Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Hubs!

Ethan turns 31 on the 31st! (Isn't that supposed to be your lucky birthday?) We had an awesome weekend with a party at Jon & Trish's house, a day of bike riding and margaritas, and today we are kayaking spring-fed crystal-clear rivers. I'd say that's a lucky bday!

Happy birthday handsome! :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photo Friday

Putting the snow to good use... (nothing says "classy" like Sutter Home in a bucket!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Photo Friday

Backpackers; A different breed.  Here is a funny tongue-in-cheek article about some backpacker stereotypes one is likely to encounter on the road.  This picture shows some new friends in Arequipa representing #2, #3, #6, and #8 (of course we fit the bill of #1-The American Backpacker).  Ha!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Photo Friday

Raw whole chickens being loaded in to a bicycle cart, Puno, Peru.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Arequipa Hostels, Casa Sillar

Breakfasts in this courtyard dining room was included with our 60 S ($20) per night room!

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Sunset over Arequipa - Plaza de Armas

The Cathedral

Plaza de Armas

Misti Volcano overlooking the city

We love Arequipa!

Poncho's...the original Snuggie

hot wine!  genius!

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rosca de Reyes

Today is Epiphany for the Christians, and let me tell you there ain't no Epiphany party like a Latin American Epiphany party!

The horns, parades, costumes and fireworks have been going strong all day. Never ones to miss out, we even sat in on the first part of an 8:00 am mass this morning at La Merced in Cusco.

The most interesting part of the celebration includes the rows of local ladies that have set up shop outside each church. They are all selling various plastic baby dolls (most a little creepy) and a wide array of outfits, accessories, and baskets for the dolls to sit in. Once your doll is properly outfitted, you bring it to church with you.(!) Young and old alike all do this, and it was quite a sight to see these dolls being carried to and from church all over town today.

setting up shop outside of La Merced

so many options! This was at 7:30 am

Baby Jesus in baskets, and an array of clothing options

I am assuming (and someone who knows more please correct me if I'm wrong) that these are meant to symbolize baby Jesus. Some celebrate Epiphany as either the day the 3 magi visited, and some celebrate it as the day Jesus was baptized.

According to Wikipedia: "Peru shares Epiphany customs with Spain and the rest of Latin America. Peruvian national lore holds that Francisco Pizarro was the first to call Lima"Ciudad de los Reyes" (City of the Kings) because the date of the Epiphany coincided with the day he and his two companions searched for, and found, an ideal location for a new capital. Even more popular in Peru than gift giving is the custom of the "Bajada de Reyes" when parties are held in honor of the taking down of family and public nativity scenes, and carefully putting them away until the next year."

Later today, we found ourselves in another city, Puno, on the banks of Lake Titicaca.  The Rosca de Reyes celebrations were going strong there too!  There was dancing in the streets, and an extremely long line to get in to the church.

The line to get in to the church

Do you see that?  There was even a man selling cotton candy!

Have I said how much I love Latin America?!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Street Scenes from Around Cuzco

shoe shine in Plaza del Regocijo

Plaza del Regocijo.  The rainbow flag flying above the Municipal building on the rights is the flag of the Inca Nation

street repairs

taking the Alpaca for a walk

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Oropesa, "Land of the bread"

Patrick with the pan grande

We drove through this tiny town en route to Tipon today. Oropesa is about 30 minutes from Cuzco and famous for its bread, which most all of the villagers participate in the baking of in their 300-year-old ovens.

When our car slowed down on the side of the main street, a flock of bread-sellers surrounded the windows. As you can see from the picture, we held out for the biggest loaf. This monster was lunch for 5 people, and was light & fluffy with raisins sprinkled in.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

5 Fun Facts About Peru

Ethan taking it all in at Machu Picchu

1.  Peru has the longest left wave in the world (for surfing). 

2.  Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador, founded Lima. Lima was the home of the Spanish inquisition for two centuries.

3.  Lima is home to the largest Chinatown in South America.

4.  Machu Picchu remained hidden from the world for more than four centuries, until American Hiram Bingham discovered it in 1911.

5.  Lima is the second largest capital city in the world located in a desert, after Cairo, Egypt. (how random that we have visited both cities in the last 6 months)