• Flickr Recent Photos

    Black and white icebergPenguins jumpingIMG_6226.jpgIMG_6221.jpgIMG_6213.jpgIMG_6208.jpgIceberg emerging from the mistIMG_6149.jpgIMG_6141.jpgIMG_1193.jpg
More photos »

Manu Jungle

Posted by Jason del Sur in Photo Albums, South America 2012
August 25th, 2014

Yet another short post, the most import piece being the photos…

Cuzco and the surrounding environs is where I spent the longest portion of my trip. I arrived in Cuzco from La Paz on 4 March and did venture beyond until 18 March. My final excursion was a four day trip to Manú Jungle. While not a deep venture into the Amazon, it provided a good introduction to the flora and fauna to what you might find deeper into the jungle.

I can no longer recall my guide’s name, but he had a deep knowledge of the area, especially the native birds. He could hear a chirp or a call from an out-of-sight bird and immediately tell me exactly what species of birds it was and recall exactly what page of his aviary reference book it was on. At first I was skeptical, but after several instances of the bird then flying into view I could see that the shape, sizing, and plumage matched exactly what he had portended. My only real issue with the guide was that every time he referred to the “Cloud Forest”, his Quechua pronunciation always came out as “Clown Forest”.

Cui go in hereDinnerParrot loves cocaHoney badger loves cocaParrot is ready for ManuPlayingThree toed sloth just hangin'Bitey parrotIn the jungleOn the riverTermites taste like mint"Boats"This spider will kill youVery venomous snakeThe river runs red

Machu Picchu

Posted by Jason del Sur in Photo Albums, South America 2012
August 21st, 2014

As I’ve described previously, this is part of my series of getting caught up on my South American adventures, and as such will be much shorter than my usual posts.

As I had a very undefined itinerary for the second half of my trip, I did not know when I would arrive in Cuzco and when I would be able to do my Machu Picchu trek. The famous route is the Inca Trail, but due to environmental concerns with erosion and overuse it is extremely regulated. Because of this you must acquire a permit several months ahead of time specifying exact dates. Instead, I opted to do the arguably more strenuous Salkantay Trek. It’s a four-day trek reaching a maximum elevation of about 4,600 meters (15,000 feet) eventually leading to the town of Aguas Calientes.

We arrived in Aguas Calientes moderately early on the last day and took some time in the eponymous hot springs relaxing. After dinner we all retired to bed for a short nap. We departed around four in the morning to climb the nearly 2000 stairs to reach the entrance to Machu Picchu at sunrise.

Salkantay Trek

Before the trek, I was concerned that the beauty and splendor of Machu Picchu had been overhyped. I can now definitively tell you: it is that awesome. And I mean that in original sense of the word “inspiring awe”. The ancient stonework and the surrounding mountains make for a glorious sight in the early morning.

If any of you choose to visit Machu Picchu, I highly recommend doing the hike up the stairs. While arduous, you are able to enter the park as soon as it opens and explore with only a moderate number of other people. By the time 11:00am arrives with the loads of bus-riding tourists you will have largely gotten your fill and not feel bad relaxing in a secluded section until it is time to depart.

Machu Picchu

I also recommend the optional Huayna Picchu hike taking you to an extra peak far above the main structure. From there you are able to look down and bask in the grandiosity of the Incas. It also provides additional solace from the hoards of people arriving on busses.

My pictures cannot do justice to the experience of being there yourself:

Salkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuAtop Huanya Picchu looking down at Machu PicchuAtop Huanya Picchu looking down at Machu PicchuAtop Huanya Picchu looking down at Machu PicchuAtop Huanya Picchu looking down at Machu PicchuAtop Huanya Picchu looking down at Machu PicchuAtop Huanya Picchu looking down at Machu PicchuAtop Huanya Picchu looking down at Machu PicchuSalkantay TrekSalkantay TrekMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu Picchu

Adventure Works

Posted by Jason del Sur in Brazil 2014
August 21st, 2014

My last post on this blog was July 9, 2012. Over two years ago. That is simply unacceptable. Part has been a lack of international travel, and part has been that I got so far behind on the South America trip that the thought of catching up became too daunting. But it’s time to get back on that horse and make a change.

I was recently inspired by two things to get this blog up to date:

A couple weekends ago, I flew out to Oklahoma for my grandparents’ 70th wedding anniversary. There I was praised by my family and friends for the blog, and that they missed it. It was crazy to meet people for the first time who knew me so well through my words and pictures. This has inspired me to catch up on the South America trip (and the subsequent Paris trip). They’ll be shorter posts as I want to get them out quickly (and my memory of the details has somewhat faded). I have the next three lined up, and more in the works.

The second thing, which I am taking this opportunity to announce: my next adventure in Brazil. This Sunday night (after a camping sojourn to the magical land of Spotted Cow, New Glarus, WI), I will journey below the equator and  once again relish in the beauty of the Southern Cross. This will be a different kind of trip: I’ll only be in a couple places, and will be working for a large portion of it. As part of a “developer exchange program” that my company has been working on I will be in São Paulo working out of the office of Platformatec, a consulting shop similar to Table XI where I work. I’ll also be attending RubyConf a software development conference with the fine Platformatec folk.

I’ll be in São Paulo for two weeks, which will be the longest I’ve stayed in any one international city. I’m excited to really experience the city in a much more intimate way that can only be experienced through a prolonged residency. There will be a third week that will be solely vacation. I’m still finalizing details of that week, but will include a stop in Belo Horizonte to visit a friend and check out live music.

And just because I love this picture of my grandparent:

Grandparents

  • Where I’ve Been

  • Subscribe to My Feeds

    Subscribe to my RSS feed Jason's Twitter

  • Friends’ Adventures