Breathe a big, deep, sigh of relief. Not just because we are safe and sound in London, but because this is the last travel spam from our Central / South American odyssey! Last time you heard from us, we were about to descend into Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest! Unfortunately the walk down killed off my five-year-old tramping boots. So we had to get a ride back on mules! Then we were off to the world’s highest (and funniest named) navagatable lake, Titicaca. We stopped off at the famous floating islands, where people live their entire life on reed islands. They live in reed houses. They eat reeds… and protected ducks, as they have special access to hunt in the national park. They’re also talented at ripping off tourists with exorbitant entry fees. Oh, how we love quaint unspoilt charming Peru!
We loved it so much, we decided to spend a night on a local island. We arranged our accommodation through an island ‘Jefe’ (boss). Each year, 30 local males get to run the island, getting free beer, coca, free food and the privilege of wearing a slightly less silly hat then everyone else. They make up great rules such as ‘the only food that can be sold on the island are omelette’s and trout!’. So the local food is really, really…. well just look at the photo. But the joke is on them, because after the year is over, the best days of their life have passed, and they can never be Jefe again! Ah ha!
The specialty in Cusco, however is Cuy (guinea pig). Mmmm don’t they just look delicious? Cusco is the Inca capital. Thanks to the rapacious Spanish it has charming sites like Cathedrals built upon Inca stone temples.
A few days later we began the famous Inca Trail to Maccu Piccu. Breathtaking scenery at some breathtaking heights (over 4,000m). It’s made easier by the porters carrying your tent, clothes, and food! Fresh popcorn at the top of a mountain pass? Yes please! Add coca tea to the mix and the hike itself is pretty easy, but filled with small ruins, and scenery reminiscent of the Milford Track.
Maccu Piccu itself is amazing, but so crowded! It was a relief when the rain came bucketing down and scared all the soft, fat tourists back to their four star resorts! Eventually we were able to snap some pretty cool photos, but the journey there was infinitely more satisfying the the destination. Especially now that it’s deadly (all those who don’t keep up on current events scratch your head now).
Then back to Peru’s surprisingly cool capital, Lima. As you can see, it’s stunning, right on the edge of the coast. Best way to check it out is from the air!
And then back to civilization… Los Angeles baby!
But before we got over our jetlag, we went straight to Vegas with James and Anjie. We saw our first Ice Hockey game (in the middle of the desert, where else?) and I celebrated my birthday in style at the Venetian, winning $200 at Texas Hold ‘Em. Then time to have dinner at the Palms, where coincidentally (?) they were hosting the Adult Video Awards. Nice dresses, ladies!
Then after a refreshing stay with my Godmother in Laguna Beach, we hit the skies for London.
Thanks to the hospitality of friends, we’re finding our feet and job hunting full time. Thankfully, the recession is ‘officially’ over here, and the market ain’t too bad.
Adios y que les vaya bien, amigos!
Claire and Joseph (formerly known as Clara y Jose)