Map of the Americas

Map of the Americas
We are using this map to find our way home. We will be marking where we are in big fat red marker like Indiana Jones. (map idea courtesy of Blake Golden)

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Hello all. I´m sorry for not blogging, but I just didn´t really care to blog in the United States. I figured yall probably wouldn´t have wanted to read it. I should have though because by me not blogging, yall couldn´t follow Gonzo Wilson´s blog, as his is dependent on mine. Jason, how do you feel being my dependent? Una Mamita!!!

Oh, also go to my pictures as I have uploaded a bunch. I haven´t labeled them yet.

So I have ALWAYS wanted to go to MachuPicchu. So I did. This past week!!! It was awesome? beautiful? awe inspiring? breath taking? thought provoking? I´m not really sure how to describe it. You need to go. I got to Cusco and found a tour with a bunch of people from Argentina, Chile, Brasil, Peru, Canada, The United States. It was a 3 night four day trip with one day of mountain biking, two days hiking along the Inca Trail, and one day at MachuPicchu. Food and all for $190!

So I could go on forever about all these adventures, but I don´t have the time nor do yall probably have the patience. I´m recording everything everyday in a journal, so if you need more info, holla. So instead, I´ll just talk about the Andes.

I´ve lived in the Andes all last semester, but no mountain last semester was like these mountains. Imagine just these huge mountains, thousands of feet tall, all completely green. It doesn´t matter if there was a 100 yard rock wall, it was covered in green. And not just one type of green, hundreds of shades of green. I mean an artist could take months painting a painting of one of these mountains and still not mix enough greens to do it justice.

Another thing that you couldn´t help but notice is how small you felt. These mountains were huge, and we hiked on trails that were not but a few feet wide with thousands of feet of mountain to fall below you and thousands of feet above you as well. You could see farmers some half a mile away on a different mountain and they just looked like ants. Seeing how small they looked in addition with being in a place with so much beauty just made you realize the power of our Creator. I mean I´m sure he´s interested in us and all, but he´s got other things going on as well.

They have a saying here, well not a saying but a toast. Your first few sips of beer have to be poured on the ground and dedicated to Mama Pacha (Mother Earth). At first I thought it was fun but silly. After hiking and seeing how small you are in comparison to Nature, I take the toast more seriously now. I mean it´s still fun and all, but there´s a real hint of truth in it. I guess I could explain my thoughts like this. In America I feel like everything is for me or my friends. For people. I mean day to day it´s all about education, working, movies, music, reading, playing sports, yada yada yada. But those days in the Andes, it wasn´t like I was trying to think about Nature, I was forced to. There was no avoiding it, and it was such a separate entity than myself that I was practically praising nature. It was awesome.

As far as MachuPicchu goes, it was amazing. I didn´t realize until I got there that it sits on top of a grand mountain in the midst of some many more. All I can say is go. And hike there. Don´t do the whole touristy go to Aguas Calientes and then take the bus up and all. Hike it. Something interesting though, was as amazing as MachuPicchu was, I kept looking away from MachuPicchu towards all the mountains. As if the mountains were far more beautiful and interesting than the ruins.

I feel funny having a bit of a serious Blog. But it´s not like MachuPicchu is funny. I do have some great stories from the trip though, but I won´t go into them now. I´ll blog again in a couple of more days. That blog will be dedicated to Robby Brumberg, and if you don´t know Robby, expect a blog that is as random as it is funny. And now for some Blog Points.

1. I´ve been traveling with this doctor who must be popular because of all the calls he receives. I may be bias in saying this being in medical school, but would you be surprised if his ringtone for a day was hardcore Metallica? Because I was.

2. Keeping with music, when I was getting off the plane in Lima I had to wait for everyone to get their luggage as I was in the back. So some overhead came on. What would be normal would be to play some traditional Latina music, or some soft jazz, maybe even some stuff from Los Estados Unidos. But no, it was definitely some loud Italian Catholic Hymns probably recorded in St. Peters in the Vatican. Only in S.A.

3. The ice cream brands continue to amaze me. In Venezuela it was Uncle Rico, in Ecuador it was Penguin. Here they have ice cream carts that they pedal like bicycles with the cart in the front. But what brand is this ice cream and what sticker is on the side of these bicycle carts? Lamborgini.

4. No one has change in South America. Maybe it´s different in some place like Argentina, but in Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru, you just can´t find it. I bought a coffee on a train and it cost 3 soles (1 dollar). She had this cart she was pushing to sell stuff. I give her a 5 sol coin and she says, sorry, don´t have change. I go to big restaurants and try to by a coke with the equivalent of $7 bill and they say, sorry don´t have change. BUT NOW I KNOW WHERE TO FIND CHANGE. The homeless. This guy tried to sell me a pack of gum and I didn´t have a single sol on me. After going to the ATM I run into this same guy trying to sell me a pack a gum or some cigarettes. I say I would love a pack of gum, but I only have this 50 sol bill ($17) He says no problem and whips out a WAD of cash and gives me 48 soles of change. So you travelers out there, if you need to make change, look to the street pedalers.

Until later,


Merrill Stewart said...

Fabulous, just fab. Skiing in West Virginia this weekend and wanted to say Im sorry we didnt get together before I left. Lets talk soon.

Whos the Doc?

ml said...

Nice Pics, Stewdog! You can check out our blog at
Was that a monkey?