Monday, November 28, 2005

Buenos Aires - 27 Nov 2005

Today I slept untill 11.00 and then I went into the city for a few hours to visit the main downtown monuments like the casa rosa from where Evita did her famous speeches. Buenos Aires looks a bit Europe too with even a C&A and Stella Artois everywhere. This morning I booked a strange excursion for 45 euro. They say when you are in south america you should see at least 1 footballgame so at 14.30 a bus picked me at the hotel an off we where to the River Plate Stadion just outside the city. We went into the catacombs, visited the fanshop and then got
a one of the best seats in the stadion a bit away from the fanatic supporters clans. Club Atletico River Plate is 6th in the competition with only 2 games to go after today and today they welcomed the leader in the competition Club Gimnasia y Esgrima L.P. or short Gimnasia L.P.
When we entered the stadium the hard clans where already in position singing and waiving
flags like crazy people, every game here has more entertainment than the English Cupfinal.
A guy from Spain told me he had never seen this in Spain, not at Real Madrid neither at Barcelona. You should really shout sometimes to understand each other. I had to take pictures and small movies to see it back at home this carnaval. It was an open and sometimes hard game
and during the game the firebrigade cooled off the fans by spraying water on them with the
big firetubes. It was clear that Gimnasia is the leader cause they won the game easy with 1-3.
After the game I went back in the city and now I am going to look for some dinner and watch
some streetacts from clowns and stuff on the streets here.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Buenos Aires - 26 Nov 2005

This morning I had really bad weather with a lot of rain. I woke up at 09.00 and took a shower but the weather
was so bad that I went to bed again and stood inside untill 12.00 when the rain stopped. I read on the internet
I am not the only one who suffers from bad weather cause Belgium is not much better with rain and snow and freezing temperatures. At 13.30 I went to the airport. I was lucky I booked a flight to Buenos Aires with LAN
cause Lineas Argentinas was on strike today. At 13.22 the plane took off. One hour and 20 minutes later the
plane landed in Puerto Rivadavia, an oil town at the coast to drop and pick up some passengers and 30 minuts
later we were back in the air. At 19.20 we touched down on the domestic airport of Buenos Aires. I thought
I was landing on the old airport of Hong Kong as we flew low over the city before landing and I could almost
see in the kitchens of the flats we passed while landing. Due to the strike of Lineas Argentinas the airport was
full with planes but we could manage to find a parking spot ;-)

The weather is here much better than in the south, about 24 degrees and a bit sticky. I took a taxi to the
central busstation of Buenos Aires, the biggest I ever saw. The ticket row was almost 500 meter long with
over 150 ticket offices, all different companies and outside they have slots for 70 busses at 1 time. I bought
a ticket to Ciudad de Iguazu, 30 euro, departing monday at 15.00 hr local time and arriving tuesday 09.00 hr
local time, so I have 1.5 days to spend in Buenos Aires which is just enough to visit the highlights of te city.
After buying the ticket Ii checked in in hotel Central Cordoba for about 20 euro a night.

So tomorow a long walk through the city.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Ushuaia/Rio Gallegos - 25 Nov 2005

Hi, the 23th I spent the morning in El Calefate and in the afternoon I went to the airport to take
a flight to Ushuaia. Normally the flight should leave at 16.20 but it was delayed to 18.00 hr and
the 20.00 hr and finally the plane landed in El Calafate at around 22.00 hr. At 22.30 we took off
for the 1 hr 20 minutes flight so it was almost midnight when I arrived in Ushuaia. I checked in
at hostel A manecer de La Bahia where I payed 25 pesos or about 8 euro for a dorm bed.

As an aviation freak its a bonus that I have landed on the highest commercial airport in the
world as well as the most southern commercial airport in the world.

The next day I woke up early and walked around a bit in the centre of Ushuaia enjoying the
nice views over the Beagle channel, the port (with only Maersk containers) and the snowcapped
mpuntains as a backdrop. The town itself was a bit bigger as I expected but still small enough
to walk through it.

In the afternoon I went to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego for a 5 hours hike on several trails in the park. The setting is really beautifull with lakes, lagoons, mountains and a lot of birds and
especially rabbits. If rabbit paradise exists then its there. At Bahia Lapataia route 3 stops which
marks the real end of the world or el fin del mundo, 3063 km from Buenos Aires.

In the evening I went out eating in a Tenedor libre restaurant for 24 sol or about 8 euro.
I met an American, Karl, from Colorado so I did not have to eat alone. At a tenedor libre
you can eat as much as you want, a cold and hot meat bar, salad bar end desert bar are
available plus a real fire grill and barbeque where the cook can offer you beef, sheep meat,
chicken etc... When you come out of such a place you dont need breakfast the day after.

This morning at 05.30 hr I took the one and only bus connection from Ushuaia to Rio
Gallegos, a 590 km trip. We started in the Andes mountains but soon the landscape
changed into grasslands. To make the trip we had to cross the Chile border for about
250 km and then back the Argentinean border so my passport is filling up with stamps.
We also had to cross the strait of Magellan by ferry and there a sea lion swam with us
for maybe 30 seconds as he or she was saying " see you back soon at Tierra del Fuego".

At around 17.00 today we arrived in Rio Gallegos where I will spend the night. Tomorow
afternoon a take a flight to Buenos Aires, hopefully without a delay.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

El Calefate - 22 Nov 2005

Yesterdayevening, before I took the bus in Rio Gallegos, I went to eat the biggest tenderloin
steak in my life. The way they eat steak here is like we eat fries in Belgium. For this huge 5 cm
thick steak and a glass of beer I paid less than 5 euro. With a full stomach I went on the bus for
the 5 hours ride to El Calefate. I arrived at 01.00 in the morning today and checked in in
Calefate hostel, a dorm bed for about 8 euro.

This morning I woke up at 07.00 and at 08.00 we left for a daytrip to the Petito Moreno
glacier, one of the biggest glaciers in the world. We had to drive 80 km and when we arrived
there it was dry but bitter cold and a lot of wind. I was glad I took warm clothes with me cause
freezing point was not far away. First we did a hike in the national park with beautifull views
of the glacier and the lake. After the hike we went on a boattrip on the lake to see the glacier
for closeby. Each time a piece of ice as big as a house broke off and fall in the lake it was like
a thunderstorm was above our heads.

At 17.00 hr we were back in El Calefate. I will have a diner and then go to bed early I think
cause I need some sleep.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Rio Gallegos - 21 Nov 2005

Last night was bustime again. Yesterday evening the bus was 1 hour too late so at around 20.00
I left the Puerto Madryn busterminal on a Andesmar bus. We drove the whole night through Patagonia which is boring cause the scenery does not change on this 1200 km traject. At around
15.00 hr today we arrived in the small oil town Rio Gallegos, 1 hour too late to get a smooth
connection to El Calefate. Lucky enough there is another bus at 20.30 hr tonight so I dont have
to stay here cause there is not much to see. The trip to El Calefate takes about 5 hours. From El Calefate I want to visit the Moreno glacier which is about 80 km from El Calefate.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Puerto Madryn - Argentina - 20 Nov 2005

Hi, it has been some time again since I wrote you all here, but I am still on the move. When I left Santiago de Chile I took a night bus to Osorno about 900 km more south where I arrived at 07.00 in the morning. It was rainy and cold there. At 10.30 I had a connection to Bariloche in
Argentina which is a 5 hours bus ride. The ride was very scenic. The first 150 km looked like
Belgium, flat with green grasslands full of cows and a grey dark sky with rain from time to time.
Then we got little hills and lateron even big mountains with non-tropical rainforest on it with a lot of waterfalls and snow when we entered parque nacional Nahuel Huapi. In the middle of the park we came on the Chilean border and I got an exit stamp in my passport. About 10 km further we came at the Argentina border and I had no problem to get a entry stamp for 90 days.
When I was sitting in the bus I saw something low flashing by 3 times and the 4th time a looked
a bit better and saw it was on oldsmobile sportscar. Later on I saw mabe 140 of these cars dating from 1900 till 1980. It was the annual Argentinian oldsmobile rally, a great scenery
here for the organisation. About 3 hours later I arrived in Bariloche in the lake district and on
the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi, surrounded by snow dusted mountains. It looked as I was in
Switzerland. It was not easy to find a room but with the help of another guesthouse I could
find a room for 10 USD. It was the first room on my trip where the central heating was on
during the night, a strange feeling cause most of the time I am used to air conditioning or
vans on my trips. The next day I went to El Cathedral, the biggest ski resort in south america.
As its springtime here the snow is melting so the ski season is over but I could do so nice
hiking up to the snow. That evening I had to take a bus to Puerto Madryn so I assured myself
that I was tired enough to get some sleap on the bus.

During the busride, crossing Patagonia from west to east it rained the whole time untill I
felt asleep. At around 07.00 in the morning we arrived in Puerto Madryn on the Atlantic
ocean and here is was almost a blue sky but very windy. I came to this place for the wild-
life at and around peninsula Valdes, a world heritage wildlife park. When I got from the
bus I jumped into a travel agency at the busstation and asked if I could still join a tour the
same day, which was possible if I took my luggage with me, so no hotel and shower first.
Travelling can be hard sometimes but I agreed and 1 hour later I was on a minibus to
Peninsula Valdes, about 120 km from Puerto Madryn. I mad a good choice cause this day
I saw sea lions and sea cows on the beaches and even pinguings walking wagling around.
In the afternoon we went on a boat for whale watching. When it gets to cold on Antartica
in winter the whales come here to breed. I saw about 7 whales in the huge bay, mostly
mothers with their baby on their side. They came so close to the boat we could almost
touch them, its an amazing experience when you see it for the first time, such huge animals.
It was almost 20.00 hr when we were back in Puerto Valdes. I checked in in a guesthouse
for 15 USD, shared bathroom, its a bit more expensive here. I was hungry so I went to
a restaurant and ordered a huge steak and a small bottle of wine. You can eat here very
well for about 14 USD, wine included. Argentina is really a wine drinking country, not beer
like in Peru or Bolivia. They have a lot of nice wines from the Mendoza area.

Today I have a restday, my memorycards were full again so I had to let a shop burn
my pictures on cd. I have about 800 pictures already now, a new record on my trips but
I see a lot too of course. Tonight at 18.40 I have to take another night bus. I tell you
in my next blog about my new destination.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Santiago de Chile - 16 Nov 2005

I am back in Europe. At least that,s the feeling I have walking through Santiago. Such a clean and nice city with a lot parks. It could have been Barcelona or Paris. I went into a supermarket
and inside I thought I was in a Delhaize or Carrefour. This is really Europe in South America.
I visited the most important parts of the city today and where-ever you go, you always see
the mighty Andes with snowcapped peaks just a few miles away from you. The daily life
goes its way here, well dressed office people having a quick lunch, youth shopping in the
many shopping streets etc... Compared to Peru and Bolivia life is also more expensive here,
so european looks, european prices. This evening I take a bus at 20.30 to Osorno so another
night on the bus, am getting used to it.

Cheers mates


Santiago de Chile - 15 nov 2005

35 hours of bus, thats what they call travelling and thats what I did. Monday at 06.00 I took a
bus in La Paz to Arica in Chile, a 8 hours busride. We started at El Alto at 4000 meter in a thick
fog. After 2 hours the sun came through. After 4 hours I could see 3 snowcapped volcanoes which marked the entry of Lauca National Park in Chile and the border as well. The border passing went smooth and I had even time to visit a small lake nearby at 4300 meter high where
red flaminco,s where resting on 1 leg. The road went all the way through the NP and then went
down to sea level. At around 14.30 we reached Arica on the Pacific Coast. Since there is not so
much to see there, besides the beach, I decided to hop on another bus straight to Santiago de
Chile, another 30 hours. The busses in Chile are very good and I even had 2 seats for my own
so I managed to sleep at night. The landscape was boring, 1200 km desert, the Atacama desert
included. It was only about 200 km before Santiago where the hills started to become green and
I saw the first famous wineyards. As from here I also saw the high Andes range again with
a lot of snowcapped peaks. At 20.00 hr today we arrived in Santiago. There is a shortage of
rooms here and they are on the expensive side so today I need to sleep in a 4 bed dormitory,
the first time on my trip, besided the jungle experience in Bolivia....and its evem more expensive
than my private rooms I had in Peru and Bolivia. I just use Chile as a hub to Argentina, cause
on the panamericano you can really travel fast and easy. Tomorow 16th I will visit Santiago
and at 20.30 I have another bus for 14 hours to Osorno, 900 km more south in the lake district, from where I want to cross into Argentina, more precize Bariloche. But more about that in my next report ok. I need some real sleep now after about 40 hours without bed.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

La Paz - 13 Nov 2005

aaahhh.... back in La Paz after a week of jungle and adventure. After the pampastour
in Rurrenabaque I joined a 2 days jungle tour in the Mididi NP in the Bolivian amazon forest. Friday morning we left Rurrenabaque with a longtailboat on the
Beni river. It was a 2 hours boatride up to the entrance of the park. I was with 13
Israelis. At the park HQ the guide arranged everything for the Israelis who stayed in the boat and I went inside the HQ where the female officer showed me a 4 months old
ant-eater. It was a cute animal and I could hold it in my arms like a baby for a while.
After 2 more hours on the boat we arrived at the basecamp, a simple open settlement
with beds covered with mosquito nets. Lucky for me there where not so many mosquitos there. The lady cooks made us a nice lunch as we were used of them in the
pampas as well. Normally at around 14.00 we should go for a jungletrip but suddenly
it started to rain so heavily you could not come out and it did not stop untill the next day at 06.00 in the morning, so at night we had company from a lot of frogs. After the diner there was nothing more to do than try to get some sleep. As soon as the rain
stopped the next norning we had breakfast and went into the jungle. The guide showed us the whole forest pharmacy, from curare, anti-malaria, abortion medicin, insect bite medicin to even anesthetic plants. On the same trip we saw 2 tarantulas,
1 a bit smaller than a hand, the other bigger than a hand. At around 13.00 we were
back in the base camp for lunch. Me and 3 other persons who had the 2 day tour
went to the other side of the river inti the jungle untill wa came a sandrocks where
the parrots make their nest. We climbed up the sandrocks and from above we had a
amazing view over the jungle with the colourfull parrots flying in couples under us.
We watched the spectacle a while and went back to the river to take the boat back
to Rurrenabaque. When we arrived in Rurrenabaque there was no electricity and
the few lights went on by generators. So I had to do my things in the dark.

This morning I woke up at 06.30 and packed my bags in the daylight. Electricity was
still down. I picked up my laundry I dropped 2 days ago and as I was getting thirsty
I went for a beer. At 10.00 the linea amaszonas bus brought me and 16 other passengers to the small airfield of Rurrenabaque, no tarmac, only a grass strip,
its the smallest airfield I have been so far for a commercial flight. At 11.00 a
Fairchild airplane landed, unloaded passengers and luggage and 10 minuts later
we could board. When the plane got off we had a incredible nice view over the
Amazone with a lot of brown windy rivers. The plane took us in 40 minuts to the
international airport of La Paz ore "el alto", the highest airport in the world. Its funny
that you almost dont have to descent to land.

I went straight into the centre of La Paz with a local bus and checked in in my
hotel where I am writing todays blog. (free internet). Tonight I will go for another
pizza and tommorow I trade Bolivia for Chile.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rurrenabaque - 10 Nov 2005

Hello, sorry that it was a bit quite but I am in the middle of nowhere with only one internetplace
when I am in town and none when I am in the pampas or jungle of course. Sunday morning I went 80 km downhill by mountainbike from La Cumbre (4700 meter) near La Paz to Coroico
(1500 meter) on the most dangerous road of the world, also called dead road. When you see
the pictures which I will post when I am back in Belgium, you will see why. If I had been in a bus
I would have shit in my pant. Hundreds of people died here already when they went into the deep with their car , truck or bus. I went from snow to subtropical jungle.

The day after I took a bus at 14.00 in the afternoon to Rurrenabaque, a place deep in the jungle
and pampas, not far from Peru and on the way to the Brazilian jungle. The bus did the last part
of the deadroad which I survived and then flat land. I arrived here Tuesdaymorning with extremely heavy rainfall at around 06.00 in the morning. At 09.00 the same day I took a
4x4 jeep into the pampas for about 100 km and then we went on a boat for 3 hours upto the
pampas bease camp. On teh way we saw a lot of birds, monkeys and alligators. The pampas
is a real mosquito hell. I fought out a war with them for 3 days and killed a lot but they hit
me about 200 times I think. They go through clothes, even jeans and repellent does not help
so much. In the 3 days we saw monkeys, alligators, pink dolphins, pirhanas, a kind of big rat and
lots of birds from parrots to big waterbirds.

Its Thursday 18.00 now and I just arrived back in Rurrenabaque from the pampas, the internet
goes down from time to time and its impossible to upload pictures as the sattelite connection is too slow so that will be for La Paz again. Tomorow morning friday I go into the jungle for 2 days and Sundaymorning I take a
small Cessna Caravan airplane out of here to La Paz, so whish me good luck with the mosquitos for the next 2 days and you here back from me on Sunday ok.

Cheers all


Sunday, November 06, 2005

La Paz - 5 Nov 2005

Today I could sleep a bit longer than usual. I came out of my bed at 09.30 hr, just in time for a shower and to get down for breakfast, toast with marmalade, fruitjuice and coffee. Its strange
how they serve the coffee here. You get hot water and a small can with a black thick fluid in it
which should be the coffee itself. I am eating good again. Yesterdayevening I found a jewish
pizzeria and they had really good pizza,s. Of course my eyes were bigger than my stomach and
I could only finish half of this huge 3 persons pizza romana. After my breakfast this morning
I went to a photo shop to burn my first set of pictures, about 390 pictures, on cd. I keep a copy
with me here and I also have sent a copy home by post. That was something. In the big building
of the Bolivian post I first had to go to the narcotica brigade to let them check if I did not want to send cocaine home as a souvenir. When they saw my package was cocaine free they put a stamp
on the package, then I had to go to the customs as a formality and they also put a stamp on the
back of the package and then I got green light to send it home.

After this bureaucratic theatre I was ready for a walk to the city. I passed markets where
you could buy everything you need, including coca leaves. I also visited the witches market
where you can buy all kind of "vodoo" things like dried animals, phoetuses of lama,s , tallymans
etc... . Furthermore I saw the gouvermentbuildings and the presidential palace and the
"champs-Elysees" of La Paz where I so a place you could eat all different kinds of icecream
and cakes you could imagine.

After my citytour I went to skybolivia, the travelagency, for my tickets and reservations
for the coming week, starting with my mountainbike tour to Coroico tomorow. I have
been surfing for a while this evening and saw that Germinal-Beerschot could win a game

again, beating Lierse with 4-0. There are still wonders in this world.

I think I am going to get back to that restaurant of yesterday and order a huge spagethi
this time, calories I certainly will need tomorow.

Take care you all


Saturday, November 05, 2005

La Paz - 4 Nov 2005

Its getting common to wake up at 06.00 in the morning. A quick hot shower , packing my bag and at 08.00 on the bus. We drove all the way along lake Titicaca and around 11.00 hr we reached the Bolivian border. I had a smooth bordercrossing and 30 minuts later we arrived in
Copacobana, a popular Bolivian town on lake Titicaca. It caters for almost 50 % to tourists I
think and it has a street where you find a lot of hippies & Co. At 14.00 hrs I had to take a bus
from Copacobana to La Paz. We drove further along lake Titicaca and crossed the lake 1 time.
At that harbour we got a second passport check done by the police. After lake Titicaca we went
up onto the altiplano up to 4300 meter. The landscape looks a bit like Tibet, it was cold and
at a certain point we could see the mountains full of snow. At around 17.00 hrs we arrived
at El Alto, the highest level of La Paz. I think it looked worser than Kinshasa. The airport
is on this level too. Once we had passed El Alto I saw something incredible. It was like we
were suddenly looking into the crater of a vulcano, we saw a gap in the ground , 1000 meters
deep. This gap was La Paz. At the bottom of the gap is the citycentre with the skycrappers
so seen from the altiplano they looked like Legotowers. When the bus arrived in the centre
and stopped to dropp us we got a escort from two weaponed tourist police officers who blocked
the footway to avoid that people would steel our goods. It sdounds crazy but you can ask the
tourist police to escort you to your hotel, and they really look like soldiers. I spend the rest
of the early evening with finalizing my deal with Skybolivia for my plans for the coming
days , mountainbiking, amazon jungle tour and pampas tour ( a la Pantanal). And now its
time to find some food.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Puno, Lake Titicaca - 3 Nov 2005

This morning, after a good nightrest I woke up at 06.00 and took a real hot shower. I went for a small breakfast of eggs, bread, coffee and orange juice in the hotelrestaurant and at 07.00 a minibus picked me to bring me and some others to the port of Puno. With about 20 people we went on a boat to the floating islands of the Uros. The Uros already live for centuries on these
selfmade floating islands, made of piles of reeds, isolated from the so called landpeople. We spend about 1 hour on 2 of these islands out of a total of 40.

The sky was blue byt due to the early hour it was still pretty cold. From the
Uros islands we went to an island called Taquille, in the middle of Lake Titicaca. When I went
on this island and looked down to the water it was like I was on Corsica in the Mediterian Sea.
Meanwhile the sun was on full power and that means something when you are on a lake at
a level of almost 4000 meter. I start looking like an African (or should I say Brazillian now).

On Taquille the 2000 inhabitants live according to a socialist/comunist system. The all
work for the community and share the incomes. They have their own rules, there is no police,
no motorised vehicles, and honesty is rule nr1. There is no theft on the island and every week
the inhabitants have a meeting on the plaza to discuss weekly topics or important issues.
When walking on the island I could see a snowtopped Andes mountainrange in Bolivia.

At around 13.00 hr we had luch on the island, a local vegetable soup followed by fresh fish
from lake Titicaca with french fries and rice. Back on the boat to Puno I had a discussion
with an englishmen, a Australian woman and three Israeli,s about the situation in the
middle east and more particular Israel. It was a healthy discussion where everyone had
respect for each orhers point of view so it filled the 3 hours we needed to get back to Puno.

In Puno one or another festival has started today which will go on for 5 days and this evening
they had a parade which looked a bit like a carnaval parade. I am getting the impression that
south americans really like a lot of fiestas.

Tomorow morning at 06.30 in the morning I will take a bus which will bring me along lake
Titicaca over the Peruvian-Bolivian border via Copacabana to La Paz. So today was my last
full day in Peru, time for a short evaluation :

Peru has a lot of drawcards to offer like the Nazca lines, Machu Pichu and lake Titicaca.
Furthermore is has a wonderfull landscape from deserts to high mountains and altiplano.
It also has a huge amazon basin which I could not do because lack of time but I will catch
that up in Bolivia. The people are very nice and open. From nature they are quite, polight
and they never shout to you. The only negative point I could find is the food. I filled my
stomach but never had the feeling of haute cuisine. So, Peru easily gets a 8/10 from me.
Lets see what Bolivia brings the coming week.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Puno 2 Nov 2005

This morning I woke up at 06.00 and at 07.00 I took a taxi to the central bus station.
It was almost 09.00 when my bus finally left the terminal to Puno. The ride was very
nice all the way over the altiplano going from 3300 to 4000 meter, through highland
valleys with nice small villages and a lot of sheeps and Lama,s along the road. By times
we could almost catch the snow on some mountains.

In the late afternoon Puno showed up along lake Titicaca, a nice view. The lake, 3810 meters above sealevel, is the highest lake in the world, navigable by large vessels. Tomorow I will
make my own boattrip on this lake.

After 10 days of basic cheap hotels with most of the time only cold water it was time for
a splurge today so I checked in in the Don Julio Hotel, a brand new hotel which gave me
a big room with 2 large beds, luxe bathroom with hot water, TV with moviechannel etc...
for ........... yes..... 15,00 USD per night. It will do me good before going into the mountains
and jungle of Bolivia as from Saturday.

Besides the busride I did not do much more today so I hope to tell you more interesting
news tomorow.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cuzco 1 Nov 2005

Today I slept untill about 11.00 when firecrackers and a barking dog woke me up. My arms
were still itchy, I counted the total bites I got and came to 120 bites. I took a picture of both my arms to proove that I am not lying, they look like a Picasso.

When I passed a shop outside I saw they had cheese, so I bought some cheese and bread
as lunch to take with me on my afternoon trip. I went to Saqsaywaman, a inca ruine just
outside Cuzco. The entry was 40 Sol or about 11 USD. As the site lies about 200 meter
higher than the city I had a nice view over the city and I could see snowtopped mountains
far away. The weather was nice so I visited the site at ease and spend the afternoon there
doing nothing.

When I was back in Cuzco I did some shopping and in the evening I found the first descent
meal in a week for the cheapest price this week, chicken with french fries, a fresh salade and
a sprite for 8 Sol or a bit more than 2 USD.

Tomorow I have to catch a bus to Puno at 08.00 hrs which means leaving the hostel at
around 7 to catch a taxi to the busstation.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Machu Pichu 31 Oct 2005

Lets start with yesterdayevening. I was sitting on a table outside a small restaurant when I suddenly got attacked by something I never saw before. A kind of fly so small you almost dont see it. It lands on your skin and within a second it sucks a drip of blood out of you. And not one he, no.. about 40 bites all over my arms. At the moment itself you just feel a bite and nothing more but 1 day later these bites get red and very very itchy. I thought our summermusquito,s
where a plague but its nothing compared with these little monsters. The day the itchy feeling will stop I will report it here,.... if I am not completely eaten by then.

Now today. This morning I woke up at 7 and at 8 I was in the pendlebus direction Machu
Pichu. The bus had to climb from 2000 meter up to 2400 meter. At around 08.30 I entered
Machu Pichu, something I was already thinking of 5 years ago. The first sight is really
impressive. The hidden inca city and a breathtaking backdrop. I walked over the site all
the way to the end to climb the sacred mountain, the famous mountain you see in the back
of the traditional Machu Pichu picture. On my way I passed some Lama,s but they did not
spit in my face as they did with Captain Haddock. The climb up the sacred mountain was
not an easy one (or is it just my condition), I thought I was in the himalaya again. On the
top you have some more inca ruins and a nice vieuw over Machu Pichu itself.

When I was back down I started exploring Machu Pichu itself bit by bit. Its impressive
but it can not beat my number 1, Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Machu Pichu has wonderfull
architecture but lacks art. No statues, stone carvings etc... It took me about 5 hours to
explore every corner of the site before taking the bus back to Agua Calientes.

At 16.00 hr I took the train back to Cuzco. I ate something in a small restaurant. I dont
know why but untill today I did not get one tasting meal. They have all ingredients but they
just dont know how to cook here.

This evening its Halloween here. The children go dressed on the street in search for
sweets, local bands are playing on the street and in front of the Cathedral they have a
firework contest. The way they do it here is totally different from Europe and a lot
more dangerous. They really built skelletons full of fireworks and set it on fire. It would
be a wonder if no one lost an eye this evening. I watched it from a safe distance for about
30 minuts and then I had enough of it

I am gonna try to get some sleep but it wont be easy , a bit headache, sunburn on my arms
and the itchy fly-bites. Yes, a man has to take a lot to see some things in the world.