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Friday, 30 September 2011

Hello from La Serena!

We took a 14 hour bus ride  a couple days a go to get to the Mining town of Chile.  There wasnt much there. No sight of the infamous mine which captured the world's headlines. I can tell you the town is very much in a desert.  Montains compliment the landscape.  The sunsets are uncomparable in the desert.  The sunset over the Egyptian pyramids was similar to the one here over the rocky dessert mountains; beautiful.

Yesterday may have been one of the most enjoyable days I've had in a long time.  Jess and I walked.  There is a Spanish city to the south. We had no idea where or how long it would take to get there.  After a KFC lunch featuring the famous Mr. Bieber on the packaging, we just started walking. Four hours in total.  A large german shepperd decided to join us.  He walked beside us over bridges, along railway tracks on beaches, through parking lots et cetera et cetera. I named the companion seeking dog; Steve.  Eventually we found the city after seeking direction from locals. The city wasnt the best part. The jounrney getting there was!

Vina del Mar tomorrow! I believe an Observatory is in the works tonight to see the milky way, which you can see in some places here!  Question, can you see the milky way by the naked eye in Ontario?  Love the comments!


Monday, 26 September 2011

Hola de Iquique, Chile,

Iquique (E-key-kay)

This is a balling surf city. The name which means relax is mis-represented in today's age. The waves are great and the adventure-land doesn´t end there. There is paragliding, body boarding, surfing, skate parks, sand dunes for Jeeps and Paint ball.  We just went sand boarding today. A pretty unique activity to add to the list.  Best way to describe it is, snowboarding with your hiking boots on and riding down sand dunes.

Before leaving Arica, a new friend named Jack brought up the opportunity to play some Rugby. That night, we went to the rugby pitch and played a couple hours of rugby with a club from the city. Days after I´m still stretching the hamstrings to feel normal again.  It was  a lot of fun, the English made it easier for trick plays between Jack and I.  Admittedly, we partied too hard that night.

The hostel in Iquique is flat out amazing and the best yet.  Wood finished everything, stairs, furniture, foosball tables, artwork.  The best way to describe this hostel is warm.  There´s surfboards and body boards covering a whole section. Great kitchen, which has been used daily.  The music is constantly just right for the beach town feel.

Side note, I´ve been growing the beard. In fact, I havn´t shaved the face since Canada.  Its growing in pretty solid.   We´ll see how long she stays on for.  Brain waves are slow on the beach. I just keep sitting on the beach,  mesmerized by the boarders.  The size,  motion and thunder of the surf is incredible.  I´m amazed life can be lived in this fashion.

Off to the beach tmrw AM for some body boarding.  Then to Copiapio (The Mining Disaster Area) over night.  I hear there is not much to see about 'the mine' but we will at least pass through the town.

Feel free to leave comments,


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Hello from Arica, Chile,

Finally we have reached warmth!  Jess and I swam in the Pacific today after 2 weeks of travelling.

We visited the floating islands of Lake Titcaca near Puno Peru two days ago. Yes you read that correctly, floating.  The natives have combined a meter thick of these reeds (like cattails) into islands for 100´s to live on.  Not to find the negative in it but it was sad to see how the tourism industry has influenced them.  They gave a quick story of how they have been doing the floating life (which they forgot to mention has only been since the 60´s) then drag you over to their table cloth of bracelts and toy boats to buy.  Great to be on the water though. Ha funny story. Our tour boat´s prop came cought on a fishing line. Our half day tour nearly became a full day tour as we drifted to shore.  Bonus!  Except i really had to pee.

We crossed the Peru-Chilean boarder in a gold  ford toarus this AM.  Yep  the Toursha is living strong in Arica.  I had the greatest memory of home this morning.  Penut butter and toast!!!!! Well techinically it was Skippy not Karft but ill take it, lol. Seriously it was heaven tasting something familure. Also I saw the first McDonalds today. No i didnt buy anything. Im saving up untill tomorrow´s lunch.

Groceries today for today and tomorrows dinner came to ....wait for it.....8,250.    The Mula in Chile is soooo different. 1 Chilean peso is = 525 US $.  But the six pack of beer was the equilavent of 4 bucks.  Deal!

Still alive and Kicking,


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Hello again from Cusco Peru,

Just arrived to our Loki hostel late lastnight. We  visited Machu Picchu.  The place is great. Much like the Aztec's ruins, yet you can walk up the steps have a nap on the terraces. Bascially spend some serious time  exploring them.

To get there we hiked the Inca Trail.  If you dont know what that is neither did I before I began the 42 km mountain climb.  We camped 3 nights.  the altitude made it very difficult to breath while climbing at 3500 or 4000m. No oxygen was taken.   It rained every day.  I got a bad cold while there. It may have been one of the most challenging things i have done.  The sights made it worth it.  We even visited 7 Inca cities including Machu Picchu. Yes I took many pictures.  We ran into a few llamas on route.  They are basically the deer of Peru. Its more of mental challenge i thought. Stay positive our guide reminded us.  I did.  If you're wondering I did not order a porter to carry my 75 litre pack.

Going on an over night bus to Lake titicocka tonight.  Its  supposed to be the highest altitude lake in the world.  Chile next. Looking forward to the Chilean experience.

My Spanish is improving. Each day I have a bit more confidence to start a convo in Spanish.

Please leave a comment below!


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Hello from Cusco, Peru.

The jungle was surreal.  We took a 12 hr bus ride to Manu rainforest and spent 3 nights in the jungle. The best way i can describe it is very green.  Dont worry the many photos taken will make up for my speechlessness.

We saw a lot of wildlife in the rainforest. Ocelot tracks (small Jaguar). Came a across a snake crossing our path. That's a story best told in person.

We are hanging out in Cusco for a couple days. It is a city at around 10, 000 ft.  I will not take the altitude of home home for granted again. Just walking up down the street this high requires a rest. 

On Friday we begin our 4 day hike to Machu Picchu.

Best part so far was swinging on natural vines in the jungle.  


Thursday, 1 September 2011

After checking that I spelt travelling correct, I am now ready to write my first blog.

A week today, Jess and I travelling to South America.  A continent with culture, nature and countries we're  looking forward to experience.

As Jess wrote, "What started out as a facebook status comment, to nights planning at the campus pub, to weekly skype dates - we are actually pulling this off!"

With no idea what to expect on the trip, this  includes internet access I will post updates "here and there".  Just want to let you know from time to time that I am safe and seeing things.

Friends and family; this blogs for you.