Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Peru Photos

I'm uploading my Peru Photos on my website. Click Here

Cutdown version of the photos are done and the full version will follow over the next few days. The program I'm using is a bit buggy especially the slideshow option.

Saturday, 30 June 2007

I'm home and there's a boat on my beach

So I'm home in Newcastle, yeah! The flight home was not too bad, I just turned up my headphones and tried to ignore the crying kids and babies!

On Nobbies beach about 20mins walk away from my house there is no surfing or swimmers nor walkers wandering up the promenade to the lighthouse. Instead there is a large tanker "Pasha" marooned since the storms earlier in June. Normally they are way off shore.
So far there have been a few failed attempts to get it back off shore, cables keep breaking. Tonight they will try again. But this one is nice and close and has caused local road near by to be blocked off to traffic, no doubt causing huge probs to locals who live near by.

So my holiday is over. Thanks for joining me in my adventure. Thanks to those who emailed or posted a comment on this Peru blog. My normal mysticalramblings blog is back up and running; my pc at home had turned off during the storms in Newcastle the other week.
Over next week or so I'll put a link up on my main homepage to all my Peru holiday photos.
Take care,

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Snowboarding, well why not

I´m in Santiago for my final 3 days overseas.

I went to snowboarding yesterday, it was awesome. Snow fields only about 1.5 hours away and were very very quiet, hardly any people on the slopes, almost more workers than skiers. Nice beginner slop for me. Transport, lift tickets and clothing and snowboard hire all for $115US it was a bargain! Although today quite saw especially my wrist, came a cropper a few times. There is a reason why I never did gymnastics, me and somersaults always end in disaster!

Santiago is surrounded by snow capped mountains and quite cold, Youth Hostel has no central heating so rooms are cold but blankets abound. Such a contrast to Peru, very rich, very fast, very modern and western. Kind of a mix between USA and Europe. Actually the commercialisation is a bit overwhelming and sickening. Street people and homeless seem to abound.

Late tonight I fly out home to Newcastle. 18.5hr flight yuck to Sydney arive Friday morning. Next week work, noooooooooo. But am looking forward to getting home and seeing my friends as have missed. Also hoping that my lounge room window was closed during those storms or may be in for a surprise in my unit.

See you soon. If you´ve been following my adventure and havn´t dropped me an email or posted a comment, why no do so I´d love to hear from you especially if we havn´t talked for a while.


Monday, 25 June 2007

Some thoughts and Inca Trail photos

Last day in Peru, resting in Lima. A few goodbuys. Simon, Beck and myself are the only ones left now. So nice to sleep in and no agenda, that´s the way I´ll be spending my final week of holidays, resting, not rushing around like a madman. Shame there is no soy, I´d love a soy latte, Friday is not that far away and I´ll be home and it´ll be down to Darby St I go.

Peru is very diverse, It´s kind of strange here in the streets of Miraflora here in Lima it´s kind of western looking and affluent and where I feel most comfortable. Yet I´ve been to places where they have two room houses made out of mud brick and have to kill the animal if they want meat. I remember the Taxi drive 3 weeks ago who said ¨the good people live here¨ and I commented to myself on on this blog. I wonder if I was the poor person if I would also maybe think these people are some how ¨good¨, better, if I´d done something wrong to have to walk to work carrying my shovel over my sholder for miles to a field until I was very old? Not sure who´s happier?

It´s funny when I´m flat out or just exhuasted or sick I tend to loose my contemplative self and just exist and just say Fuck alot, that´s how I´ve found the past 3 weeks, wonderful but flat out, 3 moments I recal that were special, once on the bus trip on way to cuscow travelling through the valleys, one on boat on way bacck from overnight stay on island just out of Puno and day two while walking between the huge mountains on the Inca Trail which I felt just such an amazing connection. Today I needed re'stabalising, so found the Anglican Cathedral for Mass in English then went and vegged in front of tv in bed. Was more like a parish church rather than a Cathedral, small building small amount of people. But the familiarity was great. I´d printed out address off web which had picture on it. Taxi took me to a church that looked nothing like the picture and assurred me it was the one! If it had of had an english mass I would have stayed but was spanish, I wanted I needed English! Lucky a lady walked past who was able to explain to the taxi driver the one I was looking for was up the street.

So let´s go a few days back to the Begining of the Inca Trail. We woke up early, 5am we left on a bus to take us to the 82km mark.

I wasn´t 100% but better but was excited, finally I was here and grateful that was feeling much better.

We had porters to carry our bags, our ones looked like Ants or a Catapiller. I was suprised just what they had to carry, but when I saw our guy´s compared to other companies I felt less guilty. Lima Paths the company we used enforeced the 25kg limit and provided decent back packs and back support. But still the 3 course meals with dinning table was nice but a bit rediculous for a hike!

Just some of the amazing scenery we walked up, down, through and over.

We´d arrive at Lunch and a tent would be erected along with tables, chairs, and 8 wash bowls and towls, like I said rediculous. Oh dear, I´d become one of the horrible british explorers in those African movies making the natives carry stuff, which I always cringed at.

As you can see, the other companies made their porters carry gas bottles on their backs and chaff bags as back packs. Why you need such a large gas bottle for a 4 day hike is beyond me, unfortunatly even our group used one of these bottles.

¨You´ve got to be fucking joking!!!!!!¨ was a common phrase on my lips as I looked and climbed up and down mountains.

I was alive, but only just.

We´d arive each night and tents would be erected and even matresses pumped up and sleeping bags unwrapped.

Day 2 was the worste, two large mountains to go up and down with many steps.

Day 2, highest mountain of whole treck 4215m above sea level. I did it!

Lunch and Dinner were 3 course affairs, amazing food. And the cheff catered wheat and diary free which was amazing and very good for my health as I was already not well.

Many rock stepps up and down, hundreds in a row, hard stuff.

Clouds only meters away and above you as you walked.

We passed many inca ruins. It was clear one mintute the next clouds would appear and cover the whole valley and the things only a hundred meters away.

Many a snow capped mountain was seen

8 from our group, plus porters. 3 people never started the trail in our group as were not well, they met us at Machu Picchu on day 4.

Day 4, I made it. Machu Picchu the main reason I came to Peru. Due to our tour guide rushing us I wasn´t in the space to enjoy, experience and feel the place as expected, a bit dissapointing. Still day 2 with the mountains hugging me was amazing.

So I leave Peru, I didn´t feel I saw stuff as old as Egypt but the place was cleaner and people seemed a lot more gracious and relaxed and accepted ¨no¨ after 2 times in the markets not after 50. So tomorrow is Santiago Chili for a few days R + R.

Jack´s Coffeee shop

Just before we went on inca trail we found Jack´s Coffee shop, very western very like home very nice, except like the rest of peru no Soy Milk, oh well the coffee was great even though it was black.

The day before the Inca Trail Beck, Simon and I hiked up the hill to ¨Sexy Woman¨ which is the fenetic way of spelling the ancient inca site. Cusco was the Inca Capital but only ruins are left due to the Spanish.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Puno and Island Visit

So I´m back in Lima now, Amazon was a disapointment, was like someones farm and saw no amazing animals or birds as expected. More about another day. Ready to go home, hopefully a day rest and sleep in will give me energy and will power to enjoy Santiago for a few days. Here are some overdue photos of Puno and the Island visit a few days before I left for inca trail.

We took local taxi powered by pushbike to boat

Reed Islands

Faimily dressed me like them
Island we stayed on overnight

Mud brick house
Anna cooking over clay oven including eucaliptist leaves (ok) but not the plastic!

The day after island stay was an amazing contemplative day for me on the water. 3 hours back via nother island for lunch which had amazing views.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Lazy day

Lazy day around hotel. Cafe breakfast and TV in warmth.

Doctor gave me some antibiodics last night, feeling better.

Amazon tomorrow for 2 nights, should be really cool.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Made it to Machu Picchu

I made it to Machu Picchu after 4 days or walking up and down endless hills and thousands of steps. Amazing stuff! It hasn´t inspired me to take up hiking but was worth it.

I´m totally buggered, about to get on train to take us back to Cuzco.

My bad health was able to maintain a holding pattern and thankfully the chef (yes!) was able to cater for my no wheat or no milk which helped grately.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

So it begins

Amazing bus trip from Puno to Cusco, road ran straight through canyons as I listend to a podcast from abc radio national on mindfulness. Bus ended up having to stop for 45 mins on way in small town as truck broke down on corner and a coach got stuck.

In Cusco, tomorrow we leave for 4 day hike along inca trail to Machu Picchu. I don´t feel great so hope I wake with lots of energy and my sinus probs gone. Also there seems confusion over my booking for trail so who knows if i´ll even be allowed to go. I hope and pray all goes well and my heath is okay and I can stay warm fingers crossed ....

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Black is good

Back from Island trip. Will post photos when have chance.
We visited floating islands where people make islands out of reeds and have done for thousands of years apparently. Our boat ride to another Island (land mass not reeds) took 3 hours and was very slow but lovely. On way home today saw ducks with blue beeks.
Staying with local village people on island was nice and food great, although I can't help but feel it was verging on being commercial and they are certainly doing well out of tourists.

One thing that struck me was our guide was telling us about the locals creation myth about mother earth and how black is a sacred colour because if you mix all the colours of the earth, animals, people etc together you would get black. I like that.

Not looking forward to the 8 hour bus trip tomorrow without a stop tomorrow to Cuscow where we rest a day or so before starting the Inca Trial, very excited.


Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Arrived in Puno

The world could end and I wouldn't know. No news, papers and today first time in days near a computer. Just read an email from friend in Newcastle. Other day Mum said was bad in Newcastle but I didn't realise just how bad. Just searching web then said 18 people died and a huge mess and Maitland still has probs. Gees.

I'm going well but tired. The altitude makes breathing a little harder than usual at times along with headaches. Different people are experiencing different affects. They call it altitude sickness I'd never heard of it. The highest point we've been to I believe is 4,900m, very high!. We are go go go and you feel like your on a bus or a boat most of the time. The last few days I've seen some amazing scenery and villages as we've travelled higher up into the Ande's. Day time is probably around 18c but hot sun so in tshirt. Last few nights though has been cold, in my tracksuit. Not sure how i'll go in a tent next week as we walk the inca trial. We've had a few small 1 hour hikes in the hills in the Colca Canyon area to help us aclimatise, it's hard work. The roads are narrow and bumpy up near mountain villages so our bus travelled for hours at like 50km, nice but long and dusty. Tomorrow we sai Lake Titicaca the highest navigatable lake in the world 3820m, in night stay will local people in homestay on one of islands.

Here are some photos from past few days.

Here is humming bird drawing in Nazcar desert. No one knows where or how they got there but there is about 8 different images in the sand / rock of the desert. I took this from plane. I was almost sick during flight as pilot kept turn so we could take photos.

Small taxi almost hit in Arequipa traffic and seems Coke sponsers street signs also!

Lama, no I think Alpaca. Tasty i must say and very cute and soft wool.

On way to Colca Canyon we stopped on high mountain. Here historically offerings to mother earther were made. Three rocks on top and sitting under near three coka leaves. I myself honoured mother earth and gave thanks to the our great creator of this beutiful world.

You find even in small hidden away villages a central town sqaure with a park and church.

On our practice hikes in Colca Canyon we saw amazing snow capped mountains, small villages with woolly donkeys and terraced mountain sides and more graves and skulls.

We ate and helped prepare dinner with local family. This lady is widow, with her father. I peeled corn, we ate vege soup and fried guinee pig. I was okay with the killing, skinning but when I ate it i almost threw up!

Amazing Andean condors is what we saw this morning.

On side of road locals sell various hats, materials etc. This cute little girl looked on while her mother made something.

Busy street market