Saturday, July 30, 2016

[MORELOS] Budget and Itinerary

SATURDAY: 30 July 2016
Pullman de Morelos (Taxqueña - Xochicalco) - 140.00
Store - Xochicalco (Snacks) - 30.00
Store - Cuernavaca (Snacks) - 33.00
Mini Bus (Xochicalco - Cuernavaca) - 15.00
Pullman de Morelos (Cuernavaca - Taxqueña) - 130.00

[XOCHICALCO] More UNESCO World Heritage Pyramids

Xochicalco has always been on my list of places to visit since I moved here, after doing some research of tourist attractions that can be reached by bus under four hours. But my acute indolence has prohibited me from going anywhere this July. Lo and behold, I woke up early today, found out that I didn’t have any shifts lined up, went to Taxqueña and bought a ticket. The next thing I knew, I was on a direct Pullman de Morelos bus which only took two hours and a half to reach the place. Pyramids!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Now You See Me 2

Lionel Shrike drowns in an iron safe as his son watches along helplessly in an escape artist trick gone wrong. Also present is Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a magic debunker Dylan Shrike blames for his father’s death. Three decades later and now under a new pseudonym, Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) finally gets his revenge and puts his dad’s arch nemesis behind bars, or so he thought. Orchestrating a grand escape plan, Bradley exposes his identity, compromising his cover within the FBI and sabotaging the comeback attempt of the Four Horsemen. Danny Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and new member Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) end up in Macau, where they are forced by eccentric millionaire Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) to steal a data mining device, a part of a more elaborate revenge plot they are about to discover later on. But they are not alone in this fight, as The Eye continues to oversee their every move. But will their guidance be enough for them to get out of this mess this time around?

Now You See Me

Chicago. Danny Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) performs a magic card trick that woos the ladies and gets him an instant hookup. New Orleans. Has-been mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) hypnotizes a woman and blackmails her husband into giving him 250 bucks in exchange for keeping his secret. Los Angeles. Escape artist Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) dives into a water tank in chains, fails to escape, and is showered with piranhas, only to emerge unharmed in the audience a minute later. New York. Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) bends a spoon and challenges his audience to expose his magic trick for a hundred bucks, which one of them does, before he realizes that his wallet has been snatched. All four of them receive a tarot card leading them to an empty New York apartment. One year later, they are headlining their own magic show in Las Vegas under the name Four Horsemen. They treat the audience to an act never before seen on stage: robbing a vault full of money in a Parisian bank, live. As grand theft and magic coincide, it’s up to FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) to bring them to justice, in a game of cat and mouse that never seems to end.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Stranger Things: Episode 8

8. The Upside Down
Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) interrogates Joyce, but she refuses to cooperate. Hopper negotiates with them to let him and her enter the Upside Down to find Will, in exchange for the kids’ location. Nancy and Jonathan go back to his house and booby-trap it. Steve comes by to make amends. The monster finally shows up and chases them before disappearing again. Steve flees, but decides to come back, helping them injure the monster. The bad guys arrive at the school and El psychokinetically kills many of them, but Brenner still gets to her. The bloodbath attracts the monster and the boys are cornered in a classroom. El sacrifices her life killing the creature she herself has brought to this world. Hopper and Joyce find Will and revive him just in time. The gang is complete once again. A month later, Nancy and Steve are back together. They give Jonathan a new camera for Christmas. Hopper leaves some food in a small wooden box in the woods. Will vomits a slug in the bathroom, getting flashes of the other dimension he was rescued from.

Stranger Things: Episode 7

7. The Bathtub
Mike brings El back home, and just as they are about to kiss, Dustin barges in saying Lucas is in trouble. He communicates with them through the walkie-talkie and warns them about the bad guys coming their way. The three flee the house and a chase scene follows, with Lucas joining them halfway through. She sends a van flying to hinder their assailants. The bad guys return to the Wheelers and do an inspection of the place. Chief Hopper and Joyce rendezvous with Jonathan and Nancy at the precinct. The bully files a police report and gives the chief the info he needs about El being with the boys. He finds them before the bad guys do, and all eight of them gather at the Byers. They improvise a salt water bath tub in the school gym so she can get into the Upside Down, where she finds a dead Barbara and a very sick Will hiding in his fort. He vanishes shortly after, and the monster finally finds him. Chief Hopper and Joyce break into the lab, but are caught by the security guards. Nancy and Jonathan follow suit so they can kill the monster.

Stranger Things: Episode 6

6. The Monster
Following Jonathan’s voice, Nancy finds the exit and he pulls her back just in time before it totally closes. She asks him to sleep over at her house because she doesn’t want to be alone. Steve sees them from the window. He and his friends then go around town slut shaming her, until she finds them and a fight ensues between the two boys, with Jonathan ending up in jail. Joyce and Chief Hopper team up to track the mother of the girl the lab was accused of abducting years ago, but she’s mostly catatonic now. Her sister reveals that she was experimented upon and that she had a miscarriage in her third trimester. Dustin wants Mike and Lucas to patch things up, but their differences about El remain strong. Now on her own, she enters a grocery and steals food supplies, using her powers to deter the staff. The bullies ambush Dustin and Mike at the quarry, threatening the former with a knife to his throat unless the latter jumps into the lake, which he does. He finds himself floating in midair, with El coming to their rescue.

Stranger Things: Episode 5

5. The Flea and the Acrobat
Joyce’s ex comes over for Will’s funeral and suggests that she consult a shrink. The boys try to figure out what’s happening and come up with the idea of alternate dimensions. They end up quarreling trying to find the upside down, after discovering that El has been misleading them on purpose because she thinks it’s not safe. Chief Hopper breaks into the lab, sees the alien specimen thing on the wall, and ends up being tranquilized by the lab staff. He then wakes up back at his lake house as if nothing happened, but he discovers that his house has been bugged. He heads over to Joyce’s to tell her that she’s been right all along. Jonathan and Nancy team up to find the creature back in the woods. They encounter a mortally wounded deer, but something drags it away before they can euthanize it. She then finds a huge hole on a tree, where she squeezes in and follows a hidden passageway leading her to the creature feasting on the deer’s corpse. She tries to back away but the hole closes down on its own, trapping her inside.

Stranger Things: Episode 4

4. The Body
Will’s body is positively identified at the morgue, but Joyce isn’t convinced her son is dead. El lets Mike listen to Will singing on the walkie-talkie. At the lab, a guy in a hazmat suit enters what seems to be a breathing alien specimen on the wall. He reports back moments later, then panics, before they totally lose him. The police interrogate Nancy about Barbara and inform her that she could’ve gone back home that night and ran away afterwards because her car is now nowhere to be found. She approaches Jonathan and they redevelop the photo, revealing the image of a creature that fits his mom’s description of what she saw on their wall. The boys sneak El into the school radio station so she can track Will better. They hear him crying for help, just as Joyce sees him on the wall after tearing up the wallpaper. Chief Hopper does a bit more digging and breaks into the morgue. He finds out that “Will’s body” is fake and stuffed with cotton. He then returns to the lab and starts cutting the barbed wire so he can get in.

Stranger Things: Episode 3

3. Holly, Jolly
Barbara (Shannon Purser) regains consciousness in a strange pit and tries to flee, but is dragged back by the creature that abducted her. Joyce installs Christmas lights to communicate with her missing son. Karen Wheeler (Cara Buono) brings over a casserole, but she chases her away after her toddler daughter Holly enters Will’s room and sees the same figure coming out of the wall. Joyce paints letters on the wall to ask Mike where he is. He answers “Right Here.” When she asks him how she can help, he tells her to “Run.” Chief Hopper visits the lab, finds nothing, but is convinced that they’re lying to him. Further digging reveals a controversial past, including abduction allegations. Nancy’s boyfriend Steve (Joe Keery) finds out about the photos Jonathan took of them the other night. He breaks his camera. She sees a photo of Barbara by the pool and goes back to the woods to find her, but to no avail. El leads the trio to Mike’s house where “he’s hiding.” They see patrol cars and follow them to a lake, where a body believed to be Will’s is found.

Stranger Things: Episode 2

2. The Weirdo on Maple Street
Looking for Will, his three friends encounter Eleven in the woods. Mike (Finn Wolfhard) brings her back to their house and hides her at the basement. A flashback shows her being dragged into a lab. Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) threaten to tell on Mike, but “El” telekinetically shuts the door. She tells them that Will is hiding. When they ask her from whom, she shows them the monster icon from Dungeons and Dragons. The bad guys break into the Byers’ shed in hazmat suits. Joyce receives another phone call, followed by fluctuating electricity leading her into his room, where a mysterious white figure emerges from the wall causing her to run. Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) pays his estranged dad a visit, but doesn’t find Will there. He goes to the woods later on with his camera in search of his brother, but instead finds Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Mike’s sister, at a house party. He watches from afar as she makes out with her boyfriend in his room, leaving their friend Barbara alone by the pool. And then vanishes too.

Stranger Things: Episode 1

1. The Vanishing of Will Byers
1983. Indiana. A scientist frantically tries to escape from an unknown assailant, but ends up getting caught at the elevator. Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) and his friends try to buy more time for their Dungeons and Dragons game on a weekend night, but are forced to go home because of class the next day. He veers off-road on his bike as what seems to be a supernatural entity stalks him. He rushes back home to ask for help but finds no one. Desperate, he runs into the shed and loads a shotgun, but is ambushed by his unseen attacker. They both vanish into the night. The next day, his mom Joyce (Winona Ryder) files a missing person report, but Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is having no luck finding the child. A young girl (Millie Bobby Brown) with a shaved head and in a hospital gown steals food in a nearby diner. Annoyed with the noisy fan, she renders it motionless with her mind. The owner feeds her and calls social services, one of whom shoots him dead when she arrives. The girl, who refers to herself as Eleven, flees.

Monday, July 11, 2016


Julieta (Emma Suarez) tries to pack all of her books to take with her as she leaves Madrid to move to Portugal with her boyfriend. Everything is going according to plan until she runs into Bea, her daughter Antia’s childhood best friend, who tells her that she saw her at the Alps with her two sons in tow. Julieta reveals that she has not seen her daughter since she went on a retreat 12 years ago and never came back. Distraught, she leaves her boyfriend up in the air, moves back to her old apartment, and starts to write everything she ever wanted to say to her daughter in a notebook, with a sudden desire to find her again after all the years that have passed. She begins her story when she was younger (Adriana Ugarte), meeting Xoan (Daniel Grao), the love of his life, on a night train to Madrid.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Me Before You

After six years of service, Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) is dismissed from her job as a waitress at a local cafe. With her father jobless and a family to maintain, she takes responsibility and does not stop until she finds a new gig. She ends up working as a caregiver for William Traynor (Sam Claflin), a former banker left paralyzed from the neck down after getting hit by a motorcycle two years back. Although their relationship begins in an antagonistic note, with his sarcasm and cynicism not sitting well with her vibrant and positive outlook in life, they soon become friends and start to develop feelings for one another. The problem is that he has already made up his mind about euthanasia, given how his medical condition will no longer improve according to his doctors. She, on the other hand, will not give up until he changes his mind. Will they end up getting their happily ever after?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

[LA PAZ] Budget and Itinerary

WEDNESDAY: 29 June 2016
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 36.00
Bolivia Hop (Cusco - La Paz) - 59.00
Isla del Sol Tour (Bolivia Hop) - 10.00

Las Playas (Lasagna + Water) - 40.00
Tips (Isla del Sol) - 10.00
Restaurant Totod (Ham & Cheese + Hot Choco) - 30.00

Saturday, July 2, 2016

[POTOSÍ] Budget and Itinerary

SATURDAY: 2 June 2016
Todo Turismo (La Paz - Uyuni) - 39.00
Altitude Travels (Uyuni Day Trip) - 80.00
Todo Turismo (La Paz - Uyuni) - 39.00

[UYUNI] Once an Island, Still Full of Cactus

Most itineraries set by tour companies in Uyuni include three more destinations aside from the salt flatS. Your first stop is not that far from the town center, a place they call the Train Cemetery. No need to be afraid! There were no ghosts when we went there, just tourists. The place is just a junk yard in the middle of the desert where Bolivia’s national railway aspirations have been put to rest, in the form of scrap metal that used to be the chassis of their trains.

[UYUNI] Purely White and Blinding Bright

What is now referred to as Salar de Uyuni wasn’t always pure salt. It used to be a huge lake similar to Titicaca, except that not both of them had the same fate. But whatever, at least they both have world titles tied to their names now. As Titicaca went on to become the world’s highest navigable body of water, Salar de Uyuni is now the planet’s biggest salt flats. Unlike Titicaca, though, Potosi’s number one tourist destination falls entirely within the jurisdiction of the Bolivian state.

Friday, July 1, 2016

[LA PAZ] It's the Climb

Don’t be sad if you can’t find the cable car stations. It’s not the end of the world. Given the hilly topography of La Paz, you are bound to end up somewhere high enough for you to appreciate a panoramic view of the city. At least this is what happened to me after I braved a few uphill climbs here and there until I reached the top of Mirador Killi-Killi. My only suggestion is that you do this before you check out so your baggage won’t weigh you down. I know mine did, and it was just a backpack!

[LA PAZ] Literally High

Bolivia’s capital is the highest in the world, which is why most tourists usually take a day or two to acclimatize or risk getting altitude sickness. In my case, it was a combination of altitude AND sickness. Having climbed Huayna Picchu two days prior and then having a full-day trip of Lake Titicaca the next day where I slipped on the boat and fell flat on my ass, I already convinced myself that La Paz would be nothing more than a bed rest pit stop for me to totally recover if I wanted to enjoy Uyuni’s salt flats come weekend.
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