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