A Travellerspoint blog

Aguas Calientes - Peru


Got up mucho early today to get the ridiculously overpriced Peru Rail train (officially one of the slowest trains in the world) to Aguas Calientes. Starting off, the train had to go back and forth, back and forth to maneouvre itself onto tracks higher up the mountain. On the way the train also bumped off a cow! :( boo.

We got there early and checked into a hostel for the bargain price of 25 soles per room. Then we went for a long lingering lunch of salad, beer, sandwiches & wine.

After lunch we went for a little exploration, then probably went out for more food & beer. We met two Canadians who had been to Galapagos Islands, so we asked them a few questions. They said get the trip from Puerto Ayora and don’t sail on the Gabby and the something else...
Off to bed early as we are getting up at 4.30 am to climb the millions of steps up to Macchu Picchu.









Posted by James R 13:02 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Puno - Peruuuu

Puno - like you know!


Puno – Day 1
Our bus ride to Puno wasn’t too bad. There was more crazy Spanish films on TV and me & Jim were sitting apart. The guy beside me’s breath stank and every time he yawned or let out a big sigh, I had to turn away.. PEEYEW.
Anywho, the weather was lovely and the scenery was fandabbydozey. I started to read a little of Jim’s book – Sideways. (It’s actually written by a guy called Rex - not Jim)
We arrived in Puno about 3pm and went about ignoring everyone at the bus station but to no avail. Some loon trying to promote his hostel, actually jumped in the boot of the car with our bags and kept waving his hostel brochure in our faces. I was trying not to laugh. We decided even after all his effort that we were going to go to our own one anyway. Hostel Europa. It was big and had private bathrooms. It was grand and dandy. We went for lunch & a couple of beers. I had yummy creamy poetaytoe curry soup. Yum. The streets were filled with colourful bands and kids throwing water balloons and spraying shaving foam on each other. This was because it was Carnival time (again – it’s always carnival). We escaped their foamy gringo wrath and went back to our hostel to chill for a while.
Later we went out for some Chinese food and then a few drinks in this rather cool bar with cheesy music. I was knackered despite sitting on my arse all day.

Puno – Day 2
Me & Jim got up early and headed out of the hostel to go to see the Isles Flotantes on Lake Titicaca. Upon meeting us, our hostel owner told us we couldn’t go to the islands, that we would have to make a reservation with him and then we could go at 9 am tomorrow. At this stage we’re used to everyone having their own agenda so we tried to tell him to feck off in Spanish and wandered off. Jim said Goat friend was behind yer man listening to all we were saying. LOL. (Goat friend being this guy with a goaty beard who seems to be everywhere we are – he is one of those gringos intent on immersing himself in the culture and he has a llama hat, jumper & llama socks).
We hopped in a little bicycle type taxi and got an auld lazy lift down to the port, where once again we were hopped on by people selling grapes/water/sweets & tours. We paid some little man at the pier box and jumped onto one of the local’s boats. There was no one else on it! (cue tumbleweed). The Captain said we would hang around and wait until there were ten people on the boat. This is at 7.30am on a cold & bleak morning in low season. He He
But lo and behold along came a tankload of Peruvians, obviously on a daytrip, and off we went on the world’s slowest boat. It was gas. And freezing. The boat started to leak in beside me for a few minutes, until some young fella, with no shoes and a snotty nose, came along and stuck a hose in through the wooden hull. (or whatever part I mean).
We pulled in at the first floating island. These islands are made entirely of reeds. The ground is reeds, the houses are reeds, the boats are reeds, the well you get the picture. It felt really weird walking on the island as everytime a boat sailed closeby, the ripples would hit the island and it felt a bit like being on a bouncing castle. The Uros women of the Island were out selling their wares. I wanted to buy an Uros Jumper but Jim put the spending reigns on again! ;)
Then back into the boat and off to the next island where a Uros woman was cooking fillets of trout and selling them for 6 soles. 2 auld dears bought them and sat down to have a nibble. Jim & I took a few pics of the gaffs, the church, the giant swan shaped lookout point and a duck/bird. The islands themselves are amazing. I dunno if the Uros sleep on the islands really, as the chance of getting arthritis from the damp is quite high. Then on to the 3rd island where we watched some Uros chicks play a lil volleyball.  Then it was back into the leaky boat and we lolled about on the way home as the engine of the boat kept conking out! Tee hee hee. We jumped back on the front seat of a taxi slash cyclist for the short journey home. However Jim didn’t know the way, we were going for ages and the tricycclist was getting a bit puffed out on the way uphill! He He. We jumped off our poor chauffeur and headed back to the hostel where we met the resident hotel promoter/looney/amigo, who informed us that our friends (Priska & Manwell) had booked their bus to Cuzco with him and we should do the same. Apparently he promised them a direct two tier bus with toilet and lots of other great stuff. Yeah Right! The bus took yonkers, it picked up every Tom Dick & Petula on the way. Then the bus had to stop again to let them all get off and pee on the side of the road! Then a smelly woman came on board the bus with a hachet and a big bag of meat & poetaytoes, whereupon she proceeded to hack up some portions of meat, stuff them into a bag with a potatoe, using her grubby hands and pass the much appreciated delicacy’s down the bus to the hungry crowd. Jim was tempted til he felt the meat splatter him on the face. There was also a million krap films on the bus – all really loud and distorted! Thank god for Ipods!
When we arrived in Cuzco, we ditched our bags in the Hostel Rojas (not bad), then went into the local gringo haunt to tucker up with some delicious olives, bread and other yummy stuff! Then off to try have a krappy shower in the hostel, but abandoned the idea due to the lack of hot water.
Beddy Byes. :)























Posted by James R 13:01 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Colca Canyon - Arequipa

Biggest Canyon in world!


Colca Canyon
We got a wake up call at about 5.30 – bleugh. We had about a two-hour bus journey to get to Colca Canyon. We stopped a few times along the way – which was a bit silly imo, as if the condors were flying in the morning – we would more than likely miss them.
Anywho, we stopped in a few villages along the way for more pictures. We also stopped at some hillside tombs – caves that the Colca Valley indigenous people had built on the side of the nearby mountains, in order for their dead to be nearer to their god – the Sun. I really wanted more trinkets but unfortunately we had no change – as per usual.*sigh*
So on to the area where the Condors usually hang aboot – Cruc del Condor. We were above some of the clouds and it was very beautiful, but alas there was no sign of any Condors. It is not the season to see them. It is the season for seal lion reproduction and the condors fly to the coast to eat gross alert Sea Lion placentas.
Then someone spotted one miles away and we all rushed over to try to get a glimpse, including this elderly Spanish woman. She was in such a rush that she tripped over a stone and fell and started to roll down the edge of the cliff! Us onlookers on the wall were like “EEK” and “Watch Yourself”. (Obviously in Spanish) There was a young French guy who was near where she was falling and he made a grab for her. I reckon if he hadn’t have been there, she would have been errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuu
So after this we spotted the Condor, who was a small white/black speck about 2km below us. I was disappointed as I had been expecting him to at least come over and tussle my hair, but the other lads were pleased to have seen one.. (Weirdos…).. ;))
Then it was back to Chivoy for some lunch. The guide brought us to a buffet, (SHOCK) but we escaped and went back to the other restaurant, where I had some spaghetti and tomato ketchup. Bleugh..he he
Then off back to Arequipa to Mawm’s place. We went to a pretty posh Italian place for some grub, where some guy soothed our ears with ANOTHER version of El Condor Pasa on the violin. He he. I had some seafood spaghetti, (more spaghetti) which was basically all squid – but the sauce and the spaghetti bit was delicious. 
We’re off to Puno tomorrow – just for a day I think, as we do not have much time. The others are coming with us so it’s all good.  Ciao Ciao


(Pics to come soon)

Posted by James R 12:55 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Arequipa, Peru

rain 19 °C

Arequipa – Day 1
We arrived in Arequipa about 7.30 am after a slightly nauseas (Sp?) early morning bus ride into higher altitudes. (I asked the lovely bus attendant for a sick bag just in case – Well I thought I did, but what I actually said was – “ I am feeling nauseaus, have you a suitcase?”
Tee Hee Hee
We hopped in a taxi and asked the taxi driver to bring us to a certain hostel we had noted from the Bible, but he brought us to the second one in the dodgier area of town (we didn’t know this at the time though). El Caminante del Class Inn 2. The hostel owner was a very small smiley lady who babbled on at us in Spanish. Me & Jim nodded profusely while Manuel & Priska did all the talking. (It’s becoming the norm). She showed us to our quite nice rooms and we set about throwing all our stuff all over the beds and floors.

I then went on a search for a new camera – and we compared a few prices. It’s a Nikon coolpix and it takes very nice pictures.
After a bit of a rest and a brisk cold shower, we went out for some tasty pizza and a few drinks. I had to buy a new memory card for the camera (55 dollars – holy sheet batman).
Then we all hit the sack. ;) (Together) he he

Arequipa – Day 2
Today we headed to Chivoy to ultimately see Colca Canyon and hopefully some Condors.
We were collected at about 8 by our tour guide and the bus driver (Senor Elvis). On our way to Chivoy, we stopped a few times - to take pictures of llamas and alpacas, have cocoa tea, take some pictures of some cute kids in Peruvian attire, wee, chew the coca leaves along with some volcanic ash which acts like a catilizer apparently (pffft!!), buy some trinkets, take pictures of volcano’s, buy some bananas and wee again.

We had a very interesting tour guide though who explained a lot about the area we were driving through and a little bit of history. The bus journey itself was uphill again and I popped some altitude sickness pills, which are great. The only downside being the drowsiness – zzzzzzzzzz!
We arrived in Chivoy for lunch, the lads had Alpaca steak (eek) and Jim & I had some trout. Then we had to get back on the bus (it was ridiculous as our hostel was literally next door) while we were all driven to our hostels (100 metres at the most). Crazy.
We were in Hostel Anita – really cute little rooms all surrounding a gorgeous courtyard. We had a tree stump as our bedside table and we had HOT SHOWERS YAY!

We got our stuff together and we all headed up to the Thermal Springs – outdoor pools of very hot volcanic water – stuffed with minerals. The weather was freezing but the pool was roasting and very clean. We sat in the pool, sipping on pisco sours as cool rain dropped on our heads. It was bliss! :)

















Posted by squeakylee 16:25 Archived in Peru Comments (1)

Nasca, Peru

A Short Bumpy Ride Over The Mysterious Nasca Lines..

sunny 35 °C

So after arriving in Nasca today I tried my darndest to use the phone and eventually got through to the Killester Kenny’s. woohoo! Then the four of us all went to this Steak Restaurant (yay ;) ) for what can only be described as Carne Carnage (for those of you who know your Spanish)! A tonne of meat was paraded to the table – all kinds of pig, chicken’s throats, blood sausage – and other gross stuff! I was sat at the separate veggie’s table! He He! We drank lots and headed off to bed.

After a night of possibly the worst sleep ever – desert temperatures, no windows in the room, no breeze, Jim fell asleep instantly so was no fun either – I was not in the best mood at the 7.15 wake up call. Then I was still in the shower when the lads knocked on the door and said “Hey the car is here”. Oops.. :/

We bundled into the ‘Hostel Owners’ car (2 people in the front seat) and trundled off down the road to the air.. Em airfield? Then we hopped into the tiny airplane, met our pilot and off we went. The lil plane was bombing along and nearly instantly we could see the first of the very impressive Inca drawn Nasca Lines – The Whale.
The pilot was quite good, he flew over each drawing lurching first to the right so the people on one side could see the lines well, then to the left – although the g force was pushing our heads into our necks somewhat. After a few of these goes I thought I was going to puke everywhere.

The lines themselves are pretty cool; they’re very big and look quite professional (Apart from the astronaut one, which looks a bit like Squidward - I reckon some kids added their own one).
We didn’t get to watch the rest of the badly dubbed video about them so I’m still wondering what they’re about.

Then after a yummy breakfast me and Jim wandered around a bit, checked our mail and decided to go with Priska & Manuel in a taxi to the Inca Cemetery of Chauchilla. We all got out of the car including the Taxi driver and the four of us paid the guy in charge. Then I went to the toilet and when I came back to the group I realized I didn’t have my camera with me. I went back to the taxi to check and then checked the toilet but it was nowhere to be seen. It literally disappeared into thin air. The camera was attached to my wrist and I reckon when the little b*llix in ‘reception’ gave me the ticket into one of my hands, he was secreting my camera into his own! I was so disappointed. All of our Huacachina sand boarding pics were on it and that camera cost me a fortune. We gave up, (I knew the little b*llix must have taken it and I wished I had a remote control alarm installed on my camera beforehand) and wandered around the cemetery. The graves were quite cool, some of the bones & original hair of the Inca’s buried there were intact and the figures had been arranged into sitting positions. Some of the bones were from children and were very tiny. It was interesting to see the original hair and textiles though – nearly 2000 years old. They were well preserved out there in the barren landscape as it rarely rains there.

Then a little wounded from the camera incident, we all got back into the taxi and our very nice taxi man took us to the Cantello Aquaducts. There were lots of mosquitoes though and James and myself took a few hits!

Then the taxi driver brought us to see what was left of a very old small Inca town built into the side of a hill. It was very impressive, the stonework was amazing. No mortar or mud was used in the building of the town foundations, and it has survived earthquakes for 1500 years.

Then we’d had enough, and I needed a drink after the camera incident, so we went back to the meat-eating place. I had salad for a change and we had a few beers before heading to the bus station for our overnight journey to Arequipa. The bus itself was huge, but the lights were off and we all basically had to just go asleep. It wasn’t the comfiest but it wasn’t too bad. :) A long day.















Posted by squeakylee 15:47 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Ica -> Huachachina

OH Dios Mio, I've got sand up my bum.

sunny 33 °C

We said goodbye to the Inka Lodge with our Lonely Planet Rough Guide to South America (Our Bible) in hand and headed for our first taste of the joy that is traveling by bus through Peru. Taxi through the madness of Lima to the bus station where we boarded this lil mini bus thing that brought us to another bus terminal which was much larger with big normal looking buses (to our relief). Destination ICA… On these bus journeys they think it’s a great idea to slap on these badly dubbed action movies. Our first one was this Bollywood action movie with lots of gunfire and bad acting topped off with some crazy dancing and singing here an there for good measure and the odd bit of flesh. The thing is these movies are played as loud as the volume on the bus speaker system will allow. SLEEPING IS NOT AN OPTION!!!!

Finally got to ICA after dark and grabbed a cab to a near by place called Huachachina. We read about it in the Bible. Its an Oasis flanked by Three MASSIVE sand dunes with a Lagoon in the middle. After some messing about by one hostel we (Lisa) rang earlier, we ended up staying in this nice old hostel with mainly Peruvians staying there with a lovely big swimming pool. We had a quick look about the place and went for some food an a drink but as it was dark we couldn’t make out where the sand dunes were or how big they were, until lisa spotted a line running along the skyline.. den den deeeen - it was one of the dunes and it was up so high in the sky!!! We woke up and finally got to see how MASSIVE the dunes where surrounding the Oasis.

The highlight of the trip was going Sand boarding!!!! They take you out over the nearest dunes and into the desert in a massive dune buggy. The crazy driver then drives u straight up these fucking huge dunes and over the edge flying down the otherside trying to nearly topple the fucking buggy. Scary but so much fun. After putting the shits up us he then gets on with the Sand Boarding!! We started off on a what I thought was a big enough dune and gradually by nearly sunset we had progressed onto five more dunes each one getting bigger than the last till we got to the mamma of all dunes.. it was farking massive!!! think thousands of feet here folks. There was a lot of “woohoooo im sand boarding” shouts, followed by lots of “arrgggggg”s as we all fell all over the place like rag dolly anna’s! There was sand EVERYWHERE. Due to the addition of my new beard, my whole face was covered in sand so I looked like a bear!!!! Or as I thought Charlie Sheen circa 1979 Platoon lol After all the falling down and boarding we went to watch the sunset over the desert horizon – very bootyful.

On the way back, as it was just getting dark, the feckin lights on the buggy broke! However, the driver felt he could still navigate his way through the desert and over monsterous dunes back to the oasis…. It was pretty fupping scary flying over huge dunes with near vertical drops whilst not being able to make out what was on the other side! Great fun though!!! We met a Swiss couple doing the boarding and went for drinks with them and decided to get the bus with them the following morning to Nasca.











Posted by James R 15:21 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

South America - Lima, Peru

Oh dios Mio, I’m growing a beard!

sunny 22 °C

Hola Amigos!!!
Oh dios Mio, I’m growing a beard in an effort to look tougher and outdo Kev’s effort a good few months ago. It’s coming along nicely. Lima was our first port of call in South America. We were a lil apprehensive as to how safe it would be etc so after getting out of the melee at the airport an a taxi to the Inka Lodge hostal all in one piece it was alllllllll good. We stayed in Mirafloras, which is a nice well to do area in Lima, not like the main part of the city that looked like a war zone in parts. It took a couple of days walking about the streets, staying in after dark, watching episodes of Law and Order on TV with some Peruvian beer and munching on olives before we could get our bearings and feel up some Peruvians. A very very nice bunch of people! Lima was a bit smelly with lots of lil Daewoo cabs zipping here and there so we decided after two days it was time to Vamous!!



Posted by James R 15:13 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Shitty of Angels

Lol Angeles

sunny 16 °C

The city of Angels, more like the city of hippies. Yet again they have infiltrated the side streets and beach areas of another West coast city with their smelly bum ways, trying to make a buck the only way they know how - singing about saving the world and banning the bomb while banging bongos and sleeping rough on the beach. After hearing bad stuff about down town LA (just another big smelly city) we (Lisa) looked for somewhere near the beach to stay for the couple of nights we were there. The Cadillac “Hotel” Venice Beach was the cheap and cheerful option. It was right on the beach and just a few blocks south of main street Santa Monica.

We saw lots of crazies on the boardwalk including one guy wearing a Turban, playing an electric guitar on roller blades! And another muscle guy just walking around all buff wearing nout but a lil leopard skin g-string – fetching!
Venice Beach and Santa Monica Main Street were very nice with lots of trendy apartments facing the sea, cool shops and lovely restaurants to get some eats. We saw a flyer for Dj Sneak, Derrick Carter and Heather all playing some secret location party the night we arrived, but seeing as we had already seen Sneak play in Vegas, we left it. Lisa picked up a new rucksack and we got our mits on a fancy laptop for a steal.

The last day we went to Universal Studios tour, which was excellent. There were loads of cool rides like a Jurassic Park (scary water ride) and The mummy ride - (roller coaster in the dark). The Back to the future ride was so good with added commentary from The Doc himself! Then we did the big Universal Studio tour where we saw the street they film desperate housewives on and also the Plane Crash scene from War of the Worlds and loads of other stuff. The Van Helsing thingy scared the pants off Lisa when a lil midget ran out and went “RARRRR” at the end lol was v funny. So I guess that was LA We’d defo go back and visit the west coast, relaxed people, great weather and my friends the hippes.


















Posted by James R 14:29 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Sin City

Not at all sh"%&y!

sunny 17 °C

Well well well,
I´ve forgotten my book of notes here to remind me of what happened in Vegas so I will have to rely on this ole memory of mine. (pffft)

We checked into the slightly swish Sahara Hotel and I was taken aback by the abundance of Velour Tracksuits... :/ Our hotel was pretty great though - we had a TV - WOoohoo!
Of course we had to move down the road to the Sin City Hostel for Friday and Saturday night because the hotel prices triple in Vegas at the weekends!
The strip itself was amazing. We spent a lot of time trekking up and down it, which although only about 4 miles long, takes feckin ages. Partly because everything is flashy and exciting and you forget where you are going, and even if you make it far enough down the road, you´ve still only half a chance of making it to your destination as half the streets are made of escalators which you have to board in order to cross the road - and they all actually go through the hotels! So there´s no escape.
All the hotels are huge and swish. Some of them are built as replicas of famous cities - e.g. New York NEw York was built like a miniture version of New York, The Venetian is built like a miniture venice and you can get on a gondola and float throughout the hotel while the gondola driver sings to you! And there was another one called Paris with an Eiffel Tower and everything, but I can´t remember what city that represented..
Every hotel has a ´thing´. In the MGM Grand they have real lions in a glass box surrounding the casino floor, in the flamingo, there are pinguins and flamingos outside! Caesars Palace has lots of swish shops and a show about the Lost City of Atlantis... etc etc..
We lorded it about for the first few days, exploring and shopping. Then we eventually built up the courage to have a whirlygig in the casinos.
We also went to see Sneak in the Rio. He rocked ' apart from one or two dodgy tracks from Tripsville, he was really great. Bumpity Bump and expensive drinks, with a jawdropping view off all of Vegas from the outdoor rooftop part of the club. We got drunk and rolled home happy. :)
James was ultra brave and dove (dived?) right in but unfortunately lost his arse on the Black Jack tables, whilst I lorded it up drinking Long Island Ice Teas and chucking coins into a James Bond Slots Machine. (The objective being to get 0 0 7 or something).
It was actually quite spell binding and I convinced myself that once I got up to 30 dollars I would Cash Out, but that of course never happens! Eventually I walked away langered with a bucket full of quarters! wohooo.. I`ve found my new calling....
We ventured outside the strip in a search for a laptop but it was pretty uneventful.. the bus took ages cos the traffic is mental .. and the laptop was a bit over budget.. (We spotted one in SUPERPAWN) he he
We also went to see the Grand Canyon in a helicopter which was amazing. The pilot was amusing and promised us his tour was NOT AT ALL cheesy.. Then he proceeded to put on "Lenny Kravitz - I want to get away.. I want to Fly away.. etc" and piped it into our headphones..
pffft ;)
In other news Vegas was pretty windy and our skin was mucho dry!
I think that´s all for now, I can´t upload the photos here in this small internet cafe in Nazca, Peru (rub rub rub ;) ) as there is no place to put the cd.. :)
So over and out people..
Till Next Time..
Rosy & Jim. xx
























Posted by squeakylee 09:12 Archived in USA Comments (0)

San Fran Disco

sunny 17 °C

It finally clicked with me after visiting San Fran why Sasha used a bum singing as the intro track to his GU 09 San Fran cd.. The place is full of them. Washed up hippies everywhere one day wanting to save the world but only ending up smoking weed and smelling bad sailing up and down san frans hilly streets in thier good ship shopping trolly. Although they look smelly they are all in great form smiling and singing everytime u go by one... One in particular near our hostel reminded me of Kev in John Sheehans house that nite before Electric Picnic red faced and laughing at everything and everyone that walked near him lol :).

Anyway enought about bums and onto bummers. Well lack of them really. I was expecting geis everywhere but there were very few to be seen. A couple of lesbots here and the odd gayer there) Trigger would have asked for a flight ticket refund).

We loved San Fran it was such a nice chamge of pace from NYC which was rush rush rush. Laid back, nice weather and a starbucks on every corner. We walked all over the city doing all of the usual touristy things like get on a tram, alcatraz, bike tour over the golden gate bridge and stopping about 5 tiomes on the way over to try and capture a picture of me doing the San Fran GU 09 Sasha cover stance. One of the highlights had to of been seeing the coit tower (old 150 foot tower build by some crazy rich women yonks ago with a great view of whole bay) and witnessing the first fog of the year roll in and consume the Golden Gate bridge in a massive cloud. The fog is like san frans natural air conditioning system it rolls in over and through the city and cools everything down for about 24 hours.

Anyway thats pretty boring what else did we get up to hmm some shopping eating it lots of lovely food places. Note to anyone who plans on visiting SAn Fran visit "The House of Nan King" its in all the reccomended places to eat and is amazing im not noramally one to go wow re chinese food but seriously its amazing and not expensive. From the outside the place looks like an old crappy place with an dirty A4 page as the menu but the place has queues outside it EVERY night of the week Saturdays is a joke the lines so big.

Well thats all I can think of for the mo lisa will get on the vegas and la case and i will get on the South American Blog "Oh Dios mio I´m growing a beard"·

miss all you animals.































Posted by James R 10:28 Archived in USA Comments (1)

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