hike

multiple countries in one (and a lot of 70s/80s)

astonished by how diverse Colombia is: the climate, geography, flora/fauna and cities

it's been like spending time in four different countries

heydey? contemporary cars are plated by city  

heydey? contemporary cars are plated by city  

Bogotá: far, far colder than I care for, kickarse street art, Museo de Oro which is going to pale every future gold museum I go to into insignificance, corner stores doubling as bars

bling to covet - articulated joints & around 40mm2

bling to covet - articulated joints & around 40mm2

Totally in a time warp, made all the more amusing by what appeared to be a 1970's gangsta movie being shot in the main plaza

main plaza Villa de Lleyva

main plaza Villa de Lleyva

Medellín: suddenly warmer, super agreeable spring weather, pockets of green loads of neighborhood parks, one way loop streets and the cleanest metro I have been on worldwide.  Fell in love with the tea salons and the la memoria museum photos and video montages

 

La Memoria : Medellín  

La Memoria : Medellín  

Guatape in the background of what was obviously a drug money summer house

Guatape in the background of what was obviously a drug money summer house

Cartagena: indescribable light, gorgeous colonial buildings, boganvillia, pretending to be a pirate and an inquisition museum with real gallows and guillotine.  Who does that?

 

the cliche sunset Cartagena shot

the cliche sunset Cartagena shot

Pretending to get lost in the jungle, 4 days lost city hiking.  I didn't know there was so much green.

 

tiny portion of all the greens

tiny portion of all the greens

And just off the coast, Caribbean islas with national parks and views to melt for

 

Isla Grande - sunset

Isla Grande - sunset

Isla Grande all the blues

Isla Grande all the blues

Hiking and sacrificing

I am so impressed with the Inca's on a whole host of architectury and engineering ingenuity levels, also pretty impresssedwith gold and silver smithing skills and the pattern repetition. Extending to the astronomy / navigation, terraces, tunnels and crazy staircases

 

descending day 2

descending day 2

sunrise day 3

sunrise day 3

Also taken with their approaches to conquering enemies, but my absolute favourite was their super civilised way of human sacrifice, in five easy steps:

  1. Tell you and your family the honour bestowed on you (well technically this is heresay but I like it)
  2. Walk you and your entourage and your precious afterlife goods to the nearest snow capped mountain, days or weeks
  3. Have you drink hallucinogenic flower, position you with blankets into a tidy seated position wait for you to fall asleep
  4. Surround you with next world / appeasing treasures
  5. Wait for the snow to do its thing until you die of hypothermia

Much more civilised that just cutting your heart out.  Right?

 

sunrise & ruins : day 3 

sunrise & ruins : day 3 

The Inca Trail is mesmerising, essentially four days of walking meditation with camping thrown in for good measure.  And an incredible test of lung capacity with passes at 4200m, 3710m to the relative flatlands of Macchu Picchu at 2430m.

 

Macchu Picchu : the detail mark I

Macchu Picchu : the detail mark I

Macchu Picchu : the detail mark II

Macchu Picchu : the detail mark II

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Giants, pharmaceuticals and gymnastics

The south west corner of Peru, is most agreeable.

advertising tag mash up : Arequipa  

advertising tag mash up : Arequipa  

The vast majority are very short, it's taking some adjustment to be at the taller end of the spectrum.

So much that sits well with me.

70's & 80's cars proliferate, most much more beaten up : Tacna

70's & 80's cars proliferate, most much more beaten up : Tacna

Getting up early is normal, running with thetown waking up one of my favourite things - less so the running at altitude thing.

Food, especially the markets hyper organised, fruits seperate to vegetables, aisles labeled and full of deliciousness to explore.  Learnt that iridescent lurid fruit skin usually equates to the most delicious flesh. Beach and street side ceviche.  

Favourite snacks: roasted corn kernels, 100% cacao chocolate, it's almost black and so so bitter.  Totally lost to it.  

And of course the mysteriously named raspadillas - shaved ice layered with juice usually tamarind, strawberry, orange and mango.

Lax attitude to pharmaceuticals.  Bring dodgy looking supplements over the land border.  Sure.  

Unpackaged - but blister packed - over the counter painkillers, well more thru the bars.  Of course.  

Traditional cure for altitude sickness, coco leaves: by the freezer bag.  Everywhere.  Have been asked not to try my luck with those over next border.

not so many street cats : Huacachina  

not so many street cats : Huacachina  

Hiking and landscapes to die for.

day 2 : Canon del Colca  

day 2 : Canon del Colca  

overnight hiking : San Juan de Chuccho

overnight hiking : San Juan de Chuccho

walking out : San Juan de Chuccho

walking out : San Juan de Chuccho

sand dune sunset : Huacachina  

sand dune sunset : Huacachina  

And very much a Peruvian imprint of a posse of little girls playing on my Olympic Rings, joining me on the monkey bars and tumbling.    Whilst their brothers too cool to join in and just looked on. 

sunday arvo beach & ceviche : reserva nacional de paracas  

sunday arvo beach & ceviche : reserva nacional de paracas