Blogs from Peru, South America - page 8

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South America » Peru » Cusco May 17th 2014

Once again Tuesday is the best day of the week. We went back to our ruins and I cut down one and a half big trees, as well as clearing to the ground one entire room. Now we can see the shape of the buildings and the spaces between them, it's not just forest and rock. The transformation seems quite miraculous. When we first came it seemed that we would never be able to uncover this mysterious place and now I can see how the dig will be able to work. It's too bad that the rains have continued and there is no hope for me to be part of the excavation. It makes me want to come back in July when the dig will be in full swing. The walk up is getting easier, although ... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » La Convención » Quillabamba May 17th 2014

My last two days at El Establo. We went to help a neighbour clean his road way. This means that we walk up hill slashing all the wild growth on the road side a meter deep with our machetes. I was in heaven, much easier than chopping through thick trees. In the afternoon we learned about mapping archaeology sites. At supper, Americo and Isa made it clear that I shouldn't leave, just bring Jacob here, but the Amazon is calling. A new volunteer just came from there and has the most incredible pictures. The next step promises to be incredible as well. We had to wake early (4:30 am), because on my last day the plan was by chance to go to a completely different ruin. We drove up to the high pass and then unloaded ... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » La Convención » Quillabamba May 17th 2014

I spent the weekend at El Establo. Friday morning, we went into Huryo to the Pre Schools. We were there to play with the little ones. The one I went to was a one room dark space with some school supplies, but no instruction, only play. The afternoon was spent gathering new blisters on my hands from dekerneling the dried corn for the chickens. After cob 15, I finally figured out I should be wearing gloves and then all went well. Saturday dawned with rain, rain all night and rain all day. It was a perfect day for reading and sleeping and then reading again, with a few card games thrown in for spice. We were a girls weekend with just 4 volunteers left, Niels had gone to Cusco and we had lost everyone else to ... read more
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When the taxi came to pick me up in the morning,everyone stopped to hug me good bye and wish me well. Again, it is hard to leave, but I had my reunion with Jacob to look forward to. As usual, the bus was an hour late and I sat talking to the store owner at the bus stop in broken Spanish. The ride was the clearest I had had yet. Every turn was spectacular, rippled mountains against the blue and cloud sky. I was late getting to Cusco, but still made it to the main square in time for the projected rendez-vous. Unfortunately, Kim and Jacob were much later still, and so I left before they could meet me thinking that I would go and check if they had left messages. All ended well; we did ... read more
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Each day, we are given a morning and an afternoon activity, with a couple of hours break in the middle of the day. My first day I started with the insect project. There is an entomologist working with projects abroad to make the first Peruvian Amazon Insect Book published. Salvador had been away on holiday for a month and so the lab was a mess. We started by cleaning everything. Then we went out capturing bugs. In the afternoon, Jacob was with me and we went to the second farm area where they have built a platform from which we can observe birds. We saw a vulture, hawks, parrots, macaws, and heard many others, but we really were excited by what we saw on the ground. We saw a non poisonous 3 meter long snake hunting ... read more
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We had our second full day of rain. And both Jacob and I got to go tree planting. You wear clothes that are already wet and dirty, because after the first 5 min you won't notice any difference. We loaded trees onto the boat and then went to the small first farm. There some of the crew had to dig holes with a weird pincher shovel post holer and the rest of us planted. The rain would lighten then grow heavy, but you are never cold. Mud and sand collect on you and then rinse clean. The farms are small stretches of land that have been cleared, otherwise the world is green on green on green. The jungle is completely different again to everything that I have experienced this year. Life is in super abundance, set ... read more
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Volunteers Su and Jennie agreed to bring our laundry in to town for us so we could stay at camp for the weekend. Jacob couldn't bear the idea of leaving. It meant that we could feed the animals 4 more times. There is nothing like the experience of opening the door to the young spider monkey cage and pushing them back, so that I can get through the door to dump their food bucket on the platform. Long fingered hands reach around me to sneak bits from the bucket. One holds on to me with a hand and the door with his tail. They are sweet, curious and exhilarating. I made it through the tapir enclosure without a nibbled hip this time. I did get stuck in the baby howlers cage for a bit. I was ... read more
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South America » Peru » Puno May 17th 2014

Freddy met us at the hotel and we had a cup of coffee together as we discussed the rest of our trip. He said he would be "following" us until we got to Iquitos. He took us to our tourist bus and we left Cusco behind. Our tour guide, Coco, spent the first 30 minutes telling us about what we would see and then would break-in along the way adding tidbits as we passed villages or landmarks. This would be a 9-1/2 hour luxury bus with five scheduled stops. A short distance from Cusco, we passed through the small town of Chuta, famous for its one-foot round loaves of bread. Tanya, our hostess, gave all of us a sample which was slightly sweet and very good. There were many women selling these along the roadside. Our ... read more
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South America » Peru » Puno May 17th 2014

Woke up and all the laundry we washed in the bathtub was dry -- yeah! We had a traditional breakfast buffet and the best part was the great views of Lake Titicaca and the hillside above Puno. And, there were several llamas and alpacas grazing on the lawn. The views were almost as good as the lit hillsides the night before at dinner. Ruben picked us up and took us to the launch area and we bought water for ourselves and chocolate and rice for our hosts on the island of Amantani. The boat had a capacity of 25 and we ended up with 20 passengers. There was a seating area on the roof and in the stern that could accommodate six at one time. Our first leg was about 30 minutes to the floating reed ... read more
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Breakfast was early, 6:30. We had to go to the new farm and clear land for the flowers to be planted. This involved machetes, my favourite tool. After carving a stick to lift up vines and make the job of machete easier we got to work clearing all the vegetation to less then an inch high. This is back bent tiring work that I quite love. We even got a thunderstorm and a full drenching to cool us down before we left.We came back dripping and exhausted. I was grinning, and it was only 10:30. Time for a shower and a good read in bed before the afternoon activities and lunch. I had a relaxed afternoon after the work of the morning. We went to the canopy to watch for birds. The canopy has now been ... read more
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