Aside

As the historic…

27 Jul

As the historic capital of Peru, and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Cusco is a great place to start an adventure. Staying in a hostal or just having a walk around the central Plaza De Armas will allow you to meet people from all over the world! There is also a wealth of Incan monuments all over and around the city, that have survived the ravages of time as well as the Conquistadors in their efforts to destroy them.

The main thing that people struggle with when first arriving in Cusco is the altitude. Situated in the Andes around 3,400 metres above sealevel, everyday activities such as climbing a flight of stairs can be made all  the more tiresome. It´s also not uncommon to get altitude sickness up here. So, if you´re like me and you want to enjoy every day to the fullest out here, there are a number of ways of acclimatizing quickly:

1) Get an Andean appetite – you will quickly find that people who live in Cusco eat a lot more than you´d expect because you burn off energy so easily. It may feel a little unatural at first but as you get used to using more energy, you´ll get used to eating more food. So, if you’re like me – polite and British and not wanting to appear a gluton, just let yourself go – you’re not going to put on weight here!

2) Coca leaves – these are great for giving you an extra burst of energy.

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Chewing them feels really weird at first and makes you kinda look like a chipmunk for a bit, but after a while, it settles into a small, green pulp which you can just keep in the side of your mouth whilst it slowly releases invigorating energy. But if you don’t want to go down the route of sticking leaves in your mouth, there are lots of coca products for every taste from sweets and tea to wine!

3) Chica – otherwise known as Corn Beer. Don’t get too excited Beer drinkers, It won’t get you smashed, but it will  give you a boost in your day. Many farmers have chica at the middle of the day to give them the strength to work for the rest of the day. It’s traditional to pour the first part of the drink to the Earth in thanks for its bounty, say ‘salud’, down the rest and jump back into work!

4) Rest – it’s really tempting to try and ignore the fatigue you’re feeling so that you can jump right in to exploring the area and doing as much as you can with your limited time, but letting your body have its well needed rest will mean that you will be able to enjoy being in the Andes to its fullest later. Many people have known to arrive in Cusco, sleep for a day and then experience no altitude sickness whatsoever!

The other issue many visitors to Cusco find it hard to get used to is the cold. That’s right, the cold! It may be gorgeous and sunny here, but at this altitude, when the sun goes down or you step into the shadows, you really feel the cold, especially in the winter months of June, July and August. It might be worth investing in coats and jumpers before you go. Then again if you don’t, it does give you an excuse to buy an awesome Alpaca merchandise!

Once you get used to the altitude here, there is so much to enjoy. Here’s just 4! I’m sure you’ll find more:

 Coricancha – the Conquistadors tried to demolish it, then gave up before deciding to build a monastery on top of it. A while later, an earthquake caused the original monastery to collapse, whilst the Inca foundations remained intact!
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2. Sachsaywaman – an Incan Temple which resides above the city. A true testament to Incan workmanship. I mean you try moving rocks like that!
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3. Horse riding around the Luna Temple – this is a truly awesome experience! A lot of horse riding trips just pull your horse along by a lead, so make sure you get one that allows you to ride the horse yourself and even race one another!
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4. Macchu Picchu – it’s on everyone’s bucket list and when you get there you can see why. It’s a truly spectacular lost city (well it’s not so much lost any more, but it did stay hidden from the Conquistadors for a hell of a long time) When I got there, the entire city was shrouded in mist, meaning I didn’t get the postcard picture, but I did get these:
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Ecuador – an Adventure in Every Direction

21 Jul


Compared to many other countries in South America, Ecuador is relatively small, but it more than makes up for it in its dramatic and varied landscape and the adventures that can be found off the beaten track. The shifting tectonic plates that meet in Ecuador are primarily responsible for such breathtaking scenery.

I would recommend the capital city of Quito as a good starting point. A beautiful city situated 2850m above sea level flanked by Andes mountain peaks, Quito is a great place to plan out your adventure, or at least take a second to decide which direction to go! From there, you can set out in any direction and get a completely different travelling experience! Heading south east will take you further into the Andes, where the going gets tough as you head into Ecuador’s volcanoland. If you go west, you will descend from the Andes and reach the beautiful coastal lowlands and the Ecuadorian islands of the Pacific Ocean. Whilst going north east of Quito will get you into the Upper Basin of the Amazon Rainforest, otherwise known as the Oriente Region. I don’t know about you, but I’m wondering where to start!

The Oriente Region

If you’re looking to explore far-flung areas of the jungle for real, then this is where to go. This part of the Amazon is still relatively undervisited. This is partly because previous border disputes with Peru deterred many potential travellers, but also because of the difficult terrain you have to traverse to get there. The Andes mountainline along the West of the Ecuadorian Amazon acts a natural barrier.

It is possible to get around by trekking through the jungle on foot, or going along the wild rivers by raft or cayak. These rivers are formed by melted glaciers from the Andes, so depending on the time of year, they can be quite fierce. The going will be tough and this is not a trip to be taken lightly, but if you are travelwise and well prepared, you will be rewarded with unforgettable experiences.

One destination I can recommend is the town of Coca, where the rivers, Napo and Coca meet. From here, you can gain access to Ecuador’s largest National Park, the Parque Nacional Yasuní, which has acres of unspoiled rainforest where communities of Huarani Indians live.

Further north, quite close to the border with Colombia, is the province of Sucumbíos, an area fit to burst with biodiversity. Species here include piranhas, turtles, conga ants, freshwater dolphins, giant armadillos, anacondas and manatees.

There are a great deal of  reserves, such as the Limoncocha Biological reserves, an area made up of wetlands and swamps. If you are an avid birdwatcher, Lake Limoncocha* may be the perfect destination for you. The province covers an area of 18,009 square kilometres, making it a potential stand-alone expedition in its own right. Luckily, the Cofan tribe (based primarily in Dureno) are excellent guides. If you do decide to go to Sucumbíos, I would recommend seeing the Imuya Floating Islands on the Lagartococha River in the south east of the province*.

The Andes Range in Ecuador

If you consider yourself a hardcore mountaineer, here is your time to shine! The mountain peaks to the south east of Ecuador are much more than your average trek up the hills and many of them require you to invest in proper mountaineering equipment like ropes, harnesses hardhats and ice axes when navigating the glaciers and the snow capped peaks. Also, it is important to remember that there are many volcanoes in the area, both dormant and active. They are well worth visiting, but it is always worth asking which ones are still active!

One of the more well established trails is up to the Illiniza North Elevation. The twin peaks of this mountain used to be glaciers, but it is still advisable to bring equipment for ice and snow, especially when traversing the knife edge ridges. This trek is doable in one day, but you can make it into a two-day trek and spend the night in the refugio located in the saddle between the two peaks.

Here’s one to tell the grandkids about: Chimborazo Elevation. At 20,703 feet, it is the highest peak in Ecuador and, whilst not the highest peak on Earth, it is the closest place to the Sun on Earth, due to the fact that it is so close to the equator! This one isn’t the be taken lightely and should only be attempted by climbers with experience. When attempting to climb the summit itself, you should only set out between 10pm and 11pm. This is because during the day, the sun melts the glaciers, putting climbers in danger of falling rocks.

This last peak is the mother of all peaks. It was originally called Capac Urcu, which is the Qichuan phrase meaning Sublime Mountain. It is now called El Altar, a name given to it by the Spanish Conquistadors in recognition of its majesty. It is an extinct volcano with a total of 9 peaks which form the crater. But getting up there is very dangerous and involves traversing glaciers which involve an 80 degree climb over ice and rock.

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(c) cuencahighlife.com

21 Jul

(c) cuencahighlife.com

HU’s on the beach!

30 May

This Easter was ‘I Love Tour’s’ Festival Italia on the Beaches of Rimini. The beautiful North Italian coast running along the Adriatic Sea saw a two-day tournament with universities from across the UK. As with most underdog stories, Royal Holloway’s contribution was a team of eight players from the Ultimate Frisbee team, Holloway Ultimate, or HU? for short.

The team consisted of our President Adrian Hornby (top left), Evan Vellis (top middle), me (Nick Munro Turner – top right), Ben Gorman (bottom left), Russell Franklin (middle), our Secretary James Butnik (middle right), Will Laffin (bottom middle), and our newly elected Captain Will Basham (bottom right). Adrian has been working tirelessly for months to organise this trip and it really paid off!

For those of you who don’t know what Ultimate Frisbee is like I’ll explain briefly. The teams face each other at opposite sides of the pitch (in this case, teams of five) and both of them try to get the Frisbee to the opponent’s side of the pitch in the area called the end zone. Usually, each player marks the player opposite them but there are various other tactics you could use. Once you have the disc, you have to keep one foot constantly pinned to the ground, whilst the players on your team will try and get away from their marker so that you can pass the Frisbee up the pitch to them. If you take too much time, drop the disc or throw it off the pitch, then the opposition team will get control of the disc. Ultimate Frisbee is unique as it is the only sport where there is no referee. The players on the pitch decide together whether or not a foul has been committed or a point has been scored.

Here, the matches lasted 25 minutes each. It may not sound long but there is a lot of running involved as players try to keep marking their opponents, make quick cuts to get the disc and jump to the get the discs that would normally be just out of reach. Coupled with the fact that we only had eight players (later seven due to sunburn) meant that we had players who stayed on point after point whilst our opponents took substitutions to rest between points.

Previously, I’d only really played Frisbee in the sports halls or in the fields, I’d never played on a beach before. When we first got out there it felt very strange. It was a lot more difficult to run because of the friction from the sand. But it also meant that we could really throw ourselves after the disc, launching ourselves into the air and landing in the soft sand rather than the harder surfaces I’m used to.

It should be mentioned that the matches we played on tour were Will Basham’s first as Captain, as he is taking the reins from Tim Haggart. He stepped into the role spectacularly keeping us fit and on our toes whilst employing decisive tactics. And just look at him flying through the air in the picture above!

We arrived in Rimini on Tuesday 6th April having already spent a full day on the coach along with the Badminton and Frisbee teams from Swansea University. As we stopped at Dover, we saw a team getting kicked off their coach for drunken behaviour. Luckily we made it and we got to enjoy a day of exploring the local area, picking out good restaurants and relaxing on the beach. The matches started the next day. Our first match was a tough one as we were put up against Manchester, who were widely considered the best Frisbee team there. It proved a real trial to keep up with them and their players were large enough to be able to scoop the disc out of the air with ease. In the end, they won 11-3.

We were determined to do better in our next match against Bath and we did! By now, we were making nice easy passes to each other and keeping the disc away from the other team. We won 6-0. Our next match was against our coach companions, Swansea’s second team. In this game, there were loads of high discs, but great jumps from our team (particularly from James and Adrian) allowed us to turn around and score points. We won this match 7-0. The last match of the day was against Sheffield. They had some astonishingly fast players who made our players panic and make mistakes. We lost to them 7-3.

But whether we won or lost a match we always got together with the other team to talk about the match with the Captain of each team giving the other team feedback on their performance. After that we played a great variety of games such as Gibbon, Ninja slaps, Mac line, Penalty shootout, Assassination, Stories and, my favourite, Flight of the Penguin!

The next day, came the last round of matches. Since the first match was a crossover, which would allow us to qualify for the semi-finals, we all got back to the hotel nice and early from the club the night before. In this match we were up against Swansea’s first team. Will Basham employed a zone formation to cover areas on the pitch rather than opposition players. We were stuck at 3-3 for what seemed like forever. It turned into a battle of shear endurance, but with a long throw and a desperate dash to the end zone we managed to score and win 4-3! But in our next match, we were up against Manchester again. We managed to score the first point but after that their constant high discs earned them many quick points allowing them to win 9-1 and face Sheffield in the final. We were up against Bath once again, fighting for third place. They had come on a lot since we played them the day before and they really gave us a run for our money. They were quicker and much more precise than before, which shook us at first. Luckily we had also become a better team. There were many times when I thought the disc was certain to fall to the floor when someone from HU? would jump out from nowhere and land in the sand clutching the disc. In the end we were able to win 5-3, coming third in the tournament! The only thing left to do was to bask in the sun, hit the clubs with the other sports teams and sample some nice Italian ice cream!

‘I Love Tour’ do university sports tours throughout the year for sports of all shapes and sizes. HU? was the only sports team from Royal Holloway this Easter. We can’t be the only ones who want a party filled sports holiday! If you want to find more details on ‘I Love Tour’ and perhaps make a team booking, visit:

http://www.ilovetour.co.uk/

5. Adios Sud América

30 May

I’ve been back in England about 5 weeks now. It’s been a really busy time, but now that things have settled down at uni, I’m going to tell you about the turbulant final week I had and why I didn’t want to blog about it right away. I believe I left you having reached Macchu Picchu on that rainy day in early september. Shortly after we were told by Ada that the Intrepid Central Office had arranged for Beth and Janet to stay the night in Aguas Calientes when what they really wanted was to get some clean clothes, comfy beds and hot chocolate with the rest of us in Cusco after their 4 days on the Inca Trail. Ada then went about pulling strings as we were getting the train out. We waited on the train wondering where she’d gotten to. Then, as departure time came, we saw her and the now exhausted Beth and Janet, running up the train towards us!

We had a whole day to recover back in Cusco and the next day we headed down south to Puno on the coast of Lake Titicaca. In true Peruvain style, we all got in a convoy of took-tooks!

With our local guide, Manuel, we boarded our boat and headed through the waterway through the reeds. Our first stop was an island made entirely of Water Reeds! On this small island, there were 8 different families! It was an incredible experience feeling how firm the island felt under our feet! Here, the people are free from the conventional laws which govern Peru. We were told that if you don’t like your neighbours here, you can just cut the island down the middle and let them float away! They were all even smaller than the other people in Peru. One of the women nearly had a heart-attack when she found out I was 18!

When we reached the peninsula on the far side of the bay, we met the families we would be staying with that night. After having a delicious fish lunch, we went out with our families in their boats to help them put their fishing nets out. After that, we played beach volley ball. It was Locals vs. Gringos (the spanish word for foreigners). That evening, we went to the village president’s house for a poncho party! All of the clothes meant something here: single man, married woman, man in love, woman seeking man. Jackie and Ada came dressed in the clothes of virgins (snigger).

The next morning, we went out with our families in the fishing boats to collect the fish caught in our nets over night. It was mine and Sean’s family that won (with about 34 fish). We had a talk with everyone before we left. The locals (with their large families) were asking Josh and Amber what contraception they used. After that, we sailed on to Amantani Island. After being humiliated in a game of football, we wanted to siesta but Manuel made us go up to the temple at the top of the island. Slave-driver! That evening was another Poncho party, but this time with more singing and dancing! Every dance meant something. Some were about sowing seeds and others were about helping your drunken partners back home!

The next day, we got the boat back to Puno ready for going over the border into Bolivia to stay in La Paz. Now Jackie said that a lot of the holidays she’d been on, there’d been some sort of disaster. She was around during the bombing in Gibralta for one. Now, as we switched the news on, we found out that there were fierce riots happening in La Paz! Our jaws dropped. Ada tried to convince us that we would be fine as the police would quickly sort it out. That didn’t stop us from worrying all the way there. But sure enough, whilst the traffic was absolutely manic, there were no riots and we got to our hotel safely. This was Ada’s last night with us, since she’s heading back to study at the University of Lima. We made sure to have a good night (even though she wasn’t drinking because of her studies) going to fake english bars and posh restaurants.

The rest of us then had a day of just hanging around in La Paz. Me, Sean, Beth and Janet went to the Luna Valley. An mountainous area with rock formations which make it look like the surface of the moon. Almost everywhere we went there, we could see the lone piper on his rock. He was even good enough to pose for us!

We then went to the market to enjoy the incredibly cheap prices. I got a decent pair of jeans with a belt for under 7 pounds! That evening, we went out to a local bar and I said goodbye to everyone else. At least, I thought it was goodbye.

As I waited in the airport lobby the next morning, I saw the dreaded word, ‘CANCELLED’ appear next to my flight. After a lot of panicking and running around, I found out that there had been a strike in Santa Cruz meaning that my American Airlines plane could not refuel. I grimly exited the airport to get a taxi all the way back to the hotel where I met my suprised Australian friends. With the help of Sean, I set about finding out how I would get home, with the start of Uni only being a week away. I found out that the plane might not be flying for at least 5 days. We found out that my best option was to get a 26 hour bus all the way back to Lima where I could get a plane to Miami and then to Heathrow. It was very strange going back on the 3 week journey in a day. The sights of Lake Titicaca, the mountains around Arequipa and the deserts of Nazca really brought back memories. But a 26 hour bus ride is not an experiance I want to repeat! On the plus side, going back to Lima meant I got to see Ada again! I’d actually missed hearing her call me names like Nicsito and Baby Boy.

It was a real relief to get back to my family (even if I only did get half a week before Uni). Despite this three-day trauma, I really do miss Peru. The colourful people and the wild experiences. Meeting new people at University only seemed like a minor challenge compared with traveling a world away on your own.Whilst I am enjoying finally being able to settle down in one place, but it wasn’t long after I got back that I started thinking about where I should go next. Perhaps Fiji or Russia?  I’ve had real ups and downs whilst I’ve been out there (probably more noticable in my first blog when I was still trying to work out what I was doing) but the ups really outweighed the downs. I’m really pleased that I’ve kept a record of what’s happened since it just shows how much things can turn around and I hope this is useful to other rookie travelers!

4. The Lares Trek

30 May

Hi there! It´s been a while since my last blog. I´ve been moving around so much it´s been difficult to get much free time. I´m now travelling with an Intrepid group from Lima to La Paz. Once again, I´m the youngest person in the group, with all the others at least in their thirties, and I´m also the only one who´s not Australian! As soon as our group leader, Ada, discovered I was only 18, I got the nick-name of baby-boy! During the first week, we quickly travelled down the south coast from Lima to Pisco, then to Nazca and Arequipa before returning to the great city of Cusco. By this time, I had gotten used to the group and just as well since we were about to go trekking.

My origional plan was to do the 4-day Inca trek from Ollyantaytambo up to Macchu Picchu, but I had to have booked 6 months in advance to do that. Instead, I teamed up with Ada and 4 of my Australian Companions: Sean, Jackie, Amber and Josh to do a trek from the hot springs in Lares, along the Sacred Valley to Ollyantaytambo, where we could get public transport up to Macchu Picchu. We met our tour guide, Ernesto, along with the 2 cooks, the 2 porters and their horses at Lares. They had a small tent set up which, during the course of the tour, would reveal meal after meal. When we were off, Jackie powered ahead with her rowing legs leaving us behind. We had been told to bring books,pencils and marbles for the children we meet along the way. Ada persuaded me to only give one marble to each child. It turned out to be wise advice when we were completely surrounded at the village in which we spent our first night. Amazingly, despite being put to shame by Jackie, we managed to beat the porters to the campsite! I mean they did have to take down the lunch tent and load up the horses with  all the stuff, but we still felt proud! The sun disappeared behind the mountains and things quickly turned cold, but we had a nice warm soup followed by stir-fry. Sean had also brought a bottle of Pisco to help us keep warm.

The next day was the toughest. We were going over the highest point on the mountain and it was all up-hill right from the start. Our optomism from beating the porters yesterday was short-lived, but we powered on up none-the-less. On the up-hill bits I really didn´t want to stop and loose my momentum, but that often meant I missed the best paths and ended up on the rocky, gravelly bits. This time, the porters easily over-took us. But within 2 hours (2 long hours) we made it to the pass and it was worth it for the view of the lake.

In the picture, you can see (from left to right) Josh, Amber, Jackie, Sean, Ada and me. We were told the campsite for lunch wasn´t far away but we kept on going and going without seeing it. We were spent when we arrived for lunch, but then Ernesto revealed the truth and his grand plan. Therewas talk of there being a strike in the valley meaning that we might not be able to get a taxi to Ollyantaytambo as we had planned. So, Ernesto thought that if we really paced it, we could reach tomorrow´s campsite today. As it turned out, the campsite we were eating lunch in was originally going to be the campsite we would sleep in. But now we had to keep powering along to get to the next campsite to spend the night.

It really was a struggle. The Ozzies (apart from Jackie) weren´t used to hiking and I was pretty out of practice myself. It wasn´t long before I was limping along with a blister. But we made it. We were too tired to stay up any later than 8. As luck would have it, in the morning we managed to get a taxi which had navigated the road blocks to get to us and we got a smooth ride to the railway station at Ollyantaytambo. Me, Jackie and Ada felt a bit let down that we´d only trekked for 2 days whilst those on the Inca trail were trekking for 4, so when we got to our hotel at Aguas Calientes, we went for another walk up a mountain on the edge of the Amazon.

At first, it seemed only slightly strenous, but then we came to the ladders, and the rock faces, some of them too tall to see the top of.

My fear of heights was really challenged here. I recoiled when we emerged from the jungle canopy and I realized just how high we were. But the struggle didn´t stop there, we kept zig-zagging for what seemed like an eternity. As we took yet another break, some super-fit porter jogged past us ´You bastard´ was all I could think. But, eventually, many breaks later we reached the top and we rewarded by a view of Macchu Picchu from hundreds of metres above.

The feeling I felt was like the feeling I would have expected from completing the Inca trail, although I doubt as many people walked this route as the Inca trail. But after getting over our high of reaching the top, we had to go right down to the bottom again. The ladders proved particularly tricky and disorientating. When we got back, we had earned our bragging rights!

The next day came the bus to Macchu Picchu. As luck would have it, it was pissing it down!

We might not have got the postcard view of the place, but we did get some spectacular sights when the mists cleared.

The whole place was so full of mystery, some of which the guides could only speculate over. After a while, me and Jackie seperated from the group to look around ourselves and have our own ideas of the place. As we climbed the steep stairs, my fear of heights really seemed a thing of the past.

I was wanting to get myself some lunch up there but the food was so expensive. I noticed that everything about Macchu Picchu was expensive and yet the roads up there were in great disrepair. The bus journey back had me really worried as we skidded all over the place. Also, I was told that the porters were so poor that when they were given trainers and boots to help them with their jobs, they simply sold them to buy food. As we watched the Beijing Olympics, Ada stated that there were no decent Peruvian athelites. But there could be. These porters carry the legendary strength of the Incas which allow them to jog routes with the greatest of ease, like the one me, Ada and Jackie struggled so much with. The porters on the Inca trail powered ahead of everyone else despite carrying so much more stuff than them. One of the group members who did the Inca trail was actually carried by one of their porters! This money should be going to these amazing people but instead, most of the money is going to Lima which I noticed was much more urban than the rest of the country. If some more of the money went to these super-human porters, Peru´s chances might really change at London 2012.

3. Professor Nick

30 May

In the village of Uycho, there´s an orphanage for kids from about 6 to 16. This week, our team leader Dick arranged for us to start teaching there. None of us had had proper experiance of teaching before so it was a challange.  Being kids, are very excitable. In the first lesson, we gave them writing books to write down a few english phrases, but they ended up scribbling their own stuff in the books. Also, they all had different abilities meaning whilst some were still struggling to write down the english words, some had already finished and got pretty restless. The second day was particularly bad seen as they´d just had lunch, making them extra hyperactive. There were even a few fights we had to break up.

By the 3rd lesson, we´d gotten used to the kids and we had a better lesson plan. Letting them write in their books from the start meant that they spent the whole lesson just doodling, so we started off with just writing phrases and numbes on the board and getting them to say them. We also did a bit of role play. Caroline and Gill spoke in English and I translated. When it came to writing, we set extra tasks for those who´d finished early such as learning to say how old they are. We felt the kids had done so well in the lesson that we finished with a game of football.

That´s what we wer doing in the afternoons. In the mornings, we´ve been building a wall to defend the town´s resevoir. However, we were midway through the second week and we still hadn´t had any support from the locals. We were getting a bit tired of the whole ´si mañana´attitude. But eventually they came and the real work began. We first had to dig trenches which the walls would be built in. Next, we had to put rocks in the bottom of the trenches to act as the foundation of the wall. To keep the rocks held together, we mixed up mud, water, and a type of straw called ´wank´(no joke)! We had a couple of ways to keep our energy up. First, the was the Chinchua corn beer. It is traditional to pour a bit into the soil as thanks to mother earth before downing the rest and getting a buzz off it. Then, there was the Coca leaves which you can chew. At first, you feel like a bit of a chipmunk, but after a bit of chewing, you can leave it in the top of your gums and let it slowly release revitalizing juices.

Back to Cusco for the weekend. It´s rarely a quiet night out here, and this weekend was no acception. As we had a new group member, Alexandra, we decided to show her the eary white statue of Jesus which looms over the city. We were on our way back to the hotel, when a man from a nearby ranch came by and offered us a horse-ride. We decided to be spontaneous and go for it. Me and Alex were constantly trying to get past eachother whilst Caroline went along at a leisurely pace. They took us to the Moon Temple, where we had fun scrambling about on the rocks. On the way back, it was a spectacular feeling coming across the mountains and seeing Cusco spread out below us.

The last week out in Uycho has gone past scarily fast. Now it´s time for me to start a new adventure in Lima which will eventually take me to the Bolivian capital of La Paz. Already I´m missing the old group` with their teasing, their humour and their toilet talk. The last full day I was with them, we went up to the Hot Springs at Laris and had a pizza for our last dinner. It was hard saying goodbye to everyone. The last few weeks have been such an experiance for me. Unfortunately, one of the things that comes with travelling is lots of goodbyes. Still, now a new adventure´s about to start. Let´s see what happens!