Monday, April 30, 2012

101 Things in 1001 Days: April Update

Monasterio d Santa Catalina. 
Arequipa, Peru. Apr 2012

 21% completed so far....

Completed
#13 Start a blog and make 100 posts (100/100)
#20. buy a watch 
#76 See Macchu Pichu
#77 Explore South America

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lead a Creative Life

Woman Weaving, Museo Inka. 
Cusco, Peru. Apr 2012


Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun 
~ Mary Lou Cook


Someday....Go on a Nature Hike - Completed!

Hiking in one of the Bridges Isles. 
Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Apr 2012

Another "Someday" item

Of all the places to go nature hiking, I would never have expected to do so at the southernmost tip of the world's inhabitable land mass. 

But that is exactly what we did on our boat trip with the Patagonia Adventure Explorer to explore the islands in the Beagle Channel. It was a fantastic trip! Our first stop was a sea lion colony on Alicia Island. Though we were not allowed to land, our smaller boat was able to get so close, I could almost touch the sea lions. We could definitely hear them and smell them! I noticed that the bigger boats could not get as close. 

Then onwards to De Los Pajaros Island which were covered with flocks of cormorants. We rounded the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse built in 1929. 

Our last stop was to one of the Bridges Isles where the boat docked at the small jetty and we all got off.  Led by the guide, we hiked to the top of the hill where the views alone made the effort all worthwhile. 

 On the way, the guide pointed out plants which were unique to the area, and we were told about the flora and birds that inhabit the island, and also about the Yamuna people who used to live in the area.  Though totally naked, they were able to withstand the low, low temperatures by smearing themselves all over with seal oil. They must have stank. But they were warm. Sadly, the Yamuna as a tribe no longer exists as most of them have inter-married and now there is only one pure Yamuna left, and she is in her 90's. 

By the time we got back to the boat, most of us were numb with cold......it wasn't the temperature that was the problem.....it was the wind. My knees were knocking together and I was sure my ears had dropped off as I couldn't feel them any more. 

Someday..... Go Whale Watching on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans - Completed!

Whale watching at Punte Norte.
Valdes Peninsula, Argentina. 
Mar 2012

This is an item on my Someday list

But I get to tick it off as I've seen Orca's/Killer Whales off Vancouver Island, Canada some years back, and now I have seen Orca's at Punte Norte in the Valdes Peninsula, Argentina : ), which you can read about here

Though, strictly speaking, Orca's are not really whales; they are from the dolphin family. 
But who's being pedantic eh?
: )

Sunday, April 22, 2012

#76 See Machu Picchu - Done!

Machu Picchu, Peru. 
Apr 2012

Photo's will be posted on my travel journal here

I had read about the "Lost city of the Inca's" discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911; about its strategic location against a backdrop of three peaks, its well-organised layout with divisions for living quarters, religious activities and agriculture within the complex, its sophisticated system of irrigation and drainage, its stone buildings that have withstood time and major earthquakes. 

 I thought I knew what to expect. 
But I was wrong. 

Machu Picchu exceeded all my expectations. 

#77 Explore South America - Done!

Guanaco's. Valdes Peninsula. Argentina. 
Mar 2012

Photo's will be posted on my travel journal here


South America has always been that mysterious and intriguing place, south of the Equator, across the Pacific Ocean and on the other side of the International Date Line. A vast continent that spans an area stretching from the Equator to the Antarctica, with the southernmost city in the world; the cradle of the Inca civilisation; a place of diverse climate, breath-taking landscapes, and plants and animals I have never seen before. 

And a place I've always wanted to explore. 

Until now, I could not realise my dream to go to South America due to time constraints and cost. Cost was the main reason......as air-fares from Malaysia to South America were in the 5 figures, until recently. Because of this high cost of travel, a short visit could not be justified. And due to the demands of my job, I could not take more than 2 weeks off at a time. So the dream of visiting South America remained on the shelf for years. 

Four things made this dream come true.....First, I resigned from full-time employment to pursue my creative interests; so although I can no longer afford 5-star accomodation, I am now stress-free and have the time to travel.