Closing the cycle

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
Trip End Nov 03, 2012

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

What an incredible journey this has been. Now, on my way back, having the long hours in the plane to think about it all, I still can’t believe I’ve done it. Stopped my life for a second and went away. Most of people I met here are way younger than I am, and yes- I would have wanted to travel at least six months like they do. However, there is another side to the coin and I feel lucky for being able to do this just now. The experience is completely different when you are able to digest the culture, the flavors, the language, the custom comparing and knowing others, having a more mature point of view to life. Or thinking you have so… Even at my age, I was tempted to do crazy stuff from the variety of extreme sports S.America has to offer, so think what would  I have done, if I were in my 20s.So many accumulated dreams were realized in these few weeks, dreams I’ve been waiting to realize for years…Starting with the diving course in the Caribbean. Did I really do that? Did I dive into 30m depth to see the beauty underneath? Yes, this is how I started my vacation, I believe at the best part, inside the warm greenish waters of Colombia's Caribbean. My passion to coffee, brought me to Zona Cafetera in center Colombia, where I saw amazing views riding on horseback, feeling like I was a part of a picture. From Colombia, moving to Ecuador. Travelling back in time to visit earth in its creation, in its “Genesis”, at Galapagos Islands wasn’t even a dream; it was unreachable wish, a place I never thought I would see. And yes, it was an fantastic week cruising along the islands, getting so close with all the endemic species that evolved here, which exist nowhere else in the world. Not to mention the diving in Galapagos waters, that is a whole special experience for itself. Visiting all the World Heritage Sites along the way, seeing different views, ethnic groups, learning these people’s history and culture whether Inca descendants or not, understanding their language, exploring their land is such a rewarding experience. It is never boring over here, you have so much to see and do that time is just not enough. Ecuador’s Quito, supposedly a dangerous city, has so much to offer that I was sorry when i left this city, I really loved it. Its beautiful colonial historic part is so well preserved, and the entertainment area of La Mariscal provides good meeting point. Café Valdez, my favorite spot, where I met with friends every evening, isn’t inferior to any fancy coffee chain in Israel. And here, in a small special museum, I learnt about Ecuadorian ethnographic and craft as if I have read dozen of books. The thermic waters of this active volcanic land, also provides opportunity to rest when needed in order to gather powers for the rest of the trip, and such was Cuenca.One of Seven Wonders of the World, the long-waited Machu Picchu and the crazy Cusco city with its rafting, with its Salsa classes and with the beautiful people I met here, has turned absolutely unforgettable. Seeing this place, brings you closer to the Inca people leaving you amazed by their genius…Bolivia, and your Salar de Uyuni, what can I say? This place provokes so many thoughts but in the same time leaves you speechless. Potosi- special. Sucre, beautiful.  LaPaz, ugly but unique…Kind of acceptor of variety, very colorful with its differences, with its lady Cholitas. One night, I went to see the Cholitas fight, famous in the city, however I regret the moment, it was the lowest thing I have ever seen in my life, whilst the locals seems to differ in thoughts. All of this time, speaking my favorite language, Espanol, made me feel home. Stuck in ugly LaPaz unable to fly to the jungles, I decided to take four days private lessons to improve my Spanish, and so it has jumped to another level enabling me to buy a book in Spanish in the airport and see movies with no translations and even understand those. Isn’t this the biggest reward? Just to me of course, not to my poor teacher who was so patient when I drove her crazy with all my questions. Well, this trip, has been the best thing that happened to me in years. It came just in time, in between two jobs. Helping me to leave behind a chapter of a decade, opening a whole new chapter for my new job, new life, new priorities, new perceptions.And all of this I start with new friends who I met along the way and with whom I expect to meet again in the future. These people are such an important part of the experience, they make you love the places you visit and remember the moments you live. Friends like Lynn and Brian with whom I spent a whole week cruising in Galapagos, beautiful and open people like Isabelle who I met in Quito and sat with several times in Café Valdez. Mor’ke, Gili and the Cusco team with whom I spent a week in Cusco, Machu Picchu, and later on in Lapaz again. They made me laugh so much…Sarri and I met along the way to Machu Picchu and our adventure ended crossing the Peru-Bolivia boarder together, visiting the floating islands in Puno, after a night on a coach... My dear Argentinian friends, Silvia and Juan Jose made my days in Copacabana, Isla del Sol, some days in La Paz, and I didn’t leave them until Sucre. They will obviously be part of my next visit in Argentina’s Mendoza. My room in their place is already reserved. Claire, with whom I connected in the Salar, and with whom I have the best surrealistic pictures ever will hopefully visit some day in Israel, or else I will see her in Munich. So many more people are such a big part of everything. The best diving instructor, Leo from Calipso, who I miss already, I hope I will see him again one day. Kelly, who surprised me with a perfect Hebrew for a cheerful Colombian fresh juice maker, how could I end my diving days in Taganga without the vitamins you supplied to me?  And people like Luz, Gladis, locals who love and tolerate the Israeli guests in Quito and La Paz. The list is never ending list but I am most grateful to my family and old-friends who sent me so much love while I was away. I can’t wait to the next vacations to return to this Latin lands as this has been just a bit of the incredible South America, there is so much more to explore, to taste, to feel, to live. Hasta luego America del Sur. Next time we’ll see on the Caribbean beach side of Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica. There is nothing like the beach. Not for a pisces like me. Hasta pronto amigos, I am back home.

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Amazing pictures !!

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