Cusco on a motorbike (Chiquitita)

Processed with VSCO with  preset

23/5 Early start, eight that is, to make the most of the day before the unsteady skies will empty themselves out upon us. Cold and beautiful mountain roads. The fog and slight drizzle makes the landscape look even more dramatic, but is unfortunately harder to enjoy with wet feet.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

We reach Lares when the rain stops. The streets are being cleared from banderolls and bunting after a  carneval (kristi himmelsfärd) and it defenitely feels like we missed the party. Looking around for somewhere to stay, something to eat and the hot springs we’ve heard will be here. So much time that goes into looking for these fundamental things you always have in place and take for granted back at home.

cof

Check in to a simple hospedaje, 7 euros/night, in someones back yard, by some cakes and bananas and drive to the springs.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

The location is spectacular and we’re almost alone. When the dark falls we decide to go back, discover there are no showers to rinse the brown slightly smelly spring water off so we just put our old clothes on and go back to town.

Unfortunately there is no hot water where we’re staying, so we accept that we’ve just swapped one skankiness for another and I go straight to bed whilst nigel go out to find internet and something to eat. In my tired state of being I manage to zip up the sleeping bag inside out and break the zip. I’m so tired it doesn’t even upset me, within minutes I’m asleep.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

24/5 When we wake up we don’t yet know this will be one of the most spectacular days we’ve ever done on a motorbike. It’s just a slow coffee (completely fresh from a nereby town!) and reading morning, since arriving in Peru we’ve been going to bed sometimes as early as 19.30, only to wake up with the sun, have a long morning and still manage to set off around eight. But this morning we’re lingering around in town, trying to book tickets to Machu Piccu without sucsess and get a quite late start. We’re almost at the top of a mountain chain, and now begin the decent. The landscape change minute by minute until we’re suddenly in the beginning of the rain forrest.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Potato, corn and coca are swapped for bananas, avocado and citrus fruits. Neither of us have ever seen anything like it.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

We peel off layers of down and wool and our clothes and shoes slowly dries on our bodies in the warm wind. We just giggle. It’s so wonderful after the cold rainy days in the mountains.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

We stop for lunch and share a massive avocado we bought for a few cents with some freshly baked bread. It’s now raining, a warm tropical rain. The day continues through jungle and over mountains, we just laugh and smile and take pictures of everything we see with a childlike fascination. “Look! Sugarcane! Mangos! Can you see the bananas!?”

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

After trying again to buy tickets for M.P without success we know we’re late, we need to ascend 2000 meters to be able to camp without all the tropical insects, and the sun goes down in less than two hours.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Something that feels like a car chase begin, n revving the bike up small mud tracks through the jungle and up the mountain. He’s squealing of happiness, the time pressure justifies the speed and we tail on to a pick up that is just flying around the sharp narrow corners, letting it taking the risk of meeting cars.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

In the last little glimmer of day light before the sun gives up on us completely we reach the top and find a million dollar camping place with a view over the world. We high five and put up the tent, cook a simple meal, look at the pictures from today and n chuckles a bit more before we turn off our head torches. Within minutes we’re both fast asleep.

/J

Cusco on a motorbike (high on altitude) part 2

21/5 I wanted to see the rainbow mountains, so we thought we’d do a little morning outing before moving on. 

Start of the walk, blissfully ignorant. 

The little morning outing turned out to be a full day mission climbing up to 5050 m and well up there getting caught in a hail storm.

Absolutely amazing though!

Then a migraine, wet clothes and a very sparse dinner made from what we could find in the village shop (pasta, eggs and canned milk). 

Things that happens when you follow your dreams without doing any research first! 

Unforgettable days are rarely planned though I must add, at least not for us 🙂
22/5

The day starts wonderfully through spectacular landscape and a morning pastry at one of the many “plaza de armas” we’re passing. It continues fine on some bigger roads and then completely stalls by lunch time. 

It’s started to rain  and we spend about three hours at a lunch place waiting for it to stop.

Eat. Tea. Watch tv (sky fall dubbed in spanish). Hot chocolate. Freeze. Get bored and finally leave only to realise it’s still raining enough for it to be miserable to ride.
 Found a family renting out a room in a near by village. 

Sneakily cook inside a cupboard and plan tomorrows early start, we’re betting on sun!

/j

Cusco on a motorbike (silence is wild) part 1

19/5 Waiting most of the day for the mc-rental guys coming to help us with the completely dead bike. N is itching to get away. Luckily covered by the phone net where we got stuck. 

Eventually they come and we swap bikes. We’re on our way!

Little mud houses are scattered around in clusters up in the mountains with straw roofs and wild secret gardens. Some of the houses have wooden balconies occupied by hens and cats, others don’t even have a chimney. Sitting on the back of a motorbike gives me so much time to just observe and let the ever changing landscape wash over me. What affect does it have on the soul to take in such immense quantities of beauty I wonder?
In the setting sun we’re passing all the people walking back from their plantations, all carrying wood or grass tied up on their back in the traditional way everyone carries things around here. Some with sheep or kettle on a tow. Some barefoot, others in worn out sandals. Most people weathered, old and thin.

20/5 Again going through villages entirely made of mud brick. Up in the desolate mountains we found a village with an old massive church (ruin) made of mud, with the bell tower still intact. It looked so out of place in the little poor village.

 Made us wonder who’d come to build it and what this village might have been long ago. The locals we asked didn’t seem to know so we’re only left to our imagination. 

After that a simple lunch in a bigger town and then up in the mountains again. The landscape is ever changing and breath taking. The constant is the lack of flat roads, you’re always going up or down a mountain and almost every single mountain has old terraces for farming up to the very peaks. It’s mind blowing to think it’s actually been farmed. 

How many people used to live in these places to make that possible? Apparently more land was farmed during inca times than in todays Peru.

 The engineering of the plantations is just incredible! And to think the Incan empire was just ruling 100 years and without influences from other cultures (outside the andes) it’s just mind blowing what they achieved. Before the frickin Spaniards came dvs.  
/j

Vem pra bahia baby


The sun is of the kissing not the burning kind over here and the waves are like a persistent boy who keeps coming back to the girl he loves, no matter how many times he’s sent away. The laundry dries fast and the darkness is gentle and sprinkled with stars and dense of good conversation, wine and tasty food. The others find little outings or projects to do during part of the day, but I’m just here, in my simple palace and world of peace. Reading books and drinking mate, enjoying the shock from when the water embrace me and the mid day heat that makes it possible to stay in longer, fleeting on the waves. Then back again to the deckchair and my novel. My skin is salty and has lost its winter paleness, my thoughts are no longer attached to their normal frame of constraints but cruise just above the water surface knowing the unlimitedness of the sky just above.

Selected Santiago

The local crag. 

 The city from above, containing more people than my whole country

 To wake up amongst presidents and friends with this table set in the living room. 

 Filippe and Isa, the best hosts you can wish for took us to see the town. 

 Looking up

Cable car travel with Isa

Visited the brewery of Filippe, who’d just started working fulltime with his own ale “the finest shit on the market”

All in all, a wonderful and very different week staying in the big city, with lovely and generous people giving us a home a tour and a little insight to their every day life. Now towards family and the beach!

El bosque magico

Stationed ourselves at a local climbing crag.
The weather is that kind of good we only have for a day or two a year in Sweden.

I attempted a route yesterday I didn’t manage to finnish and had to leave all of our gear in the rock to continue it today. Soon it’s 24 h since I started on it, hehe. We live in some chilean suburban version of beverly hills with the family of a friend. 

Feels surreal when we set off on our bikes in the morning, cruising through the streets in the morning hussle and bustle. Crispy colorful leaves, sun warm enough for a thin jumper and noises and smells that wispers holiday.

 We are in Santiago.