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No Fosters Thanks

a travel blog by no_fosters_thanks


It's a 14 month trip around the world...for someone who gets lost on the way to the supermarket.
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Cusco is rad...

Cusco, Peru


ok....so we have registered for the inca trail, which is really exciting. Should be amazing to see, nearly everyone, even the most jaded and cynical of travellers think its sweet.

Completely forgot...on the Isla del Sol they have gum trees everywhere! It really did my head in at first. But it was great, we cracked some leaves, and they smell was just like home. But it was still rather strange some of it looked like it could have been back home.


Travelling with just 4 people now, John myself, Aussie Chris and Roman. The backpackers we are staying at is huge, and has a pretty good facilities.

After being on the move so much I must admit, it is going to be good to settle down somewhere for a little bit. It´s gone so fast though, I can´t believe in ten days i´ll be in vegas and joho will be on the way home. It will be the biggest culture shock. Thinking about trying Guinea pig for lunch today. But not entirely sure that will be the best idea.

Have uploaded more photos, so have a squiz if you fancy.

Take care, heading off to museums this arvo....including catacombs. Or something with lots of dead bodies.

Love Sarah



permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on December 11, 2006 from Cusco, Peru
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Punch Buggy...no returns

Lima, Peru


Hi! Got back from the inca trail...alive and well. Flew to lima this morning, and tomorrow joho flies home, and I continue on to the states. Sorry this is only a short one, I will update it later, i am just absolutely stuffed right now. So much has happened, so I have uploaded the photos and will write about the inca trail later.

Take care,

Sarah

permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on December 18, 2006 from Lima, Peru
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Post sleep and in an airport

Lima, Peru


Hi!

So I´m currently in the Jorge Chavez airport in Peru..waiting for my flight to board. Have had more sleep, so I´m ready to deal with a computer. And I just paid $3USD for an iced coffee so I could use the internet...and its just a black coffee with ice blocks. So I´m getting my internets worth, as i´m drinking this nasty coffee (which probably just tastes like coffee should..but yuck), I don´t want to appear rude and not drink it now.

So...the inca trail.


DAY 1
We got picked up from the hostels at half past five in the morning...and it turned out over half of our group were staying at the same hostel! We got an awesome group, 2 aussies, two irish girls, a scottish couple, two americans and a Hondurian. We started trekking after breakfast, and it was absolutely beautiful. This was the easiest day of the trek..which was a good way to ease into it. Within the first few hours we saw our first inca ruins, and great views of the sacred valley of the incas.

That night we camped...feeling really good about the day. You have to see all the photos to believe the places we saw. We heard how great Machu Picchu was...but to be honest it paled in comparison to what we saw walking there.

DAY 2
This was the day we heard was a killer. You climb from 2950 metres to 4200, and all in the morning. It was INSANE. I must admit, the feeling of getting to the top was great. I´m really proud, usually I hate walking to the supermarket, and I walked up a mountain carrying my own pack, which was 12.6 kilos. (we weighed our bags at the porters

station). John though, he is insane! He practicaly RAN up the mountain! He reached the top nearly an hour before me. Which was quite amusing. I had the technique of walk ten steps...then have a rest, then walk another...and rest again, and then walk to the big rock and have some chocolate (very important to keep up your energy you know). We all did it our own way. Mine was the slow way! It was hard, near the top John came down a bit to encourage me, and offered to take my pack...but by that stage I wanted to do it all by myself. I know, hard to imagine me being stubborn! But it was absolutely worth it.

That night I got a back spasm...which is hindsight was quite funny, but we had two physios there who told me to get up off my bum and walk around, and by morning it was fine. Ruined the little evening for me a bit, our american ladies (gents...but they walked slower taking heaps of photos and having a chat...they managed to have some amazing pictures we missed!) had brought two bottles of wine as a surprise, as a reward for finishing the hardest day. I ended up piking on my drink. Sad times.

DAY 3
This day was the most beautiful, we walked through cloud forests, and little natural caves...It really was brilliant. We had great weather all three days, and this day was no exception. We saw many ruins, and stopped at each for an explanation and an explore. It was also the day of the two thousand steps down...although dawn counted, and it was in fact more. It´s strange, the incas were so short (and also are most south americans) but they build the BIGGEST stairs! If they are coming up to my knees...how they hell did they get up them! In fact at the last part of the second day...and last few steps were the biggest on the whole mountain. Thats just cruel.


So after a hard days work, we had some beers, and then saw my favourite ruins, Winay Waya.

That night we had a bit of a party..Apo the chef made us a cake! In the andes! Amazing. The food was so great, that I put on weight over the trek. I´m now back to about what I left as...but I think a bit more of it is muscle. And I´ll keep telling myself that.

DAY 4
We got up at 4am (only an hour earlier than usual) to try and see Machu Picchu at sunrise and it was PISSING down. So we walked along in the rain, and got soaked. A big thanks

to Kath for buying me a pack cover, without her I´d be lost. Or at least have very few clothes. After not seeing a huge amount, Joho headed in climb winay picchu, while the rest of us headed to Aguas Calientas to warm up and dry off. Funniest though, we saw john reach the restaurant...and then turn around and piss bolt off, turns out he forgot he has his large pack, and left it on the bus. Luckily it was still on the bus when he got there.

Later we caught the train back, it was a four hour trip, aided by much beer. Emma and I bought enough with us from Aguas Caliente that it was a good idea to buy some more on the train. A good night overall.

THE DAY AFTER MACHU PICCHU
Hot showers are the absolute business. It felt SO amazing to be clean, not 'had a shower in the rain but i still smell clean' but clean. We ladies decided to treat ourselves, and went for pedicures and waxes. But gosh, that was an experience that took 4 hours! Getting my legs waxed in peru...(they needed it, i was starting to look like joho), the waxist burnt the wax, so I ended up lying there in my undies getting the wax finished with the door wide open (to let out all the smoke) while the girls were watching from reception. Nice, very classy.

So unfortunately we didn´t get to see much, our boots all let in water (except johns) and we ended up wet and unable to see it that well from a distance, but when we got there it was great. This photo is where the traditional photo of machu picchu is taken...usually you can see it in the background.

have a look at the rest of the photos...and then get on the inca trail!

Love Sarah


permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on December 19, 2006 from Lima, Peru
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why flights are long haul has nothing to do with the time...

Los Angeles, United States


Hi!

So I'm safe and sound and in LA...after a TERRIBLE flight, but will write more about that later...this internet here is 1USD per ten minutes...so it's only a quick one.

Got on the plane, and someone wanted to change seat so they could sit near their deaf mother...so I say yes...and get stuck next to this larger woman, who dribbled food from her mouth, and had no end of attitude...and this stupid american man who wouldn't shut up..and asked me inane questions like 'what do your parents think of you travelling alone?' 'do you believe in god'.

I resorted to wearing my ipod the WHOLE flight...even after my battery went flat..just so that he thought I couldn't hear him. He was a missonary from panama. ARSE!!!
But then when I got to my hostel....they had screwed up my dorm booking (15USD for a 20 bed dorm) and so I am in a double bed suite on my own...for the same price! With bathroom, with toilet and shower! Totally travellers karma after my flight.

Love all, must run, 1 minute left on the internet...will try and find a phone card in vegas (heading there tomorrow) and try and ring...but no promises, this place in INSANE! (but kinda cool)

permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on December 20, 2006 from Los Angeles, United States
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So much funny stuff has happened

Las Vegas, United States


All the bad stories you hear about america....true
Is america just like the movies...true
Do people have no idea about Australia...true
Is it possible no-one can understand Australians...true


My god! This place is insane...the funniest stuff has happened, and I haven't got enough hours to write it all down!

I was chatting to a guy on the bus in LA, and he asked me if I was pretty happy about how the euro was going against the dollar. He was rather surprised when I told him that we had Australian dollars...and that Australia wasn't in europe. Riiiight...

Another la bloke was telling me about the fires in Australia, and how 20% of our native wildlife was going to become extinct as a direct result of the fires...including (gasp) the koala. At that one I just cracked up laughing...some things you can't keep a straight face for.

Walking down the street today with another aussie girl (wearing jeans, hoodies and hiking boots-seeing as it snowed two days ago) we were propositioned by a man in a car...who assumed as we were walking...we must be street walkers. We very quickly told him what we thought of the idea. Being subtle doesn't work really well here, I have told someone that if he tried to put his arm around me, I would punch him. He asked where, and I told him anywhere that would hurt. he was really drunk, so he got the idea and left me alone. It was perfectly safe to say that..I was in the hostel surrounded by aussies. There was only 3 non-aussies in there, one which was him and the other two were brazillian I think.

Wal-mart, is the business. Even make-up is a quarter of the price of back home. It puts priceline to shame. Its really hard to get healthy food, but If you want sugared cereal...it's amazing! Well worth the three mile walk. And yes, we did specifically hunt down a wall mart.

Anyway, I have to go, the internet is going to run out. Again. I can't find my camera cable, but when i do i'll put up some more photos. Ohhh, and the public buses in la have plasma screens!

Will write again soon, take care

Sarah


permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on December 21, 2006 from Las Vegas, United States
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Feliz Navidad! Merry christmas from Vegas...Americas playground

Las Vegas, United States


This week getting motivated to write has been difficult. It really had been all about killing time. There is an endless amount of things you can do in Vegas, if you have the money. And unfortunately, thats what it comes down too. In some ways you can live really cheap, and yet other things are so expensive.

So...what have I been doing? Been down the strip a few times, which is rather dull during the day, but at night it looks fantastic. But in saying that, it was smaller than I expected. The first night I was here I went with an english girl Gemma to see a show, a christmas present to myself. We saw Cirque du soleil, the Zumanity show. Afterwards, I understood why you had to be 18+ to attend...it was rather risque. Not even risque. There were times that it felt like an acrobatic strip show. But don't get me wrong, it was absolutely phenomenal. At any time there are 4 or 5 different cirque du soleil shows on spread across the big casinos. Kate would love it here!

I spent another day/night walking the strip, and it was seriously, 10 hours of walking that day. We did about 20 kms we worked out, and that was just the inbetween distances, not even including the walking around the casinos and shops. Went to a mall here, and they had runway! Models doing runway in the middle of a mall. Strange.....

SO, I saw the lions at the MGM grand, watched the pirate show at treasure island (strippers on a ship)..they used the phrase 'plunder the sirens cove'. Yep...family show that one. And my absolute favourite, the fountains at the bellagio. At the end of oceans 11 you can see the fountains, and they are better than they look in the movie. I ended up filming the whole thing on my camera, but I can't upload it at this stage (I'll explain later).

One of my highlights I'm sad to say was going to wal-marts. It's so cheap! But the food here, i bought enough to feed myself for a week, and it cost $40, but it's all so sugary. I had vegemite on toast, and I couldn't taste the vegemite. Now thats just not right. The bread was meant to be multigrain as well! So i'm sticking to sourdough, just because you can't add much sugar to that!

I've started buying winter clothes here because it's so cold, the night before I got here it snowed. Seriously people. My skin is drying out from being in a heated environment. But I bought a nerds jumper for $10, which is super cool, and cheap.

The weirdest thing happened last night, was talking to this america guy (from montana) at the hostel bar, and he was talking about the neighbourhood, and how he had to 'protect' himself. So I asked him many questions...and he had THREE knives...and one was the biggest thing ever! It was about the size of my forearm...and legal!
Even the greyhound buses they search your carry on bag to see if you are 'packing'. Right.....I dont think I'm in kansas anymore.

My dorm is pretty quiet which is good, it's an 8 bed dorm, and there has only been 2 or 3 of us in there at any time. Really like a little bit of space. And people not having sex in my dorm. Thats one thing I really like in america, segregated dorms.

So had a big gamble, put $1.50 in 'Kenny Rogers - The Gambler'. It was really quite hillarious. I filmed my losing streak, such a tourist. At least I dont strap my camera to my belt. Unlike some gringos.

Wasn't able to play the dvd my family sent me for christmas, but I did see toms video on you-tube, and the biggest thanks to all the stars! I couldn't keep the smiles off my face! I still am grinning like an idiot thinking about it. It's been hard having christmas on my own, especially as it is spread over two days. (I'm nearly a full day behind here). So right now it's boxing day (which no-one calls it here) in australia. But here it's christmas day. Going to have christmas dinner at the hostel soon. And many beers.

I've taken heaps of photos, but the internet is shit here. You can't put cds into computers, attach cameras, pretty much do anything aside from write emails and browse. So when I get to canada I'm going to invest in a second hand laptop, and the internet is also really expensive. Some places are USD$12 per hour. Stuff that for a joke, as everywhere has free wi-fi! Hostels, casinos, even starbucks. It's a real joke.

The fremont street experience is pretty cool, it is a street with a giant canopy, which is a telly! It's the size of 3000 plasmas, and covers two blocks of the street. These people sure do like their telly....

Also, they sell jagermeister in 1.75 litre bottles! Got a photo of that one too.

Not sure what else to say, i'm planning on cutting short my san fransico experience, and getting on to vancouver. I really want to settle down and get working. I miss having a reason to get up every day (but not as much as I miss Tom - I know, I'm a mushbag).

Also! Girls, the talent I've seen since I left the country, POOR! The best person I've met was australian. Seriously. I've had this debate with many girls (not all of the aussie) and aussie blokes are some of the finest in the world. Go homegrown (or immigrated in my case).

Take care, will try and write from san fransisco. And go singing on waltzing matilda on the trams.

Love sarah

(oh, almost forgot, the corona beers here are cheap, and they are imported by Barton beers ltd. Took a photo of that too!)


permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on December 25, 2006 from Las Vegas, United States
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Happy Birthday to Ethan

Las Vegas, United States


Hi Ethan!

Just wishing you a happy eighth birthday, I hope it's been a really nice day. Your car racing set sounds pretty cool, you'll have to make sure you don't lose any of the parts. I have your birthday present here...but it's going to take a little while to come to Australia in the mail. It might not be there for almost a month ok? But it is on the way!

Take care of mum and dad, and I love you!

Sarah

permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on December 26, 2006 from Las Vegas, United States
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Safe and sound in San Francisco

San Francisco, United States


Hi! Made it to San Francisco, much to my amazement. After catching the overnight greyhound bus from Vegas to LA, I have revised my theory that it's a good way to save $20 on a nights lodgings, but it all worked out fine...except for the transfer greyhound sold me, from the downtown bus station to the Hollywood bus station. Works better if there is a bus running before your plane leaves. Some awesome south african girls I met at the bus station ended up saving me and driving me to the LA airport, so a big thanks to them:)

So caught my plane, and arrived in San Francisco a few hours ago. It was about to get dark when I got here, so I haven't had a chance to explore at all yet, but hoping to get out reasonably early tomorrow, it's dusk at 5pm here, so it limits the time I can spend kicking around. And I've cut short my time in San Francisco, and bought a plane ticket to vancouver for new years eve. Really want to get up there and settle down a bit and get a job. Start replenishing the funds.

So far I really like here, it seems to have an awesome vibe. Still trying to find an internet cafe where I can upload photos, but no love yet. I have heard of one...so I'm going hunting tomorrow.

My bag seems to have been stuffing itself while I was out and about in Vegas, somehow it has managed to up itself about 7kilos in the last week! I know I have a fair bit of food in there, but seriously. All up I was carrying 30 kilos. And something has to go! Sadly I think it might be one of my 5 books, or 2 journals. But the book exchanges here aren't brilliant, so it just seems like a waste....I only managed to get it checked in by sheer luck at the airport today.

I'll work it out.

Will write again soon,

Sarah

permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on December 27, 2006 from San Francisco, United States
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Totally in love with San Francisco

San Francisco, United States


From the bay to the bars, there is nothing I don't adore about this city. Even in the middle of winter, the weather is perfect. I've met some really cool people at my hostel, and we've spent heaps of time exploring the city. On our first night here, we headed out to a few bars after a free dinner at the hostel (green tortoise hostel, recommend it to anyone) and got a little sloshed.


Not too bad, so the next day we walked all around the city, checking out many of the tourist areas and a few others. Starting our own little three person pub crawl (Jason Kat and myself) and ended up having a big night. I have never felt so naive in my life, the guys took me to a strip club, and it blew me away. It wasn't as sleazy as I expected, and it was really good fun. Apparently we went to the uber tame ones, but my god, those girls are practically acrobats! Very impressed. Ended up having big chats to one girl, who was working as a stripper to put herself through college. A real eye-opening experience. After that we somehow managed to walk to a nightclub around the corner from the hostel, where the bartenders loved us aussies, were giving us free shots of furnet, and we were in the vip area. Not that I remember all of this....Jason had to 'remind' me. Tried to send Tom a drunken email, and it was the hardest thing in my life to log into my email account. And the email, well it looks like a monkey was just randomly bashing the keyboard. Now very glad that my Mobile has never had a sent messages folder. I doubt I would have wanted to ever know what tripe I write when I'm sloshed.

So the next day with hangover in tow, we went and hung out at this cool cafe owned by Francis Ford Coppola, which has the best food at amazingly good prices. After that Kat headed to the airport (onto vancouver - so we'll be catching up later) and myself and the two guys hired bikes, and biked around the bay area, and across the golden gate bridge, and were on the bridge for sunset. One of the best experiences of my trip so far. Even with hangover.

So last night we just chilled and then this morning, went out to Alcatraz prison. Interesting to see, but there were so many tourist everywhere, complete with audio tour (which was great to have, but there were SO many people). After that and walking along the docks by myself, a few of us headed out for tea, and swung past the coolest beat bookstore, and Jack Kerouac street too.

Really looking forward to Malaysia, kicking about with Kim and Tom. The days won't go fast enough:)

Talk to you soon, heading to Vancouver in the morning.

Sarah

permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on December 30, 2006 from San Francisco, United States
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Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada


Hi all!

Have arrived into Canada, and have settled into a hostel in downtown. Haven't seen anything yet though, have managed to get tonsilitis and so am fairly well confined to the hostel at this stage.

But things are starting to come together, have my swap orientation on thursday, have all the paperwork ready for my bank account, will even get a Mobile sim card this week.

When I'm feeling better (ie not so sorry for myself) I might venture out and take some sweet photos.

Talk soon,
Sarah

permalink written by  no_fosters_thanks on January 2, 2007 from Vancouver, Canada
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