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October 04, 2004

Last Week

Last week was really good. My second week of Spanish classes ended up being with a different teacher, Jessica, but I really liked her. I had three classmates: Lukas, the Swiss guy I went to the jungle with; Sharon, from Australia; and Ezra, from San Francisco (I swear almost all the Americans I've met are from SF!). We were really well-matched in terms of speed of learning and our current level, and I was really pleased with the progress we made. I also met up with another guy from San Francisco that I'd met online through a travel website, and he helped me finally get my picture uploading going--thanks Subodh! We spent some time at Internet cafes and had a few tasty dinners together before he headed back to Argentina to go to Patagonia.

Lots of people have been talking to me about Bolivia, and I've decided to go there myself! I realized going to Bolivia doesn't actually require any backtracking, as I had thought, and it sounds like there's more to see there than in Northern Chile. Bolivia is also cheaper than Chile, so it'll be good to spend time in another cheap place. And, this way I get to see another country in South America! So here's my rough itinerary for the next few weeks:

Wednesday, 10/6: Begin 4-day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu with Jessica
Saturday, 10/9: Spend the night in Aguas Calientes, near Machu Picchu, then back to Cusco on Sunday night
Tuesday, 10/12: Fly to Arequipa, a town with interesting architecture, a really famous and huge convent that's apparently worth seeing, and gateway to Colca Canyon, one of the best places to see Andean condors.

After maybe 5 days in the Arequipa area, I'll take the bus to Lake Titicaca, where I want to spend a night with a family on one of the famous floating islands. I'll then head south into Bolivia via Copacabana to La Paz, highest capital in the world. I probably won't spend that much time in Bolivia, but we'll see. I'll then head into Argentina to Salta, a town I'm interested but can't remember why--better start reading that guidebook again! I think I'll be in Santiago, Chile, by the second week of November or so, but I don't remember exactly what I have sketched out in my calendar.

Today, Jessica and I are moving from my homestay family's house to the Hostal Imperial Palace, just 2 blocks off the Plaza de Armas. It'll be fun to stay in the center of town for a few days. Today's for errands, internetting, and laundry, and tomorrow we've got a bit more sightseeing to squeeze in before we leave for Machu Picchu.

Posted by Amy on October 4, 2004 09:47 AM
Category: Peru
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