The best (photos) of Peru

June 30th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Stewart playing with his relatively new DSLR

Max taking photos of Colca Canyon

Amantani Island

Machu Picchu

Wendell and his folks.

Slanty headstand with Machu Picchu, bitches.

A big shout out to our tour guide for the Inca Trail, Alfredo Fisher. I highly recommend him after he dealt with my swearing and general unfit state. He knew everything and anything, from Inca culture to my decoy to catch my breath; “Hey, what’s that plant?”. He even ran to catch me when I fell on my ass in the dark. Hoorah for bruises.

In Brazil now, you have no idea how much I’m enjoying sea level ground.

Colca Canyon

June 29th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Colca canyon was dusty and rough. Like many places in Peru, lifestyles and wildlife are preserved for tourists. As a voyeur, I am grateful but I’m also saddened by these people frozen in time.

The roads are full of pockets. As our van tumbles over rocks, I try to comb out my emotions and memories. It doesn’t work. I get out of the bus and the dry wind tangles my hair and all of my mental work.

The sun beats down and leaves it’s mark on ruddy cheeks and wrinkled faces.

I sleep in between leg cramps.

The only people that flat out ask me for money are two giggling girls that are coaxed by their mother. They don’t remember me from yesterday, when I gave them a sol for their photo.

I’m always cautious of making a photo of someone I met ten seconds ago, I feel like I’m sucking out their energy, using them for my memories and picture books.

As it is, I don’t like being photographed, I can’t imagine being a novelty to a stream of different cameras, day in, day out.

I see lambs skipping around their mothers and I stare into a cow’s eyes and now I’m sticking to spaghetti and boiled vegetables in a country that serves guinea pig and alpaca. I don’t want to be a full time vegetarian.

In the night, the high altitude makes me take shallow breaths and I dream of my office. I think it’s my brain’s way of calming down. The Larry Towell black and white on my wall and the towers of now archived photos.

The act of travelling brings up a lot of things in my head that gets avoided when I’m “busy” with being in one place; cooking, yoga, friends, working, photographing. Now I’m just being.

It’s such an interesting feeling, this longing for stillness and some lesser version of sadness. I think it will dissipate but don’t know what’s next. Honestly, I’ll have to be a pretty lame bitch to keep this fear of the unknown stop me from having fun.

I miss my comfort blanket

June 15th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Hola from Lima, Peru.

It´s the second day of the four month adventure. And I fucking miss the internet. I’ve been using my smart phone as a distraction, as a form of entertainment and as a comfort blanket whenever I’m nervous or stressed. And when it´s gone, I’m frustrated. Bit of a hot mess, actually.

Which brings me to waking up an hour earlier than needed to google the lifespan of a crab on a slow computer in the hotel’s business center.

Um, what?

Well, I’m so used to having instant information gratification that when it´s gone (a.k.a paying $20 per megabyte) I go a little crazy.

I tried to check my email three times yesterday, facebook and twitter once and the temperature twice.  I missed Yelp when we had to pick a place for dinner.

There was crab on the menu for dinner and I wasn´t sure if they were being over-fished. And I just needed to know, right then and there, the population of crabs in the ocean. It stayed in my head like an itch so here I am, some 12 hours later, googling in Spanish. Turns out they’re not completely over-fished but like anything else in the ocean, levels are generally low.

– Rant over, holiday stuff starts here. –

I was a bit (ok, devestatingly) sad to be leaving the States. It’s funny as fuck, really. I spent the first year wishing I would leave and moaning about  and then in the last three months I find the best friends in the world and it was this big rush to spend as much time with them as possible.

A handful of people changed my whole perspective on a country, amazing isn’t it?

So the first half of my trip there was plenty of sad faces and long sighs on my end. And then I did some yoga, tried to stay present and it’s getting better, although there’s still things that make me laugh/get sad: exaggerated fist bites, people asking what the time is (1962!) and drinking beer.

Spent the majority of yesterday travelling down to Peru. The in-laws surprised us at the stop over in Panama City, was a blast to see them a little bit earlier than planned.

Lima was quite gloomy but we walked around a little. I spotted all of these old cameras in a market and almost died with excitement but I couldn’t go ape shit on the purchases one day in! Dinner was ok, it was a hotel recommendation and quite frankly, I’ve had better Peruvian food in Maryland.

Off to Arequipa in a couple of hours. But I just had to visit you, internet, and make sure you’re ok since our recent seperation. I miss you, you look good. Now can we kiss and make up?

My first (and last) keg stand

June 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

My first keg party from Tash Jayasinghe on Vimeo.

There are pros that do a couple of keg stands at the end of this video – to give this whole thing some kind of merit.

Beer from red plastic cups = bliss. I felt like I was in an American movie, like Roadtrip, Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle or Europtrip.

Mum, aren’t you proud of your daughter?

Email from my mum the next day:

I am proud of, been a first timer you kept up to ten, but I’m also glad it was your last. What’s the idea of been lifted up?

Mum, my friends tell me the upside thing is just to make it difficult.