March 16, 2008
Today, i'm writing from my hotel in cuzco, Peru. I'm only two days away from starting the inca trail to machu picchu so i'm taking my time, relaxing and adjusting to the altitude. In Cuzco, i'm currently at 3,399 metres above sea level. From what i understand, the highest peak of machu picchu will be approx 4,500 metres. It isn't until i start walking up and down hill that the altitude seems to bother me. I can not say the same for some of the members in my travelling party. They have reacted as i do with any form of motion sickness. We all soldier on and keep focusing on the positives though - the adventure of the andes.
I have recently visited Nasca (seen some of the nasca lines in the desert), many mummies, an oasis, ballestos islands, Arequipa, Colca Canyons and now Cuzco. I cannot post all my photos on the blog, however, i will aim to set a flicker site with more photos that will be able to be accessed.
Whilst visiting the Colca Canyon, we reached a point of 4910metres above sea level. We only stopped for the recommended 5 minutes before scurrying back to the bus and continuing back to Arequipa. Whilst at the Colca Canyons, we saw the condor. A bird that is the largest flying bird in the world with a wing span of 3 metres. Its flight was effortless as it glided throughout the canyon.
Nightly, we have been enjoying the local delicacies. These have included the Pisco sour (YUM!) Guinea Pig and Alpaca. What can i say - when in Peru...
The alpacas and llamas have been such a highlight for me to have seen them on mass.But nothing compares to the landscape. The imposing mountains at every turn in the background is overwhelming and makes my soul smile just that little more each day. A little reminiscent of Tasmania but on such a grander scale that no photo will do them justice.
March 8, 2008
I have been in Lima now for a week. Slowly i have become very comfortable in this city. My spanish is better than what it was several days ago but still - it isn't wonderful. It is suprising how quickly you adapt to new places and understand the odd word or too.
I took a few days out of Lima and travelled to Punta Hermosa, a beach town approxiately 1 hour drive south of Lima. The apartment was smelly with mold and cigarettes but the beach was enjoyable. I'm slowly learning to relax and do nothing as when i travel to beaches, i usually undertake coastal walks. Not knowing how safe the area was, i adapted to what the locals do - sit under an umbrella ALL day sipping beers and eating ice-cream. There was the occasional swim but i think here it is more about the sunbaking. Tomorrow Bek and I start our tour towards Macchu Picchu. We will be travelling south to Pisco then East towards Cuzco where the 4 day trek to Macchu Picchu begins. At the end of the 20 day tour, we will finish in Lapaz, Bolivia.