Thursday, September 28, 2006

Coming home...

So I fly home today. I won´t be able to get back to Bend until late Saturday, since the buses only leave PDX once per day for bend. I fly out at 11:50 tonight, and arrive in Portland at about 9:30 pm tomorrow. I could stay here longer, if that was the plan. But as it is..I can´t wait to be home. Just three flights and many hours between me and that! :) The rest of the group left last night, so I´m bumming around Lima by myself today.

Went and saw the Nasca Lines yesterday. 7 hour drive from Lima to Nasca, did out flight over the lines early yesterday morning. It was fabulous! I don´t think the pics are going to turn out. You just can´t get the detail that your eye can see. But I can just scan the postcards I have and pretend they´re mine! :)
It´s funny, I hate flying, but those little planes don´t bother me in the least. We were banking so hard it felt like we were going to flip over! And I´m fine with that, but for flights on the big airliners I need valium. Sheesh.

Anyway, the Lines were amazing. Then we drove back to Lima. We stopped off at the Huacachina Oasis/Lake for lunch...and did a dune buggy ride! It was fabulous. The coast area of Peru is a complete desert. It´s amazing. Sand as far as the eye can see. Sand dunes 30-60 feet was completely different than what we´d seen before.

I´ve loaded some pics to my flickr site, but most will need to wait til I´m home.

Miss you all and see you soon. Can´t wait to give the kitties a hug and kiss!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What is the dream?

What is the dream? "Real" life or the time I´ve been here. You know, they say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and that may be true...but nothing can acurately describe what I´ve experienced here. The trek was amazing, very difficult and exhilerating. We hit 16,000 feet! Well, I did ´cause I insisted on climbing this last little knoll to put my rock I brought all the way from Bend on top of the highest cairn.

It has been simply amazing. And I´m blissfully happy. So I´m going to just, for a while. I´ll update soon with pics hopefully. Tomorrow is the highlight, Machupiccu itself. We´ve seen it from the bottom, tomorrow the top. And climbing Winapiccu on the top (yes, I know people die climbing that one, but I promise to be carefull).

Later. Off for my first shower in 7 days. I´m a dirty stinking mess! But...did I say I was blissfully happy) :) :) :)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mountain biking in Peru...

Whooboy! Took a break from the group, and I went on an all day bike trek today. It experience. One I´m so glad I took, but it was...interesting. It was just myself, Olaf (a German in Peru studying Spanish) and out guide Gilbert, who was a total surfer dude! We started at about 3,500 meters, did some flat and climbing to about 3,700 meters (about 12,100 feet), then descended to 2,600 meters (8530 feet). The uphill parts would not have fazed me at home, but here at 12,000 feet with a headwind that you could lean into and not fall over...they killed me! :) It was tough going, especially since my 24 speed bike only had 4 gears! That and my helmet didn´t have a clip, so it had to be tied on!!! Sheesh. I wasn´t expecting top of the line equipment, but come on!
Fixing the bike...about 30 seconds after starting!

Me at the top. Can you see how fabulously my helmet fits!!! Sigh

Blogger isn´t letting me upload pics check my Flickr

We did about 30 km, starting just after Chinchinero, biking to the Moras Moray, on to the salt mines and ending up in the valley at Urubamba. The first açhalf was mostly flat with some uphill. Man, those were far harder than I thought they should be. We had this incredible headwind that blew me backwards and sideways into a cactus at one point! But, the downhill was worth it! It was intense. 3,570 feet of descending. Some parts were great, smooth swooping turns. Others were tight, twisty, silty and rocky technical sections. I´m telling ya, that clinic really helped me! I rode stuff today that I would not have before. Getting much better at those tight switchbacks too.

So tonight, I´m tired, but happy. We´re off tomorrow to start our trek, so no updating for about 8 days. One of our mom and mine´s roomate, might have strepthroat. Ick. Hope I don´t catch it. I feel ok, but I have had a sore throat for about 3-4 days...

Anyway, it was great. I have more pics on my flickr site than I can put here. The link is to the right... Hope you all are doing great! :) I´m having a fabulous time. The ladies in the group are wonderful, and I´m just...having a hopefully life-changing experience! :) :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Puno & Lake Titicaca

Blogger isn´t liking my pictures right now, but I´ve uploaded some to my flickr site.

We´re in Cusco now, but we spent the last several days in Puno and visited Lake Titicaca. We flew into Juliaca very early in the morning, because the air gets too thin as the day goes along, and the planes cannot land or take off safely. Niiiice! Very arid dry area in the mountains...and very high!

Puno is a town of about 19,000 but I would have thought more than that. We visited the floating islands called the Uros. It´s comprised of 25 islands, each island having about 7-10 families. They´ve lived like this for several hundred years. It´s fascinating. Everything they make is out of reeds. It takes them about 3-4 weeks with 7-8 people to make on of their boats, which will last about 1 and a half years. They also eat the bottom part of the reeds.

We wandered around Puno for several days, getting used to the altitude. It was about 12,000 feet...a bit more. Yesterday we drove down to Cusco, a town of about 1 million. We´re right next to the famous square. Just beautiful. The mountains are amazing, the terraces that go up for hundreds and hundreds of feet. And they were man made! We visited an Incan site that had funary towers. Again, fascinating and beautiful. I was the only one brave enough to crawl into the little hole that was the entrance to the tomb. I could stand up inside, but barely. After a long time in the bus (about 8 hours or so) we arrived in Cusco. It´s a huge city, so of course not all of it is beautiful. But the area we´re in is.

So we´re here for a few days, and then off for our trek for 8 days.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I forgot, I wanted to tell you all about my flights!!! They were crazy. The flights themselves were fine (man, that valium really does work!!!), but between each of my flights they would drop my reservation. I would get to the counter and they would not have me there. I had a bording pass though. Sigh. I will have to tell you more later. My time is almost out...

Hello from Peru!!!

Hello all! Or anyone who happens to be reading this. Just a quick update. We are in Puno now, on the edge of Lake Titicaca, the highest navegateable (sp?) lake in the world. We are at about 12,500 feet. If you notice I am not using contractions it is because I cannot find the apostrophe key. No pictures until I get back cause mom forgot the cord to attach the camera to the computer. Silly girl!

Been great so far. Flights themselves were ok (man, that valium makes a HUGE difference!) but the connections and hassle were crazy. Each leg they lost my reservations. So I would get there and there is no record of me. What fun! But got here. By the time I got to the hotel it was about 6:00 am. Slept until about 10:00, then tour of Lima. This morning we flew to Puno at 6:45 am. Tomorrow we get a tour of the lake and then drive 5 hours to Cusco. There are internet cafes every block! So I think I will have quite a few chances to update.

Oh yea, for those who I said I would send probably will not get one. Each postcard costs $2 US in postage!!!! Yikes. You will have to take this as your postcard! Sorry. With this higher elevation I have been feeling mild elevation sickness issues (headache, lightheaded, etc), but I am getting better by the hour. Drinking lots of coca tea (yes, that is made from cocaine leaves!), water and just taking it easy until tomorrow. We have one person who is not doing well at all though. Hope she adjusts. We will see.

So anyway, hello from Peru. It is still a bit unreal that I am actually here! It is just great. Beautiful. Wonderful food. Not eating those rosted guinea pigs though, just not. Hope you all are well. One of the ladies may have a camera cord that might work, so you may get pics next time. Off to walk around Puno and drink more coca tea. Yea baby! Hee hee

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First timer

Lost my acupuncture virginity yesterday! :) I've known for a while that I acupuncture would help with both my asthma and adrenal hyperplasia and other minor things as well. But I'm not always really great at doing the things I know are best for myself. I went to Steven Foster-Wexler and he was great. When I get back we'll set up a regular schedule and hopefully I'll see some results. I don't like needles, but it really didn't hurt. Just like I thought.

Today is my last full day in Bend! Loki gets her cast off in about an hour, then I have one appointment and then it's time to make my rounds saying "goodbye" to my friends. Not that I'm going to be gone forever, but three weeks! Right now it feels like a long time. Tomorrow I head out to Portland in the afternoon and fly out to Peru on Friday morning. I'm so excited!!!!

Right now I'm just trying to remember everything I need to do before I go. I've got lists all over the house! :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

In one week...

I'll be in Lima! Ahhhhh! I'm so excited, and scared too. I just wish there hadn't been so many airplane crashes in this last month. Everything will go fine...but it's probably good that I have valium. Of course, I still haven't had a day/evening without plans so I could try the valium out. I've never taken it, so I need to try it. Maybe Monday...

I've decided that I'm going to put my backpack/duffel bag that I'm taking on the hike into a suitcase for the flights and for in Lima. When my brother lived in Chile, he had his backpack sliced open twice at the airports and about $500 worth of stuff stolen. I'm not willing to take that risk. I feel stupid taking a suitcase, but I think it's the smartest thing to do. Just need to get a few more things, and then I'm all ready. Need to get traveler's cheques and a money belt. I HATE them, but then again, they're the smarter way to travel. I used to have one, but I cannot find it. I can't believe I'll be in Peru this time next Saturday!!!!! :) Hee hee.

I've found a ride to Portland on Thursday. And Susan is going to let me stay at her place, despite the fact that she and Dave will have only moved in on Tuesday, and Paige is also going to stay there. Paige is who is driving me up. What's great is that she was planning on going to P'land on Thursday anyway for a concert. So I'm just hitching a ride with her. On the way back, I think I'll take the new shuttle The Mountain Express. Unless of course, I can find someone who wants to come pick me up! :) The Mountain Express is new, uses Bio-Diesel, and the best part is that it leaves PDX at 1:30 pm instead of the Breeze's 6:30 pm. And it drops off at the Mt. Bachelor Park 'n Ride. And it's cheaper! So I think I might be all set in that department too. I will gladly accept a ride on the way back though!

Loki's getting her cast off on Wednesday. As for her tummy, the vet wants to leave it. She feels that it may do more damage in trying to remove that large and area. It's shrinking, but very slowly. It's probably going to take about 2-3 months for it to heal completely. I'm happy though. It means that both Loki and Dread can be left in the house and just be checked on every couple days. She really wants to go outside, but too bad! It's her own fault for getting her foot broken!