Jul 20 2009

Lima for a day

Monica

We arrived in Lima this afternoon and will be here for about 36 hours before flying to Brazil tomorrow night.  Good food and new friends will be our focus for these few hours in Lima. We are going to hit the town tonight and tomorrow the BEST Peruvian ceviche awaits me at my favorite restaurant, La Mar.  Probably Beyond the Shoestring!

Below is a pic from last night (Mon, July 20).  Dinner was amazing too!  It was at a place called Tanta, and it’s actually another restaurant by Gastón Acurio, this famous chef who is a co-founder of La Mar as well!  (La Mar is the cebicheria we ate at today and that Monica was so looking forward to in Lima!)

A night out with our Perviuan friends. The bar was called La Noche in the barrio of Barranco.

A night out with our new Peruvian friends. Wendy is on the left, and Florivela is on the right. The bar was called La Noche in the barrio of Barranco and they had some good live latin jazz going.


Jul 19 2009

Alternative Inka Trail to Machu Picchu

Bodhi

The pictures tell the story. That and we have to leave to catch a bus to Lima..

In brief: It was a 4 day journey. 1 day of downhill mountain biking, and 3 of walking, trekking, learning. We stayed in little “pueblos” in hostels along the way. Our group had 4 Brasileros, 4 Colombianos, and 2 Americanos ;) Our guide was pretty cool, and shared a good bit about Inkans with us and also the modern day situations of the people that live in these places and what life is like for them. We hiked on some original Inka Trails (cool!) and also roads and railroad tracks. The day we saw Machu Picchu, we were lucky enough (i.e. smart enough) to get one of the highly sought after 400 daily allotted tickets to allow entrance to hike up Wayna Picchu. This is the crazy spire of a mountain you see in the background of all the famous pics of Machu Picchu. That is one helluva hike! It’s basically straight up. Those crazy Incas really liked building things way high in the sky.

Lining up to get going on the bikes

Lining up to get going on the bikes

So fun..it should look familiar because the experience was a little like the Death Road ride in Bolivia!

So fun..it should look familiar because the experience was a little like the Death Road ride in Bolivia!

The scenery from the ride

The scenery from the ride

Down the valley..I loved seeing this sort of thing every day

Down the valley..I loved seeing this sort of thing every day

The 2 stripes of the seed goo (used as a dye for fabrics by the Incas, among other things) signifies "taken"

The 2 stripes of the seed goo (used as a dye for fabrics by the Incas, among other things) signifies "taken"

¡Camino del Inka!

¡Camino del Inka!

A nice food and rest stop along the way with the family who lives on the steep mountainside

A nice food and rest stop along the way with the family who lives on the steep mountainside

More valley we were trekking through..this is the sacred Wilcamayu river (now "Urubamba")

More valley we were trekking through..this is the sacred Wilcamayu river (now "Urubamba")

The kind of stuff we were hiking on sometimes.  Don't look down!

The kind of stuff we were hiking on sometimes. Don't look down!

Beautiful

Beautiful

End of the day..so tired! We worked hard for this picture, hiking all the way back up to the Guard House to get the view.  Worth it!

End of the day..so tired! We worked hard for this picture, hiking all the way back up to the Guard House to get the view. Worth it!

So many more pics to follow! We have to leave now to catch the bus, and the computer “no funciona” so that’s that. Chau!


Jul 14 2009

Some more pictures from in and around Cusco

Bodhi

Tomorrow we leave bright and early for our 4 day, 3 night “Alternative Inca Trail” journey to Machu Piccu.  The first day is mountain biking (our 6th time biking so far on the trip!), almost all downhill, and the following days are “trekking”, i.e. hiking.  We will be in little towns and on pieces of the old Inca trail that have been rediscovered.  We’ll get to sit in some hot springs as well (my 4th time so far on this trip!) and I’m sure we’ll meet some other interesting travelers.  This should be a lot of fun!

Today we made it out to the Sacred Valley, or the “Valle Sagrado”.  We only really saw one set of ruins though, near Ollantaytambo.  It’s hard to do things efficiently and quickly here in Latin America.  Especially when there’s not a whole lot of daylight.

Here are a few more pictures from recent days in the Cusco area and surroundings.  Our hostel’s computer doesn’t let us do USB stuff though, so it’s hard to get current pics up easily.

Monica says these kinds of pictures around here look like a "painting", mainly because of the sky

Monica says these kinds of pictures around here look like a "painting", mainly because of the sky

It's fun to get a little creative when you're out walking on the road for a while

It's fun to get a little creative when you're out walking on the road for a while

A bath of the Incas, basically where the king went for his spa day

A bath of the Incas, basically where the king went for his spa day

Cusco, from our hostel's front doorstep

Cusco, from our hostel's front doorstep

Finally!  Gay rights and catholicism together as one! (actually, this is the Cusco city flag, based on old Inca traditions)

Finally! Gay rights and catholicism together as one! (actually, this is the Cusco city flag, based on old Inca traditions)

Plaza de Armas, the main square for Cusco

Plaza de Armas, the main square for Cusco

Next to one of the largest stones (70 tons or more, supposedly) in the Sacsaywaman ("sexy woman") ruins next to Cusco, a military establishment where the Inca king laid seige to Spanish-occupied Cusco

Next to one of the largest stones (70 tons or more, supposedly) in the Sacsaywaman ("sexy woman") ruins next to Cusco, a military establishment where the Inca king laid seige to Spanish-occupied Cusco

Me as an Inca king

Me as an Inca king

We should have a ton more pics to share, including Machu Piccu after the next few days!


Jul 13 2009

I heart Incas

Monica

We arrived in Cuzco, Peru on Saturday night (11th) after a few beautiful and sunny days on Lake Titicaca. Cuzco holds a special place in my heart as I was here last year with great people and to now share it with Bodhi makes it that much more special. We arrived in time for dinner and really I think it was one of my favorite nights of the trip. We found a gem of a hostel in the San Blas area of Cuzco with a view overlooking the entire city. We sat in the window seal for a long time just amazed at how things just fall into place. We are going to spend a few days exploring Cuzco and the Sacred Valley before starting our four day trek/bike to Manchu Pichu on Wed.

I´m bringing leg warmers back.

I´m bringing leg warmers back.

Capturing a sunset over Lake Ticicaca

Capturing a sunset over Lake Ticicaca