zone for an Elephant-Back Safari!

Compared to the previous safari video I edited, this one came together so much easier.  (Probably because it recaps a 3-hour tour, rather than a 4-day/3-night one!)  We recorded our voiceovers in the courtyard of our hotel, which was a bit frustrating – if you hear someone sweeping the patio by the pool, try to imagine it’s an elephant swishing his tail as he walks through the bush…

I also want to give a shout out to Bra Tich, our Adventure Zone videographer.  Oksana and I both noticed right away how well-composed and steady his handheld shots were.  We requested his original HD camera files (instead of the edited DVD) for use in our video and got to see the editing room when they copied all 11GBs to our spare flash media.  I’m quite impressed with the operation they run from that small room; 4-6 edited videos a day, duplicated and delivered to any tourist who pays for a copy.  They’ve streamlined the editing process down to a state that I can only dream of…

Vic Falls Adventure Zone
Elephant-back Safari
Victoria Falls (Wikipedia)
Our tour review of the Elephant-Back Safari


April 15, 2011

Wall of Wine

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Mendoza, Argentina is wine country.  The sunny weather is predictable and a plentiful supply of water comes trickling down from the back side of the Andes.  Obviously, the thing to do while you’re in Mendoza is to visit the vineyards.  The touristy thing to do is much the same, just on a bicycle.

Five of us set off one morning with a plan to try the touristy thing.  We rented bikes from Mr. Hugo and started pedaling our way to the first of 10-or-so wineries, olive farms, and chocolatiers.  What could have been a dangerous ride back was actually rather sober, as many of the vineyards were closed that day and, what’s more, we couldn’t justify 15-peso samples at every bodega we visited.

I’m not sure the bike ride thing worked for me.  The first time Oksana and I were in Mendoza, we simply found a bodega we liked (Tempus Alba) and spent a long, quiet afternoon on their veranda sampling all seven of their wines.  The travel time involved with the bikes, pedaling in the sun from vineyard to vineyard, made the whole day seem rushed.  That’s not to say we didn’t have a good time, however.

At Vistandes, we paid for a combination tour and tasting.  Our English-speaking tour guide generously moved us past the large steel fermenting vats and dark cellars full of oaken casks rather quickly so that we could spend more time sampling their wines.

While speeding along one plain hallway, we passed a low wall of wine bottles.  I didn’t hear what our guide said about it – no doubt something about the stack being another step in the aging process – because she didn’t even slow down as she passed it by.  I stopped long enough to frame two shots with Oksana’s point-and-shoot before I had to catch up with the group.  Both turned out well, but I like this one better because of the way the bottles go to the end of the frame, the curvature of the wide-angle lens bows them out a little, and, well, just the way that tilt of the photo makes the whole thing a bit more abstract.

Panasonic DMC-TZ5
Date: 3:03pm, 7 March 2011
Focal Length: 5mm (30mm equivalent)
Shutter: 1/30 sec
Aperture: F/3.4
Flash: Yes
ISO: 100
Photoshop: None

March 23, 2011

PV014: Salar de Uyuni

The Salar de Uyuni is the most amazing natural wonder I have ever seen in my life.  During our two trips through the world’s largest salt flats, Oksana and I got so many good photos and videos that editing them into a single podcast episode was more challenging than editing the ones where I don’t have enough footage.  I worried that I wouldn’t do this amazing landscape justice.

This video is almost fifteen minutes long and that’s even after I decided to eliminate day two and three of our tour (I may make that into a shorter episode later.)  I had the great fortune to be able to interview not just Oksana and myself, but also our guide and every one of the new friends we met on these tour.  This isn’t just “Arlo and Oksana’s Experience on the Salar,” it’s “Arlo and Oksana’s (Alaska), Rémy and Aurélie’s (France), Wendy and Dusty’s (Ohio), Soledad and Joaquin’s (Buenos Aires), and Oscar’s (La Paz) Experience on the Salar!”

Not everyone is as comfortable as we are in front of a camera — and we’re far from comfortable talking into a lens, ourselves! — so I want to thank everyone who contributed to this video, especially Soledad and Joaquin who struggled with an unfamiliar language on camera.  For what it’s worth, I think that having a 2-to-1 ratio for English-as-a-second (or third!) -language to native English speakers in this video is pretty cool!

Fifteen minutes may be asking too much of some internet viewers.  If you find yourself bored by the setup, might I suggest you jump to the 9 minute, 45 second mark?  Spoiler warning: It’s awesome!

Finally, there are more stories and photos of our Uyuni trips on:

Rémy and Aurélie’s travel blog: NEWZ FROM THE WORLD
Wendy and Dusty’s travel blog: roamthepla.net