Friday, 27 December 2013

Final glances.

Unfortunately, I've only got just over two more weeks in this beautiful country that I'm so proud to call my home. My time here has gone so quickly, I can hardly believe that only a little under a year ago, I left everyone and everything I had ever known back in Australia and took a cliff dive into the unknown. Now I feel so comfortable here, I have friends and family here and a life and I really don't know how I'm going to get used to everything back in Australia again. On that note, I thought I'd pop up some Instagram snapshots of my last few months here- enjoy!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Discurso en el Congreso de la República del Perú

Not too long ago, I was given the most amazing opportunity by Rotary - to address the President of the Peruvian Congress at a formal function, on behalf of the 40-odd Rotary exchange students living here in Lima, Peru during 2013-2014. While I am an avid public speaker, and I have spoken in NSW Parliament before, as well as much larger audiences than the one at Congress, I was actually quite nervous this time. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that it was all in formal, proper Spanish (as opposed to the everyday Spanish I usually speak here), or maybe because I was being recorded live on national TV (with a sign language interpreter and all!). 

Viviencial Tourism.


So, as I mentioned in my last post, whilst on our Puno and Lake Titicaca leg of the tour, we stayed on the island of Amantani for a night with a local family. Instead of a normal host family stay, what we did was something called viviencial tourism. Essentially, what that consists of is in exchange for their hospitality, we, as visitors, bring gifts of food, toys, school supplies and other daily necessities, as well as pay (via the tour company) a fee to the families. This is incredibly important, because the families that live on these islands live very basically, due both to their remote geographical location and their relative poverty.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Puno and Lago Titicaca.

Now to the next and final stop of my journey: Puno and Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, at over 4000m above sea level! Unfortunately, I didn't actually spend that much time in Puno itself because I was out on the lake for most of my time there- though it did seem to be a pretty decent little town. What really captured me about Puno was the main method of transport- 'triciclos', essentially a bike with a two-seater cart attached to the front. I was surprised at the sheer number of these, considering Puno is actually quite hilly, and they only earn at most 2 soles (60c) per customer- a lot of work for not much, if you ask me!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

MACHU PICCHU.

MACHU PICCHU, MARAVILLA DEL MUNDO

Well, where to start? Even to this day, I still can't believe I've been to Machu Picchu. There's something about the place, a feeling you can't describe unless you've actually been there yourself. I was pinching myself all day, expecting to wake up from a dream. To think that I was standing among the ruins that was one the most sacred part of the Incan empire, a place where only the religious elite and royalty could visit, left me speechless (which, as most of you know, never happens to a loudmouth like me).

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Cusco, capital of the Incan empire.

Cusco is such a marvellous and diverse city that it is impossible to cover it all in one day, even if you start early and finish late. Unfortunately, I only had one free day in Cusco, and while I saw as much as I possibly could in 10 hours, I would have happily spent another week there, exploring all the windy little cobblestone streets.