This little blogger is going on holiday

From20-July-2006 until around 08-August-2006 I will be in Peru. Consequently, I will not be updating this blog, nor checking other blogs - I shall be incommunicado.

This is my second trip to Peru. I went back in October 1996 for my honeymoon (Sofia came along with me).

We were in Lima, Arequipa, Puno and Cusco.

This time, I will be going for about 2-1/2 weeks, Sofia and the kids will be staying about 4-1/2 weeks. Our itinerary will only be Ica and Lima. Sofia's niece will be celebrating her 15th birthday - which is a big occaision, akin to Sweet 16 in North America.

Lima is a city in the heart of a mountain. Almost anywhere you go you can see the mountains which ring the city like mighty fortress walls. It is also a desert. One of the astounding things you notice as you drive out from Lima to Arequipa is how red the sand and rocks are. It is like being on Mars.

Arequpa is home of the Colca Canyon - the world's deepest canyon. We saw it around 08:00 in the morning. One thing I discovered was that at an altitude of about 5Km, I sun burn very easily. I burned my face in the 45 minutes or so we were there. The first picture is of me getting a sunburn before 09:00 with the Colca Canyon behind me.

The second photo is of some farmland in the Arequipa region. Since it is mountainous, they farm small little fields organized in steps.

Our next trip was to Puno where lake Titicaca is. The sky and water is incredibly blue. If you don't know what the colour blue is, then you need to go there and see it.

The third photo is of me in Cusco at a part of the Inca Trail. They have tours which allow you to hike the Inca trail. Some tours, like the one we were on, are just single day excursions, others are several days long and involve camping. You actually get to climb the mountains, there are paths cut into the sides. It is not for the faint of heart. The paths are only about 2 or 3 feet wide (less than a meter) and support two way traffic. There are no guide rails or other security barriers, if you fall, well, you fall at least 50 feet (20 meters) to the next level below.

The final photo is of me at Machu Picchu. The locals kept warning me about mosquitoes, which was wrong. Mosquito in Spanish simply means small fly, the flies there were not mosquitoes but rather something akin to black flies. I had very chewed up legs. Insect repellant is strongly advised.

I enjoyed Puno the best, it is very nice. Who can't fall in love with a beautiful blue sky and water? The lake is beautiful and has manmade floating islands on it. The natives pull up reeds from the lake, chop off the roots and matte them together, then the chop up the stalks and lay it on top. In the end, they produce a floating mat that is about 2 meters thick (6 feet) and floats on the water. The islands are huge, as far as the eye can see. People live on it and farm on it. They grow potatoes and corn. They raise chickens and pigs.

Cusco, the springboard to Machu Piccu, was a bit too touristy for me. Clearly people made a lot of their living off of tourism. Puno and Arequipa were much more authentic. Of course, Lima is authentic too.

See you all in August!

Spock: On my planet, to rest is to rest — to cease using energy. To me, it is quite illogical to run up and down on green grass, using energy, instead of saving it. - Star Trek, Shore Leave


busybee said…
Hi Richard, hope you will have a nice trip with your family.

Looking forward to more photo after that. :)

God bless you and all at home.
Richard said…
Thanks Bee! It is nice to see you here again after such a long while.
busybee said…
oh ya.... sorry, this bee is really beezzy.

will read about your trip next month.

Take care.
Alanita said…
Howdy, Richard! My husband to be is from LIMA!!! I hope you have a wonderful time. ENJOY...
Richard said…
Welcome back, Alanita! Just as I head away, two familiar faces from the past drop in. Sofia is from Lima as well.
Barbara said…
I have fond memories of working for several weeks in Peru. Buena suerte y buen viaje! Take lots of pictures!
Have a fabulous time, Richard. Our own PEI is pretty red too!
Prince Romp said…
Happy holidays Richard..
By now i believe you had a good time there and sun burned too.

Well..Sofia sure is happy to get home to her native country with her beloved family.

See you in august then.
patience said…
Have a wonderful time in Peru! Bring back more terrific pics!
Have a wonderful time, Richard! You will be missed.

Thank you for sharing the photos of yourself. It is nice to see more of you! (I can still see in you the little boy in your profile picture.) :)
RennyBA said…
First of all thanks for sharing this with the wonderful pics!
Then I do wish you a wonderful vacation and you really deserve one!
Looking forward to read about your adventures - keep us posted!
Coffee fairy said…
heya Richard, I know by this time you are in Peru so my greeting is already late but better late than never: Happy vacation! You indeed look the same as your avatar. =)
Alanita said…
Amazing that Sophia is from Peru as well!! Can you speak Spanish?
I will be visiting Peru sometime soon for the FIRST time! Can't wait to see things in a different culture.'s so nice to be back :)
vina said…
enjoy and take care tito richard!
ghee said…
Happy Holiday,Richard!

Enjoy your trip witth your family :)

the pictures are nice and the places are sooo lovely :)
freckled-one said…
I hope you have a wonderful time. These pictures are terrific. I'm planning a trip to Peru in the coming year, I can't wait to see some more photos when you return.
Anonymous said…
Have a good trip! God bless!
Ms. Q said…
My good friend is there the same time as you! I wonder if you passed by each other somewhere.

Hope your trip is amazing! Enjoy!
Richard said…
barbara: wow! you worked in Peru! It is a very nice country - inspite of the poverty.

MOI: Believe it or not, after 36 years in this country I still have to visit PEI.

prince: Thanks! It will be nice for all of us to get back.

patience: Thank you! And thank you for leaving a comment. I have over 300 pictures, so I will be posting quite a few.

MIO: Thanks! And I should at least resemble somewhat my earlier self (except for the 20 years that separates the two).

rennyba: Thank you! I have even more pictures to share now.

coffee fairy: it is never to late to wish me a happy trip.

alanita: sadly my Spanish is horrible. No, really, after 10 years of marriage, a fluently bilingual daughter, a Spanish speaking caregiver for the kids, I still can't ask for a cup of tea.

vina: Thanks! I did enjoy my trip - but, of course, it was too short.

ghee: Thanks! I did have a nice trip and yes, Peru is very lovely (as are the people).

freckled-one Thanks! Peru is a wonderful country, but you have to remember that it is third world and you need to accomodate yourself accordingly. If you have money and want to stay in 4-5 star hotels, then you can, but I think it is more fun to live an authentic experience (besides, I have family there, right?).

Have you decided on which parts to visit?

shakespearheroine: Thank you for dropping by and finally leaving a comment! I Did have a good time and God did bless me with a safe journey and a good family to experience Peru with.

ms. q:I am not sure if I passed your friend. Reminds me of the birthday paradox: "How many people do you need in a room order to have a better than 50% chance that 2 share identical birthdays?". The non-intuitive answer is 23. With more than 60 people, the odds are already better than 99%.

And, yes, I did have a great time, not enough time, but a great time none-the-less.
freckled-one said…
Welcome home... =o)

I was hoping to visit Lima but my main focus is Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and I'd love to visit Lake Titikaka. If I end up going by myself I figured I'd take a tour with a group. Although I know other gals that have gone by themselves and they had a great experiance.
Richard said…
freckled-one: Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley are worthwhile excursions. Puno is very beautiful, but aside from the lake, I don't recall anything else to see.

My main gripe with Cusco was that it was too touristy - it lacked the native and authentic feel you get in other parts of Peru (mind you, you wouldn't mistake it for downtown Toronto or anything like that).
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