A Travellerspoint blog

Time to come home

We are leaving today the 31st at noon to get to the airport and will be back on Sept. 1st. Thanks for all your comments and thoughts. I promise to put up and label some really nice pictures on this site as well when I return to a computer from this decade so that all of you who are not on facebook can see them. Plus Thom the computer wiz will probably be making a site where all the pictures will be as well and I will post that up too.
We love and miss all of you! xxooxxoxxo

Posted by Kelly Rose 05:44 Comments (2)

The magic shot!!!

sunny

Last night was our last night together as a whole group. Three girls left really early this morning to catch their flights while the rest of us remain for a few more days or so. We had a really nice meal and gave Gaetano and Atilla our guides a fine toast and tip. They really were the best! They also thanked us and said that we were one of the better group of people that they had worked for. The night ended fairly early and I was still feeling pretty sick with a terrible sore throat. Last night was pretty horrible and I couldn´t sleep because every time I swallowed It felt like rasors cutting my throat. So this morning we called a doctor to the hotel. He was great! He spoke English very well by my standards and was really friendly. He gave me the diagnosis of Strep.....which is kinda what I figured it was. He said to take my antibiotics and gave me vitamin C and cough drops for my throat. And then he said that if I wanted he would give me a cortizone shot so that my glands would stop swelling and my throat would feel better. So I said sure and man I am so glad that I did. With in an hour I was feeling amazingly better!!! I wish they could just give you a shot and make you feel better so quickly like that with everything!!! THom was fabulous as always as well. So glad he was here to help take care of me.

Anyway it is technically winter here, the end of our trip and everyone seems to be comming down with something or another. So no worries here it is not swine flu and all is well! Off to do some last min shopping and lunch! It is the last night of our trip before our loooooooooooooooong plane ride back! Miss you guys!

Posted by Kelly Rose 07:52 Archived in Bolivia Comments (2)

Puno, Copacabana and La Paz

On the Road to Bolivia

sunny

So we left Cusco and headed on a long journey to Puno. Well we didn´t get started off too fast since we were temporarily delyed by the start of a bicycle race......
Anyway we stoped in the little town of Ayaviri for lunch along the way. Atilla and Gaetano gave us the heads up that it was going to be a traditional lunch and that they only served one thing. I heard the word Pollo (chicken) and had hopes until they brought out the soup and fellow memebers of my group started spooning up chicken feet! Ummmmmmmm I passed and decided to go to the little market down the street and bought a bag of rolls, 6 bananas and chocolate waffers for 3 sols ( about one dollar) instead. Thom ate the soup.....not the feet though....he said he thought he got the ankles...whatever BLeh!!!! Where is Anthony Bourdain when you need him!

Next back on the road where we had a little road rage with a guy on a bike who pulled out in front of our gigantic truck and we almost swerved off the road.....no worries Attilla and Guytano hunted him down in our truck and then got out to give him a piece of their minds......I think some choice words that translate into any language were used to sum up thier feelings of the situations and then it was back on the road.......Good Times!!!

On the way to Puno we stop at Sillustani a Pre Incan Burial Ground complete with Sun and moon dials and Common tombs. Even though it was pretty cool I was kind of getting tired of seeing ruins and hearing a lot of the same information. Luckily my nose did not agree with the altitude and started bleeding so I got to head back to the warm truck.....no really it was cool I was just cold and if you have read about all the other ruins I have seen already you would feel the same. So bloody nose, back to the truck and were off to Puno again.

7:30 pm we arrive at Puno for a group dinner. We take taxis to the main Plaza where we had the most amazing Itallian meal I have ever had in Peru.....HA HA HA.....Really it was soooooooooo good but it was an Itallian joint. At least I had Peruvian red wine to go with it.

The next day we went to the Reeded Islands know as the Uros Islands. We met up with Anna out guide for this and took a boat to the islands on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. There are about 40 islands now made up of reeds and everything on them are made of reeds as well. The island we went to was called Kontiki. We were greeted with bright smiles and a great demonstration of how they made their islands, bartered for food and handicrafts and makde their boats. They actually use reeds and recycled plastic bottles now for thier boats because they last longer.. They dressed us up in their traditional clothing and sang songs to us. Then we got to ride thier pretty awesome boat which actually looked like something from the orient with two Puma heads on the front made of reeds. It was quite nice.

Next we were off to Copacubana, Bolivia.
We arrived at the boarder crossing with no problems for anyone except "Carmen" our truck. Apparently there was some clerical error and the registration number was copied wrong in Peru......sigh.......after poor Gaetano ran back and forth between two buildings for an hour we were on our way again......We went to a group dinner but I was getting sick so soon after we went straight to bed.

Ok so this is one of those things that you just got to love about traveling abroad. We wake to take a shower and when we put the water on it makes this extremely loud high pitched sound that pretty much woke up the whole damn hotel....no joke people were asking what that noise was later and I pleasently got to say "no that wasn´t the fire alarm it was just me trying to use soap and water at the same time, however if you think you need a wake up call tomorrow just let me know and I will schedule my shower then."

Today we were heading to the Isle of Sol ( Island of the Sun) located somewhere in the middle of lake Titicaca.....We had to take a boat that took 2 hours to get there. On the way we sat on top of the boat and saw many beautiful landscapes including the Andian Mountians. However I was still not feeling very well at all. I think I have a throat infection....eh....

So we get to the South side of the island and they tell us that we are going to hike for 3-4 hours to the other side and I honestly didn´t feel up to is so Thom and I went part of the way which was really beautiful to see....guess what.......MORE RUINS!!!!!! THere was a rock that supposively looked like a Puma which is an important animal to the Inca´s and is actually what Lake Titicaca is named after (not the dirty words we think of...LOL) Titi = puma in someone´s language. Now back to this Puma Rock.....well maybe if I was chewing on massive coca leaves I would have woke up and said "Hey man check out this rock...kinda looks like a cat I saw once." Eh.....there was supposively a face to but you needed to be on acid to see that one. Then we walked back to the boat to the North side, waited for everyone while we napped in the sun and then headed back.
Since my throat still felt like sand paper everytime I swallowed Thom and I decided to go out to dinner by ourselves so we didn´t have to wait for 12 people to order and be served. We had another lovely Itallian dinner and went to bed. Sorry I am not eating llama, alpaca, or cuy so everything else is a version of something we might eat at home.
I am an extremely diverse person except when it comes to food.....ask my parents, I can sit at a table until the sun rises and falls. Plus the weak gag reflex is more insulting I feel then saying no thanks.

Ok so we are currently in La Paz now and HOLY ALPACA!!!! This place is huge and busy. It´s like times square with out the lights. We are a few blocks from what they call the "witches market" Um it is only my first day here but besides the dried aborted/still born baby llamas and a few burning herbs and weird fatty looking stuff........It is really just a long streat of fun shopping for tourists. So that is where we will be tomorrow and then we leave the 31st to come home. That I am sure will be a plane ride from hell.....it is going to take us three planes and 798765167899643613579765465 hours to get home but we will be back on the first of Sept. and I can´t wait to catch up with everyone!!!!

Posted by Kelly Rose 15:03 Archived in Bolivia Comments (1)

Thank You !!!

Tonight is our last night in Cusco. I don´t have much time since we are leaving for dinner but Thom and I both wanted to say thank you for all of the lovely thoughts and wishes!!! Tomorrow we leave for Puno and Lake Ticicaca then off to Copacabana for two nights and then La Paz. We should be home on Sept 1st. More to come!!!

Posted by Kelly Rose 17:26 Comments (2)

Classic Inca Trail....

Four Days to Machu Picchu

sunny

Ok so where to begin because it has been 4 days. Four of the most physically demanding yet beautiful days of my life. I will try to explain but this may be difficult.

Day one:

We woke at 4:30 to have a crappy breakfast at the hotel at 5:30. Met our guides Marilyn and Fabian at 6. Then off to Ollantayambo to pick up 2 Aussie couples who would later prove their greater physical superiority....More of that later. Oh and there were also the two British girls from our previous Dragonman group, Megan and Kirstin.
Next we stopped to buy coca leaves and walking sticks and prepared to go through check in. Of course two tickets were missing....guess who's.....LOL They were with the other intrepid group so no big worries there.
We went across a little suspended bridge and then took a group photo at our starting point of the Inca Trail in front of the entrance sign.

Here is where the truth should be stated....we totally underestimated the altitude, mental and physical strain and the true test of character that the INca trail would challenge....In other words....Imagine running up and down the empire state building steps for 4 days straight while breathing through a pillow...or perhaps doing a marathon with only one working lung, two feet full of blisters and a bloody nose...oh and an annoying girl who you would rather push off the cliff then listen to her say another word.....Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh I digress....Really aside from all that it was FUCKING AMAZING!!!!!

So the first day was do-able but still quite strenuous. We started at 8.2 Km at an altitude of 8,528 feet or 2,600 meters. We ended and camped at Hatuchaca which was at 9,646 feet. Now there is something you should know about the Inca Trail if you don´t already.... It is not a straight climb up to the top to Machu Picchu....It is actually up and down and up and down and up and down ....(Peruvian Flat) and Machu Picchu is not the highest point of the trail......

We had a cook named Walter, his assistant chef William, Head Porter named Willber and 12 other porters for the 10 of us including our two guides. The food they served was the best food I have had in all of Peru in the last two weeks. They even made a birthday cake with icing for that girl I wanted to push over the cliff..... Quite impressive! Plus they just made us all look like fat, old cows who could barely walk with the way they sprinted up and down the trail carring 5x what we did....The regualation now is no more then 18 Kilos- 45 pounds.

Our tents were warm with sleeping mats and always ready when we arrived.

Day 2 (SHEER HELL DAY).....................

Ok for you to understand what this day was like let me try to do my best to give you some numbers and names. This day we were to climb up to the first Pass and back down before lunch and then do the 2nd after lunch.....

So we start out at 9,646 feet and climb the biggest stairway to heaven I have ever seen in my life to reach Abra de Warmi Wanusca, translation from Quechua- Dead Woman`s Pass at 13,776 feet. When we finally did reach the top I was so moved by the sight, the pain, and the accomplishment I literaly cried.....But wait now we had to go down for lunch....yea lunch there was more to come even after that..... (Almost there.....2 more hours...your almost there...... another hour.....your almost there) And let us not underestimate the process of going down hill.....yea you may be able to use your lungs again in an orderly fashion that doesn´t make you want to poke a pen in your throat for extra oxygen.....but alas down hill for 3 hours straight can be like drilling a hole through your knees.... (Ok I wasn´t prepared)! So after decending about 1,000 feet for lunch to 12,464 feet it was time to go back up again...YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Suck it stairmaster!!!!! Where was the Inca Trail setting back at the gym????

Second Pass back up to 12,916 feet.....nice lake some more ruins and then.......you got it back down but not reallythat far just a few hundred feet. Now all this up and down you would think we were travelling around the frig,n world and back but actually the distance was only about 35 KM.....=-)

Camp with Puma Killer Mosquitos...what are those you ask???? They look like gnats and bite like mosquitos...fun I am hoping customs lets me back into the country because one look at me and you would think I have small pox or some other fun jungle disease.....but we survived day two and worst was behind us. I want to say that even though I am being silly or this sounds like I was miserable the whole time I wasn´t......... all the time......just some but it really was worth it.

Day 3 (There goes my knees)
Oh it started so lovely with gorgeous views atop mountians to the 3rd pass- a walk in the park compared to the day before. WE were going to be fine today....... After the beautiful view at the 3rd pass at about 11,772 feet it was down hill to lunch and then the rest of the day was free to relax.......ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Oh wait there goes my knee so going down hill turned into a 4 hour production of me with my Knee and Megan (the Brit I like) with her bad hip...hobbling down the mountian with our walking sticks while Thom kept our guide Fabian from being bored by checking out every Peruvian orchid. So then as we are hobbling down the mountian to get to our final campsite located at 8,829 feet so ya know it was only 2,000 feet.....these lovely bees decided to keep us company....how nice. They really loved me and while I knew they didn,t sting or bite the constant buzzing in my face and ears was enough to make the temptaion of throwing myself down the cliff a reasonable option. Alas....we made it again and the next day was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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It's me, Thom now so the style might change a bit but bear with me while Kelly is uplaoding some pictures to Facebook....

For dinner that night (it would be our last - with the porters NOT for the remaining parts of our trip) we had a feast fit for Pacha Pappa (Holy Mountain god)!
As we feasted we prepared a song which we were to perform for the porters as a sign of friendship and thanks for ALL they had done for us. We ate and prepared our song and Fabian folded many varieties of Oragami, which he gave to each of us as his good bye gift. Aftr the meal we all gathered together, we sang our song, the porters sang a song for us and we huddled together for a group photo - great fun - now...
To BED - 4:30 wake is not far off!!

Day 4 (the HOLY GRAIL)
Both of us in pain (did we mention that I, Thom, had developed two quarter sized raw blisters on the back's of each heel?) but determined to complete our "pilgrimage" we joined the waiting line to climb to the Sungate, Inti Punku, where I was going to let out a well guarded plan that was some 9 months in the making - and yes like gestation, the final delivery would have prove to be a bit painful...

We arrived at Inki Punku in time to see the sun clear teh mountains in all of it's splendor...
Unfortunately there were many others around, no real PRIVACY but...
I took the moment that was presented and unveiled the ring! Not the best delivery or place but the secret was NO LONGER!!! We walked and talked and she said YES!

Posted by Kelly Rose 08:36 Archived in Peru Tagged foot Comments (9)

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