When I created this blog, I thought I would be very good about documenting all my trips around the world. Turns out, I am a horrible blogger. I am still taking many trips, I just never bother to update about them.
It is now September. In the last month I went to Machu Picchu, Puerto Maldonado (Peruvian Amazon), Iguassu falls, Sao Paulo, SF Beer & Bacon Festival and Fargo North Dakota. Which one of these things is NOT like the others?
The trip to Peru and Brazil was great and I will try and update later with details and pictures, but I wanted to say that it was wonderful. There were 11 of us in total. Me, my boyfriend Joe, Katy, her fiance Evan and several of Katy’s friends from high school and their significant others.
The Machu Picchu Group
We spent several days in Cuzco and then hiked the Inca Trail. The Inca Trail hike was so peaceful and not too difficult. I did struggle with the altitude, especially when hiking up hill, but it was nothing I couldn’t do. We went with a tour group called Llama Path. They were excellent. It was total glamping. The porters were friendly, the facilities as nice as they could make them, and I have never seen any tour company so concerned with catering to everyones special food needs. It is understandable why they do this, it would be horrible to have an allergy attack or food sickness when you are a two day hike from anywhere. Even with this concern, LLama Path went above and beyond.
I did not like Machu Picchu as much as I was hoping. Don’t get me wrong, the ancient city is amazing. It was just that during our four days of hiking we saw other beautiful ruins and there was no one else around. When we finally made it to Machu Picchu, it was full to capacity. You could not enjoy the views because there were tourists everywhere, and at one point I actually got sad when I saw tourists leaving their garbage in the windows and other places in the ruins. If you have the physical ability, I would recommend doing the 4 day hike rather than just the ruins so that you get to experience other ancient Inca sites without thousands of people running around.
From Machu Picchu we traveled onto Puerto Maldonado. The Peruvian Amazon was interesting, but not my best amazonian experience. Since I lived in the Darién for three months, this amazon experience was just was not as interesting. I did get to see lots of wild birds, swim in a lake filled with piranha and caiman and fish for piranha (I caught two!). For animal life we saw lots of parrots, a few different types of monkeys, capybara, caiman and shit-tons of spiders.
After the Amazon most of the group left to return to the states. From then on out it was only Katy, Evan, Joe and I. We next traveled to Iguassu, which has to be one of my favorite places in the world. Words and photos can not describe the beauty and awesomeness of the falls. I can never do it justice, you will just have to go there yourself.
We also went to the bird park (it is very good with lots of different parrots and a lovely butterfly area), the public zoo (this is free but also sad and skipable) and the tasty restaurant TAJ (which had a half priced dinner and drink deal on Sunday, woohoo!).
Photo Katy Took of the Falls – beautiful right? The real thing is a thousand times better.
After Iguassu it was on to Sao Paulo. We didn’t do much in Sao Paulo, but I did get to have the greatest sushi meal of my life at Mori Sushi (approx $35 for the greatest all you can eat sushi ever), and go to the boat hotel that Katy had been telling me about for years. From Sao Paulo we went to Maresias (considered the Ipanema of Sao Paulo) and Ilha Bela. Maresias has a beautiful beach where we just hung out and Katy & I drank Pina Coladas and Joe had a glass of tequila with salt that was supposed to be a margarita. Ilha Bella lives up to it’s name as a beautiful island, but it is also cursed.
The island has over 400 waterfalls and one of the most amazing hikes I have ever been on. We had to rent a car to drive to the edge of the national park. From there we hiked about two miles in until we can to a sign talking about a farm and a second path leading down. We took this special path and what we thought would be a farm turned out to be a hidden bar!! There we purchased beers and continued to hike a few hundred more yards until we came to our first, and ultimately only, set of waterfalls. It was a series of three waterfalls, and while they were not super large, they were extra special in that they made for natural water slides. I love waterslides. My day at Schlitterbahn was one of the happiest of my life (I was 17 I think). My love for waterslides is shared by Katy and Evan, so we spent the day drinking, swimming and sliding down the falls.
Now for the curse. Ilha Bella is over-run with a billion fucking mosquitos; and these are no ordinary mosquitos, they are the Asian Tiger Mosquitos which means they are out at all hours of the day and extra horrible. We wore bugspray but even so, we all ended up with tons of bites. The bites were weird too. Some of mine turned directly into blisters instead of normal itchy bumps, and Joe’s turned into birthmark style purple blotches. It was gross. Joe’s were so bad that we were concerned customs would stop him and not let him back into the USofA.
I have ended up writing far more than I originally intended. I still want to do another entry going into more details of my trip, and addressing Beer & Bacon Festival and Fargo. Shit, I also just realized that I never wrote about the Galapagos Islands and Chile. This weekend I have nothing planned. I think it is the first and only weekend of the summer I have absolutely nothing going on. Without anything happening, maybe I can write more in this poor neglected blog of mine. Doubtful, but a girl can dream.