Location: Home sweet home...., Israel
Well, it came to that. You are reading the last chapter of this journey. What can i tell you? its nice being back home, to plan my future.
So, arriving to LA and getting used to the new world wasn't as hard as i thought it would be. Being in LA is just like being in the TV. It all looks so familiar. We went to Santa Monica one day and walked around the peer and coast, went to Hollywood to see the stars, and even went to Universal studios to see what its all about.
After spending there 2.5 weeks, it was time to head back home. I took a flight from LA to NY and from there to Madrid where i had to wait 15 hours for my connection flight to the holly land, so i went walking around the streets of Madrid for 5 hours to pass the time. Its a good thing i did that cause as i found out it was much easier than i thought it will be. i took the metro that leaves the airport, to the city and got of at the center. Madrid is very beautiful and there is a lot of nice things to see there. From old buildings and nice streets to nice people and good atmosphere. i walked around and took a lot of pictures with the new camera i bought in LA. i sat in a park and had lunch and almost fell asleep. then i returned to the airport and slept on a bench for 6 hours until my flight finally took off. i slept all the way, almost without noticing that we made a stop in Barcelona. In Israel, i was picked up by Lior that came a day before me and then we went surprising the family one by one, and came to dad's 60th b-day party.
it seems so long ago when i was in south America. i have only the pictures of my cam and in my head to remember being in 7 countries (Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, LA), taking a lot of buses and taxis, seeing lots of new places and meeting a lot of interesting people.
i want to thank all the people i met on the way that made this trip to what it was. i had mostly a good time and its hard to think about the times i didn't. i learned a lot even if i don't know it and i hope ill do it again some day. Paying in 7 different kinds of money and talking in a few new languages, i hope ill wont forget it all soon.
now all i have to do is plan my future....
i wont be surprised if ill have to write another dairy soon... if you know what i mean... :)
take care and be in touch !
Location: Los Angeles, USA
You have waited long enough... I think you earned this update....
So, after having fun in Ica and going to Lima, where on the way, Liors camera was stolen by a little local monkey on the bus right under our nose, we spent a day in Lima going to the police station to report the case. Then, went to grab a bite to eat and at night, caught the flight to Medellin-Colombia, the capital of cock and coffee... To tell you the truth, we thought there will be more to see, but as we realized, there wasn't a good enough reason to get out of the hostel and leave the sofa and stop watching movies... From there, we almost made a mistake and didn't go to Cartagena but we ended up going there and we were happy with the choice we have made, although the way was long 15 hours by bus. Cartagena is one of the oldest citys in Colombia and is very nice and interesting. Old city with nice buildings and good atmosphere. We walked around its streets and one day took a boat trip to see the nice islands near by and to "Playa Blanca"- White Beach. From there we took the bus to Santa Marta which took us about 4 hours to get to and then to the near by town called Taganga. Taganga is a very small fisherman's town that the main income of the locals is from .... you guessed it - fishing. Another thing about that place is that it is close to the national park Tairona which is very nice and looks a lot like the beaches of Brazil. That was our next destination for 2 nights, sleeping on hamacs and laying on the beach all day. We got there by bus that took us to the entrance of the park, and from there we went walking for an hour and ahalf through the jungle until we reached the sea. from there, another half an hour walking on the cost through some poscard like beaches, until we arrived to the camp. After spending there the 2 nights, we returned to Taganga with a small boat that they packed with 18 israelies, and arrived to Taganga wet as if we swam back, for a few more days to do some more nothing, and from there, we ended up in the Caribbeans for 5 nights to do some more nothing, but with style. We bought the tickets for the resort in Catagena and we had a plane from Barranquilla which is a city between Cartagena and Santa Marta, so when the time had come, we left Taganga and headed to Barranquilla to catch our flight, only the air line company thought differently. As we came to board the plane, we were informed that we do not have a flying ticket. After a long hour on the phone with the agency we bought it from, we boarded the plain last just as it was about to leave. Those 5 days there, were a nice finish to the southern part of America. When I thought about this trip at the beginning, I never thought ill end up in the Caribbeans. Not that I'm complaining or anything, but thats life... Unpredictable... For that reason, we made 2,328 confirmation calls for our flight back to Bogota (it was free to call the air line from the hotel :) and as before, we were surprised again. We were told that we have the ticket to Bogota and all is OK (yeah!) but we also have a connection flight back to Barranquilla - Thank you very much, don't want it!. and that was exactly what I told them, so they said we need to pay for the cancellation, i said i would not pay for it, so they just canceled it. We arrived to Bogota at 16:00 and had the flight to LA the following morning, so we spent the night at the airport. Then, cheerfully boarded the flight and after a stop in Mexico we arrived through the gates of LAX to the city of Los Angeles (that now that i know Spanish, i can tell you it means "the angels" :).
Lior's family welcomed us as we walked out.
From the 3erd world to the first, i have to see how much time will it take to get use to hot water and good food.
Now, the south is behind me, but well in my memory, I look forward to compair it with the most western world we know. The land of opportunities...
Until the results come....
Location: Lima, Peru
How should i start this chapter? I think this chapter is a big turning point of the trip...
Ill start where i left you before. Well, we returned from the Machu Pichu and thought about our next attraction, which was eventually the Auzangate. That weird name you didn't understand, is the name on the mountain that we went to see at first hand. We (Rotem, Or, Alon, Elad, Dana, Shacar, Lior and my self) took a bus to a town called Tinki, where we stayed the first night in a small hostel that had, how not, a big sign in Hebrew in the entrance. The next morning we packed our stuff and headed, with the help of our guide (which was the cook as well), 3 helpers, and about 15 horses (we can argue about that. some say they are donkeys) to the foot of the big white mountain. We left by foot up the first hill, and soon realized we haven't been working out for a while, but we had an excuse, we were at around 3,300m above sea level. Then with the help of the horses that we picked up on the way, so they will carry all of our stuff which includes our big lazy asses, continued our trip that was mainly up hill until we reached the height of 4,400 mas o menos. On the way stopping for lunch, we arrived at our first camp site, not before Rotem was thrown off his horse, which will later do the same to Lior and yours truly. Eventually we reached to the conclusion that the "muchilot" will be a butter luggage for it. At our camp site, the guides built us some tents and cooked dinner, to the foot of the big white (and I'm not talking about "moby dick" :). I wont say the night was frizzing cold, but it was certainly not hot... the next morning we got up looking for the sun to heat us up, and continued our journey until we were at the the peak (not the peak of it but as high as we got :). There, we saw a nice lagoon that was created from the malting ice where we had lunch. For the second night, we arrived to another small town (so small i cant remember the name) where we deeped our selves in a hot spring (not natural) next to our hostel (4 walls and a mattress). For the last day we went all the way down hill with the horses that never run, and with our own feet, until we arrived back to Tinki, had lunch and headed back to Cusco. It was great fun with nice view as always.
You ask now, in all that, where is the turning point...? well, after spending a few more days in Cusco, lior and my self said our goodbyes from the rest of the gang and left them behind. Some, we might meet in the near future, at our next destination of Colombia, and the rest are going back home to the holly land. After 6 month that Rotem and i were in each others ass 24/7, the next time we will meet we will be in Zur-Igal. (It was great... see you behind the school for 2x2... :))
From now this is "Lior and Adam do the rest of south America... and then the northern part of it...."
After our sad parting, Lior and I continued to the city of Ica. The special thing about it as we learned, is that its in the middle of the desert. We went there for one thing only, SandBoard. We took a baggie ( a 4x4 open car for 10 people) and headed up the big dunes. As we got there, after feeling like in a rollercoster, we did the sandboard down the hills at a great speed. It was an adrenalin rush and lots of fun!
Then, we stayed there for a couple of days and headed to the capital - Lima, to catch our flight to Colombia.
Lima is a big busy city like we haven't known for a while. There is not much to do here.
Well, we have a flight to catch so until the next time, take care......
Miss you all.....
Location: Cuzco, Peru
In Cuzco, the city of opportunities, you can do what ever you want...
You can go for a city tour, and finish your week in a rafting boat or bungee jumping, and that's after you finish looking at the city it self that is beautiful with old buildings and nice atmosphere.
We started our visit to Cuzco with an anti-gravity attraction.... we all went bungee jumping and superman jumping (which is like bungee just the other way around-they shoot you up from the ground to the sky). It was a great experience. Its a feelling we never felt before. Its like falling from a building, only staying alive to tell about it. You'll see the pics, but nothing ill say can describe it. You just need to do it!
After that, we went rafting. it starts slow and gradually gets more and more serious. It was very fun, but not as exiting as we thought it would be. After that, we started to plan our visit to the Inca city of Machu Pichu (which means- old mountain). As you know, this site is one of the most toured places in the world, and yet, I'm sure no one has ever done it like we did.
There are a few options of getting there: 1. by train 2. guided tour 3. trekking 4. rent 2 motorcycles and a jeep.... yes, we did just that...
We left early in the morning cause we knew we had a long way ahead. Only 3 hours to the trip, our jeep had enough, and refused to continue. Luckily we had 2 motors with us, so I (with one) and Eshel (with the other) went to 2 different directions to seek help. Finally when we understood there is no way to continue that day, after a mechanic told us it will take a while (and boy, was he right), we haded to the nearest town called Ollantaytambo, where we met the man we rented it from that rushed to our aide (when i say "rushed" i hope you understand my meaning). To make a long story short, he said "it will be ready for you in about 2 hours" for the next couple of days. In the end after being the tourists that stayed the longest in Ollantytambo, and having fun with ourselves and enjoing it, we left again on our way. It was a great way with nice views along it. The first night we stayed in Santa Maria cause the sun disappeared before we could get to our destination of Santa Teresa. We left again at 05:00am and got to Santa Teresa, where we left the vehicles and headed to the city of "agua qualiente" which actually mean "hot water". This city is at the foot of the Machu Pichu and the only way to get there is by train or with the help of your feet. After a 3 hour walk, from where the taxi (when i say taxi i mean 10 people standing in a back of a truck) dropt us cause it couldn't continue any further because of an avalanche, we got to Agua Qualiente and took a bus up the mountain to the Incas city. It is a great place and has a great view. Ofcorse you need to pay a lot of money to have that experience. After that tour, we stayed the night in Agua Qualiente and first thing in the morning took the train and taxi (when i say taxi, i mean a combi with 21 people in it) back to Santa Teresa to take our vehicles and head back to Cuzco. After having breakfast, 10 minutes on the road and my gear handle broak off the motorcycle, so we returned to Santa Teresa and after calling the agency, left it there to be picked by a truck that goes to Cuzco once a week and was leaving just as we got there. I joined the jeep and here and there switched with Eshel on the other bike.
We arrived back to Cuzco at 20:30pm after 5 days that started as 3. If you are tired from reading this, imagine how it was for us. All and all, it was an experience we will remember for a long time and for that we are traveling.
Now we are planing our next trip, but this is a whole other chapter.....
Location: Cusco, Peru
We left La Paz for our visit in the jungles. We bought a plain ticket with the army airforse and were suposs to take off at 11:00am. As the saying goes in Bolivia - Todo Possible, Nada Seguro (which means- everything is possible, nothing is certain), we took off at 17:00pm after spending a few hours in the airport... The flight went well considering. The view was amazing. We felt like we are in a movie flying above the jungles and landing in the middle of it, watching the trees going by the window. We landed on a dirt road in Rorrenabaque. Then we went to find a hostel to rest before waking up the following morning to go to the Pampas which are a big swamps. We got to our destination after a 5 hours trip via jeep that almost fell apart on a road that only the brave can survive... :) with a lot of mud and tricky parts. Luckily we had a skilled driver that does it every day....
As we got there we went on a kanu that will become our home for the 3 days. Our guide was a crazy indian 24 years old guy that looks like mogly... Every day, we went on the kanu to diffrent places and saw many kinds of animals (mostly mosquitoes) and trees, and held some snakes and monkeys, fishing for piranhas and eating them at dinner. Every evening, we came back to our camp in the middle of the swamp in a wooden shack with mosquito nets, so the mosquitoes got us during the day... We ate very well thanks to our cook that made great food. After those three days, we returned in the same way we came, with the same jeep and the same driver, only this time, after 4 hour drive, our driver didn't pay attention and got us stuck in the middle of a big mud puddle. we all pushed it out, got our self dirty and with a few more mosquito bites and at 20:30 arrived to Rorrenabaque, found another hostel and rested before our 3 days in the jungle that was to start the next morning.
We woke up early and went to the near by river to take a 3 hours cruz in another kanu. We went up stream to our camp. We got there at noon and ate lunch. Then, we met our guide that looked like the first one, and was not less crazy. In the jungle we saw less animals but more kinds of plants and learned about their virtues. We held a Tarantula spider, and as I'm writing this i still cant believe we did that. We made some rings and stuff from the fruits of the jungle.
At the last day we built a raft and three of us (rotem, eshel and my self) returned half the way on it until we had a few problems with some trees on the way.... :) it was very fun and funny. As the book says, we came "back from the Tuichi" river.
another thing that was very funny, was that even in the middle of the jungle in the middle of nowhere, the guides speak Hebrew and know all the slang better then they know English...
Back in Rorrenabaque, flow back to La Paz in a flight from hell, and took a bus trip to Cusco-Peru where we are now. On the way here, we passed through lake TITICACA which is the highest lake in the world- about 3810m above sea level. It is located on the border between Bolivia and Peru.
There we went to see the floating islands that the locals built and are living on them. They are amazing! They build it from the roots of a plant which floats, that grows in the lake and all the other things, such as their houses, are built from the plant it self.
Then we continued to Cusco.
Now, we are planing our next adventure.