Jan 29, 2009

Two Weeks with my dad

Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa, Puno, Colca Canyons, training, talking, learning, growing, relationships... the list goes on.

It was two weeks jam packed with adventure, stories, sights, museums, churches, canyonns, altitude, sickness, and culture.

My dad joined mein Peru for two weeks and we did the typical tourist circuit consisting of Lima, Cusco, Inca Trail, Sacred Valley, Train to Puno, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa, Colca Canyon and back to Lima.

It was the first time my dad experienced South America, got re-introduced to camping, and introduced to long treaks, altitude, and a different culture.

He battled through the Inca trail while I whistled my way up and down... It was such a cool experience to be on the other end of things... teaching my dad whilst he has been my teacher for so many years... How the tables have turned... hahaha. He showed great courage and the will to dig deep and nopt give up despite sickness, sore muscles and difficulty breathing... He was a star in his own life and I loved watching every moment.. I am so proud of him.

The train ride from Cusco to Puno was gorgeous and fun. It was good times pretending I was part of the wealthy class... little do they all know....

Puno was one of my favorite cities situated right on Lake Titicaca. My dad and I did a 2 day tour and slept on one of the islands and got to see two others as well. The cultures are very different and they rely heavily on us (rich) tourists...

Arequipa is huge. The size of the city shocked me at first. The plaza des Armes is gorgeous though. We did a 2 day tour up in the Colca Canyons although this time we took the lazy man route as my dad was tired and I wanted to hang with my dad. I did manage to get out on some spectacular runs though.

Our last day in Lima was grand. We managed to see all the main sites and enjoy drinks and appies right on the ocean...

All in all I recommend everyone to do a trip with their parents you learn a lot about yourself, them and its so nice to also beable to share and teach each other.

I am now off to the races... literally

check me out at


www.patagoniaexpeditionrace.com with team Buff Espana

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!


Jan 8, 2009

Mountain Biking in Huaraz

The last two days I have been mountain biking with Julio Olaza (he is the pioneer of mountain biking in the area). The first day we did a loop up in the Cordillera Blanca. It had some awesome ups and downs, single track and off road madness and the views just stunning.

Today we did a tour of the Cordillera Negra. The ride began with a 2 hour massive climb. We climbed from 3000 meters to 4000 meters with no rest. The climb had zero descents or flat sections. It was tough and amazing at the same time. We met two girls from Canada up at the top and then began our descent through single track, grass, rocks, villages, etc etc... It was an absolutely wonderful ride.

I look forward to the next two days of riding.

Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!


Jan 6, 2009

De La Selba a Las MontaƱas

Well in less than 24 hours I found myself leving the hot sunny amazon life and into the cool rainy mountains. Good friend Pedro and I rode the bus from Lima to Huaraz. Huaraz is a quaint little mountain town in the hert of the Cordillera Blanca. These mountains are amazing... snowcapped and a huge landscape for the city.

After a night in Huaraz and our standard fruit jus and bread with cheese in the mornings we headed off to the Wilkawain Ruins and then off to Caraz where Pedro has an old home. After 5 or 6 hours of biking with headvy packs we made it to Caraz. Wow, another cute little mountain town but this one in the valley and about 1000 metres lower than Huaraz. Here we stayed in Pedros old home that he grew up in but the catch was... noone had lived or been there for over 3 years.... It felt like it was straight out of an old horror flic.... But I can´t of digged the whole idea of it all... I really loved caraz. The following day we did a 4 hour loop from Cuaraz back to Yungay. The landscape was just amazing and I felt my heart grow even fonder of the mountains. I am in the mountains for a week training on the mountain bike. I have entered the Trans Andes Challenge in Patagonia in February and figured this would be a great opportunity to train and see another part of Peru.

Unfortunately after our first long ride from Huaraz to Caraz Pedro hurt his back and it just kept getting worse. He could no longer bike and therfore decided to head back to Lima. So instead of riding today we made our way back to Huaraz where I founda hostal and Pedro jumped on a bus. I will miss him lots as he is just a fabulous person to be around. I hope a quick recovery for him.

I had a little of an epic with my bike (lost a part and then my break pads got stuck together...) but managed to figure it all out. I didn´t manage to get a bike in as after figuring everything out the rain came pouring down. We have been lucky so far with three days of sunshine during the rainy season.

I am learning lots, improving my spanish, meeting some incredible people and enjoying observing how the locals live. I am also trying to work on some personal characteristic improvements or changes..actually developments is the correct word... SO all in all this trip and all my mini trips have been times of learning, lessons and growing and I feel so blessed everyday to beable to experience these experiences.

I have realized the mountains are my sanctuary. They are where I feel most at home and truly content. I enjoy the tranquility, the cool air, the scenary, the lifestyle, the blue lakes, the peacefulness and the plentifullness of activities to be had... I love the mountains!I have 4 more days in the mountains, 4 more days of hard biking and then I have the pleasure of meeting my dad in Lima for yet another adventure.

Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!


Jan 2, 2009

Happy New Years from Iquitos, Amazon Jungle

I hope everyone had a wonderful new years. I had a most different one as I spent it deep inside the Amazon jungle dancing and drinking with a small jungle village and getting flour throw on me and painted all over my face as the New Year came about. I danced, sweated (a lot) and then ended the evening in a wooden canoe heading back with a jungle family to sleep in their home far from civilization. There house is just a wooden box, they sleep on the floor, they eat on the floor, the jungle is their bathroom and the river their shower.... The women cook and clean and the men fish and hunt. They speak very little to each other. When night falls upon the little home they put on the candles and get ready for bed and once the morning sun starts to ride the turckeys and chickens don´t stop calling and the house is up and about. It is surely an experience and a New Years I will never forget.

I learned lots during my time in the Jungle. I learned that at this point in my life my time to relax is when I run or bike or kayak etc. I like the hammock and I enjoy a good book but I need my drug (being exercise). The jungle is full of wonderful things like exotic fruit (all which are delicious..) exoctic flora and some pretty gnarly species... I think I saw it all from being out in the wild to visiting zoos.... The flies are vicious vicious insects and I must admit I was a little paranoid of the piranas when swimming... I also got to experience fishing with a branch and string, paddling a wooden canoe, dancing with jungle people, ayahuasca (jungle medicine), hiking in the night in search for snakes and tarantulas, night time paddles in search for kaimans, etc etc... the list goes on and the jungle goes on and on and on.

Iquitos is a crazy town....alex and i saw the band explosion one evening and went to a discoteque where i practiced my salsa.
All in all a abulous trip but during this time of holidays I do miss the people closest to me, my family. It was a strange feeling being so far away.

I look forward to my next adventure out in the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca with new friend Pedro. We are heading to Huaraz for a week full of mountain biking!

Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!