It’s Life, Jim, but not as we know it

Recent conversations:

Me (M): “Ummm, there’s this job going in Burma that looks quite interesting. Lots of training, and it’s in that bizarre new city that they’ve built as the capital but no one lives there yet. Whaddya reckon?”

Wonderboy (W): “Hmm, could be good. Let’s keep an eye on it. What about this university job in Ho Chi Minh City? We liked Vietnam when we visited. All that fresh fruit and veg.”

M: Yeah, that’s definitely one to keep in mind. There’s a half decent job going in Hanoi, too.

W: I don’t think we’d like the weather in Hanoi.

M: There’s a brilliant job going in Cali, starts January. It’s perfect for us and I’ve always wanted to go back to Colombia!

W: No, even with the Delta, it’ll be a bit too soon to go back to South America. Let’s keep looking in Asia.

M: Yes, and I can keep my fingers crossed for the Pyongyang job to come up again.

W: You and Pyongyang. I just don’t get it.

M: Anyway, let’s see what’s going…

M&W: … after the Delta!

Yes. These are extracts from what constitute real conversations in my household. Five years after I jetted out from Heathrow to Mexico with a vague intention of travelling, doing a bit of light teaching here and there if I wanted to stay somewhere a while, and doing my best to make it twelve good months out of the country in the wake of the election that got my job abolished, teaching has become my career and travelling is the name of the game.

September 25th has rolled around again and prompted me to take stock this time not only of the past year, but of the five years since I left home and set my sails for the horizon. More

Float

Paragliding from the Prom

Paragliding from the Prom

I reached back into the archives for this picture for A Word In Your Ear’s latest Word A Week challenge: float.

Every weekend, paragliders line up to jump off the cliffs next to the parque del amor on the malecón in Miraflores, Lima. The placid ocean as it rolls into the bay, and the background of the cerro and Chorrillos make it a spectacular spot to spend a while people-watching and enjoying the sun.

Word A Week – Float

Pots

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On holiday in the winter of 2013 we took a swoop by the floating Uros islands, near Puno on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, and a day at the excellent Museo Larco in Pueblo Libre, Lima. Not only does the museum display a collection of ceramics from an impressive array of pre-Colombian Peruvian cultures, but they keep their non-display collection open to the public as well. If only more museums would follow suit.

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Pots

Waiting… at the top of the world

Waiting... at the top of the world

An Amantaní woman waits for visitors to the island.
Lake Titicaca, Peru

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – WAITING

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Photo Friday

Here is one of my holiday snaps currently appearing on the Emily Luxton Travel Blog. One of my favourite travel bloggers, Photo Friday is a regular feature that I am pleased to be part of. Click her link at the top to check out her recent adventures in beautiful Barcelona, great reviews of London’s hidden gems, and regular Postcard From… features from guest travellers.

oh – and don’t forget to vote for the Emily Luxton Travel Blog in the Avis A-List Blog Awards!

The Undiscovered Country

It is a time of change and confusions, and so I chose a title to indicate both. The first confusion lies in the providence of the quote, which I’m sure some of you will have mistakenly identified as Shakespeare, W. from his work Hamlet. However, I am in fact quoting Roddenberry, G. and his creation Star Trek. The second confusion is that I am not, in fact, about to discuss either the post-life human condition commonly known as death, or a country that hasn’t been discovered, but South Korea. The third confusion, for those of you so presumptuous to have thought ahead, is the expected continuation of the metaphor… “from whose bourn no traveller returns….” No one can speak for certain of the future, and at this point there are still big question marks over whether I’ll make it to Korea or not, but if I do, I have every intention of returning in a very much alive condition.

There, I’m glad we got all that settled. More

Up, up, and away

Reed boats in the Uros

Reed boats in the Uros

Cuzco is *&”£ing freezing at this time of year. Puno is !?*$ing freezinger. And the night I spent on the island of Amantaní in Lake Titicaca was possibly the ***%%$!!”ing freezingest night of my life. This has really helped to put the winter in Lima in perspective. As my colleagues shivered and snivelled this week in school, bundled up in coats and scarves, I ran gaily about in my cardigan feeling fine in the 14 – 17° weather. Although even I have to admit that however mild that sounds for the middle of winter, the humidity does make it feel colder, and the neverending cloud cover makes for a gloomy, relentless few months, as described by the Associated Press in this article on Lima’s coldest winter in 30 years. More

A Wonder: photo blog

View across Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate

View across Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate

The great day finally arrived and after all the palaver, we were hostelled in Aguascalientes, at the foot of the Wonder that is Machu Picchu. This was my second visit, lucky me! More

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How not to travel – an idiot’s guide

I’m halfway through my monumental whirlwind tour of the ‘gringo trail’ of Peru. It’s been a great trip so far, but I’m going to concentrate today on the valuable lessons I have learned over the course of ten very stressful hours in the last day. The alternative title to this post could be, “Don’t let this happen to YOU!”.

Let’s begin.
More

Not a simulacro

We’ve had more earthquake drills over the few months since I wrote about one. They are scheduled regularly on a nationwide scale three times a year, and all public buildings and many private buildings participate in them. On schooldays, this involves the regular stampede from class and the forming of orderly, supportive circles (by which I mean circles in a standing brace position for physical support, rather than circles of people going “there, there, it’s only pretend”) in the field.

As with fire drills back home, everyone secretly welcomes them as an opportunity to get out of doing some work for ten minutes. More

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