Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pisco Sin Fronteras

After flying back from Lima after my stint in California, I headed south to Pisco. Pisco is a town 4 hours south of Lima that was devastated by an earthquake in 2007. The earthquake destroyed the towns infrastructure and there is major worked needed to help the people of Pisco recover.

I spent 4 days volunteering at an organization called Pisco Sin Fronteras that provides free labour to families looking to rebuild their lives. In addition to building homes, PSF has day care centers and is very active in the community.

The project I worked on was a prototype for future use, which utilized sandbags filled with dirt, sand, and gravel to create a wall. The earthbags are stacked and secured using little more than barbed wire and wire ties. The method is easily replicated and can be made in areas where materials are scarce.

I could only stay for a few days but volunteering at PSF was a blast

Building the earthbag wall.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I took a three week break from my South America trip to return home to San Francisco to attend my sisters wedding and meet my 7 month old nephew, Rocco.

The wedding was in a meadow in Occidental, California and attended by about 75 people. The food was all local and sustainable from Sonoma county and the specialty cocktail was a Sonoma Grape Martini.

Rocco was born about two months after I began my trip. He is quite big already and very active, crawling and attempting to walk constantly. He has two teeth and enjoys pulling himself up onto tables and chairs and gnawing on them.

I tried putting him a box to slow him down.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Machu Pichu

I did the 5 day Salkantay trek to Machu Pichu. The trek covers 75km over 4 days, with the 5th day culminating in the trip up to Machu Pichu and Wayna Pichu. The trek was great, you hike up to 4600m above sea level, just to the snow line and then descend deep into humid jungles.

The first two days of the hike were fairly strenuous. We did our ascent to the 4600m apex on these days, the remaining two days were mostly downhill or flat. The itself was beautiful and the terrain was extremely varied.

I did the trek with Kirsten and Stuart, friends from Ambue Ari.

The summitt of Mt. Salkantay.

Donkeys carried our tents and cooking equipment.

On the morning of the fifth day we woke up at 3am and began to queue at the bottom gate to Machu Pichu. We were joined by dozens of other people willing to wait all morning and hike about 700m up from Aguas Calientes to Machu Pichu in order to get one of the 400 tickets to Wayna Pichu given out everyday.

The View from Wayna Pichu (the tall peak above Machu Pichu) looking down on Machu Pichu.