Thursday, November 12, 2009

BREAKING NEWS

        What do these two young couples have in common....THEIR ENGAGED!!!

Sam (1of Brendan's best friends) and Allison                 Billy (Brendan's brother) and Tif
      

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lake Titikaka





If your like Brendan, I or Billy, you might laugh or giggle when you hear this name.....Lake Titikaka...(And were not 12 years old either....)  Apparently the way you actually say this name, is different than one might think, and Lake Titikaka is very very cool.  Side Note: Peru is bleeding in culture, and it's so neat to see that culture still plays such a big role in the Peruvian lifestyle.




Dead tired from the hike to Machu Pichu, we take a bus ride to Lake Titikaka, where we then take a boat tour to the different islands; an island that is man made.  (Floating islands!)  Pretty interesting how these people made their own islands, and how a main source of their life revolves around reeds from the lake.  (food, homes, artisans, etc.)  They use the roots of the reeds to float and then pile the reeds in a criss cross motion, until the floor is complete.  These people live very simple lives on islands of about 50-70 feet in length.  We then headed over to another island about 2 hours away, where there are no cars in the streets.  The water surrounding this island is clear and from an overview the water is different shades of blue.  We arrived to a trout lunch at the top of a mountain, overlooking the beautiful lake.  It was so neat to see the different customs on this island; the men that are married wear colored hats, and the boys and men that aren't, wear hats with white tips.  Their hats are like our wedding rings!



Our view from our lunch... !




This clothes is typical of this island, as well as the dance




Beautiful!




Taking of his shoes.... Why?....


Oh, of course!


Very Brendan like

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Machu Pichu 5 Day Hike







Total hike = 78 km/ 48 miles


Day 1: (Hiked from 2,900 m - 3,900 m or from 9512 ft - 12,792 up)  Weather: cold but with all the hiking and great sleeping bags, wasn't too bad


- Woke up at 4am and rode a bus
- Horseman packed our bags, so we didn't have to carry them... Pretty Nice
- Began our 8 hour hike, uphill, in altitude that us beach people are so not used to.
- After lunch, Bren began to feel the altitude, and after the 8 hours of hiking he was feeling not so                    good..(He was well taken care)

- Went to bed and in the middle of the night, my heart woke me up beating at 96 beats per minute!  Yikes, I'm usually 64 beats per minute



Day 2: (Hiked from 3,900m - 4,650m up & then from 4,650m - 2,900m down or from 9,512 ft - 15,252 ft up and from 15,252 ft - 9,512 ft down) Weather: cold and windy for the first half and the second half was warm


- Bren woke up with teh same bad headache and his stomach really upset.  My heart was doing better, but when I moved, it began to beat really quick, so....
- We rented horses for the first 4 hours; very beautiful and peaceful
- Got to Salkantay, where there was all these cool rock formations.  The Incas were very into praising mother earth; the sun, the rain, etc.  When we got to Salkantay (the highest point) there was a ceremony with incense and coca leaves.


Ceremony
  Coca Leaves: Leaves that are used in tea, candy    and chewed when hiking for altitude purposes.  They numb your mouth, especially when chewed with charcoal, to activate the ingredients.  This leaf is sacred and also why it's used in the ceremony.
- Walked for 7 more hours (1/2 hour in the rain) and got to our campsite where there was good food waiting!
- After dinner and the rain stopped, we had a bonfire to warm up!





The two that were so nice to take all our backpacks!

Day 3: (Hiked from 2,900m - 2,200m down or from 9,512 ft - 7,216 ft down) Weather: warm to hot, jungle with mosquitos


- Woke up at 4:30 and started the 6 hour hike
- Got eaten alive by mosquitos (itchy, itchy)
- Brendan's headach wasn't so bad!! Yeah
- I randomly got a burst of energy and the 1st half (3 hours) I ran; so not like me
- Got to campsite and met 2 really cool monkeys.  The assistant cook (Jessica) gave me and Brendan a monkey and I was so excited, ut apparently you can't travel with monkeys many places around the world, so we had to leave the monkey.





Day 4: (Hiked from 2,200m - 2,000m down or fro  m 7,216 ft - 6,560 ft down)  Weather: very hot jungle with lots of mosquitos

- Didn't have to wake up till 7am!

- Started our 4 hour hike through hot jungle
- Walked across a bridge for trains that was around 70 ft high and the tracks were anywhere from 6 inches to 2 ft apart.  As we were walking across we were really hoping a train wouldn't come, or in Brendan's words "We would be screwed."  Now me and Bren both aren't hte biggest fans of heights, but it's fun to get scared a bit.   Bren was behind me, and the entire time Brendan was saying to himself "Focus on the wood, focus on the wood, focus on the wood."
- We got to a town called Aguas Calientes and stayed in a hostel.  1st time we got to shower!

Day 5: (Hiked from 2,000m - 2,400m up or from 6,560 ft - 7,872 ft up) Weather: cold and rainy and then warmed up

- Woke up at 3:30 and started the 2 hour hike up the very steep part of the Inca Trail in the pouring rain and in the pitch black.
- Finally at MACHU PICHU!  Truly incredible to see how smart teh Incas were and to hear about their tradition, culture and history.  Too much to tell all, but check out Bren's pictures.


The Incas used wood and wet the wood and then put in rock to crack rock!





After the 2 hour hike, my jeans got soaked, so I wore Bren's shirt as a skirt












The Kiing's Bathroom (the only bathroom in Machu Pichu)