Thursday, June 30, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
Okay I am now going to jump out of order chronologically a little here. I find a story with one hundred happy elements and one sad ending makes the whole story sad (see Bella Can to). So I am going to jump a little to get some of the more lousy elements of the trip out of the way.
So where were we? I had just come back from Macchu Pichu and was to meet up with my sister and my brother in law. The next day we were to go to Pisac but we are going to skip right over that to the following day which was Itimi Raymi, the Incan festival celebrating winter solstice. It was of the few things I had planned for this trip (relying on Matt and Mar for the majority of the planning).
So really no one but me is to blame for what followed.
Wow! I bet you are intrigued! This is likely to be a IG&UB blog you read to the finish. But if you do, I apologize. It isn't that exciting. But it was an annoying day that foreshadowed my day in Manaus Brazil the following week.
Okay so what happened?
First of all, does it give you some perspective when I say that eating a roasted guinea pig was the best part of my day?
Well Itimi Raymi attracts locals as well as tourists and the square was packed with people. Which in itself would have been fine except that every exit was blocked and spectators kept piling in, getting closer and closer-in essence pushing us closer to the show. The rampant shoving and sideling (see Seinfield, sideling) made a once comfortable viewing spot anything but.
So after a while we decided to leave. Or should I say intended to leave. Because the local Peruvians would not let us. Literally. As in we tried going both through and around and those stubborn short folk (who until this day I had no issue with and actually had (probably condescending) affinity to due to their extremely short stature and their own propensity to excessively colorful outfits. It was like they all, unknowingly, were competing for the ugly sweater competition. Well apparently in addition to that competition they were also playing pack the biggest turd in the littlest body.
Literally NO ONE who let us exit the festival. Even though this meant they would get those coveted extra few inches they had been coveting for the previous hours.
Finally I spotted a clustering of tourists (evidenced both by hair color and height) and we made a break for it.
Finally out of the thrall of people, we decided to head to the market to get away from the crowds. Or so we thought.
Instead, after a typical wrong way Ferreira move, we eventually found the market. If there is anything that can turn around your day and restore your faith in humanity is a 5 sole meal ($1. 60). Unfortunately, today was not our day for as we ate our cheap meal someone pickpocketed my sister.
Yep. It was that kind of day. Filled with rotten no good people.
After and partially due to the theft (Mar had to reset all her passwords), we spent the afternoon at their apartment playing trivia. Which actually would have been the highlight if it were not for where we decided to go for dinner.
You guessed it. We went to eat cuy. Better known as guinea pig. In typical fashion thr conversation soon turned to Clark my brother's pet guinea pig . Well my brothers are not their brother's keeper and when out of sight I may make poor decisions.
So yes, the day was so poor that eating a pet that arguably had more personality than cats was the highlight.
But the blog is not over yet!!!!
Yes that day mercifully ended and the following day was significantly better. But, as the travel gods wishes, my lousy days did not end. My Sunday was predictably boring as I left my hotel at 4:45am and after three flights and a plethora of tasteless food and coffee, I finally arrived at Manaus. Manuas the start of the Amazon river. Once a thriving town thanks to the rubber boom.
Now however the place is a dump. I was warned that several Brazilian cities were dumps and yet until Manaus , all was hyperbole. I can find something redeeming about each. And yet. Manaus seems to have very little going for it. I'm used to going through the "bad" or "rough" parts of town while exploring but this was different. It was like the whole city was the soon to be lit trash heap.The population is terrible as it appears there are no emission regulations. If I had to make a bet, I would guess that the majority of my red blood cells hemoglobin have bound with carbon monoxide instead of oxygen. Or that is how it feels. Headache and fast fast heart rate. Yikes. But that is what's so crazy about Manaus:it is surrounded by rainforest and pristine, untouched land and yet the feel is that of desolation and wasteland in the city. This extreme juxtaposition makes the Gatlinburg/Smokey Mountains seem natural together...
I hit up every trip advisor recommendation and soon realized the inherent flaw of TA: like black diamonds at ski areas in Wisconsin it is all relative. They couldn't start their ranking at 150 could they? Well they should have as that would still be generous. Point is: unless you plan on taking an Amazon river boat trip or actually able to get out in the jungle, THERE IS NO reason to come here. Just hop on a cheap flight or bus and get up to Boa Vista. That's the plan for tomorrow.
Just hope I'm not jinxing myself because another day here would make a day at Itmi Raymi appear lovely by contrast.
Hopefully I will have nothing exciting to write about and will soon start a new Topic-maybe this time something unrelated to me getting lost somewhere.
We will just have to wait and see...
Until next time,
PS. I am still leaning how to blog with this new app so it appears all my photos end up at the end of the blog. I suspect you can deduct where the guinea pig is as well as the worst airbnb experience I have ever had. Luckily I'm out of here tomorrow!
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
But as busy as Huacapinchu was Waynapichu was just as empty. I hiked over to the smaller peak and I had the summit to myself with considerably better view of the ruins without feisty European pushing me to get a better view.
Its definitely worth the trip. My recommendation would be take the train in the night before, get up early and hike to the entrance. Walk around the main ruins before the tourist lines get so long that it becomes frusrrating and then be the first one to hike Hauchupichu. When people start coming up after you, skip over quickly to Waynapichu for some solitude and maybe breakfast. Then just as the hordes of people are getting off the bus, make your way up to the Sun Gate which after a bit of a hike will afford y