Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Slowly Recovering

Hard to believe, but the sun actually came out late yesterday afternoon here in Massachusetts. We hadn't seen it since getting home from Peru and I'm told it had been raining since last Monday. The rain has stopped, but last night our water damage expanded rapidly. Nothing major, the only obvious loss is a lot of wall-to-wall carpeting, but the water is still seeping in. Seeing life along the Amazon, where the river can rise and fall up to 45 feet each year, was perfect timing before this New England flooding. Reminds me how fortunate we are to only have to deal with soggy carpeting.

I'm finally caught up with 24, Lost, Amazing Race, and Survivor. I've almost made it through my 1,000+ emails and still have a pile of unread mail. Can't believe how many people still use snail mail.

Larry The Lizard's Peruvian Adventure is now posted and more will be added on this site later this week. Somehow Larry always gets his pictures posted before I manage to. If you are just starved for entertainment, I've uploaded all 1,133 pictures to Shutterfly. Shared albums can't hold more than 250 pictures - so there are a few albums you can visit:
Amazon #1 (250 Pictures)
Amazon #2 (250 Pictures)
Amazon #3 (133 Pictures)
Machu Picchu (250 pictures)
Cusco (239 Pictures)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Back From Peru

Machu PicchuA dozen boat rides, nine flights, eight hotels, five bus rides, and two train trips later - we're back home after two weeks in Peru. Our time spent high up in the Andes after the Amazon was sick. Real sick. Like altitude sickness kind of sick.

The first night and morning was gross. After landing in Cuzco, Peru (11,300 feet above sea level - twice that of Denver Colorado), it took a few hours for the headaches to start. They got progressively worse until it was a 24 hour migraine with nausea, loopiness and shortness of breath. It felt like the worst hangover ever and we were worried this was how we'd feel for the rest of our trip. We decided not to pursue a white water trip we had been considering - good choice because the river looked lame as hell in the parts they let tourists raft. It all subsided on the early morning train ride to Machu Picchu, which is 2,000 feet lower than Cuzco. That was enough to let us acclimate to the altitude and we felt fine for the rest of the trip. We just had to get used to the shortness of breath and Lori being loopier than normal.

We had two days at Machu Picchu, the first day was bright and sunny and the second was cool and misty. It was great to experience it under both conditions and being able to hang out without the masses of tourists who take the train/bus trip just for the day. We did three different hikes around the site then returned to Cuzco for a couple days on our own.

Fine DiningCuzco is a really cool city, all the buildings are built on 500 year old Inca foundations. The combination of Inca, Spanish and modern architecture is pretty wild and the area is full of tourists from all around the world, with American definitely in the minority. We did find the best Pisco Sours and I even got to dine on a fine roasted guinea pig. Mmm... that guy was cute and delicious.

Many more details and photos will be posted eventually. Peru has a ton more things to do and is definitely on our travel list for a return trip someday.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Last Day

Today is our last day in Peru. We will be picked up at 2:15 pm to get a flight from Cuzco to Lima and then on to Newark, NJ and finally back home in Boston by tomorrow morning.

After another ginormous buffet breakfast at The Libertador hotel we messed around online for a bit, confirming our flights and seats and started deleting all the meaningless email that piled up. We then headed out into Cuzco one more time.

We headed to the Plaza D'arms to mingle with the street vendors and tourists from around the world one last time. We visited the Inca Museum which was pretty cool. Only some of the displays had English translations but we got the gist of all the pre-Columbian civillizations and accomplishments and that the Spanish pretty much just sucked as they came to town killing Incas and building churches.

We strolled around the square one more time then headed to Norton Rats Pack. Our guide book said they had the best burgers in town, and they did. Huge, juicy and loaded with everything. They also have the best Pisco Sours by far that we'd had since leaving the Amazon.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Live From Lima

Larry The Lizard mingles with locals along the Amazon RiverBuenus dias! Checking in from downtown Lima Peru to let the world know that despite aborted airplane landings, pirahnnas, millions of bugs, a visit to a shaman, a wild boa, pounding rain, and lots of local drinks -- we┬┤ve survived a week in the Amazon. And never has an a region of the globe taken so strongly to Larry The Lizard, all the guides, staff, and children on the Amazon loved Larry. Everyone except the monkeys, who live in absolute horror of lovable Larry. We only had to share the jungle lodges with one other couple, Kevin & Lynn, who live 30 minutes from us up in New Hampshire but we had to travel to the Amazon jungle to meet them.
Today we catch a flight (maybe?) to Cuzco and spend 4 days in high altitude near Macchu Pichu.
Adios amigos -- AF & Lori

Friday, April 28, 2006

Lima, Peru

AF Grant says - This Sucks! We get to our room at 11:55pm and have a wakeup call at 2:30am. If we had know how clean, modern, and open the Lima airport was, we would have skipped a hotel and just spent the night there.

It is only one hour earlier here, than back in Massachusetts, and that is only due to Peru not following Daylight Savings. I always wrongly assumed that the west coast of South America lined right up with the west coast of the US. But no -- the west coast is actually below the east coast of the US. Don't believe me? Look at a map. I didn't believe it till I looked at one either.

Outside our window is a cool view of the Ministry of Justice and some other funky government buildings. I discover our brand new Olympus SLR digital camera doesn't work - the auto focus isn't auto anythinging and neither is manual. Damn, this really blows. Just got the camera a couple weeks ago and didn't get around to learning how it works ahead of time. Luckily after only a few minutes of hating everything and wanting to go home I take off the lense and reattach it - then everything is fine.

And Away We Go...

HomerWe wake up at 6:30am and are picked up at 8am for the ride to Logan airport in Boston. Homer has been very nervous for last few days as he watched us pack, he was cowering on the coach when we left, fearing he was going to be taken on a trip too. He absolutely hates car rides and will drool and shake with nerves if he thinks he's leaving the house.

Noticable lack of stress while packing for this trip and even the last minute scramble and getting to the airport. We made it through lesson 3 last night in our Spanish lessons - perhaps my confidence in being able to tell people that I have no idea what they are saying has taken away my normal travel jitters.

My brain is already confused since we've already begun talking about and planning our next vacation, a sick white water rafting trip in Patagonia for this winter. We might even do a rafting trip while we are in Cuzco, Peru too. Just so we can put another country in our rafting list along with Nepal, Iceland, and Costa Rica.

This is the first trip that we are using a house sitter for, and Lori had to call her from the airport to make sure she got into the house ok and Homer and Samantha were doing good. I can't imagine if we actually had kids. Lori would probalby be less concerned for them than the pets.