Tuesday, March 18, 2008

About to Leave

I´ve got like an hour to wait for our transfer to the airport and have access to a computer.

We´re going to stop and see one more thing here in the Alti-Plano or High Plane near Titicaca on our way to the airport. Yesterday we took a boat out on the lake and saw a culture that lives on man made reed islands in the lake. It was a nice break from the Peruvian urban landscape we´d been seen for the past week. I should say that we took a bus from Cusco up here (9 hours) and saw plenty of non-urban landscape, but somehow this was different. The villagers took the time to invite us into their reed huts (that had television) and explained to us how they built the individual islands. We then tooled around a bit in boats made of (guess what) reeds.

Its a long way home today. We´ll leave from a town called Juliaca around 5pm and arrive Lima about 2 hours later. Our flight to Miami doesn´t leave till 11pm and then we have a connection at 8 or 9 tomorrow morning.

I have no deep musings to pass on here at the end of the trip. We spent most of our time with others who had purchased on TravelZoo like us. They were nice and we had many an evening meal sharing our various experiences on this trip and on others. My fear that our only companions would be 20 year olds or retirees was unfounded as our fellow travelers turned out to be 30-40 somethings who also found a good deal online.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Peruvian Post

Things of note so far from my trip to Peru:

1) Limaen cabbies think we speak Spanish. I guess we know more than the usual gringos they get down here
2) Guniea pig tastes like duck. Or as someone else on the trip pointed out - a cross between duck and rabbit. However, its hard to confuse it for one of those animals when it comes with its skin and head still attached.
3) The rain forest is actually rainy

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sunday Night

I took a trip to the grocery store by myself Sunday night and for once was not in any hurry at all to go anywhere else. I had no list and had done no preparation for the trip. I was not going to make any other stops on the way home, and I had stopped no where else before arriving.

It was both refreshing and sort of hopeless at the same time.

I think we spend a lot of time planning little chores for ourselves so that we will always have someplace else to go and something else to do. If we run out of errands to run and wind up with a minute of time where we don't know what the next duty to be done is or the next bit of entertainment to be consumed is we'll have to think about what it is we really want in that moment. Its at that moment that you see people whip out the cell phone and start reading e-mail or text messages or rearranging their address book, or whatever they do on their phone. I'm guilty of this too, not really the phone thing, but filling up my time with stuff that is just stuff - not good stuff or bad stuff - just stuff.

I've been thinking for some time now that I need a vacation to simply think about what it is that I want to do with my time. There is something about being outside of your normal zone of responsibility that frees your mind into clarity about what it wants. Or maybe its that your mind relaxes enough so that you can listen to your heart and spirit tell you what they want.

The trip to the grocery store was interesting because it became this sort of journey. I (inadvertently at first) focused on the people going through the grocery store with me on that journey. First we were together in the vegetable area. Some passed the opposite direction and some took my path on to the breakfast aisle. We separated for a while around the meats, but then passed briefly again amongst the frozen foods. We made room for each other in the dairy section, and then somehow both circled back to the bread area. There were 3 or 4 of us, some in groups - couplets that would split up and then rejoin, some alone. Some were busy planning stuff, some were refreshed and hopeless.

The fact that we were on the same path did not mean we were together. In fact, we all chose specifically not to take the journey together simply moving along in the same steps separately like an information age cliche of individuals reluctantly in a community wishing for anonymity.

Next week I'll be going to Peru where I hope to start out busy and full of hope and end up educated and full purpose. I'm looking forward to being both aimless and fruitful and getting back in touch with that feeling that accompanies great travel - which always seems to provide a tremendous dose of perspective.

Maybe I'll figure out something good that I want to do with my time when I get back, and maybe I'll just think about more 'stuff'. If its anything good, I'll let you know.

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