Mountains and Jungle

Trip Start Mar 01, 2007
Trip End Feb 29, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, May 18, 2007

Arrived in Lima, spent 5 hours there before flying off again !! great planning.....flew to Cusco high in the Andes at 4800 mtrs, even worse than Quito for breathing, so of course we stayed with the chocolate idea to help & added coco tea that locals use.

Cuzco has many street sellers, most seliing the same thing, we bought some postcards from a boy called Pablo Picasso & later he came back to try again and was called William !! can obviously spot the gullable easliy, but we saw through him & refused to buy more (kim is tough). Ended up in local chinese, menu was in spanish & ended up with 3 soups....still donīt know how !   

The second week, we had our own guide for the whole week, yes just the 2 of us !    everyone else seemed to be doing the trips in reverse, donīt know why ?

Most people were doing the inca trail for 4 days (1 in 10 drop out first day) we decided to short cut the system & not go...we took the train which was very tiring as we sat drinking cold beer....we could see them walking up & were with them in spirit. We blamed Kimīs arthritis as reason for not trying, but there are 2 stretches of very uneven steps going up that broke much younger & fitter people than us, the first is 2k & the other is broken into 2 sections of 1.5k each, and that is enough reason by itself to take the train !!

We found walking about MachuPicchu difficult enough......the experience would have been awesome, but not convinced would have lived through it !!!
BUT what a is completely overwhelming, set in huge mountains topped with fluffy clouds, must be seen to be believed....did the 3 hour tour & then just sat to take it all in for another few hours. After centuries, the inca design is still earthquake proof !

Agua Calientes is the small town at the base of MachuPicchu where we stayed, it was Mothers day here, and full of local festivities, joined the parade of the Madonna (not the singer) & the drinking & dancing action that followed. Colin tried Alpace, but avoided Guinea Pig as we donīt eat pets (Jackie take note) Spent a few hours in the hot springs at night drinking cold beers in the pouring rain (that was warm)....surrounded by mountains.....what a life !

The final part of the GAP adventure was going into the Amamzon, arriving at the frontier town of Porto Maldonato, where we stored the backpacks & took a bus for an hour on the dirt road to the Tambopata river to pick up a motorized canoe for the 3 hour trip, this was more like a sightseeing tour as so much to see.
The Lodge was great, but no electricity only candle, no aircon or fans in 90% humidity is not funny ! mosquitos a plenty, stank of deet, not nice but practical, used all the clothes in 2 days despite 3 showers a day !!  but well worth it.....did a night walk in jungle, saw so much wildlife, most of which could do you serious harm, mainly Snakes & Spiders, The guide said after walkng for 45 mins, turn off torches & take in the sounds etc., in the pitch black !! Colin thought this was a great idea !! managed to keep light off for all of 30 secs.....
Next day did a 4 hour hike into the jungle, saw the day shift animals, most of which could do you serious harm (suprise)....didnīt know there were so many types of, fire, leaf cutters & bullet which were massive, spiders galore, coaxed a tarantuhla out of itīs hiding place (see photo, but now Jean) we thought the guide was nuts at this point & lost his sanity, but he seemed to know what he was doing, but we thought he could be related to Steve Irwin ?

Final part of tour was to a plantation, very poor conditions for the people, being run by a couple of 60 year olds, lived in a small shack, no electricity, washed clothes in the river & had to take a water taxi into the town 3 hours away each month to selll produce & buy supplies......but they seemed happy enough &  tourist money helps....we ended with a night time canoe trip to spot Cayman. There is no doubt, the jungle is full of life, and is a very interesting but a little scary. Last day the water pump broke, so had to throw cold water over each other from a bottle & giggled a lot.

We flew back to Lima, where riding in a taxi is classed as an extreme sport, can get dinner for 2 with 5 beers for around a fiver....Colin discovered that some Git in custome had cut off the lock on backpack, Grumpy old man as usual.....did some usual tourist stuff & flying off to Seattle via Houston for a few days, before starting another tour to Alaska, so watch this space.

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karenm0 on

Great Pictures!
Keep sending your amazing photographs. They are a great distraction from the mundanity of planning lessons!

You both look so well and seem to be having the time of your lives!

Best wishes,

mills-mcshea on

the shoe on the other foot
Don't enjoy looking at your amazing photos at all, they just fill me with loathing whilst i work.

hope we can catch up soon, and can't wait to see you in a few months. xxx

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