I haven’t posted in a long time but I thought I should mark this milestone. The blog has now received over 100,000 hits. This has been slow in coming since I don’t update the blog regularly anymore. For those that are interested. I am still working at Ikaria in Port Allen. I am planning on going to Yellowstone in October and then fly to Portland. From there I will take Amtrak back home via Los Angeles. I have done the Chicago to Portland route and wanted to complete the square. My longer term plan for this blog is to try to build my on website and move this blog over to it. As for as big exciting trav.el plans. Yellowstone is it for this year. Next year who knows
Well just an update that I have changed jobs. I have left Plant Engineering due to lack of available work and have taken a position with Ikaria Corporation. They make a gas mixtures that helps premature infants to breathe easier.
Someone at work during my exit interview asked me to give them a shout out on my blog so here it is. HI TYLER RAINES.
I literally had to drag myself out of bed the next morning as I was so exhausted from the night before. We only had one day in the jungle and I didn’t want to waste it. Justin, Lucia, and I met downstairs for breakfast and spoke with the owner about what we could do in a day. Justin wanted to see a village in the jungle nearby. A lady who worked at the hotel needed to go to the village to take care of something so she came with us to show us the way. We hired a taxi to take us as far as he could before he thought the road was undrivable. Having seen a whole other level of bad roads the night before, I thought the driver gave up to soon. He agreed to meet us back at the spot in a few hours. He pulled away leaving the four of us alone on a dirt road completely surrounded by jungle. We set off walking and I soon began to feel very grumpy as I often do in hot sticky air. My mood was lifted a bit when we began to see brightly colored butterflies and parrots. You could here monkeys howling in the distance. On the way to the village we passed several outlying houses. They all were made of thatch and had one room. Outside was a covered cooking and laundry area. Read the rest of this entry »
We were woke up in the morning by a phone call saying that the truck was leaving earlier than expected. After speed dressing and running down to the street we manged to find a car to take us to the truck as we didn’t know exactly where it was. The back of the truck was overflowing with people and supplies when we got there. They were all going to various remote settlements. We managed to find a small spot to squeeze into near the rear of the truck. I managed to arrange it so I was sitting up on my sleeping bag so I could see out but my feet were tangled in with at least three other peoples and girl who seemed to sit right on top of the tangle. We spent about three hours or so in the truck as it climbed higher into the Andes. The road was dirt and at times narrow. The drive topped at around 15,000 ft so the wind was cold. Read the rest of this entry »
I joined Justin to go volunteer at a school out in the countryside near Cusco. After taking a share taxi, then a tuk tuk (motorcycle pulling a cart basically. I don’t know what they are called in South America), and walking through some fields, we arrived at the schoolhouse. The school had about 25 kids attending it. The ages ranged from 7 or so and younger. When we arrived, it was recess. The lone teacher was outside with the kids who were running around the yard screaming and playing with various dogs and chickens. We immediately joined in. It always amazes me how open to the public schools are in the developing world. No one bats an eye when strange foreigners come walking in from a field and start playing with the kids. In the US the schools are like prisons. I believe the teacher may have known Justin though. We spent sometime playing soccer, being used as mules, and for a while I was a train conductor. They loved having their pictures taken and looking at them on the camera screen. When recess was over, the lone teacher informed us that the other teacher wasn’t coming back for the day and basically left us with a room full of kids to teach while she went back to her classroom. They had been working on writing their vowels so we spent some time helping them with that. Every fifteen minutes or so we had to stop and let the kids get up and dance and sing or they would lose focus. In the afternoon when the school let out, we had to walk a long ways down the road before a car passed that could pick us up. Justin, the teacher, myself and two kids from the class got in the car and rode to the bus stop which was quite a ways away. The two kids who were with us must have been only six or seven and they sometimes walked a few hours each day by themselves to get to and from school. Read the rest of this entry »
The drop off point for the Inca Trail was in a small village next to a river. The parking lot was full of porters preparing the gear for the four day hike. The 11 of us hiking in my group had a support staff of 18 consisting of two chefs, 15 porters, and our English speaking guide. We had each been allowed to bring 6kg on the hike which was confirmed on a scale. I had actually been under weight so I through in extra gear just for some additional comfort. The porters carried most of the gear while we were responsible for our day use items. After checking at the government checkpoint to make sure everyone paid their fees, we took a group photo with 11 different cameras at the sign indicating the beginning of the hike. Read the rest of this entry »
The night bus to Cusco was identical to the one I had taken to get to Arequipa. This time though I actually did manage a few hours of sleep as I was still very worn out from the mountain climb. We arrived in Cusco around 6:00 am. It was very chilly as the town is about 10,900ft above sea level. Our hotel in the city was in a converted old mansion. There was lots of antique furniture and the rooms contained old wood floors and windows with heavy wood shutters. After checking in, we set off as a group to explore the city. Read the rest of this entry »
The night bus from Nazca to Arequipa was one of the more luxurious that I had been on. The seats reclined way back, and you had lots of leg and lumbar support. Despite this I still couldn’t sleep. As I have mentioned before, I have great trouble sleeping for more than a few minutes at a time in a sitting position. It could also have been that I was subconsciously troubled by being videotaped before getting on the bus. Apparently this bus company videotapes all the passengers as they get on the bus to make it easier to identify the remains later if the bus decides to go driving off a cliff and ending up in a flaming ruin. It was early morning when we arrived in Arequipa so I took a nap for a few hours at the hotel before heading out to tour the city with the group. Read the rest of this entry »
The flight from Baton Rouge to Atlanta took off nearly 30 minutes late due to thunderstorms that kept cropping up around the airport. We managed to take off between storms as one could be seen rapidly approaching on the horizon. Once airborne in Atlanta, I settled in the for the 7 hour flight to Lima. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I each seat had its own LCD screen and a normal plug in. The bathrooms on the plane had wood flooring which was a first for me. I was seated next to lady who was traveling on a diplomatic passport for the Mexican government. After arrival I had to get my sleeping bag from the baggage claim (I just couldn’t make if fit in my bag no matter how hard I tried). Passing through customs, I emerged into a sea of people holding up placards with names and taxi signs. I managed to find the driver who I had arranged before hand to take me to my hotel.
Tomorrow I leave for Peru for two weeks. I have packed my bags and am ready to go. Hopefully I will have better luck on this trip than my one to Atlanta earlier this week. (Wavy lines, dissolve to white, flashback) Read the rest of this entry »