Saturday, July 15, 2006

MACHU PICCHU

Here are some pics of Machu Picchu. The more classic pics are on another CD - I took these on the second day we visited Machu Picchu.












Friday, July 07, 2006

IQUITOS MARKET

One of the coolest things about Peru are the outdoor markets - Shipshewana like assemblages of fruit carts, butchers, bakers, and little shops selling nearly everything else under the sun. There is an energy to the street vendors and sprawling blocks of hastily constructed tables that is missing from just about every American city save New York or San Francisco. I could speculate why that is but I think the fact is just as basic and obvious as the understanding that America is no longer a communal place - we drive home from work in our cars and reverse the trend in the morning. Peru is still largely a country where people gather - they gather in huge churches, they gather in the many plazas, they gather at the beaches, and they gather at the markets when they wish to buy thing. At night, when the teenagers wheel out their iron carts of bubbling hot grease to make churros and crepes, the feeling becomes less like a flea market and more like a county fair - in addition to having the hot fried dough shoved in your face, you also have your barnyard animals wandering about, some for sale, some just domesticated and collared. Music - invariably Dire Straits or Rod Stewart or some other group or artist that last had an international hit in 1987 - blares from battered stereos. On some blocks, street musicians perform with their pan flutes and guitars.

The Iquitos market was the most interesting market that I went to in Peru. This is the case partly because Iquitos is a jungle town, and there is no difficulty in selling alligator tail or fried monkey arms (which I did not decide to take a picture of) or anacondas in a bottle. An entire row of the market is dedicated to the selling of jungle herbs and roots, and there was no shortage of American hippies, self-proclaimed "shamans" scouring the aisles for the next combination of plant derivatives to divine their third eye.

These pictures below were snapped during my last day in Iquitos, as I quickly walked through the market and snapped some pictures. It is difficult to capture the energy of a place in pictures, but hopefully some of these are interesting. Notice the alligator tail in one picture and the conchas in another.


















Wednesday, July 05, 2006

KUELAP

Information about the ancient mountain citadel of Kuelap can be found here.

Like many of the places I visited in Northern Peru, where there seem to be no other backpackers, I wandered alone through the ruins of Kuelap for over an hour without seeing another person. A bewitching, haunting place, and an incredible experience.













Tuesday, July 04, 2006

JUNGLE FUN