aintbroke: (Default)
I come from a photographically retarded family.

No, really. We’ve never really been into taking photos, or looking at photos, or thinking in photos; at least, not until the advent of the Parent-As-A-Teacher. Now, we’re evidently all about documentation. (Tsch, leave for a few years, and your family goes all wacky on you.)

Which is why the eight hundred plus photos we ended up with from our trip in Peru is a little shocking. I mean, more than a hundred of them are actually decent! Madness. With that heartening intro, I’d like to share some this unexpected photographic windfall. )
aintbroke: (like the photo is the important part)
I stepped onto the tarmac in Tucson and made a little vow. Seriously, folks, that's the last summer I wear a down coat. Down coats in July are an affront to the natural order of the world.

Also: Let the record just state, please, that there is no way to make a twenty-five hour bus ride comfortable, even if the seats do recline, and the road is paved and everything goes as well as you could hope. Compounding this with a red-eye flight out of a third world airport? Again something I do not recommend.

Peru was wonderful, brilliant, lovely. I really didn't want to leave, but it's kind of nice to be back.
aintbroke: (welcome to the andes)
Ok, so spelling issues aside, Qosqo is totally charming. I very much wanted to hate it, but this just doesn´t seem possible.

The brilliance:
Cody and I are going to a futbol game tomorrow. OH YES. You read that correctly. Cusco v. Lima, which is kind of a grudge match of epic proportions, and my excitement levels are ... Ok, I´m stupidly excited about this. I haven´t seen a professional futbol game live ever. I know, I´m as shocked as you are.

The tragedy:
We´re flying out of Lima on Tuesday. Day after day after tomorrow Tuesday! This just doesn´t compute. I have to go back? And speak English? Holy cow, people, the wrongness of this is just amazing.


So: the postcards have gone out, and this is your last chance to ask for stupid things from Peru. We´ve just confirmed that coca is not an exportable product, but anything else, anyone? Come on! Don´t you need a fuzzy llama that looks like a duster?
aintbroke: (Default)
I am in Cuzco right now (And I can´t figure out if it ought be spelled Cuzco or Cusco, one is English, one Spanish, both stupid looking.)

Things I have learned, now that I am going into my last week in Peru:

Boa constrictors are perhaps the most threatening things in the known universe. They start growling, and before you even realize it, your feet are pulling you very quickly in the other direction.
It is probably terrible of me to now want one as a pet, but there you go. Creepy animals that growl at you? Sign me up! (Strangely enough, I´m not a big fan of dogs. Figure that one out.)

Five weeks in Peru and I have finally learned to say ¨Palta¨. I´m also pretty good about saying ¨Mani¨ but I take these lessons with a grain of salt, as soon I will be back in the land of avocado and cacahuate.

I spent the last seven... eight... lots of days out in the canyon of the demon river. (The Apurimac canyon is the deepest in the world. I can also testify that it´s preeeeetty steep.) We climbed two vertical kilometers over twenty horizontal kms. We did this, partly because my family is insane, and partly because there were some highly interesting ruins out there.

Choqueirow was the biggest Inca city for about a hundred years, and they´re in the process of digging it out of the cloud forest. (Fun fact: were you aware that Inca was a title? I had always wondered how they could determine that so-and-so was the last Inca, and now it all makes sense.)

Choki´raw (How much do I love that no one bothers to standardize Inca spellings? A lot.) is huge and amazing, and watching them reconstruct it out of the mountainside was just... wow. Next time, you come too.

My last entry backdated, for joyous and stupid reasons, so I´ll post a link to it here. Just in case. Yeah.
aintbroke: (Default)
Am deep in the jungle and it is raining. I saw bats.

The first time I saw murcieligo, I was about five, and hanging around in Ecuador. (The jungle-y bits, I guess.) I woke up in the middle of the night, and there they were: four vampire bats feeding off the dogs and pig. (... What dogs and pig were doing in my room is not something I'm real clear on.) I must have made some noise to startle them, because every single one suddenly turned to look at me. We looked at each other for a moment, then they flew out the window. (An open window in the jungle at night? Yeah, I'm not sure either.)

Ok, so, this is one of those stories we can´t examine too closely, because it stops making sense under scrutiny, but the point is: there were bats, and they were awesome.

And that is what the jungle is like. Provided you don´t look too closely at the details- the biting ants (Holy fuck ow.), the mosquitos (Itchyitchyitchy.), the oppressive humidity (Seriously, what is this?), the intermittant electicity (This is the third time I´ve typed this out, for the record.), the eight-hours-on-a-bad-dirt-road-from-anything (sweet fancy moses!)- it´s totally, completely, amazingly, awesome.

It´s lush and green and exciting in a yay! exploration! sort of way. There´s so much here- so much life in weird forms, so much general strangeness, and we hardly know anything about it. (Well, it´s not entirely unknown, but it's unknown to ME, and that needs to change.) Provided enough DEET to allow my poor sangre dulce self to survive, and I'll move down here in a heartbeat. Did I not have a family along, cramping my traveling style, or a room-mate expecting my return in August, or a non-refundable plane ticket (I think my family knows me better than I would like.) I would be begging a job off Jesus, and settling down here, in the middle of nowhere-jungle-of-awesome-ness.

Jesus is the owner of the terribly comfortable hostel we are staying in. A dispatrieated Spaniard, he´s fast on his way to my top five favorite grumpy old men ever list. This is in no small part because of his library, (shelved, as far as I can tell by language family, but no other disernable method) containing bad sci-fi next to interesting biography alongside puzzling romance novels in German and no less than three copies of "In Cold Blood" in Spanish.

I am currently reading most of these, but the best one is a history of exploration in the Amazon. I have determined that weird asexuality aside, I would very much like to be Baron von Humbolt, if I have to grow up. (If any of y'all have tips on inheriting vast fortunes, becoming fluently sept-lingual, discovering the movements of something important like- oh, say, electricity, or getting several interesting and important things named after you, because you happen to be coolness personified, I would very much like to know.)

Whoah. Spell check? Broken. I´m sorry, but this'll just have to do.
edit: I went back though this with a spell check, because no one should have to attempt my phonetics unless they've been really terrible and deserve it. Chances are you don't.
aintbroke: (welcome to the andes)
I spend so much time reading my stupid friends list, that I forget to update.

Jungles are uh... wet and full of bugs as one might expect. I do not recommend them for backpacking trips, beauty aside. Interesting fact: mosquitos will, in fact, bite your lips, if that is the only un-DEETed surface of skin showing. (Corollary: DEET tastes really bad. A lot.)

We are currently in La Merced, a town full of Peruvian tourists, which is an odd departure from the Europeans we´ve been seeing everywhere.

... I really wish I had more to say. Oh. I guess I can whole-heartedly recommend the book ¨The Time Travelers Wife¨ as it was lovely and fun to read. And there goes my half hour.
aintbroke: (Default)
This is what I have to say about high-altitude treks: the next time I go on one, I am taking you with me, and thus will save myself the bother of trying to tell you about it. It's fascinating, just on the physical level. (Your eyesight becomes useless, but your hearing magnifies times a billion.) And then the vistas! I hope some of these photos come out.

But instead of that, I will talk about coca.

Growing up in Latin America, coca has this incredibible mystique. It's a miracal drug, good for everything, from headaches to blisters to depression. It's not given to children, except in the mate de coca form, which is to the real thing, like gasoline fumes are to skydiving.

Until yesterday, I'd never actually had it.

So: Intellectually, I know coca is only .0001 percent cocaine, and it's got something ridiculous like forty vitamins in it. I know it's not clinically addictive.

Emotionally, I feel that nothing that makes your cheeks numb can be good for you. It's a very head-with-wings-y experience. You can hear yourself huffing and puffing, but the only muscle you're conscious of working is your tongue.
aintbroke: (like the photo is the important part)
Really, this right here is why I love traveling in the third world: You politely ask the security guard in the airport if you can crash out next to the chapel, and he looks at you like you're crazy. "Why are you asking me this" he thinks to himself, "why don't you just lie down like everyone else?!"

I generally like keyboards in other countries, because they they have all those important keys like ny, but man, this keyboard is the American one, with new keys pasted on. (The ? is on a key labeled -, whose key is labeled comma dash. I guess I'm not going to question it, and just thank my lucky stars that I can kinda-sorta-almost touch type.)

Huancayo is lovely, in that it has both chrimoya and biscochitos for sale, without any kind of searching. The sister person noted that all the talking we do is about food, but really, what else is there to say? One of my biggest motivations for coming back was fresh glasses of sugar cane juice and nine different kinds of bananas none of which are avalable stateside. That might make me sound kind of shallow, but, I think this is because you haven't had a chance to try them yourself.

Also, gloves for the ridiculous price of a sol. Three pairs of gloves for a dollar! How fast do these woman knit? (Actually, we've seen woman walking and knitting all over town. This is a skill that not only boggles my mind, but also drives me nuts. Jealousy is never a pretty thing.)

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