A Travellerspoint blog

ollantaytambo

in a tiny wee village to catch the train tonight to macchu picchu. Place is breathtaking, but so are the prices. peru is really miling the inca trail thing. locals pay 4 pounds return from here to macchu picchu. i had to pay 25 quid. this was the rock bottom price, as the government regulates it all. we travelled here to see if we could get round it, but no dice. still, what a place.surrounded my mountains, with colonial churches built atop inca relics. Old inca fort (14th century) dominates the skyline above the town, and the locals are extremely friendly, as are their dogs.

tomorrow is the moment i have been waiting forever to arrive: seeing the sunrise over macchu picchu.

Posted by mark92 12:12 Comments (0)

cuzco

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What a prime hassle that journey was. People spewing out of the window as the bus twisted its way through the last past; heralding the finale of our 14 hour bus ride.

The city is beautiful; that much is clear even with our mild altitude sickness and exhaustion after days on the road. It´s evident that money flows freely into the place, but serves instead to more clearly highlight the divide between have and have not. The distribution of wealth in this part of the world is staggeringly imbalanced; bolivia perhaps being worst of all. These countries have rich natural resources, but lack of infrastructure and staggering levels of corruption form a climate of political instability.

Looking into deals on the hike overland to the macchu picchu ruins. bit pricey, but when will the chance pop up again? Seeing a sunrise and a sunset over that magical place is not a fiscal issue.

strange to be surrounded by tourists after some much more remote spots.saw a ciggarette seller approach an american middle age tourist to hawk his wares, and was promptly pushed away in a physical and aggressive manner. I have been quite irate with people in the last few days, who try to take advantage, but this made me sink into a passive and pensive state, rather than telling him what I thought of his incredibly unjustified response. Some people are so cloaked in their own shrink-to-fit world, that they will never truly connect with life in a purer form...understanding that sad fact brings the realisation that the american tourist is in many ways, worse off than his reluctant sparing partner. I let it go.

Had a fantastic skate in Nazca last night. Loooong smooth marble path with a marbl block running alongside. I couldn´t believemy luck after all this time scraping a session togther from whatever happens by. The strange things was, that it gathered a crowd. Must have been 50 people watching, cheering when i made something (laughing when i didn´t). Two street dancers incorporated me into their show and hijacked my giggling audience. They didn´t, however, cross my palm with silver.

off to have a long snooze and try to make it to plaza san blas for some maté brewed from coca leaves tomorrow morning, which is good for altitude acclimatization. Rather not chew too many of the leaves though, saw some salivating oold locals chuckling at nothing in particular as they meandered through the crowds, and reckon i need to have a slightly firmer grip on reality at the mo.

entonces, cheery bye fur noo.

Posted by mark92 18:16 Comments (0)

NAZCA dune buggys, sand boarding, nazca lines

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nazca lines.jpg

18 hours to get here, but it is done. Tomorrow at 8am, a trip is sorted to view the Nazca lines (see above for one of many many examples).

The Nazca Lines are an engima. No one has proof who built them or why. Since their discovery, the Nazca Lines have inspired fantastic explanations from ancient gods, a landing strip for returning aliens, a celestial calendar created by the ancient Nazca civilization -- putting the creation of the lines between 200 BC and 600 AD, used for rituals probably related to astronomy, to confirm the ayllus or clans who made up the population and to determine through ritual their economic functions held up by reciprocity and redistribution, or a map of underground water supplies.

Afterwards, straight afterwards (!) it´s a trek to the highest sand dune on the earth (2087m). Thankfully, as it´s mid afternoon by then, the climbing will be done in dune buggys, and then we are going to sand-board down it. wooooohooo! will stick photos up on the putfile site asap.

UNfortunately, after that, we get on a bus at 2am for a 12 hour ride. The saving grace, is that the bus is bound for Cuzco and the famous Macchu Picchu.

island hop over lake titicaca into bolivia (wait till you see photos of that place!), meet jeremy for a while, then carry on with the plan below.

lima really sucked this morning, but it looks like they are making an effort to clean it up. Been a while since i saw slums like that in the pueblitos outside. Lured down from the mountains in droves by the advent of tv up there portraying a glitzy lifestyle, and they found out it´s just pure P.R when it was already too late. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking, however, and the people are ever happy and even more talkative than I am!

Really really nice people here. What are yo waiting for? Visit Peru...

Posted by mark92 18:34 Comments (0)

LA RUTA NUEVA

Change of plan.

Time is getting short, and can´t keep surfing forever! Money is very tight as well, so the new plan is to head from here to Lima tonight overnight, then straight on to Huachacayo and Cuzco. The total bus journey is about 36 hours over 3 days, so it will be exhausting. IN any case, after macchu picchu, plan to cross lake titicaca into bolivia, down through the salt plains and mountains and into the wine region of argentina. Travel down to Mendoza and cross the chilean border there to santiago and valparaiso.
Dwon to tierra fuego, including some of the most spectacular scenerey in the world, say hello to a few penguins and sea lions, then into argentina to the southermost city in the world. fly from there straight to buenas aires for a few days. Argentina is well cheap at the mo, and bolivia is incredibly good on the pocket. even cheaper than peru, and i just had a 3 course lunch for 60 pence!

anyhoo, will update

puss beso smooch

Posted by mark92 07:11 Comments (0)

P-E-R-OOOOO!

huanchaco1z.jpg

It has been a long road to get here, but not at all bad. set off from the beautiful and tranquil villcabamba a few days ago, and back to colonial Loja for a night in with t´telly.

Early morning bus to Piura, Peru. Took about 9 hours via the craziness of the border post, where sweaty men send you from office to office from behind their communist-bloc typewriters.

nae bother.

Piura wasn´t a gem really, but we met some friendly people. Taxi drivers try to rip you off with a big smile, and when you tell them to get tae falkirk, they jovially agree to your (fair) price, and continue like nothing happened.

Nae botha...

Today was a 7hr bus journey with a rice-and-crabs stop in chiclayo. Now in Huanchaco, where these guys in the photo paddle their makeshift rafts out to beyond the breakers, fish, then surf back withtheir catch. They have been doing this for 100´s of years, so don´t tell me that those guys in California were the 1st surfers. as a skater, i am here to pay homage to these fishermen. what will be their reaction? :)

some days of surfing and seafood here, before the trials of lima. Plan to be there as short a time as possible, before the 30hour journey through the andes to Ayuachco and then Cuzco.

tired now after endless (well, seven) hours gazing at deserts, occasional shacks, the blue gray distance of the Cordillera (andes mountain range) and the thai-esque tuk-tuks weaving thru the traffic.

time for beans´n´rice

hasta la pasta amigos y amigas...

Posted by mark92 16:17 Comments (0)

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