The shape of things to come

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Hello! This is a really quick post to say that I’m alive and well-ish, after being floored for a week by a rather nasty sinus infection. My respiratory system really dislikes the cool, humid Lima winters, especially the way the humidity traps the serious air pollution and deposits it all over the inside of my lungs. Mmmm! So I’m pleased to say that I’m getting away from it for ten days, heading… Read More

Head north out of Lima to the town of Huaral, in the valley of the river Chancay. Turn east and follow the river valley through the desert plains and into the foothills of the mighty Andes, passing the irrigated fields and orchards that help to feed the mega-city. Drive by ancient mud-brick temples crumbling back into dust, by rural villages nestled into bends in the river…

I shouldn’t speak so harshly of the Peruvian coastal desert. Although I’m a creature of green, hilly places, deserts can be spectacularly beautiful places to visit that have a marvellous effect of putting things into perspective and making day-to-day worries seem very small indeed. The Peruvian coastal desert is arguably part of the mighty Atacama, which stretches 1 000 km from northern Chile and eastern Bolivia all the way along the Peruvian… Read More

This time last year I was in Cusco, where I stumbled on a street parade of traditional dancers after my Spanish lessons one day. The colour and costumes and friendliness of the people delighted me as I raced around with naught but my phone, trying to capture it all. These are the photos I took that day, as I skurried around behind-the-scenes, phone in hand, talking to the performers and trying to… Read More

Long ago, almost lost to the mists of memory, I went on magical journey to a far away land… Ok, so it was only in December, but it feels like it was eons ago, and it really was pretty magical. I climbed onto a bus one night in Lima and found myself the next morning in another world. One where it was raining; and cold. As I stepped sleepily off the bus and… Read More

I have been up in the sierra on field work. It was an interesting and somewhat dramatic trip, for various reasons, and has left me with a lot to think about. We came back yesterday: 8 hours on the bus between Huancayo and Lima. It was the first time I’ve made the trip up through the western side of the Andes in daylight. I’ve always been on the overnight buses previously. This… Read More

Sunset San Isidro

It might sound crazy, but sometimes I forget I’m living in Peru. The part of Lima that fills my day-to-day world isn’t so different from any other city. “Home” is in the expat precinct, a clean, safe world of apartment buildings, multi-national businesses, chain-store shops and fancy restaurants, as modern and soulless as any other young tourist city. It’s the Surfers Paradise of Peru, equally vapid and self-obsessed as Australia’s beachside tourist… Read More

My friend Van, who writes the lovely Speed River Journal, invited me to participate in a positivity experiment: to post 10 good things that have happened to me in 2013. It’s been a big year for me, and it’s not over yet, but the Solstice is a good time to reflect on the challenges and rewards the year has brought. 1. The garden was a rich source of pleasure this year. It provided grounding when I needed… Read More

Home again. Hopefully normal blog service will resume shortly, but in the meantime, here’s a little something from my travels…   In the greenhouse at the Girl’s Home where I was volunteering, trying to teach food growing skills. Cusco, home base for my month-long stay. In the hills above Cusco, learning about Peru, her people and culture. Stumbling across human history in the spectacular landscape of the Sacred Valley in Pisac. It… Read More

Somehow January is almost over already, so I guess it’s high time I welcomed in the new year and thought about what 2013 will bring. 2012 was a big year for me. I moved house, I went travelling and I really started to think about how I wanted to live my life and what sustainability meant to me. I made a lot of changes for the better: I moved closer to town… Read More