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August 2005

Monday 1st of august.    PUNO


A short stop over in Bolivia.

As I have been travelling with the two brothers from England, I’ve decided to extent my time in Peru and go to Bolivia with them for a couple of days.

I just came back today and didn’t go very far, but I could explore the Titicaca Lake from the other side and taste some Bolivian atmosphere.

Copacabana… a very tiny little town right on the lake from where you can visit the Sun Island and the Moon Island. I’ve enjoyed the 3 days there, very cheap and I discovered some nice bars and a coffee shop.

I went to visit the sun island, but hardly anytime to hike around; there I missed the morning boat, wanting to go individually… no tours for me here.

The tour to the Taquile and Amantani Islands from out of Puno, before I went to Bolivia was amazing. It isn’t very attractive to see the line of tourists walking over the islands towards the little villages, but on the other hand it is beautiful to see and live it.

We stayed one night with one of the families on Amantani Island, where I was dressed up in their clothes and went dancing with the whole group in a little hall and live music. Great. I have to say these ladies are tough ones, the clothes they wear is heavy and hot. Don’t forget the altitude, so for me it was impossible to dance longer than 10 minutes, no more breath… Exercising on 4000m high is another ting if you ask me… We did some hiking and it is always up… lack of oxygen right away.

Beautiful dough. Two typical days full of food, boat rides and visiting the Islands in Titicaca Lake. Some of the indigenous people here live on islands made out of reed.

Their boats and houses are also made of reed, floating 8 m above the bottom of the lake.

Quiet special to feel the flexibility of the surface they live on. Of course they are all waiting for you to buy loads of souvenirs that they make out of reed and seeds. But it is amazing how they keep there island alive by jut throwing new layers of reed on top of the existing layer. This will replace the rotten parts below and so it stays intact. No maintenance, no cleaning necessary…

The lake is huge and tourism important for the people here now. Tourism is a part of their daily lives here, next to agriculture and weaving.

Beautiful is how these things make live so rich in this culture. Weaving is used for measuring how good your wife or husband will be in working and creating. Unmarried men weave a whie and red hat, so everyone can see he’s not married, the way he wairs it tells you if he is or isn’t in love with someone. The men with full red hats are married and the finer and more colourful he weaves it, the more it tells you how many capacities he has and how he will be good for you as a husband. Agriculture is bonded to the gods and the seasons and dates from before the Inca time… all these hills and mountains exists out of terraces, which makes it very pretty to look at.

Also the way of keeping there animals is so different. Everything in the field is done by hand or with help from the bulls or donkeys. Loads of donkey’s here in Peru. All farm animals stick together and are easy to count; there the poverty doesn’t allow a lot of these families to keep a lot of them.


The bus drive to Bolivia the next morning only took 2,5 hours from Puno and the festivals of Bolivia’s independence day are getting started so we arrived at the right time…to enjoy the preparations and colourful decorations. I like Bolivia, only the people are a little less warm, probably because of the enormous crowd of tourists all the time.

Just not as friendly in Copacabana, maybe that’s different in other places in Bolivia.

There is so much I would like to do here in South America.

Definitely I want to travel through Bolivia and Argentina more, Uruguay and Paraguay

Well I changed my tickets to Rio towards the 11th of August, so got 10 more days in Peru, of which probably most of it will be spent in Cuzco.

Machu Picchu

Here I come…


Monday 8th of August     CUSCO


Wow, if you want to see something special! Come to Cusco.

This city alone is very pretty and different. Little alleys and step ways, beautiful cathedrals and fortresses, full of energy and people and tourists (of course).

Arriving here, together with the two brothers and Caroline, whom we picked up in Puno again, we were all thinking about relaxing for a couple of days. Hanging around and just taking it easy to plan any trips or hikes…

Of course that all changed faster than fast, having a hard time to choose what to do out of all the possibilities this place offers.

We took the bus from Puno arriving here at 4.30am. Lilian, the travel agent from Puno, a friend from me now, helped us out big times by sorting everything out, hotel, bus, name it!! She even did al my plain tickets; I’ve changed all tickets, different times, other plans.

That day walking through the centre, I was already thinking... I will have to hurry if I want to do all these things. Meeting so many people that I’ve already met in other parts; recommending me to go for the 3 day rafting gig. And also the alternative Inca trail to visit Machu Picchu.  That’s not going to fit in my 8-9 days left in Peru.

Caroline was up for the 5 day/4 night trekking to Machu Picchu, and so I decided to not go along. Not that I didn’t want to do that, but it was to much of a time hassle and that wild water rafting trip just appealed like more adventure for now. So they chose to come with me and do the trekking after, while I was going to Machu Picchu by train and do the last climb up there in the morning…


3 days rafting, camping on the beach next to the river for two nights, meeting loads of people, good food and just a super fun time! On the Apurimac River, this exciting whitewater rafting expedition is rated among the best of world Class Rivers. This river is also the most direct source of the Amazon making it the longest river in the world.

We saw condors and even I spotted a scorpion that I just missed with my bare feet in the sand.  I was also covered in sand fly and mosquito bites… still itchy now.

Just an amazing time and when we arrived back in Cusco literally everyone was shattered. Our body’s felt like wooden statues or even worse but dancing that evening in the Mythology Disco, where the video of the trip was shown, cured all my sours.

The next day I left for Machu Picchu… Jehaaa. Finally, was so curious.

The way to get there was also funny, there I chose to go the cheapest way (still bloody expensive), and together with 4 Irish friends I met on the Whitewater trip.

The first bus from Cusco to Urumbamba (2 hours), 3 soles (less than 1 Euro). A ‘collectivo’ from Urumbamba to Olantaytambo (25 minutes), 1 sole (0,25 Euro). From here the train to Agua Calientes (1,5 hours), 130 soles return ticket.

Beautiful trip, through the mountain ranges, some tops covered in snow, I felt like really falling in love with this country.

The next morning the bunch of us woke up at 3.45, to start climbing the hill, where the ruins are found. That early to enjoy the sunrise; this is meant to be spectacular. 1,5 hours walking and climbing, sweating we reached the ruins, covered in clouds and mist. Soaked because of the rain, freezing, we were praying to get some clearings to at least see something.

As for 9 months and a while I’ve been lucky again! The clouds drove off, and the most spectacular ruins appeared in front of our eyes. I could feel the energy of these Inca constructions a soon as was up there, it made me feel very tired, but so so so beautiful.

We walked around and hang around until 2.30pm. We even had a little siesta up there. Crazy but I loved it big times. I could sit there for ages, without being bored, so much to see. It is smaller than I expected, but big in its whole. On top of a mountain like that, this monument is one of the best sites to live in this world if you ask me.

We missed out on a guide, the entrance and everything was already unbelievably expensive.

One more night in Agua Calientes and the next morning back with the train to Cusco.

Today is day of getting back on trek, buying bus tickets for Lima, tomorrow, where I’ve got one day left before I fly to Rio on Thursday morning. Next country in perspective!

Around the 3th of September I’ll fly to NY, where I will stick around for a day or two and than one of my highlights! Go and visit my family in Canada. It’s been a year or 4 that my aunt, uncle, and cousins went to live in Windsor. I’ll fly from NY to Detroit on the 5th of September.


Peru is one of my favorites. The country sight is just breathtaking and I love the possibilities here. I’ve got opportunities here, work wise. Probably all linked to tourism, but my languages appeal a lot to the people and businesses here, and I wouldn’t mind at all, working through South America, traveling and guiding, discovering and exploring, while being paid. I’m not sure, still got that wish to study at least a year more as well. I‘m not fussed, it will all become clear and apparent when time is right.

My Spanish is getting better by the day; it’s going to be weird to have to miss that again. Maybe some Portuguese in stead?

I love Peru!


Monday 15th of August,   Miraflores   LIMA


And so I got robbed. It was kind of a nasty experience but I’m doing great after all.

End good all good. The funny thing is that I was just telling my parents how safe it has been until now… that same night I went out for dinner, to try out my last typical Peruvian dinner, met up with Edwin and others.

Edwin and I went for a drink afterwards, going back home after… the cab we took was the set up. This cab drove the wrong way, Edwin asking what the hell he was doing and before we could change direction two other men jumped into the cab, one on each side.

They took everything in my purse, which was my cellular, money, banc and credit cards. Also I lost all my addresses, because they took my little agenda as well. Damn, I will have to start over and ask all you guys to send me your home-address by e-mail.

It all went very fast, luckily a police car spotted us and tried to catch them, it also made them panic and gave me a break to not having to tell them my codes and ability to empty my account.

I was a bit brave telling them they could fuck off when threatening me for my codes.

I said I didn’t care about what they would do if I wasn’t going to work along…

They threw us out after driving like mad man from the police car.... fewwww I thought!

The shitty thing was I was flying out 5 hours later to RIO, normally. I had to go to the airport and try to change this flight, with no money I wasn’t going to get far.

This all just worked out perfectly, no problem at all and so I changed my flight to next Thursday. After all I’m not that sad, because staying in Peru doesn’t bother me at all. As well I can stick around at Edwin’s place, it was such a relief he was there. Living here it was his first time as well, that this happened to us.  He a great person and is actually great to have a friend like him.

So more time in a very busy and polluted city, full of noise and people. I went for a night out in a club, and am taking this opportunity to rest as much as possible, sleep as much as I can and do nothing at all. Hoping it will give me a fresh head, new space to absorb all possible in my coming two months of travelling.

I still like Peru… I’m also looking forward to discover brazil, which will be a quick and fast visit, as now only 2 weeks remain.

All happens for a reason I guess.

Lima appears different to me then the rest of Peru, as it also is a huge city it does have some similarities with our cities, but also the people are different. People understand it as the best option to work and grow in the capital cities, they see it as having more opportunities to become secure and wealthy. Which makes sense in a way, to me I would never want to grow and live in a place like this. Travelling even makes me more aware that nature is my preferred location to settle down. Peru has loads of silent little Pueblos, that are so beautiful. Surrounded by those enormous mountain ranges, terraces, white water rivers, Pumas, condors, scorpions, snakes, beavers, dear, donkeys… so much nature, nobody there. Working in such environment to me sounds like much more fun and happiness which to me sounds like wealth!

Anyway, no worries about me guys, I’m doing great, things like that just happen.


Saturday 20th of August, RIO DE JANEIRO.


Here I am in one of the most famous cities in the world, stuck to nothing (no money), for at least the week-end. It is quite interesting to see how you cope in situations like this and I have to say I arrived here fairly down. Not worse than that, but the one after the other disappointment didn’t make it easier on me to sort stuff out.

It is hot here and I haven’t spotted any raindrops yet, so that’s very good news.

A vibrant city so far, with lot’s of people with a very specific unfamiliar attitude, which I will observe as long as I’m around. Lot’s of food and drinks, which don’t seem too expensive. I’m lucky the hotel will cash in later and serves free breakfast, much more I can’t do…

Admitting… I miss Peru already. Maybe my feeling is because of that… maybe I should have stayed. I just loved it there! All of it. I have been able to taste all sides of the life there, good and bad, low and high… and all where just positive encounters in the end! Good vibrations.

Of course I’m going to give Brazil it’s fair chance.. and will probably travel up North, once my situation is back on track.  Bahia, sounds more like it….

Time to go… by the way, my Portuguese isn’t as good as my Spanish, by far.  Haha…


Tuesday 23rd of August, RIO


Trillen met die billen…

Bom Dia, tudo bem?

Tonight I’m leaving Rio; a bus ride of 19 hours will get me to Porto Seguro, One of the highlights in Bahia.

Rio is exceeding, so may different things in one place.

This is the only place I can’t recognise who’s the tourist and who’s not. I discover so many different faces and colours, forms and styles. Amazing. 

The language is hard, a lot of people say it resembles Spanish and in a way it does, they understand me when I speak Spanish slow enough. But to pronounce these very beautiful Portuguese type of things, I’ll have to practise a bit more.


I have got all my money situations sorted (thank you Mamsi and thank you Alejandro) and still didn’t go for my night out in RIO, I will do so when I come back to finish off my beautiful time in Brazil, Which I might extend a bit.


Can you imagine that the beaches are loaded with all types of persons, the waves are impressive and all you would love or wish for while roasting in the hot sun is brought to you on the spot? From beer to caipariña, cake to hotdog… you can even get your bikini on the beach if you don’t have one.

I would say freestyle adventure, be who you are! Makes me smile.

It is quit busy and overloaded with things to do, at night I’m exhausted; also the heat is something to get used to again. 30 to 33 °C, thinking I was in need of a jacket in the wet season???


I’m looking forward to going up North, as much as Rio is a place full of discoveries; it is not my piece of cake. I just don’t fit in the busyness out here; a couple of days as I’ve said many times are more than enough for me in THE city.

The busses here are indefinable, driving like mad man, you can hardly sit on the same spot at the end of the trip, that racing type of driving just like cowboys.


I’ve been on the right time here to see a special show of caoepira here in RIO. Ever heard of this? Form of dance/martial art on life Reggae/samba music. So cool! Many people see it as a martial art, others as a dance, and there those who believe that it are their religion and cultural identity.

The description of Capoeira varies according to people's personalities. It is a native Brazilian Indian word given to a small partridge whose male is very jealous and engages in fierce fights with its rivals. Capoeira blends elements of dance, music, rituals, acrobatics, and fighting.

All people involved, young-old-girl-boy… doesn’t matter. Here in Brazil its part of life, everybody does it. I find it lovely to see people practising this on the streets or beaches.   I would love to do that!


Here in Rio I met up with a girl from Eindhoven; Chantal. We had a very nice day together in RIO but she’s already in Porto Seguro now, waiting for me to join her on Wednesday.