Monthly Archives: June 2008

Happy New Year !!

20th June – From La Paz we travelled to Tiwanaku to celebrate the Aymara new year and winter solstice. The site of Tiwanaku is near the south-eastern shore of Lake Titicaca and contains Pre-Columbian ruins which are still very important to the the indigenous people of today, thousands of which had travelled here to celebrate their new year.

We stayed in a hostel in the small village right next to the site, so after looking round the food and drink stalls which were being set up around the village, and testing their many wares – which includedtoffee apples, Api, a hot berry drink with a tasty fried pastry thing, cubes of fried but now cold and soft pig skin, and rum in hot frothy tip top – We were very pleased to be able to get out of the cold and get a few hours sleep before the ceremony began at 5am.

At 5am we got up to find everyone very, very drunk on rum and tip top. We then climbed up to the site to wait for the sun to rise. I have never been so pleased to see the sun, which took until 7am to get to us, and by which time we were completely frozen, any longer and I think we would still be there frozen to the spot. Just before sunrise Bolivia’s first indigenous president Evo Morales arrived in a helicopter and hoisted the Bolivian flag while the crowd sang the national anthem, he then joined the priests for the ceremony.

Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

6th June – From Lima we traveled up into the Andes to Puno, a Peruvian town located on the shores of lake Titicaca. At an elevation of 3,860M we got the cold and snow we had been asking for in Central America, and needed to take a few days to get over the initial effects of the altitude.

When we were in the Himalayas we had noticed that the altitude had not effected us half as much as when we were here 5 years ago, and we had put it down to being fitter and not living in London any more, But for some reason the altitude seems to be much worse here, very strange!

9th-10th June – After spending 2 nights in Puno (with bad headaches and moving very slowly), we caught the (very cold) early morning bus to Copacabana the main Bolivian town on Lake Titicaca which is just over the border from Peru (where Gemma was very pleased to find a pair of fleece long johns to go under her jeans). From Copacabana we were able to catch the very, very slow boat to the sacred Inca island of Isla del Sol (island of the sun) – the Inca’s believe that both the sun and moon were born in lake Titicaca, and that the sun god was born on this island.

13th-14th June – We spent 2 nights on the island which allowed us to spend a day walking round the trails on the island, visiting the sacred sites, and watching the most amazing sunsets. After checking the map we worked out we must of walked at least 10 miles, which i think should be multiplied by 10 to correct for the altitude and all the up and down (not much of the island is flat).

We arrived on the island on Friday afternoon in the middle of a large festival, which involved lots of dancing in very beautiful elaborate costumes to a brass band, and lots of drinking! By the evening there were many, mainly elderly men and women wobbling around, crying, falling over, having very loud in depth conversations, whilst being carried home by at least 2 younger members of their family. Then as we were setting of to walk round the island on Saturday morning, we could hear the music starting again, and pasted a parade coming from a near by village, which had their band at the front and several people carrying the all important crates of beer following behind, and they were still drinking as we left to get the boat on Sunday morning – they certainly know how to throw a fiesta!!

Kinky the Kinkajou


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Originally uploaded by Chris_Walker

Here is a picture of Kinky the Kinkajou, who we looked after at the Rainsong animal sanctuary, Costa Rica (we have finally put some more photos on flickr). She is definitely one of the most gorgeous, soft and gentle animals in the world.

and the mexican hairy porcupines which charged at Chris!!




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Originally uploaded by Chris_Walker

Arrived in Peru!


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Originally uploaded by Chris_Walker

Getting from San Jose to Panama City for our flight was slightly more difficult than we expected. As after walking miles and at least 2 loops of San Jose and its various bus stations, we found out that there were no buses from here to Panama City, and then from the next bus station that this was because the rain which we had just come from was actually tropical storm Alma!! Which had had the after effect of seriously flooding large areas along the whole west coast of Costa Rica, and closing down the Pan American Highway. So we were lucky to have left Montezuma when we did, otherwise we would have been stuck there for a while…
It then took going back round the bus stations again to find out that there was an alternative route we could take going via the boarder crossing on the Atlantic coast. Our little bit of spanish definatly came in to use here, and by the end of the day we had found a bus which left the next morning and went all the way over the boarder to a town on the Panamanian carribean coast.
From there it was an overnight bus to Panama City, on which we saw Jackie Chan´s rushhour 1 and 2 in Spanish . We then had to hang round the bus station for a few hours as we arrived in at 4am, far to early to go any where.

We were a bit worried about our flight to Lima, as they say that you must have a flight out of Peru to get in, which we did not have. So when the tannoy called for ´passengers Walker and Greenwood to go to the desk´ as we were waiting to get on the plane we got a bit worried. But they just wanted to upgrade us to Business class!!! No idea why us, but it was very nice to find out what goes on behind the first class curtain… We had huge leather seats and a fancy 3 course meal. 4 hours later we were in an other continent walking down the street in central Lima!