Location: Devonport, Australia
So the bigday Is here. Boarded the Spirit of Tasmania amid a lot of excitement And some Nervousness. Cabins are a signed, snorers and non snorers.
After A couple of wines it's time for bed ready for the fist mainland leg of our adventure
Location: Pipers River, Australia
The big day is here.Great Ocean Road here we come. Bike is packed ready to go
10 days, 10 girls 10 bikes, 10 days of fun and friends
Location: Santiago, Chile
Happy New Year.
My holiday to Chile is all but over. But I must admit I am looking forward to coming home. It seems like a lifetime since I left and I am glad have kept a diary so I can remind myself of everything that has happened.
After the layover in Osorno we made our trip home the next day. We were all tired and ready for a sleep in our own beds...or as close to my own as I am going to get for a while
It was a mad dash to get clothes washed and things packed ready for the next chapter. Lake Rapel which is about an hour and a half from Santiago. This part of the trip was pretty much ...do nothing...so I managed to read three books, sleep a lot and eat a bit. I did manage to venture out on the stealth with a promise from Doug not to be a dick head with me on there because I promised him when I got out of the water I would "pound" him (pound being a threat my brothers used to use on me when I was young) I didnt have to worry though ...the lake was full of boats and jet skis and I was getting ready to up the speed when all of a sudden Doug is dragging me back in....and the lake users are all doing the same.....the Navy is doing its daily patrol and picking up those without licenses or registered boats....the lake goes quiet till that gets out of the way ....by that time though it was time to have a beer and kick back and watch everyone else. Our cabin was right on the water, literally. Once you stepped over the threshold, you were above water, so each night I was lulled to sleep with the sound f the water lapping under the house and to top it off we had our own private pool. The lake was far too green for me to swim in so the pool did nicely to cool off now and then.
The Lake association or whatever they call themselves, the local council maybe, put on a great 20, minute fireworks display for the New Year. Doug made us park 2 kms away from it to watch it but it was great anyway. And for those who read my face book message wishing you all a happy new year.....feliz ano neuebe or something like that, well in actual fact I said happy new arsehole Australia. Doug neglected to tell me there is an accent over the n in ano......if it had one it would have been year...I did manage to wish some people a happy new arsehole, which set Doug into hysterics and Marisol into a bit of a panic trying to quiet me down....good thing we were in the car.... and once Doug settled down he corrected me.....(note to self: even though your brother is 40 it doesn't mean he is a grown up and will still set you up when he can )
So after 4 very relaxing days of eating sleeping and reading it is time to set off home to Santiago.
I now have three nights left before i hit Australia. a bit of catch up shopping tomorrow and then time to pack my bag.
So to one and all thanks for following my adventure, hope I haven't bored you too much.
Looking forward to catching up soon and showing some more pics :)
Love you xxxxx
Location: Osorno, Chile
me oh my it is the 28th already ..
We spent a wonderful 2 nights in hotel at Peyehue living in the lap of luxury. Definitely something you need to do once in a life time as a minimum....I really didn't want to leave this place and could have easily stayed another two or threee nights and made the most of the pools and beauty treatments. The building itself is just mammoth and quite beautiful and rustic, with everything you need to keep you occupied for a few days. Bad thing is we didnt find the bowling alley until about 11pm on the last night but we did manage to have a couple of bowls before bed. We did manage a ride on the horses, again I was a bit surprised at the fact that I could do it. But i think my horse was the oldest ol gal in chile. she plodded along nicely until we were on the home straight and then she decided to pick up the pace ....and i am sure she didnt understand english, so I had to quickly learn how to say stop in spanish - pare!!!! not paaaarrreeee!!!! but it was great fun to do.
We stayed one night at the cabins just about 100 mtrs from Doug's block and it is a beautiful place , right on lake peyehue.....doug and i even took a dip in Lagos Peyhue with the volcano, in the background....and the water is cold cold cold. but i was determined to have a dip no matter how cold. doug cooked his special ...ribs ...along with a few good bottles of cab sav..the Chile wine is perfecto ...
We packed up camp at 10 am to head to the airport but unfortunately all flights are cancelled due to the fal out of the volcano so we have decided to bunk down at the casino at osorno for the night and reasess tomorrow. We have just been to the casino and played a few hands of black jack.....1 mill per round which is $2 ...last of the big spenders.....doug started to count his chips at the table which meant we had to break out in song...the Kenny Rogers Classic...the Gambler.....which drew a few looks from other tables but didn't stop us from making sure we had a great time . marisol was not too happy with us singing and high fiving on a win.......but they do insist on half filling your glass with whiskey which is more than a standard drink and giving you coke on the side...so one drink and you are feeling very happy ......and I can see how they would manage to take all your money...in the end i lost 25 dollars...which was OK for the experience. Hopefully we will get back to Santiago either by plane or bus tomorrow....there is not much in Osorno at all...so we can do the last bit of the holiday which is a cabin at lake rapel....just relaxing in the sun before i have to come home ....
missing you all so much and love to you all
Location: Pehuje , Chile
Well today is Christmas and not how I expected it to be. It is like any other day which is dissapointing for me because Christmas in my little family was always a bit of a special day. But it is also great to share it with Doug and his family ... Apparently santa knows I am in chile and left some stuff at Dougs for me .. so I have something to look forward to when we return to Santiago :) . The resort is just beyond belief. Everything is inclusive so I am making the most of the food, bars, pools, horses and bowling alley. the beauty treatments are extra but that has not stopped me from having a mud bath ...Which is probably similar to climbing into a dam on Woodies property and wallowing around in that (seriously) .....a coconut body scub....yeah that was pretty good, I smelt like a bounty bar, a facial, and a manicure...so feeling very polished and glowing right about now. Today, Christmas day I woke at about 6 am ...which by chile time is bloody early ...and everything was dusted in what looked like snow. yep i thought I was having a white christmas but it was ash, volvanic ash. the volcano is still active and spewing out ash every day ...so everything was covered in a grey powder which is not good for me wanting to take photos. my horse riding was cancelled as well... but i think i am a bit happy about that ... i have not slung my leg over a horse for hmmm perhaps 25 years....but we are booked for tomorrow. checkout is 11am but we can use the resort till 5pm so might manage another massage in there somewhere. then it is off to a little cabin down the road near dougs block...looking forward to that . He has some grand ideas for his house that he is going to build and it will be great to see where exacty thing mecca is going to go ...love you all xxx
Location: Puerta Veras, Chile
We have just spent two days in Puerto Veras at the Hotel de los Volcanes, the local casino. Puerto Veras is a lovely little town on a huge lake flanked by two huge Volcanoes. The volcanoes looked great last night while we were having our tea but I didnt take my camera out with me and today they are covered in a mist. We headed to Puerto Mont yesterday for a look at the little seaside town. It was very quaint and after looking through the markets (I am a bit over markets now after Peru) we had to decide where to eat. The restaurant owners just harangue you to try their restaurants, which are so tiny. They have usually 3 tables set up and a kitchen so tiny it is a wonder anyone can fit in and they sell the local seafood. It is a bit like mum and dad setting up the front room as a restaurant and cooking in their kitchen. I had salmon (third meal in a row) and it was delish. Cooked very simply with potatoes, lettuce and tomatoes.
After the trip it was back to the hotel for a massage - oh I needed that - and a dip in the pool before we ventured off for another round of food. Marisol had her eye on a restaurant that looks over the lake but it was closed down so it was over the road to the Irish Pub which didnt have one Irish thing on the menu. Fajitas were the go here and unfortunately Doug didnt quite understand what the waiter was saying. He said that the fajitas were for two people but Doug though he said it came with two tortillas. We all went ahead and ordered one each. The meals were huge. Then Marisol told us what he said.
After putting kids to bed it was time to hit the casino. Last of the high rollers!! A drink first. They are very generous with drinks. I ordered a whiskey and coke and they half fill the glass with whiskey and give you a small can of coke
.very very strong.one drink is enough.
Had a few rounds of blackjack and craps and managed to well double my money and then lose half back so I quit while I was ahead and took home my winning which was $40 bucks extra.  Not much of a gambler
Today we are heading to Pujehue - I cant spell that one - for two nights of relaxation. Somehwere in there is a horse ride and hopefully a massage to follow
Hope you all have a great Christmas
.I think it is getting close now as I type this
Will keep in touch
Love to you all
About to get ready to head south for Christmas. It has been such a busy and hectic holiday but this will be realx time. I've uploaded some photos of Machu pichu and Wayna Pichu to prove I was really there :)
The night before we were about to head to the top of the mountain it rained quite heavily. I was sort of hoping it woudl not stop so I would have a good excuse not to go .....but it stopped and the heavens cleared for us. We all were sort of feeling a bit funny in the stomach which we put down to nerves for teh climb because it was a really tough steep walk but we headed off and did it without complaints. In fact we were quietly surprised at how well we did it ....just over an hour up and under an hour back. the estimated time is 2 hours return. So considering we wre not the fitest of people and not used to altitude we didn't to a bad job
after we finished the walk and about to hop on the bus the top of the mountain was clouded in, we were very lucky to have made the walk with clear skies.
I have spent the last few days feeling less than average with what I suspect is a tummy bug. So I will ahve to update you all on the spectacular Macchu Pichi leg later.
bout to hit the hay get some sleep .....
love to yo all
MACHU PICHU!!!!! We came, we saw and we loved it. Such a spiritual place. I can't believe I am here. the town of Aqua Callientes (Machu Pichu) is very touristy but the ruins are breath taking. It took us 3 hours to travel by train the 100 kms to get to this remote tiny place that is flanked by the biggest mountains you can imagine. Such tiny town and the mountains are so close I am sure I can reach out and touch them and it is very tropical.
Then it was straight to the ruins and over three hours of a guided tour. I wont even try to explain this place to you now.
We have another tour tomorrow of Wayna Picchu, you had better Google that one. it is the mountain i was not going to climb but because i do not understand Spanish Doug and Marisol decided we needed to do it. so tomorrow we climb to the peak that overlooks Machu Picchu........ we have stocked up with water, nuts and some chocolate and Gatorade to help us on the way .....it is going to be a huge effort to bag this peak but we are going to do it.
Safety here is second rate with no hand railing on stairs and right beside us is sheer cliffs to the river that is perhaps 1km below us . Got some pics of Doug on his hands and knees getting onto them .....
I am in awe of this place and will update you all when I can
love you all and miss you all but I am having such a great time
Location: Cuzco, Peru
i think it is the 15th today. I'm loosing track of days and dates.
Today tour started at 8.00am, we loaded onto the bus and headed out to some Inca ruins. The first place is Sacsayhuaman (pronounce it as sexy woman and that is pretty close). This construction was started in about 1460 and is over 3000mtrs above sea level. Unfortunately the tour guide speaks only speaks Spanish so I have to have Doug interpret it all for me. He's doing a great job. The stone blocks here at the first tier just astound me. A bit like the pyramids, how did they build such a structure? One stone is 130 tons. Apparently they used things like bronze and alabaster for tools and meteorites. And they managed to split stone in perfect lines. Very impressive!
Again we are besieged by sellers and it takes all my will power not to give them money, but I do give them some sols if I take their picture
Location: Cuzco, Peru
We have made it to the next destination. Cuzco in Peru. Our trip tday started at 6am with a 4 hour flight to Lima, the capital of Peru, followed by another hour to Cuzco. Lucky me had a window seat so I had a birds eye view of the mountains, which i cannot describe,. We were flying next to the biggest snow covered mountains. With such mountainous terrain I did comment to Doug about where we would land, there didn't seem to be any flat space anywhere. We did decend into a valley with enough space to land a plane. The City itself is ncertainly not a pretty city. So many buildings not finished. Apparently if you finish a building you have to pay a tax, so people just don't finish them but they are living in them in some pretty much squalid conditions. Our tour group picked us up at the airport and our tour of the city centre started pretty much straight away. Fortunately for me he spoke english very well.
Our first stop was Koricancha which was the most famous and richest temple in the Inca state. The walls were covered in gold, along with solid gold statues and lovely stonework. A huge and beautiful cathederal stands at the place now. But there are some original Inca brickworks there that form the current building. the brickwork is perfect , everystone is layed evenly and everything matches which i think is a pretty mean effort when they only had primitive tools.
Next stop was the Cathederal of Cusco. this had to be seen to be believed. We could't take photo's here. It was built over an old Inca temple sometime back in the 1500's. The main alter was covered in layers of silver. It was an impressive church by any standard. Outside the church the street vendors just swamp you with their wares. I was a bit overwhelmed but them all but doug came to the rescue and took my hand and took me away. He could see they were getting the better of me. He has had to do that a few times.
By this time it was getting dark so we were dropped of to see what our hotel is like...not too bad.
We venture out to find food and find a nice little place to sample the pisco sours....spine tingling drink. This is where Benjamin orderd the Coy, or guinea pig. i was goingt o have it for dinner the next night but not anymore. I did taste it and it was a bit like wild duck and liver. It looked hideous and after watching ben eat it , there was no way I would eat it. Alpaca tomorrow night instead.
So far I have not suffered any altitude sickness, sometimes i do get a bit breathless climbing stairs to the ruins but nothing bad, no different to home. Very happy with that. I tasted the coca tea that is used to help alleviate altitude sickness but that tastes like crap....bit like green tea so I am glad i have not had any problems.
love to you all