Monday, June 18, 2007

The Death Taco

Greetings Friends,

I have received my latest purchase and have proven that it was well worth the investment. Supposedly you can catch some serious air on this bad boy...more pictures to follow. Of course you are all invited for a spin.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Complete

Greetings Friends,

This am I had the great pleasure of getting my wisdom teeth removed and it was a great fun!!!! I will be down and out of the mix for the next day while I recover. Of course I was able to talk my dentist into letting me get a picture of the culprits.
I am extremely lucky and I have a great dentist who took care of me with no pain ;) Thanks Dr Smith!!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Back Home!!!!

Greetings Friends,

I have made it home and survived the 91st running of the Indy 5000.

I have uploaded all of my pics from the trip.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Back In Cusco


Well the visit to Machu Picchu was AWESOME! When I get to Lima tomorrow I will upload some more pictures when I get a chance to get them burned to CD. I can´t wait to show everyone the pictures.

I was daring yesterday and made the climb to the top of Wyna Picchu for a spectacular view of the ruins. Half way up to the top I realized that Peru did not have the same level of safety standards as the US and it the pucker factor was pegged out at 11. But I did make safely up and down and it was worth the sweat, bug bites, and scrapes.

Tonight is our last night in Cusco before we head out to Lima. I have really grown to like this town, the food, and the people. For my friends who are adventurous I would highly recommend a trip here! (JT I would not bring the kiddo´s until they are over 12).

Henry and I have acquired pan flutes during our travels the last few days. We have decieded to put on a concert for the group in our last dinner together tomorrow evening. I think we will rock the house with twinkle twinkle little star.....don´t worry, I will get video!

After the group splits in Lima I will be heading off for Quito, Ecuador to start the Galapagos part of my trek! I am really excited about the experience.

I miss you guys and I will see you soon.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

At 16,400 feet...hard to tell

Hike Update

Hola Amigos!

I just got into Aguas Calientes...aka Machupicchu Town a few thousand feet below the lost city getting ready for my trip up tomorrow. I opted for a much tougher hike instead of the Inca Trail....and it was worth it once I was done ,)
Tomorrow am at the crack of dawn I will be in Machu Picchu!

Above is the view from my tent when I woke up the first morning.

Here is a summary of the trek. I will fill everyone in with detail when I get back. I only have a few minutes to get this off.

Day One
We started out at 9,800 feet and hiked thru the first pass at 12,400 feet (it sounds much easier in meters). After the pass we hiked back down to 10,500 where we spent the night. All I can say is I slept like a rock.
Day Two (Day from Hell!)
We started out at 10,500 feet and hiked to out first summit at 12,800 feet. After the first summit we continued our hike back down to our lunch site at 11,100 feet. After lunch we started the hardest part of our trek...the climb to 16,400 feet!!!! This was rough!
After my O2 devprived ass made it to the top I had to climb back down to 13,800 feet where we camped for the night. When I woke up this morning it was 34 degrees in my tent...that is inside my tent!!!
Day Three
This morning we completed the trek with a hike to our pick up point at 9,500 feet. The TOTAL DISTANCE was 25 MILES!!!
As you can imagine I will sleep well tonight!!!!
I will send an update when I get back to Cusco. BTW, I uploaded more photos.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Picture Update

Greetings Friends,

I have safely made it to Cusco and I wanted to let everyone know that I was doing well and having a great time.

Here is a picture from the floating Uros islands yesterday in Lake Titicaca. They had a small guniea pig the way tonight is the GP dinning experience.

Tomorrow is a down day in Cusco so I will be able to upload more pictures.
I have uploaded a few photos to my album that you can view here.


Monday, May 7, 2007

At Lake Titicaca in Puno, Peru


Well day one wrapped up well. I ended up venturing out on my own in the afternoon. Hunger took over before anyone showed up and I figured that it would be resonably safe in daylight with all of my belongings locked in the hotel safe. All I can say is that although Bolivia is extremely beautifull it has to be the most extreme third world experience that I have had to date. If you can get past the crime, smells, and vendors it really is an amazing place. I was truly taken back when I saw some of the huge snow covered peaks of the Andes. I can´t wait until I can upload some pictures.

Here are some random things that I learned about La Paz:
  • It is the highest capital in the world
  • It has the highest international airport in the world
  • It has one of the highest crime rates in the world
  • From one end of the city to the other has a 3000 foot elevation difference
  • Only three years ago there was a major coupe where the current government overthrew the previous.

Also everything is DIRT cheap in La Paz. We ate at one the nicest restraunts in the area and my total for dinner was $6. Yes that is $6.

Day Two

On day two the gap crew loaded up on a tour bus at the crack of dawn and made the trek out to the ruins of Tiahuanco. This was definitely the highlight of the Bolivia experience. The ruins were awesome and I had no idea that the pre-Incan civilization was avanced as they were. I am still trying to figure out how they moved 60 ton granite monoliths over 40 miles of mountainous terrain. In fact the scientist are still trying to figure that out as well. I think I am going to agree with my travel guide and come up with my own theory. I believe the aliens helped them move the rocks and build geometrically perfect building over 1500 years ago.

After our hike and exploration through the ruins (this may sound easy but nothing is easy at 11K feet) we had luch at the Tiahuanco Hotel. I decieded to try one of the Bolivian specialties....LLAMA!!! It was actually pretty tasty and was told I had to add it my list of local foods to try. I have also added Alpaca (Peru) to the list as well. It is the domesticated version of the llama and is even supposed to be better. Our guide for this half of the trip is from Peru and is going to take the brave souls in my group to the "Best Guinea Pig" in Cusco when we get there in three days. I can´t wait!

Day 3

This morning we departed La Paz via bus and made our way around Lake Titicaca. It took all day! This lake is absolutely beautiful and HUGE. We had the pleasure of using a Bolivian fairy to cross on part of the lake. I can´t wait to post the pic. Just imagine the most insane, rickety, and delapadated thing and you won´t even be close.

Tonight we are staying in Puno, Peru. I never thought I would say this but Peru seems light years ahead of Bolivia. I think the tour is going from the poorest to the wealthiest countries. By the time that I get home I will think that I have died and gone to heaven.

Tommorrow we take a three hour boat ride to some islands on Lake Titicaca and we get to spend the night on a floating island made out of reeds. We will be spending the night with local families in their reed houses which I am sure will be an experience...from eating a home cooked meal to using the bathroom. I am sure I will have some stories after this one.

I am having a blast!!!!!



Saturday, May 5, 2007

I made it to La Paz, Bolivia

Hola Amigos and Amigas,

I made into Bolivia this am without any problems! I was blown away when I walked out of the airport and saw snow covered mountain peaks in the Andes towering over La Paz. This was mind blowing since I was at 13K feet!

In my near death experience in the cab this morning I learned that the summit on the large mountain was a little over 21K feet! I missed the name as went flying around a corner. I can´t wait until I can upload a picture from my hotel. ( I walked up five stories instead of taking the can definitely feel the difference at that altitude).

For now I am going to hang out and wait for some of the others in the group to get in. The note that was posted from our guide has convinced me to not walking around by myself. Trust me, I stand out like TP in a suit.

BTW, I pulled a bone head move. I forgot to activate my international plan before I left. This means I will not be able to receive text messages or update via my mobile. I will have to go old school and rely on internet cafe´s and the occasional hotel lobby.


Friday, May 4, 2007

At the airport

Well the great voyage of sparky is underway! I am sitting at the airport in chicago so excited that I can barely stand it!