It has been ages....
01.04.2011 - 16.05.2011 30 °C
Why is it that everytime I write on here I find myself apologising for not writing sooner,but i didnt have time etc etc... Well thats how Im going to start again today.... In New Zealand we were so busy travelling around the country every day that we didnt have a chance to get on a computer once, let alone for a hour so i could write.
Anyway we met our parents at Auckland Airport, we told them we were meeting them at the hotel so when they saw us they were pretty much buzzing My grand parents came out two days later from Hong Kong too. Being in Auckland again was quite strange because we were seeing it from more than just a backpacker view. We were going to the harbour for dinner every night and having the most fantastic meals (meals we could have only dreamt of days before) and I actually found myself liking Auckland more than ever. It makes me wonder whether all the other countries we have been too could have been a completly different experience had we had the money.
I wont go into too much detail about the holiday, except for the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed it! We did a lot of places that we did before like Roturoa and Queenstown etc but we also had the chance to visit Coramandel Bay, which was absolutely beautiful! and Napier aswell, which is a deffinate immigration possibility for me in years to come! They were out in New Zealand for three weeks, and we did a hell of a lot of travelling, almost everyday we were faced with a 6 hour or so journey. James and I got to do Milford Sound again, which we weren't all that happy about, but we had a difference experience all together. For one it was really sunny so we got the see the sound at it´s best, and whilst we were on the boat, about 20 or so bottlenose dolphins came and swam around the boat. Lily loved it!
It was pretty sad leaving the parents, (and not just because we got to eat really food for the first time in ages!) but in just 2 months we will be home... They had a later flight than us so we all went to the airport together and they waved us off (literally, they waited for the plane to take off and had been there aso long that the pilot actually waved to them!) We couldn´t get a straight flight to Peru so we had to go via Chile. We had a 10 and a hour hour flight to Santiago and then we would have had to wait in the airport for 17 hours!! There were no seats in the airport, nor anywhere to put our bags, so we decided to go and explore Chile instead. We found a taxi driver who was really helpful, the day we left had been the royal wedding at home and we couldn´t beleive it when the driver was saying he watched it! We hadnt even watched it! He took us to a hostel in the city center and we put down our bags. The time difference between New Zealand and Chile was 17 hours, so we actually got to Chile before we had even left Auckland, the day before... confusing... but anyway we had a nap but we literally couldn´t eat because we were so tired and couldn´t sleep because we were so hungry! So instead we went for a walk. Santiago was really lovely. It had a huge government building which they call ´the palace´and i was taking photos but getting some very funny looks off armed guards so Im not sure if i was meant to or not. One thing that struck us about Chile was the graffiti everywhere! On beautiful old colonial buildings and on pavements and streets, not even good graffiti, just the kind where you do your name in a little squiggle. We spent about 3 hours walking around and we went to see the famous library there and some of the beautiful catholic churches. There was a place we saw on a hill that people were climbing which looked fantastic but we couldn´t figure out how to get up to it. we didnt see one other tourist there! We went to bed at about 6pm and slept until one, using the remainder of our morning to play Gin Rummy.
This was Chile from our hostel room at sunset.
When we got to Lima the next day we were picked up from the airport by someone from our project. I dont know how we managed to actually get through the airport as literally everything and everyone was spanish (and we didnt know a word of it!) but i had my Latin American phrasebook which was a life saver!!! we were put up in a hotel on the main strip in Lima for a night and in the evening we had a walk around. There was a ´Plaza´(square) full of artists painting religious pictures and in the corner there was a cultural dance festival going on so i took lots of photos! We risked it and went to one of the cheaper restaurants in Lima and both ended up having ´Peruvian Pesto´because that was the only thing we understood on the menu! This is the peruvian dancing we saw!
The next day we had a flight to Cusco where we would actually start our project in Peru. On the flight (which was delayed by 3 hours!!! and on a plane which had a great big hole in the side of it!) we met the two people we were doing our project with, a nurse called Perri and a lady who worked in the wine buisiness- Moira. We were picked up in Cusco by our new host family who are absolutely lovely (but speak no english!) There is a grandmother called Evelia, her daughter Cynthia and Cynthia´s daughter called Evelia as well. The moment we got there we were given a huge 3 course meal! Lunch is the big meal of the day in South America so we had everything imaginable! And then we played Jenga (for the first time in years!) with the little girl. We were given a quick tour of Cusco city by Evelia which was really helpful and then we slept for the rest of the day.
The next day we had our first day of Spanish school. James and I were put into the beginners group with Perri and a teacher called Alberto who was hilarious! The school actually really helped us, I am now understanding pretty much everything people are saying to me. I can´t speak much still but i understand the basic works and can just about string a sentance together. Hopefully by the end of our time in South America we´ll be even better. Alberto was really funny anyway, we had to sing a song called ´Me Gusta´which apparently is really famous (but crap!) but it was basically about a stoned Peruvian man who likes drugs... Alberto asked us to write down the works for drugs in English and when we asked him why he said, in broken english, ´because i sell..´ there was a really awkward silence for a moment before we realised he was joking! This is our class!
We had our first Peruvian night out on the friday we finished Spanish School and it was really good fun. First we went to a salsa club and this old man made Perri and I salsa with him, he lept standing on my toes and made them bleed! perri and I did a salsa lesson in the school but we were so terrible that we had planned to never do it again!!! Me and our Salsa friend!
We had a really good first weekend here too where we went on a free tour around all the sights in Cusco. There are some absolutely incredible places here! My favourite was a place called Óllyantambo´(but i don´t think that is how you spell it) which is an Inca village on a mountain, not too far from Machu Pichu. It was so big and so cleverly made i couldn´t beleive it! There are two huge faces built into the rock and on summer and winter solstice the sun sets in the mouth of the faces!
For the last week or so we have been volunteering in a pre-school for children aged 2-6 whose parents work and would have no other place to go, other than the streets. They were really cute and were really nice to teach, although I didnt feel like we acheived much because most of the time Moira James and I were just sorting out papers there! There was one little boy called ´Diego´who was an absolute nightmare! He clearly had ADHD or something like that but he was bouncing off the walls, and his favourite activity was to spit at James, which as you can imagine, he wasnt happy about! and one day he ran out of the school and I had to chase him all the way up the road!
This weekend James, Perri and I went to Nazca on a long 14 hour coach journey to see the Nazca lines. We booked a flight over them and it was absolutely terrifying! The plane was turning over and going from side to side! About half the plane was throwing up and I thought i was going to faint! It truly was a fantastic sight though, you can´t beleive what the Nazca people managed to do so many years ago. They think that they were created as an offering to their Gods to bring them water, but no one will ever really know. We also went to this cemetary which is in the middle of the desert and has loads of bodies for 500 BC, and we went to a mud temple in the desert too which was also really impressive!
Tonight we go home to Cusco and then tomorrow we do our trek to Machu Pichu!! I´m really excited about seeing it!
And just a quick note and apology to those who do not like my spelling.... I would like you to try and write up weeks worth of travelling in under an hour and tell me how it goes
Love Aliss xoxox