Page 4 of crowman Travel Blog Posts

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu May 31st 2009

4:30 am: depart for the hike up to Maccu Piccu. There was some sense of urgency in Justin's pace. Pete, Justin Sheila and I made great time heading over to the trial head in order to beat the other parties for tickets to Wyna Piccu. They give out 400 a day to head up and look down on Maccu Piccu. If you walk up the mountain, you can not only beat the first bus that leaves at 5:30, but you can save the $7 each way. Each tour group that does the jungle tour back door to Piccu does the exact same thing. Same restaurants, circa same lodging, same schedule, everything. So, we had good company at the middle of the night. We made it up in blitz pass, and then realized that we were about ... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes May 31st 2009

As expected, the third day was not as interesting as the first two, but it did have a few moments of note. We started off by taking a bus to the trail head, rather than walking. This was rather frustrating to some in our group, because it was not listed as part of the itinerary, and cost extra. Some people had been traveling for a while, and were really tired of the creeping cost nature of the region by this time. I have to admit, even though our walk along the train tracks between Santa Teresa and Aguas was not more than a few hours, and it was flat, my feet were still sore from the day before, and my loaner backpack was not up to the standard of the US backpack manufactures that I have ... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Inca Trail May 31st 2009

6am comes so early when you are tired. Somehow, I pulled off the unthinkable: sleeping poorly after going to bed at 8:30pm. Luckily, I didn't fair so poorly as one of my 3 roommates. The Aussie must have had to run to the john 20 times throughout the night. He was more regular than Big Ben. Still, group travel is group travel, and we all got ourselves up and about in order to make it to the pharmacie to load up on substances before our 22 km trek up parts of the old Inca trail. I had come down with severe allergies, and was hacking away from agitated bronchial passages. For 66 cents American, I was able to remedy the whole problem. And up the Inca trail we went. Fairly early on, we stopped at a ... read more
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What is it called?
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco May 31st 2009

So we start our trek to Machu Piccu! Off like a herd of arthritic sea tortoises on land for the first time, I think we managed to depart only 45 minutes behind schedule. Justin and I mentioned that our guide had not come to get us, and the hostel's response was 'oh, he is just 40 minutes later than he said he would be here? He could still be on time!' Whatever. However, Americo did arrive, and brought the 22 liter backpack as promised. I did not have the ideal size for this trip, so our guide said he would bring a backpack - and he actually did! Aside from delays getting out the door, and then bathroom breaks for those that had been stuck in the back of the van waiting at each hostel for ... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco May 30th 2009

After arriving by bus at around midnight, Justin and I were pretty ready to head out to the closest lodging and plant ourselves into bed. Before hand, I was game for walking from the bus terminal to the guesthouse, but he wanted to take a taxi. Justin won, mainly because a taxi was only $3. We ended up at Loki in Cusco. I think this was because we didn't have the address for the place we would rather have stayed at. Oh well. We ended up in a decently quiet room at loki, till 5am. Loki Cusco is a renowned party hostel. The reason it was quiet when we settled in was that the hostel bar closed at 1am. The party people then go out bar hopping till 5. We woke up to the yelling and ... read more
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When buying our tickets for Isla del sole, we were told that it was $3 to visit the island, or $4 to visit the island and see the floating villages. Ok, I thought it would make sense to visit the floating village for $1. Turns out, it costs $6 to visit the island, and there is no floating village. The Inca ruins are a categorical joke, the island is literally a tourist 'trap'. And then it turns out that when we were done trekking the island, none of the restaurants were open. In short, the experience was so pathetic that I would advise against coming here until the Bolivian government sorts this situation out. It really takes a bit of effort to come up with something as tacky as this tour. The day we visited the ... read more
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Justin and I arrived by around noon. First thing we saw was a donkey running up the street dragging a rope behind it. First impression: a whole lot more touristy than La Paz. But because La Paz is the 'big city', Cocacabana is a whole lot cheaper as well, for lodging. Meal prices were more expensive, but the food was better. Walking around, the 'touristy broken record sound' was very present. Repetitive touts for "Tickets La Paz, Puno, Isle del sole" become part of the the background before you knew it. I just assumed my Asia trip 'I don't hear you, don't acknowledge you' pose and found that the touts gave up on me rather quickly. We checked into the more scenic and more expensive Hostel Leyenda for the first night. For the 2nd, we went ... read more
First sight of the city - a running donkey
blessing of the cars outside chruch
View of Cocacabana

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz May 26th 2009

After 4 flights, 2 long haul segments, I think it is hard to find anyplace that looks that appealing at 2am. Justin and I did get in ontime, did meet each other at the Lima airport as planned, and did have the taxi driver waiting for us as our lodging had promised. On the downside, my bag didn't make it, and LAN airlines couldn't have cared less. And, Justin had to pay a whopping $135 for his visa (my Hungarian passport got me a stamp for free). $135 for a visa, when looking at purchasing power parity, is just insane. Our hostel cost $15 a night for a double, and we had dinner at the best restaurant in the city for $7 each. This is a fairly new change in Bolivian policy: hosing US passport holders. ... read more
Plaza pic
Central La Paz
Justin, the guide and I

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Brasov » Brasov December 27th 2008

When I first arrived in Brasov, I was on my way to Moldova and it was early in the morning and snowy. I was in search of Autogara 2 (Bus station 2). Given the amount of tourist traffic that this city gets, I would not have expected that it was that difficult to get directions to this bus station. Granted, I don't speak Romanian, but really, "Autogara Doi?" shouldn't elicit a 'deer in the headlights' response from a couple dozen locals at the main station. I asked the information clerk at the train station about a bus to Chisinau, and she gave me that classic Eastern bloc 'I don't get paid enough to fulfill my existing responsibilities look' before barking that "no bus, just train here. Take bus 23". And she pointed west. Heck, the first ... read more
Bran Castle
Brasov Council House
Bran Castle

Europe » Moldova » Centre » Chisinau December 25th 2008

As I pulled up to Moldovan passport control, my fellow passengers (a 75/25 mix of Moldovans and Romanians) were in hour 7 of having the giggles. I am sure I have never been on a bus that laughed that hard. The girl behind me spoke very good English, and gave very honest opinions on my travels. "We have been talking: we have decided that it would have been better if you had traveled with a tour group." They deemed a trip to Moldova far too exotic for a solo traveler. I shared a little about my solo trip to Asia, and they gave me looks as if I had risen from the dead. "Where?" "How long?" "By Yourself?". They asked if this was my first time to Chisinau, and I confirmed that it was. "Oh, it ... read more
Cathedral Park
Stefan Cel Mare at night
Some house guests for American night

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