See that little boat? Cynthia and I were on it today.

Looking up at the falls while you are directly underneath them has to be one of the most amazingĀ things I have done in a while. I would look up and my breath would literally be taken away. It could have been because it was BALLS COLD. I mean literally, freezing. Cynthia turned blue and 8 hours later has not stopped shivering. That little boat fights the current like crazy, but it definitely gets you right underneath there a good three times. Not only that, the rapids and waves would go OVER the boat and completely soak us.

Not going to lie…I was SO cold as well. So cold in fact that I couldn’t move my hands to bring out my camera….or even take a cartwheel pic at Iguazu.

I don’t really mind though…It was completely worth it for those 15 minutes in the water. I think I laughed at Cynthia’s reactions more than I have ever laughed at anything in my life.

Niagra (which I have been to) has nothing on this beast.



Me: I think we are going underneath that big one
Cynthia: WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT?!

Cusco is officially my favorite city in Peru. Although I am completely positive that I am not the only one that shares this sentiment. It was SUCH a welcome change from the hell that was scary hostel Lima. It reminds me a lot of small towns in Europe, with a huge tourist appeal. What do I mean by that? It means that you literally can’t walk two seconds in Cusco without someone offering you a menu to their restaurant, massage services, souvenirs, etc. Seriously, it is kinda overwhelming at times; so overwhelming that I think carrying samurai swords for intimidation should be allowed.

Walking around the town is breathtaking. Literally. Stupid altitude. There are rainbow flags everywhere as well. I had to rub my eyes to remind myself that I wasn’t in the Castro district in San Francisco.

It is definitely safe though and most people spend at least a couple of days here. Our first day we arrived and literally collapsed due to no sleep the night before. It was great walking around the town, getting some food, and having nothing to worry about. It is also nice so you can get adjusted to the altitude as well. (The cafe in front of us plays Lady Gaga, best. cafe. ever.) Another note, I am completely addicted to Coca tea. These are the leaves that is EVERYWHERE to help people fight off altitude sickness. Cynthia and I have overdosed on it a couple of times.

Little girls walk around here with baby alpacas so you can take pictures. Instead I want to grab the alpaca, push the girl away, and steal it. Is this wrong? Well if it is, then baby alpacas should not be so cute.

One of the cheapest finds so far in the city to eat? A Japanese restaurant hidden in an alleyway. Needless to say, Cynthia almost cried tears of joy that she got to eat something other than Chicken, beans and rice.

Second day was full of museums and walking around to see what we wanted to buy as souvenirs when we got back from our two day tour to Macchu Picchu.

Of course, that is another post. I will also do another post on more pictures of Cusco, but now its time to leave the confines of the internet and go exploring some more.

Lima, Peru. What can I say about this city? Well, first of all, spend as little time here as you possibly can. After our long flight from Costa Rica, we landed in Lima and had our personal driver hold a sign with our names on them to take us to our hostel. We felt like celebrities, even though countless of other people had similar signs. Its the small things.

Our celebrity like status shortly disappeared though as soon as we arrived at our Hostel. It seemed OK at first, but we were Oh So Wrong.

After checking in, Cynthia and I decided to get some of our food on. Now, the city of Lima is like a punch to the face. It is loud, dirty and has the most horrible rush hour traffic I have seen outside of LA. Actually I would rather be stuck in LA rush hour 100 fold than ever be driving in Lima. Even crossing the streets here instilled fear a fear in me that I hadn’t felt since dangerous intersections in China or attempting to cross the streets in Phnom Penh or Ho Chi Minh City in Southeast Asia.

Cynthia refused to speak English, thinking that we would stand out too much and someone would kidnap her. They weren’t really staring at her though, they were staring at me, since I was the one that stood out. It could be the five o-clock shadow and lighter skin, or the fact that I am one foot taller than most males here.

We found a mall a couple of blocks down that was really nice actually. Cynthia insisted we stay there since it was where she felt the “safest”. I agreed to stay only because she is a 17 year old poor traveling newbie. We had a wonderful meal there though. Chicken and fries, which I feel will be a staple food here in Peru.

Now, the hostel. When we got back we realized that the beds were harder than rocks. Seriously, I think we could have slept on the floor and been more comfortable. The only reason we didn’t is because the pillows they gave us could be used as weapons during war. Cynthia and I also took the coldest showers in our life. I have heard that cold showers in Peru is very normal, but it seems like the hostal owners put an extra set of ice in the water before we showered.

Cynthia and I stayed up watching Cold Case and The Mentalist (which she now considers the greatest show ever) to soothe our pain. Also, the hostel was loud, in an unsafe part of town, and we also had to wake up at 3 in the morning to catch or flight to Cusco.

Needless to say, when we arrived to the gateway of the Sacred Valley, we collapsed almost the whole day.

Next up, our two day trek to Macchu Picchu.

Oh god, so excited.

First Pisco Sour (well, in Peru). Its like a more refreshing Margarita. Like times 100.

Getting my buzz on.

Before I start, some great zingers from Cynthia.

Cynthia: I got excited because I thought all these things had my initials C.R. on them, but then I realized it means Costa Rica.
Me: (smacks head)

(on four hour shuttle to Manuel Antonio)
Jake: Look at those insane clouds. Must be crazy rain.
Cynthia: Oh, I thought it was snowing.
(whole shuttle turns to face Cynthia)
Byron: You thought it was snowing? in Costa Rica?!
Krissie: Oh don’t mind Cynthia, she is one of those that talks before she thinks, but we still love her!

La Fortuna was definitely a place that surprised us, but I quickly realized that we couldn’t come to Costa Rica without visiting at least ONE beach town. I considered a lot of the popular choices, such as Jaco or Playa Hermosa, but the Hostel manager recommended I check out Manuel Antonio and I am definitely glad I took his advice.

Turns out the people we hung out with the most in La Fortuna had also decided to join us on our trip to the National Park and beach. Kristina, Jake, Jeff, Byron and second Jeff. We also ran into Elena and Nate, another two that had left La Fortuna a couple days earlier. One thing about backpacking is that you meet people that you would never have the opportunity to meet in other circumstances. So you create a bond with these people that is hard to explain. Each and every person had a story, an open heart & adventurous soul that fostered and make the experience so much more fulfilling.

Our hostel, Vista Serena, had one of the most amazing views of the beach and jungle.

Yes the pictures above me show me being a badass on a hammock trying to make you jealous of my life. And the second pictures shows me falling out of said hammock.

The first night in Manuel Antonio we quickly were reminded of the fact that we were in a rainforest. It rained; A lot. All night and early on the next morning. Luckily we were too lazy to wake up and go to the park that early so it worked in our favor.

We quickly made new friends.

No wonder movies are filmed here.

Im sure you people that have been to Costa Rica know that it is hucking fot and humid.

In case you get lost in the Jungle. Im sure Indiana Jones used these all the time….

Kick ass picture my sister snapped of me.

Duh…because I have to now.