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Stauchy Blog » 2008 » January

Archive for January, 2008

Machu Picchu-Fri, Jan 9, 2008 (LAS)

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

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Machu Picchu.  We made it!  We opted for the hike up.  A few members of the group wannied out for the bus.  i am guessing the “hair of the dog” trick wasn´t going to cut it again.  We were happy that the girl witht he injured leg took the bus - it was painful just to see her hike, let alone the steep climb over the last couple of days - a real trooper.

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Inca Jungle-Day 3, Thurs, Jan 8 (LAS)

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

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Another beautiful day of trekking throuch Incan paradise.  This morning started (albeit a bit slowly) with a cable car crossing across the river.  It is a fun start to the day of walking.  Shortly into the jaunt, we took a small side hike to a waterfall.  There were tons of coffee trees along the path.  A few were even ripe enough that we picked them and ate the fruit part around the coffee bean…who knew?  At the waterfall, i almost sat on a holy cow huge centepede on the bench - luckily i looked before i sat — couldn~t have missed him!

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Inca Jungle, Day 2 – Monday, Jan 7, 2008 (LAS)

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

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This morning began with a pancake sandwich.  Yeah, sandwich.  It was holy cow good (well perhaps to all except our friend Janelle).  Essentially a banana, rolled in a pancake, and smothered in maple syrup—you know, the heart-smart good-eaten kind of food!  We left Santa Maria on foot and headed for Santa Theresa.  We were lucky with beautiful weather and some amazing scenery as we made our way across the pass on a path that would definitely make (and did make) those with a fear of heights have some real troubles.

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Cuzco & the start of the Inca Jungle, Sat-Sun, Jan 5-Jan 6 (LAS)

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

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We had hoped to hike the Inca trail while in Cuzco.  We soon learned that lead time is needed in booking the Inca Trail.  We sifted through other options with a local travel agent in Lima and settled on the Inca Jungle, leaving on Sunday.  This is a combination bike-hike that ends in Machu Picchu but doesn´t require advance booking since it isn´t on the government-controlled Inca Trail which requires permits.
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Lima to Cusco, Sat, Jan 5, 2008 (LAS)

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

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Brazilian Visas secured yesterday!  Lima was fairly uneventful.  Jason was feeling the full effects of being in a foreign country with no plans.  As such, we spent the majority of free time planning out the next week or so just to have a bit of stability as we begin working our way through South America and sharpening our spanish skills.  We did spend some time in Miraflores, did a little shopping, and headed down to the beach area.

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Longer in Lima, Wednesday, Jan 2 (LAS)

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

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We spent last night in a hotel near the airport.  Since we were coming in at 11pm, we just decided to go the easy route even though it is more expensive.  We got up this morning, and headed for a hostel in Miraflores and had grand hopes (only to be squashed) of getting our Brazilian visas overnight. (more…)

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Australia in a Nutshell - Dec 7-31 (JRS)

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

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In the interest of catching up on the blog, here´s our trip to Australia in a nutshell.  It was a long month in a campervan with 4 for the first 10 days and 5 for the next two weeks.  If we had it to do over again, we would have probably flown more and driven less.  It was a time of some disappointment, but it was also a time of extraordinary highlights, but mostly it was a time of sitting in a campervan covering large distances.

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We’re Off to See the Wizard - Dec 4-7, 2007 (JRS)

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

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…The wonderful wizard of Oz (or is it Aus?). After a glorious month in New Zealand, we’re here in the land down under. Our 4-person (Neal, a fellow polie, Janelle, our friend from Pasadena who spent the month with us in NZ, Lynette and I) month-long fast-paced itinerary that we have planned out in Australia began after a mad rush to catch our flight out of Auckland (which is now a tradition for us after our last trip to NZ ended similarly). We had a nice flight over the Southwestern Pacific into Sydney, and after a fairly easy experience finding Janelle and a shuttle we found ourselves in happenin’ downtown Sydney.

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Northland - Nov 27 - Dec 4, 2007 (JRS)

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

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After our day at Tongiriro, we made our way up north, past Auckland into Northland. We hadn’t gotten a chance to do that portion of the North Island on our last trip, so it was nice to see something new. We had wanted to see the Bay of Islands before, but our short time in NZ didn’t allow for it. This trip we have more time so we put it on the agenda. The plan was to spend a few days at the Bay of Islands, with a couple of days to explore the surrounding areas and Auckland.

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Tongariro Crossing - Mon Nov 26, 2007 (JRS)

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

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Billed as “The finest day-hike in the World,” the Tongariro Crossing lies smack in the middle of the North Island on NZ.  We had wanted to do it on our pervious trip, but the low-lying clouds and cold weather (we got snowed on the night before) kept us off the trail.  I can’t imagine that it’s the finest day-hike in the World, but it was certainly enjoyable with some very distinct highlights (unfortunately pictures are going to have to wait until we get back to the States and regain access to our laptop).

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Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman - Nov 22-24, 2007 (JRS)

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

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After our disappointing time at Frans Josef Glacier, we headed north in a hurry in order to spend a couple of days in the Nelson area, including a visit to Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman National Parks.

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What It’s All About - Nov 14-17, 2007 (JRS)

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

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A couple of days ago, while we were walking through a stunning valley looking at unimaginably steep slopes to tremendous peaks that can’t be seen over the sheer walls of the valley, passing waterfall after glorious waterfall, skirting in and out of the forest, I thought, “This is what it’s all about”.  This is the Milford Track.  The other thing I thought was, “what can I possibly write about this place to give it its due justice.”  The answer is: nothing.  Nothing I can say can describe this place.  My advice: get on the New Zealand department of conservation (DOC) webpage and reserve your spot on the Milford Track as soon as you can.  This is a place that must been seen for yourself.  That said, here’s some words and a few pictures (more can be found in the gallery: http://www.stauchy.net/gallery).

071116_milfordday3_031-38.jpg (The georgous panorama from near the top of the track)

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The Bealey Spur Hut (Arthur’s Pass) - Sat Nov 10, 2007 (JRS)

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

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Yesterday afternoon we hiked up to the Bealey Sur Hut from near the summit of Arthur’s Pass, and this morning we hiked back down.  It was a short, 3-hour hike up a fairly gentle (“easy” according to the DOC lady, although it was a bit of work at times, especially with a pack) slope.  After realizing that the summit routes were too much to bite when we arrived in the early afternoon, the Bealey Sur Hut seemed like a decent chunk to conquer with the rest of our daylight, plus it would give Janelle her first over-night hut experience.

071109sd_arthurspass22.jpg (Lynette and I at the top of the Bealy Spur Hut, overlooking the glorious mountains near Arthur’s Pass).

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The Little Blue Penguins- Nov 3, 2007 (LAS)

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

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When we first read about New Zealand (when we were considering it to be our honeymoon), one of the top things I wanted to see was the little blue penguins that call New Zealand home. During out visit to the Otago Peninsula a few years ago, we went to an open beach where a small colony called home. We had read that they make their way into shore around sunset so we waited around to try to get a peak. After the sun was down and it became too dark to see, we gave up and headed out only to find 2 little blues walking up the road in front of the campervan. It was enough of a spotting to make me content with our first visit to New Zealand. Since we now had another month to enjoy this incredible country, I booked a seating to watch the Oamaru little blue penguins come in at night to feed the young on Janelle’s second night in New Zealand.

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