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09/14/2009, Cusco, Peru

The Spanish lessons are going well if not a little slow on our part. We should have been studying this weekend but were busy visiting many of the ruins around the city. The Inca civilization was incredible. The three main points of their philosophy and way of life was to love, to learn, and to work. Then the Spanish came and gold and silver artifacts were melted down. Walls were dismantled to build huge churches.

On Sunday we signed up for a easy bike ride to see some of the sites. Luckily Scott and I know how to mountain bike because the flat section was mostly up and down large hills and the down hill section was some pretty intense single track on the edge of huge cliffs. We were the oldest on the trip and were at the front of the pack. Some of the people had to walk their bikes on many of the uphill parts and a lot of the single track. We were late and the ten bikes where tied to the roof of a public bus. The hour plus trip back was a lot longer. We stopped at every little town on the way and cramped more people than you can imagine into the aisle. A lot of times the assistant was still hanging out the door shouting for people to move to the back as we started driving down the highway. We got back to Cusco in the dark and then had to bike down streets and cobblestone laneways to get back to the main square. Quite the adventure but could have used some lights or reflectors for the last part. Scott and I waited at the square for over forty minutes for the rest of the group. I think it was the nicest Pisco Sour drink that I have ever tasted.

Today is Tuesday and we have two women professors this week and they are a lot tougher than the men professors from our first week. No English allowed and we listen and speak in Spanish. My head hurts. Idon´t think that the next three days will make me bilingual.

Ah manana es otre dia!

Flying to Cusco
09/03/2009, Peru

We took a day trip on one of the many nice buses. We went down to the seaside town of Paracas.We just made it on time to take a fast boat ride out to the ´poor man´s Galapogos¨island. We were entertained by pequins, sealions, pelicans and dolphins for our trip home.
Chatting with some friends after our awesome cliff side tamdem paragliding flight we were overheard saying that it was so much fun and not at all scary and were asked if we would mind repeating that into a video camera. The man was wearing a cap with a Carbrina logo and one thing lead to another and he and his wife invited us out to lunch.
We have a standing invitation to go back to Paracas where they run a kiteboarding school and borrow whatever gear we need. She is the third top female rider of South America. We will see if we have time upon or return to Lima.

This morning we are flying to Cusco for three weeks or so. We will be staying at the Green House. Google it because it sounds amazing.

09/05/2009 | Michelle
Hi Guys The green house looks good. I need to come and visit you for a vacation!!!! Love SIS
Trekking and Paragliding in Peru
09/02/2009, Lima

Much has happened since the last blog update. As soon as the manager arrived at the Caroline Lodge we were reassigned to a new building with a hotel size bright and airy room with a bathroom with a HOT shower. The manager inquired about our plans and then let us know that we were paying way too much on our planned trek. We were lucky to get our deposit back after playing our good cop bad cop routine. We quickly booked another hike for the next day.
We ended up being the oldest members of our ten person group. We all hike a quick pace and ended up waiting for our guides more than once. The four day hike was extremely good. We had a guide, a cook, and a donkey driver. The donkey driver was supposed to get to camp early enough to set up all the tents but we hiked too fast and he was quite flustered when we helped to set up our own tents. We had such a good time that we went out for drinks after arriving back in town. The bar was called the thirteen owls (in Spanish) and the bartender knew three of our group. The chaos started with free shots of rum soaked with cocoa leaves and started to escalate after I asked if he would give us free shots if I got Laura up on the bar dancing. Before the shots we poured Laura and two others were up on the bar. Through out the night we all had our chance to show off on the bar as costumes of crazy hats and a Hugh Heffner red satin robe were handed out. We are waiting for the photos to be sent to us.

We took the night bus back to Lima. The next day we were signed up for a paragliding course. The instructor and his wife picked us up at our Bed and Breakfast and drove us out to some huge sand dunes. We both had five solo flights. The instructor hooked us up in our seats and harness; he then organizes all the many lines and then attaches those. I was the lighter person and after a few running steps I was flying and floating down the dune. The third flight down was truly amazing I kept getting lifted by thermals and going farther and farther. The instructor had told us to head for a certain section but I flew past that and was heading for some cactus. I decided to bank right instead. Scott and I wore grins for the entire day. For part two of the day the instructor drove us back to the city and we each had a turn tandem paragliding off the cliffs of Miraflores. Of course now I am worried as Scott had such a good time he is looking on line to find out where he can take more lessons back in Canada. For myself I still like kiteboarding better.

In the Mountains
08/21/2009, Huaraz, Peru

We took an eight hour overnight bus trip up into the mountains of Peru. Scott and I were prepared with sleep masks, earplugs, and melatonine. The VIP seats are quite large and recline to almost flat. After they serve a snack you are presented with a small pillow and fleece blanket. We woke up at dawn in the sleepy town of Huaraz.
We were greeted by one of the guides of the company where we have booked a six day hike. We could by pass the mass crowd of taxi drivers clamouring for your business. We got a couple hours of sleep in the ´romantic couple´ room in the hostel. Let´s just say we are spending more per day for our boat´s berth than we are one our own. It is all about looking after the mother ship. We do have the luxury of our own bathroom, a stool, and small table. The hiking boots and shoes had to go under the bed and the backpacks piled at the end of the bed so we have room to get to the bathroom. All in all a fun place with lots of young people.
We walked around town, saw a parade of young people in traditional dress, and met with the rest of the company which we are doing the hike. We even met another one of the hiker, a very fit sixtyish Dave.
As this is the highest we have been in elevation for two years at least we took it easy today and will be doing our first day hike tomorrow.

Hopefully I will be able to sent pictures soon as the mountains are truly outstanding.

08/20/2009, Lima, Peru

Scott and I arrived safe in Lima. We have been walking around the city getting the feet ready for some serious hiking.

The city is beautiful. The ceviche is amazing and the beers are huge. We will be taking a night bus up into the mountains tonight. Huaraz is a trekking town in the centre of the Cordillera Mountains. We have four days to acclimitize and get a couple of day hikes before the longer six day trek through the mountains.


We caught something huge on the sail to Cartagena. We never caught a glimpse of the fish while he ran out over 850 Metres of 80 lb test. The picture shows the very last of line. We could not slow the boat down enough and we did not want to turn back and head into the wind. We now have the empty reel up for sale at the marina bulletin board.
The next morning I caught a nice sized mahi mahi which made a delicious three dinners.

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Who: Lori and Scott
Port: Toronto, Canada
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