A Travellerspoint blog

Sexy Woman!

Cuzco

rain 60 °F

Sexy Woman! Naughty verbal tongue twister mutation for Saqsayhuaman, the great fortress of the Incan empire. Sits up in the mist above Cuzco. Short hike through the town, up to the hills surrounding the city. Did it as a test hike: to see if all the gear holds up, the shoes don't pinch, and the breathing at altitude is manageable. All went well - easy, easy hike. And then it started pouring down. Not a sissy-class rain, but a full-fledged shower. My orange rain jacket withstood it all. Not a leak, not a drip down the neck. Dry as a duck. Having good gear gave me so much confidence - I felt like shaking my fist up at the heavens and saying "That's all you got?! Bring it on!" That feeling of being prepared, of knowing what to expect and then actually doing what is expected is such a confidence-instilling experience. The rain-soaked hour was exactly what I needed needed...And now I feel invincible! But there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, no?

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The marvel of Saqsayhuaman, and many of the Incan sites, is all the unanswered questions - this fortress is made up of high rock walls, rocks that are taller than a man, so how did the megaliths get there? They are so LARGE that even with today's heavy equipment it would be a miracle to get one rock of 200 tons up to the mountain, and there are 100s at this site. The sheer scale is mind boggling. And engineers haven't quite worked out how these giant rocks were quarried and brought over to the site.

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And the mystery goes on when you look at the oldest wall in Cuzco - it's at least a 1000 years old, and it looks like the rocks have been laser cut to precision-fit. Please tell me how they did it! Some walls are like looking at a modern jigsaw - the rock edges all fit together neatly. The most famous rock has 13 edges. How? How? How? I guess some mysteries must endure. But that's what makes the the land of the Incas so mystical. Next blog about Nazca - more mystery!
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A few more pictures. Click.

Posted by Goofy9 23:03 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Leap and the net will appear

Galapagos Islands

sunny 80 °F

January 1, 2013. First day of the year, first day of an adventure that 2013 promises to be. Walked by an algae-covered salt lake, a black iguana, and many ugly cactus, to arrive at a tear in the earth: Las Grietas. Literally translates to The Crack. Las Grietas is a gash in the the earth - a rip where water has collected, fresh and pretty. It looks like a zipper opened up the earth just so.

Gorgeous clear day, and gorgeous clear water, with fish swimming and rocks gleaming. Made my way up to the top of the crack, barefoot. Contemplated the depth, the rocks, evaluated the angle, over-thought it, and jumped! How's that for a symbolic "to hell with it all, let's take a risk" sorta start to the year?!

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Yes, leap and the net will appear.

A few highlight photos from the Islands - giant tortoises, iguanas, boobies.

Posted by Goofy9 05:29 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

Comparing and Observing and Admiring

St. Moritz

snow 36 °F

There will come a time when I will stop comparing - comparing food in Singapore to South Africa, comparing working in India to Singapore, comparing Christmas in the US to Christmas in Switzerland. Comparing seems unhealthy. Just accepting might be a better way to observe.

Anyways, Christmas in Switzerland is rather low-key. Walked around downtown Zurich on Christmas day and it was quiet and not tons of decorations. Very peaceful and quite pretty. But the highlight of the trip was being in St. Moritz. For me, it's the stuff that dreams are made of. The snow, the mountains, the magic of being someplace famous. Princess Diana was skied there. Dont ask me how I know this, but I have this image in my head from a long time ago of seeing her in a magazine - with one of those dated head bands, and jumper suit, and standing on top of the mountain with her two princes. Yes, St. Moritz is exactly like that!

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Went up Muottas Muragl - it's at 2456 m (8000 ft). Just to test how my lungs would do. And they did just fine. It was biting cold - but fun fact - almost every Swiss building is wonderfully heated. So you dont really ever need to wear long underwear, and 3 shirts and a sweater and a scarf to keep warm. In fact, I would get warm pretty quick and start peeling off layers. Better insulation than I am used to. Another fun fact - the Swiss light live candles on their trees! With a flame. No electric lights. Quite fascinating. and apparently not quite the fire hazard that I always thought it was.

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And a half dozen photos.

Visited Gr's friend - a very, very interesting person: someone, who I must say, I am holding in very high esteem. He and his family live in a home that he has renovated all on his own - he has hooks on the roof that he swings off from to clear snow on heavy snow days, he plays the piano (he taught himself), he speak many languages and most recently taught himself Romanische. He baked us lunch, and gave us a tour of his small town. He drives a train for a living, and walks everywhere (they don't own a car). He's everything that I imagined a small-towner to be. But here's the rub - his thinking is far from small-town! He knows much about the world, can speak quite affirmatively about politics (and not just local politics), has opinions about travel and is quite the global citizen, without actually ever having traveled much. What an aware way to live.

Posted by Goofy9 23:57 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Drifting, with purpose

San Diego - Houston - Singapore, via Moscow

sunny 81 °F

This whole business of transition is quite time consuming...to let the brain handle new realities and new possibilities, one just needs to sit idle sometimes. Kinda like Buddha meditating. Great wisdom can be gained by letting time pass. And I let time pass quite a bit. First, in San Diego. San Diego is growing to be one of my fav cities in the US - its warm, there's an ocean, and almost Colorado-like blue skies. Perfect for "meditating!" Even flew over the coast in a Cessna, with Gr piloting.

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Post San Diego, spent a fulfilling few days in Houston, tackling boxes from my old life - so therapeutic to be able to open cardboard cartons of stuff and look at things with no regret and almost a warm feeling of a life well lived. and a life well-lived fits in Storage Unit Size 10X5.

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Then on to Singapore. On the way to Singapore had a brief layover in Moscow. So brief that it would be unfair for me to have an opinion about it, but seeing grumpy people who fit the stereotype of who I think Russians are, just begs for a little bit more description. The bathrooms smelled of smoke! Even the bathroom in the plane smelled of smoke. The people looked hardy, but they were buying some expensive coffee at the airport deli. A look out towards the runway, and there were abandoned planes just parked right there in the grass. Like an airplane graveyard, mocking all the active planes. And the planes itself were so interesting - airlines I am not familiar with (Tui?) and places that need exploring (Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan). So much of the world to see, so much to absorb, and then the flight to Singapore was called.

In the spirit of not rushing into finding a new career or even simply a new job, I spent a couple of months in Singapore meeting people, asking questions about alternate possibilities, looking at whether Singapore would work as a home for the next few years. And a big bonus was being able to be home in India for my mother's birthday. And celebrated Diwali after almost a decade. Now, after what turned out to be an unintended busy couple of months, I wonder what it would look like to have no goals, to drift purposeless. I wouldn't know!

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Posted by Goofy9 02:31 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

A Period of Fermentation

Zurich

60 °F

Ed and Gr and I had a little mini reunion a couple of months ago...good times. It's a comfy feeling to be around new "old friends." Friends who are new to my life, friends who I haven't known for decades, or since childhood. Truly new friends. Yet their company feels as comfortable as a pair of well-worn-in jeans.

We three walked, we talked, we ate...and I soaked in the feeling of being safe, to say things that I wouldn't otherwise, to dream dreams that I didn't dare to earlier. And a slow realization occurred - that we can only be successful when we feel safe, and supported. The classic "behind every successful man is a woman." It's hard to dare, to be brave, to make life changing decisions, if you don't have someone behind you, to prop you up, to absorb your thoughts, and help you think. Friends, family, and even familiar strangers occasionally.

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Shoes and Bar: Perfect combo!

A few other photos from that visit.

And all this decision-making, reinventing one's self takes time...and having the luxury of time by my side has been wonderful. Am making all these observations about life, about me and forming an identity outside of just where I work and what work I do. Me thinks life is intended to be a continuous transition, from one identity to another, from one role to another. Growth and Transition: Hand in hand, live happily ever after!

Posted by Goofy9 09:54 Archived in Switzerland Comments (1)

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