A Travellerspoint blog

Ecuador

Lima - Rio Verde

sunny 23 °C

Hello!

So Lima; not super exciting. Our hotel was in a very doggy street, very close to the centre and therefor days were spent in the centre but nights in the hotel, because the guys in Lima were rather annoying. We went to the torture museum which is the worst museum in the world! Nothing to see, everything in spanish and really fake. After that disappointment we went to the beach, which was a nice walk in one of the other areas of Lima. Beach was very small and the weather wasnt that good but the fact that there was a starbucks around, made our day! You try to be a world class traveller, sleeping outside with minus 5, camping in the bush, crossing many countries and being all hippie like; the sight of starbucks still makes me scream and run over a very busy street...
After our three days in Lima we had a bushcamp on the beach, which was absolutely gorgeous! We drove through a cave to find a secret beach, met the third truck and swam, slept under the stars and put eight chickens on a spit and had an amazing meal.

Huanchaco after that, which is a little surferstown and doesnt show a sign of any tourism. Not much to do around there, but gorgeous anyway. We went to the Chanchan ruins that morning and to the moche suntemple, both rather impressive. The chanchanruins are a big mud city and the moche people made a suntemple, five different temples on top of eachother and the paint on the walls is still there, so it is very interesting.
As we were about to head to the beach for a couple of days, which was something we had all been looking forward to, we got really excited and had a big drive towards mancora & punta sal! We stopped for a bushcamp only an hour away from Mancora, desert little desert place with loads of very dry wood which made the best campfire we have had so far! Cookgroup again; styr fried veggies with rice!
The next morning I got up at half five, made some porrigde with apples for breakfast, and when Chris told me to throw that on the wall for the donkeys, I took that very serious and had a little morning competition.
We left way too early, no-one could be bothered to wait and ended up in mancora with almost everything closed!
Punta Sal was our base for the next three days, gorgeous beach, non exciting town, water has an average temperature of 26 degrees, bodyboarding, volleyball, great calimari seafood lunches, it was amazing.
Three days of sleeping, swimming, sunbathing and playing cards.
One night we had a little party, vodka marsbarshots, chickens and angus the pig on a spit, campfire, midnight swims and a very long night sleep. Couldnt really be bother to sleep in my tent most of the nights so I have a sick amount of mosquito bites on my body and especially my face...

We sadly had to leave the beach, but we were heading for Ecuador, so that was exciting. Long drive day, 14 hours, a dispointing `stamp` in my passport, but we arrived in the gorgeous campsite in Rio Verde around seven.
And that is where I am now, in banos for the moment, had a little facial.
Heading back for the campsite now, doing a bridge swing in a bit, jumping of a bridge, im doing it backwards, as that is scarier! Really excited!

We are going to the jungle after this, no internet for a while, but dont worry, home in ten days!
LOVE xxx

Posted by suitjamas 11:14 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

Sandboarding

Chivay, Arequipa, Nasca, Lima.

sunny 25 °C

So.....

after that wonderfull freezing buscamp we left for Chivay, which is a small little crap town in the middle of nowhere; reason for visiting, Colca Canyon, deeper than the grand canyon and famous for its huge condors flying around. We got picked up early in the morning, again, and took a bus up to the canyon. After almost giving up the condors started flying around on hot air streams and it was gorgeous, they are huge and just chilling in the air, at some point even eleven flying around at the same time. They were fascinating, especially when one landed three meters away from me!
We also went to the hot springs in Chivay, a welcome relaxing moment after Machu Picchu, just floating in the extremely hot water making fun of some people there. (V-BOM!)
Beautiful Arequipa after Chivay where we stayed in a hotel which used to be an office; glass walls... Visited Juanita the ice maiden in the morning, which was very fascinating. She was an inca sacrifice left hunderds of years ago on the mountains for the gods and because she froze, she is very well kept. We had a tour in the museum, where they taught us a bit more about inca religion. Another, (marshmellow!) bushcamp at the beach, falling asleep to the sound of the freaking huge waves, I was on cookgroup, we made a spagbol, (spaghetti bolognese), mummy, imagine making that on a gascooker on the beach for twenty people and also making a veg option...
I was in cookgroup with David (german) and Vanish (indian idiot) and it worked out fine but I could have killed some one that day. Especially in the morning, as you are in cookgroup you get up really early to make breakfast for everyone, someone couldnt be bothered to be on time.
The bushcamp was really close to Nasca, where the Nascalines are. The Nascalines are lines in the sand forming a condor, hummingbird, dog, tree, hands, and so on, which are a complete mystery. You can only see them from high up in the air, so I took a rather expensive flight to fly above them and see them all, which was amazing. The planes werent reliable, they have crashed before, so it was rather scary, but the lines are such a mystery that I just had to see them.

After a short drive we arrived to something that I have been looking forward to since forever and which turned out to be the most amazing thing ever; our overnight camping on the deserted beach, dunebugging, sandboarding adventure. We took sandbuggies out into the desert, a girl and boy one, these big open jeepcars and crossed through the desert to the highest peeks where we would take a sandboard out, lie on our tummies and try really hard to go down as fast as possible with as least injuries as possible. The steapest dunes were conquered and Davids arm en face know it.... At some point we were sandboarding down to the beach and there were cartrails all the way down. I made such a speed that stopping was rather hard and I just bounced on to those and flew in the air. Barely any cuts though...The beach is very hard to get to, you have to go through the dunes for a hour with a dunebuggie, so it was marvelous not seeing anyone out there for kilometers long, just deserted, complete peace. We saw a sealion rock, just hunderds of sealions on one rock and after a big refreshing drive we ended at our camp. The tents were really small, so after a bbq on the beach and lots of peru libre (resulting in to trampoline jumps and electric shock dancing) I took my sleeping bag outside and camped under the stars, facing the sea, beautiful waking up to sunrise over the ocean...
The next morning we dunebuggied back to the normal world and drove to where I am now; Lima, the capital of Peru that I am about to discover this afternoon!

I hope you are all doing well, if you ever get bored, dont hesitate to email me and update me on life,
love from Peru.

Posted by suitjamas 09:32 Archived in Peru Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

Machu Picchu

Peru adventure starts...

sunny 25 °C

Dear everyone,

I have been in the absolute middle of nowhere quite a bit lately so I apologise for my lack of blogging!
My last blog was in La Paz, Bolivia and I have travelled quite a bit upwards since then; I am in the capital of Peru right now: Lima!
This keyboard is horrendous, the space key barely works so I am practicly just molesting this keyboard.
In La Paz I did something that doesnt make my mother very happy; I bought a gigantic amount of handwash alpacaclothes! They have been my warmth saviour of the past couple of days though.
I also lost the key of the safe we wear around our neck in the animal refuge after the mountainbiking and had a party night that resulted in nothing because apparently clubs arent open on saturdays in La Paz. Did go to bed after sunrise, since the other oasis truck was in La Paz as well and we had huge appartment and had our own little party.

After La Paz we crossed the border into Peru, a very interesting bordercrossing. First of all Dutch people have to get a stamp from the police, all the other nationalities dont, which was rather interesting. Second of all, when we tried to get the truck though the computers stopped working and that continued for a while. We were basicly stuck between Bolivia en Peru and therefore decided to protest. On the bridge between the two countries we pulled our big lunch out, tables out, chairs out, all our equipment and did a little roadblock eating our lunch. The guards just thought it was really funny; big group having lunch at the border like nothing was going on, and after an hour we could easily continue our journey.

First stop in Peru: Puno! One of the things Peru is famous for is the incredible Lake titikaka, which is the highest navigable lake in the world, sharing a part with Boliva. What makes this lake so special is the reed islands that lay in the water. The island are completly made out of reed, the houses are, the benches are, everything is reed and the people live on this islands. We took the boat out to these island and dressed up in their traditional clothing, which was absolutly amazing. We ate the reed as well, which was suprisingly yummie!
There are two big islands in the lake, not made out of reed, but rock and there (and so many other areas here in Peru) they speak quechua and they live (as so many other areas) in the most primitive conditions. We had a hostfamily on one of the islands for a night, our mama was the best!
Our room had a hole in the floor, you could just see the other room through it, the toilet was very interesting, they cooked on a fire, no shower, all the food from the garden, no supplies from the main land. Our mama made us wonderfull food, I dont know how she managed on a fire and at night we had a little dance in the community centre, all dressed up in traditional clothing with the local band playing. The next day we also visited the other island and after we went back. On the other island we went to a restaurant; options for food were between trout or omelet, they just didnt have anything else....

After another night in Puno we had a bushcamp and after the bushcamp we headed for the suposedly most beautiful city in south america; Cusco! Our base for Machu Picchu! While I was in Cusco, you were celebrating Queensnight and day, but dont worry; so was I! Cusco was filled with our dutchies and a bar, mythology, had their own queensnight and day. I went out with everyone from my truck at first, but at some point I took a look in the dutch bar, made new friends there and had a proper Queensnight! Next day I organised myself for the big hike; the classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu, four days.
(I apologise for the length this blog will have)

Day one.
05.00 meeting up in the lobby of our hotel in Cusco to drive up to the start of the trail, the 82 km point. I had an incredible short night sleep, just a hour due to throwing up problems, awesome. The bus took us to a breakfast/toilet place first, where we had pancakes! We had our own porter who carried our 7 kg duffelbag, containing clothes, snacks, sleepbag, and tent/food for us. They have such a though job, carrying all that and doing the trail. We dropped our bags off and after some funny moments, like Jenna taking the hotelkey with her on the trail, we started our first hike. We passed our first checkpoint, where you get A STAMP IN YOUR PASSPORT, YAY, and had the porters who carry 25 kg running past us. Beautiful sights, locals on donkeys and with lamas, mountains, river, orchids. Toilets were very rare and experimental on the trail, the turkish hole in the floor idea.
After walking quite some kms we reached our lunch camp for the day and our lunch was amazing, we had our own cook with us! Every meal would turn out to be amazing, cooked on a fire in a tent, we would get soup, meat, rice, potatos, salad, fish, cake... Long hike after and a well deserved sleep at four since I still wasnt able to keep my food in.

Day two. (known as day of death)
Early rise and shine; 5:30 am wake up call, served with cocatea, getting everything in the tent ready in the mean time, 06:00 breakfast; cereals, cornmeal, bread, tead and we started the awefull hike around half six, seven. After hiking up for an hour which was tiring, they told us we were halfway through, distantwise. The next three hours would be hiking three kilometers, but climbing one km doing that, steapclimbing, walking big steps. The first two hours were half through the semi jungle on huge stairs and after every ten steps I had to regain air, since we were up 3500 kilometers, every five minutes I had a little sitdown, still feeling absolute crap and faint. I was completly knackerd when we arrived at the lunchpoint where we wouldnt have lunch; we were having lunch after the hike.
But it would be only one more hour up and two down and we would reach our camp for the night. (our porters take our tents down and put them up for us!) I could see the top, but hiking up was one of the hardest things I have ever done, especially feeling so ill. We had a little tea time around five and dinner at seven, amazing again.

Day three.
Supposed to be the most fun and most beautiful, which it was, but it is also the longest. (16km) Up at half five again and since I was still unable to keep my food in, I decided to take it real easy today. Jenna and Katie were having trouble as well, so we got our own guide and we distanced ourselfs from the group a bit. First two hours walking up, even steaper than before. We werent having lunch until after the hike again, we just got a tiny sandwhich and some snacks. Eventhough it was half up, half down, none flat, it was echausting, walking on the old incasteps, on big uneven stones. We arrived at the camp around half three and because of the jumping hiking of sotnes down and up we were completly broken. It might seem we were really slow every day, but we were always way faster than the other groups, sometimes even hours and hours faster.

Day four.
The day we had all been waiting for, the day that was going to pay for our hard work!
Wake up call; half three! After breakfast, (did I mention, no showers on the trail, babywhipes where my saviour) we started a little walk in the complete dark down to the 3rd checkpoint where we had to wait for an hour. The reason we got up so early was for the porters to be able to go back with the four am train and to be early in the queue for the 5:30 opening. It started raining, marvelous, when the checkpoint openend, so rainjacket on and fast hiking, an hour jungle walk from the checkpoint to the sungate; where we would watch the sunset! Completely clouded after thebig run, so after a little wait we hiked down for another hour to see what I have been wanting to see for years; Machu Picchu, absolutely breathtakin and completly worth the pain and tears. Raising up fromt he clouds between the mountains, the Inca Ruins of the old city. Another stamp in my passport, a gazillion pictures later, we actually finally entered Machu Picchu, had a tour, little nap and picknick in the grassflats (not allowed, we got an angry peruvian guard) and chilled out for a while. We had a train back at nine pm so a long day to fill, a tiring, exhausting day to fill, since we had been up from half three. We took a bus down to Calientes where we watched a movie, went for dinner (our food came from another restaurant..) and just waited for our departure time. We had to take a train, a bus, and another bus, one that didnt show up for ages, and we finally got back to our hotel around half one, a 22 hour day.

After Machu Picchu we had a restday, where a bumped into dutchies I know from Holland, very funny. The next day we had a very cold bushcamp, Nancy just kept saying that it would make a good story later; mines five at night, bottles frozen, this is where my alpaca clothes were my saviour... We reached a 5 km the next day, which was very breathtaking, so hard to breath...

I am going to post this now, and update you on the last few days later, knowning Peruvian computers I could be expecting a powercut around now.
love xxxxxxxx

Posted by suitjamas 08:32 Archived in Peru Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

La Paz

Bolivia

sunny 24 °C

After Cafayate I left for saltarafting, where I did the longest ziplines in the whole americas. (saltarafting.com) Basicily you are hanging on steel wires with a diaper construction and you slide from one side of a mountain to another very high up in the air. It was really scary at first, but at some point I couldnt wait to slide down to the next one, since my instructor enjoyed my company a bit too much ;)!
We camped out there, played some beerpong at night and the next day we left for Salta! Apperently it is a very boring city, so all we did was camp, have the last real argie bbq, human pyramids and synchronised swimming in the biggest empty pool I have ever seen.
Sad thing was that we had to leave at six in the morning for bolivia, even sadder was that it was a saturday night and there were three parties going on with very loud music causing a slight sleeping problem. And I had about 60 mosquito and sandfly bites... (Thank god for the pharmacies here, they give you everything you could ever wish for.
After crossing the border we bushcamped in the bolivian dessert, which was amazing, middle of nowhere, noone around, except for a donkey.
The next day we arrived in Uyuni, very famous for its Saltflats and for us famour for its minuteman pizzas and breakfast pancakes! I even tried lama meat, some sort of salty hare meat if you ask me, not too awesome.
The saltflats were amazing, we left in the morning to see how they make salt, bought my first alpaca jumper of some of the residents, went to a train graveyard, where Chris, Tom and me decided to jump of one of the trains,
awesome picture, landing was a bit less. The salt flats were atleast as amazing as expected, I wish I could upload some pictures, but I will try and do that tomorrow! Went to an island in the saltflats, watched the sunset, (fairytale pictures) and headed back for more awesome pizza! Stayed in an hotel and shared a room with Jenna and Katie, having finally had a normal shower and a big bed, it was quite a heavennight.
After Uyuni we left for Potosi, which is very poor and famous for its mines which we ofcourse visited the next day.
It was very interesting, very tiring and very sad, since 14 year old boys work in the most horrible conditions ever. Walking through the mines was a pain in the ass, imagine even doing hard labour there. We brought some presents, coca leaves, which i had some myself, since apperently I got a bit dehydrated and was not that far away from seeing a doctor or going to the hospital, (i didnt realise), coca leaves seem to help for altitude problems. And some soft drinks. As an intruduction they gave us some bolivian whisky, which is about 98 procent alcohol, very interesting and disgusting to drink!
After the mine visit we got back onto our truck and headed for La Paz, where I am now! Amazing city, going to see the witches market in a bit! Yesterday I mountainbiked Worlds Most Dangerous Road (and got a tshirt!) which was 40 miles (64 km), scary as hell (cliffs dropping right now next to you 400 m deep), exhausting, interesting, beautiful (jungle) and weird. You have to ride on the left side of the road thanks to the bolivian government and guess where the big cliffs are?
Two weeks ago a girl didnt see the cliff thanks to the fog and actually fell down and died. We went with the best company ever and eventhough it was shit scary I had the most amazing time and the 6 hour adraline rush made it even better ;)! Going back up with a little van was a bit scary though, a) fog b) you can actually see what you have been trying to ignore mountainbiking down!

Anyway, more updates very soon, I have no time left on the clock.
XXXXXXX

Posted by suitjamas 07:37 Archived in Bolivia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Cafeyate

Argentina

sunny 22 °C

My one night in Chile was really good; all the boys from the previous trip grew their beards and moustaches for six weeks and we had a proper moustache competition with five different categories of shape, thickness, sexyness, offensiveness and orginality. Pictures will follow.
Early in the morning we left Chile in Frida, our TRUCK, you may never name her bus, penalties if we do and had a very long driving day to Mendoza. At the campsite we had one of Chris (tourleader, and Nancy is aswell) famous bbq´s which was great, more than half a kilo per person. We camped out, I´m tentbuddies with Kate, an 19 year old Britisch girl, we are the youngest!
Most of the people are Britisch, exept for David (German), Aisha & Shane (Australian) and Greg and Kit (south africa).
i speak dutch to greg and kit and they speak afrikaans, which is really funny. When i get back i will be hitting you up with words like bru, milli and china.

Anyway, our day in mendoza was quite chill (excuse me for the capitals, this keyboard is crap), we walked to the center, and back, I got us lost on the way back, but in my defense, no one realised until i said anything and we did get ourselfs a nice tan/burn. in the centre we just had a walk around. At night we had our own little winetasting, about 15 different bottles and we were trying them all out, iniation to the group as well, didnt end that well for certain members of the group i am afraid, they loved the wine a little too much. The next morning we had to get up early for another truckday, eventhough it is almost a full day of driving it is absolutly wonderful, we drive through the most beautiful bits of nature, (saw alpacas in the wild, donkeys, bushes, huge cactuses, deserted villages, high mountains, the highest peek of whole america, south and north, you named and i have seen it) and we play truckgames. on tuesday it was kits birthday so we had a little party which included dancebattles, games and truckdiving, meaning you have people catching you while you dive off one of the eskies. very interesting if you are driving in the meantime. Frida is really spacious and comfortable, thank god, so it is no pain in the ass sitting there.

At night we camped out at my first bushcamp, it has been a week of many first, especially the creative toilet visits in the nature, i still try to avoid them.. bushcamping is defenitly one of my favorite things so far, it is wild camping, in the middle of nowhere, big campfire, i had cookgroup that night and we made german food. never thought i would like patatoesalade. It was raining, to putting our tent up in the pouring rain was a first as well...
i have been having absolutly an amazing time so far, I am in cafeyate now, tomorrow we are going wine touring by bikeagain, but to actual wineries and we will get tours and such. The day after Im going to salta for an hour and than to salta rafting, where i am doing nine ziplines, hanging in the air and basicly you have to google it because only pictures can explain.
i have a nazca lines flight coming up, bridgejumping (bungeejumping of a brige, but than less shocking), mountainbiking on the worlds most dangerous road, three day hike to macchu picchu, rafting in tena, and the list goes on, so much to look forward to!
I hope you are all good, Im sure i forgot to tell you half of what i have been doing....

love

Posted by suitjamas 12:09 Archived in Argentina Tagged bus Comments (2)

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