Date: 19 December 2010 Day: Sunday
Location: Skies of Sao Paolo
Yesterday, as my sight became more and more blurry and from time to time I started losing my consciousness, I had to pause my 7 month detox programme for once and take two pain killers to fight my migraine desperately. I guess that yesterday I might also been sun and heat struck.Sao Paolo is one of the most crowded metropolises of the world with its 20 million population. Here is Brazil’s financial heart. Many corporations’ head offices are here. The city actually does not have anything special or beautiful about it. It consists of crowds, messy traffic, skyscrapers and concrete buildings.
Even though here is Brazil’s world of business, people speak less or no English than the other places we have been to. Even then, the Brazilians are incredibly hospitable, polite and all try hard to assist the tourists. I liked them very much. They are very amicable.
Early morning we caught our Peru/Lima flight. On the plane, we met with a couple and their three little children. The man is American and the wife is Peruvian. What’s interesting is that the man is from Richmond, VA. Their house is very close to the campus of the university where F. and I studied. They met during their graduate studies at UVA. Now he works at a packaging company in Sao Paolo. The world is really small.
By the way, we never felt a Christmas craze in Brazil like it is in the UK or across Europe. It is as if here, they pay more attention to New Year than Christmas. So it is exactly the opposite of Europe. They don’t also give much of an impression of being a religious country. There isn’t a church in every single neighborhood. It is not like the other Catholic countries I have seen (except France of course where they are not very religious).
Date: 19 December 2010
Location: Cusco, Peru
“…What does learning mean: accumulating knowledge or transforming your life?”
Paulo Coelho, The Witch of Portobello
Our flight from Sao Paolo to Lima lasted 5 hours. We left green Brazil behind, flew over Bolivia
and then the Andes appeared; lastly, we arrived in Lima situated by the Pacific Ocean and where is dry, yellow and I haven’t seen a single tree.
It was the first time that I have seen the Pacific Ocean and it really deserves its name. The big waves we have seen on the Atlantic Ocean in Rio do not exist here.
The first impression that the Lima Airport gave us about Peru is that it is very much under American influence with the American brand shops and restaurants; also that in this country, which used to have a Japanese descent president, the Japanese community is quite large.
We quickly caught our flight to Cusco from Lima to go to the oldest city of the Americas continent situated 3400 m. high. I know that there is no place left on our planet undiscovered. Everyone can travel anywhere easily. Flying made it easy for everyone. Even then, I cannot stop myself from getting excited about being in Peru. Even though I know it is not the case, it is as if I am discovering these places for the first time. I am aware how lucky I am. In the old days, I used to think I would find something, even humanly love when I went to new places. Now, my loved one by my side I go everywhere and I am very happy. I forget everything. Yet still, I keep on thinking that there must be a reason why I am so lucky. What I am certain of, my deep love and admiration for our planet grows everyday. We humans think that we can beat, conquer and control anything. But the green Rio mountains and Brazilian forests, Iguaçu falls, yellow Andes, which touch the sky demonstrate to me how wrong we are and that our home has the real power.
Cusco is a city, which resembles an Anatolian town with an Inka flavour with its two-storey brick buildings. This is the only way I can describe it.
The Inka faces and traditional costumes have never left here. Finally, I am glad to see local tribes because we haven’t seen any in Brazil.
It is clear from the statues raised that they still respect the Inka heroes.
We are staying at Hotel Archeologo in room Los Olivos. It is a very nice hotel with local particularities and character.
Before we go out to explore the city, we have been recommended to rest for at least 2 hours to customize ourselves to this altitude and lack of oxygen. Already, F. and I feel dizzy, our breath is short and my ears are throbbing a little. Even as I am writing this, I have difficulty keeping my head straight.
Early evening, we watched a music and dance show at the local cultural centre.
Meanwhile, we could that the beautiful sunny and blue skied weather was replaced by thundery showers.
We had our dinner at Inka Grill, which is by the main square. They offer a nice combination of local food with world cuisine. The live mysterious sounding music took our minds and souls to an Inka temple. It was interesting how similar it was to Irish music though.
In the capital of the Inka civilization, there is everything pertaining to the old and the new world. Where is the information age taking the world to? Everything, especially in the last 10 years has changed very fast. I am amazed to find Arabic channels on Cusco television or to be able to use Wi-Fi internet in this old city.