worldwide walkabout the tiniest bird takes a walk.

24Mar/101

puno and lake titicaca, peru

i am absolutely blown away by all the beautiful ladies of peru! puno in particular seems to have loads of ladies in their fine bowler hats, bright skirts, and two big braids of hair. love it here! i must say though-i asked a lady if i could take a photo of her hat and her braids. i was elated when she said yes, took out my camera and before i knew what was happening she was half way down the block and continued to flee across the street! what a misunderstanding.

had first heard of lake titicaca in an animaniacs cartoon skit. never thought i'd ever see it with my own eyes! how exciting!

went for a long boat journey on the gorgeous lake today, first to the floating islands and then to isla taquile. the floating islands were interesting: the reed islands were first constructed in order for its inhabitants to escape the incas. now it seems to be yet another exploited tourist attraction. one of my favorite details though-the island that we saw had a miniature floating hut which housed some guinea pigs (for the eating!)

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24Mar/103

colca canyon with the wonderful noortje!-peru

colca canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world so what better place to journey to the bottom and then back up! (cotahuasi, the deepest canyon in the world is a stone throw away, relatively) my new friend noortje and i had such lovely adventures together-so sad when we had to part ways! she and i are hopefully meeting up again soon.

we began our trek in cabanaconde and enjoyed the vistas from mirador de san miguel. down and down we went until our calf muscles shook! how cool it was to see the vegetation change with the altitude. in san juan de chuccho we stayed at roy with nice hosts and a baby alpaca named blanca! (i regretted having eaten alpaca before we left, it gave me gas, plus i love alpacas and llamas so much!)

the second day we trekked to the oasis of sangalle. in a small villages we bought another mango for breaktime, water, and splurged on a snickers bar. noortje's half of the mango somehow had maggots in it! no!!!!!!!!!! so we ate the snickers.

the third day was up and up-back to cabanconde where we stayed at valle del fuego-pablo was a great host and the food was lovely! what an amazing town. the villages in this part of the world are filled with gorgeous ladies garbed in their fancy embroidered hats and dresses.

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17Mar/100

llama friends in arequipa, peru

lots of adventures to be had in arequipa: ice queen mummies, goofy taxidermied animals, cobblestone streets, views of snow capped mountains, free kirosawa films, llamas and alpacas, and a gorgeous plaza!

am so happy to have met my new friend noortje, we're off to trek in the colca canyons early tomorrow morning!

17Mar/100

the lines of nasca, peru

imagine this: small plane loops, dips, and circles, it's perhaps 95 degrees in the cabin. you're fully equipped with a barf bag that already has a chewed piece of mint gum which is prohibiting the bag from opening as quickly as you need it to. oh yes, and you're flying over the mysterious geoglyphs of nasca. the many questions involving these crazy famous lines remain unanswered...

woah, man. is it hot in here?

after the flight i met a very lucky frenchman named thomas; his 6 month journey has been funded by kit kat prize money! he entered a code from his wrapper with the date and exact time and ended up being one of six big winners. incredible, right?

17Mar/100

kitty foot and pisco tour, ica, peru

i like to wander. just can't help myself.

found myself in a magical part of ica: shoe repairs and cages of animals on the street. i got talking to some friendly locals who sold guinea pigs, ducks, chickens, pigs, turkeys, hamsters, cats, dogs...all kinds. one man gave me the severed foot of a cat for keepsake and i was able to take a few portraits of these beautiful people before being ushered into a moto by a man concerned about my safety. apparently 2 pm is lunchtime for the police (i had seen one just moments prior but didn't argue).

that same day, chanchal and i went on a wine tour and learned about the process of making pisco. so much work and grape smashing! we were also able to see lots of antiques and kind of goofy taxidermied animals, which i really enjoy.

after a hot day in nasca, i had to throw away kitty foot.

17Mar/100

dunebuggy!!! huacachina, peru

the oasis of huacachina is featured on the 20 nuevo sole bill of peru-and for good reason. this place is amazing!

after having a nice swim in the pool, my new friend chanchal and i went for a dunebuggy and sandboarding excursion. being on the dunebuggy was a bit like being the best roller coaster, although the reality of death seemed much closer...

after waxing our boards, we made tracks down the gorgeous dunes. sunset over the oasis was amazing-we log rolled, cart wheeled, and sumersaulted down last segment of the dunes at dusk! best ever.

10Mar/102

lima, peru

despite the insane drivers and traffic of lima, i feel relaxed here. the locals have been so friendly and i have met some nice travelers at the hostel.

today i went to visit the catacombs of the monastario de san francisco-thousands of people were buried here over the course of 200 years. no photos were allowed inside and i was especially sorry to not photograph the absolutely incredible library! wow wow wow!

outside the monastery, locals were feeding the giant masses of pigeons. on occasion, the birds would fly up and around the square and i would close my eyes, listen to the flutter of wings, and hope to not get poo-ed on.

from a bridge above, i spied an oversized plushy horse and llama sculpture. when i got closer, i realized it was part of a stand which does costumes and photos for a charge. the nice young man offered to take my photo next to the llama for free (combination of my poor spanish and perhaps he felt sorry for me after he asked where my friends were). (!)

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10Mar/100

making tracks to south america

plans changed a few times-because i added south america as a continent on my round the world ticket, i will skip central america on this journey. plans to fly into santiago, chile were also changed due to the earthquake on the 27th february and my heart goes out to the thousands of people affected by the disaster.

so. i find myself here in lima, peru with all of the courage i could muster to resume solo travel. being at home is such a cozy experience and it was hard to leave again! thanks to everyone for such a nice couple of months! i am, however, getting excited to see a new continent!

i'm also excited that lauren and todd helped me with computer logistics-i now have a very tiny laptop! because of the last segment and all of the technical problems i had, i decided to be self-sufficient. now just have to find a nice balance of working on photos/internet and not being "that guy" always on the computer!

more photos coming soon..