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A dade in Miami 28/05 - 31/05 2010

My final days in PC do not alter that much from the beginning of the week: more reading, eating and chilling out. We do, however, head off to the unspoilt beach of Macao for some surfing on the Saturday. To get there we drive through some small villages with colourful facades but unfortunately there is a lot of litter around but somehow this doesn't ruin the scene too much and there is an abundance of mango and avocado trees. When we get there, the sea is as flat as a pancake and apparently this is the first time that it has ever been like this! I guess that I am just not meant to have a surfing lessons and whilst the waves do pick up a bit to allow Ig's son to surf, we sit in the clear blue

23/05 – 30/05 2010 Dreadlock holiday/Island Style

My flight from Lima to Miami is uneventful apart from me having a stinking cold, experiencing a bit of turbulence and getting a grilling at US immigration and being asked how I felt about the new Conservative government. Miami has to have the dullest airport that I have ever been in and if I liked shopping, I would be incredibly disappointed and it didn’t help that my flight to Punta Cana was delayed. The humidity hits as soon as I get out of the aeroplane and the airport itself is just a big grass hut, but a rather nice one at that. The luggage takes ages to arrive (island time) but Ig was there to meet me and I was whisked off to her lovely flat not far from the airport. By this time I was

16/05 – 22/05 2010 The Picchu

The road to Cusco is filled with cars and buses spewing out large black clouds of engine fumes and any efforts to save the planet are well and truly over in Peru. The bus that we are travelling on is ironically called ‘Inca Class’ and whilst it is relatively comfortable seat and leg room wise, the temperature in the bus reaches 30 degrees Celsius and there’s nothing we can do about it. The driver also seems to be competing in the Peruvian grand prix and I have the unenviable position of sitting directly behind him and having first hand sight of any looming mishaps (of which there are many) Despite a few brown trouser moments, we arrive in Cusco after our 7 hour journey and head to the hotel,

15/05/2010 Mierda

Puno is located at the edge of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest commercially navigable lake, at 3,860 m (12,421 ft) above sea level, on the Peruvian Altiplano and it will also be remembered by me because this is where I committed the traveller’s cardinal error and leave my cash card in the machine when I was drawing out cash. I blame the altitude, weariness and being a complete feckwit but at least no dodgy transactions have been made (although I am not sure how to explain that purchase of 3 kgs of Bolivia’s finest....) and I managed to cancel it fairly quickly after the event. Hopefully, I will manage with the cash I have otherwise I will have to make my bank work for the exorbitant fees

14/05/2010 Al packing a lot in

We continue our climb towards Puno and scenery is altogether different from the deserts and the coast. It is now more volcanic and the landscape is covered in Indian grass, almas and alpacas. There are a lot of road works and police checkpoints as an election is coming up and the present government are trying to spend money on improving services to get the crucial votes. Politics is no different wherever you are in the world. I am pleased to see that there is a lot less plastic in the countryside and this may have something to do with the fact that we are no longer following the Pan American Highway. Before we reach Puno, we stop off to see the Sillustani funeral towers and it’s freezing, wh

12/05 - 13/05 2010 Plastic Peru

After breakfast and a quick look at some Inca ruins near the resort, we begin our 7 hour journey along the Pan American Highway to Arequipa. The highway goes along the coast for the most part and it’s quite stunning. It’s a barren desert to the one side and then a rugged coastline to the other. The beaches are littered with small fishermen’s huts and they make a living off the sea and drying seaweed. Unfortunately, there are also a number of petroleum plants along the way and, of course, plastic which is thrown out of the windows of truckers as the average Peruvian does not own a car and does not travel. We also come across green irrigated valleys where rice is grown and we stop off in Caman

10/05 – 11/05 2010 Piscoed in Peru

Our departure at 4am wasn’t a pleasant one, especially since I had been woken up at 1.30am by some drunken idiot trying to get into my room. The NZ lot had had the same problem the night before but the guy repeated the deed completely sober the next day! I don’t think it was the same guy, but there’s no accounting for intelligence. We pass a lot of people scavenging through bins as we leave Lima and as the sun begins to rise, it highlights grey sand beaches and an extraordinary amount of litter adorning the countryside and the roadside. They are mining a lot of the sand from the beaches and I think this has had a large impact on the state of them and it is possible that they were nice at som

08/05 – 09/05 2010 Deepest, darkest Peru

My flight to Miami from LA is uneventful, although I won’t be flying American Airlines in a hurry as I don’t think they have updated their ‘planes since the 1950s. Miami airport is huge and full of disgruntled people as AA have cancelled most of their flights into Europe due to the second volcanic eruption in Iceland. I soon become disgruntled myself because my flight to Peru is delayed by two hours and when we land, we sit on the tarmac for a further hour because air traffic control were not expecting us. My evening gets worse when my driver from Intrepid (from here on in to be called ‘Insipid’) says that I’m in a different hotel from the rest of the group and someone will call me tomorrow

Mapp of London Made in London. Glam up your cam!

It has long been a dream of mine to make Mapp of London also Made in London. These new sample camera straps are a result of this dream! Please let me have your feedback.... they are going for a special offer of £35 each on my Etsy store but hurry, as they are limited editions! Why should you have to choose between style and practicality when you are out taking beautiful photographs? This camera strap manages to combine both. It is made with the finest quality materials, with beautiful leather and silver hardware. Only genuine leather is used and therefore the texture of your product may vary slightly. All products are individually handcrafted using the finest leathers and the leather has not

Leaving Las Vegas

7 May 2010 Fortunately for me, the Dutch guy from my tour was driving back to LA today and I elect to get a lift with him instead of getting my ridiculously early flight and although it meant that I didn’t have time to see a little bit of LA, it meant that I could have a tiny all American road trip instead. The road from Vegas to LA is straight, long and the landscape is peppered with Joshua Trees, some shopping centres and not much else. The terrain is also green and the closer you get to LA, the landscape changes completely to snow capped mountains and then smog. There were an extraordinary number of blown out tires on the road, broken down vehicles and cop cars as they are Nazi-like in th

Is that the real Caesar’s Palace?

2 - 6 May 2010 R dropped me off at the airport and the flight to LA goes surprisingly quickly despite a cock up with my seat as I was told that I had an emergency exit one but it’s a normal ‘sit with your knees around your head whilst we allocate the seats with leg room to the vertically challenged’ seat. I manage to move to the bulk head before takeoff and at least that gives me some more legroom. A black mark for Air New Zealand! LAX is a confusing airport and once I have got through the vigorous passport control (digital finger print scanning and unflattering webcam photos) and transfer to the domestic terminal, it is nearly time to catch my connecting flight to Las Vegas. The turbulence

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