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September 20th 2009
Published: September 23rd 2009
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What can I tell you about our happenings, since my previous entry, that was made even before we have taken the flight to start our journey - so many things have happened.

Well, Since Nitzan wrote you a little about our flights to Lima, and about our stay in Lima, I will jump directly to our last week, spent in Huaraz, situated 8 hours north of Lima.

Well, first, I am happy that I can write you, that means I came back from the “Santa Cruz" trek. Though I am back, I cannot say I am in one piece, because I have just learned about the existence of muscles I was not aware I have in my body - and now that they are aching and contracted, I have come to know them.

Nitzan is writing an entry in parallel to me, and she would probably explain to you more in details what we saw and detail all the logistics around the trek - guides, group, donkeys, horses, food, tents etc. So, I will concentrate on what she is not telling you....

Being the youngest adult on the trek, I was also crowned as the slowest of the group... not the best title in the world, I admit - but look at the bright side of the story - I always made it to the end of the day on my own feet. Since I was s-o-o-o-o slow, I had plenty of hours of all alone walking - with everyone else being at least an hour ahead (yes, after the first hour of walking, I was normally already half an hour behind the others).

The rest of our group, consisted of a couple from Switzerland, that have been walking in mountains all their life; a couple from Holland that are tall and so have long legs (this is why for every step they make I need to do two..) and a semi-retired couple from England - at the ages of 58, and I could not find a single excuse for them being the fastest of all except that I am really a fat cow with no ability for sports at all!.

Though I had hard time walking, especially uphill (which was 80%!o(MISSING)f the time...), I did have plenty of time to admire the beauties of the surrounding - magnificent mountains covered with snow, some amazing turquoise lakes hidden in between, rivers flowing in the valleys, and lots of plants I was not familiar with - though hardly any trees. There were many Bromelias - parasite plants that seeds themselves on other trees, branches or even rocks. They appear in many sizes and shapes, with beautiful special flowers - they gain their water and nutrition not by growing roots but by containing rain water in between their leaves. Some photos of my described views made by the family's photographer (Tal) are also attached.

The highest point we have reached was 4750m above sea level, which implied a climb of ~1500m from the starting point of the trek.

Leaving aside the beauties of nature around us, I was very happy with the trek impacts on the family and the kids especially. They had to learn how to share riding the horse; Since mom was so far behind, they had walked many times with other travelers, and so they have practiced their English (for example Omer walked with the Swiss couple for more than 2 hours and he did not stopped talking the whole time) or Spanish (Shachar was giving the guides instructions how to pull the horse and when does he want to be on the horse, or when to walk, as it was too scary to be on the horse in some of the slopes). They have learned the meaning of mental strength that pulls you and push you, even when you feel tired; they have learned how to be very happy with very little - same cloths for 4 days, brushing teeth in the river, no TV / DVD/ Nintendo/ Internet, sleeping in sleeping-bags and not in a comfortable warm beds, etc...
We have all seen and almost felt rural 3rd world villages, where people live with no running water, no electricity, having to take care of raising the animals and grow vegetables for food - and how can you be modest in your needs.
All in all, it was a very good experience (even though as I said above, aching and hard), and we will definitely do it again somewhere else in South America!

Hasta Pronto,

P.S. This entry was already ready a few days ago but due to technical difficulties, we could not load it on time. Meanwhile, we have done quite a lot and had GREAT time and experience, but you will all get to hear about it in my coming entry....


23rd September 2009

You really know to live,breath and feel the adventure
Dear Lilach, Tal and Kids. I love read your family's adventure, continue enjoy the pleasure of life. From Mexico Blanca S.
23rd September 2009

This looks amazing....
Hi Guys... you all look very happy there! Lilach - the fact you didn't give up on the up hills is what matters. the pace is secondary to my opinion. The view in the pictures is truly beautiful. I guess it is cold, isn't it ? Other then that, It is very good for the kids to learn that they can manage with so little when needed. I would like to do it with our family too..:-) Take care
23rd September 2009

beautiful location! ISHAR KOACH LILACH.....who needs a gym.....
23rd September 2009

Keep writing, every sentence makes me smile :)
23rd September 2009

תגובת התפעלות, השתוממות, הת.... הת....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
שלום יקירי!אין לי מילים לתאר את הרגשתי בקריאתי את הבלוגים שלכם! לכן כתבתי הת... הת !אני מאד שמחה שאתם מצליחים בדרככם. ועל כך שהילדים מנצלים כל רגע ללמוד משהו חדש- אם זה ללטש את השפות, אם בללמוד דברים חדשים מראית הסביבה והטבע של עולמנו המדהים .! בספיגת תרבויות חדשות .בהכרת אורח חיים חדש-אחר ושונה ממה שהם רגילים - כולל טכנולוגיה...בהפנמת רגשות של התמודדות עם קשיים, הסתפקות במועט וכ"ו - כפי שכותבת לילך! אכן יהיו אלה נכסיסים נפלאים לחייהם בעתיד! תמשיכו בהצלחה!!! בבית אין הרבה חדש, בחג התארחנו אצל הוריו של חיים- היה נפלא! הם יצאו מגדרם לארח בחום, חיים ערך ברכות על ירקות מיוחדים ופירות וגם אנחנו למדנו חדש! היה שמח וחם ורק אתם היתם חסרים לנו! בשנה , בשנה הבאה!!! ואני הספקתי כבר להיות מאוד חולה- שפעת-( לא חזירים) אבל מספיק קשה, האף ,הראש והגרון עד לברונכים היו מלאים- שפע ,רק לא נעים!שוב עברתי נתוח בשן ואני כל הזמן על אנטיביוטיקה שזה לא נעים בהחלט. חנוש ממשיכה לתפוח, סבתא לגנוח... זהו עולמנו כמנהגו נוהג! טל קבל זיכוי מבטוח לאומי -כ350 ש"ח. אבל בטח אתם עוקבים בעצמכם. ואני מתחילה במלחמה נגד א.אי.גי. הם ממשיכים לחיב אותי בתשלומי בטוח הדירה למרות ששלחו מכתב סיום חוזה. סבתא סיפרה לי שהיא צלצלה והשאירה הודעה בנייד. אז אם יזדמן לכם לצלצל אליה, יהיה נפלא! זהו להפעם, תמשיכו להנות מכל רגע, ותשמרו זה על זה, תמשיכו לעדכן הרבה נשיקות אוהבת אמא- סבתא
23rd September 2009

Kudos to you and your family for showing your children that life is not filled with luxury for all, or AC (like we have in Florida!)or constant comfort! And at what a cost to the Planet we live in ....Bravo!! Pam and Co!
23rd September 2009

wow, what a nice places!!! I see you all great! Roger
24th September 2009

פשוט חוויה לקרוא. ניצן את סופרת!
24th September 2009

if it makes you feel better...
Hi, If it makes you feel better, that was exatly what happened when I went on treks, (and no, it doesn't get better with time). Everyone was waaaaay ahead of me, even an elderly lady who was using a stick when I was climbing up to Machu Pichu. Just be careful not to lose the group, once on the "Azangate" trek I was so far behind everyone else that I couldn't even see them on the horizon and I was very close to makeing it to the news (Israli backpacker lost in Peru), because it was not at all clear which direction I should take, it was just a vast desert, I was starting to trace footsteps in the snow when luckily I saw some smoke from the camp... So just be careful ;) I am glad to hear you are enjoying yourselves! Take care!!!! Nelly
24th September 2009

I miss you
Shalom, I miss very very much! I really want to see you Love Nitzan
27th September 2009

Yom kippur
Dear Tal, It seems that all of you are having a great time. The pictures are marvalous. We were suprised by your decision to go on this trip, but knowing you it was planned to the last detail. We are preparing ourselves for the meal before the fast. Although our thoughts today lean to the spiritual I wanted to take a few moments so that you will know that your have you in our thoughts. We wish you a happy and healthy year. Michael and Ruchama.
28th September 2009

You all look really happy. Its worth every thing.
Lilach, It great looking at the photos and reading the advantures your going through. Most important - you all look realy happy and i am sure you feel that way. Keep having good time together, and writing more. All the best.

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