Thursday, June 26, 2014

More photos from the Galapagos

There were so many wonderful parts to this trip, and this day was just one of the many.   We did a "dry" landing on the island of Floreana.  Dry landings mean the inflatable that took us from our boat (Archapell II) to the land actually drops us off at a dock, rather than the beach.     It was still tricky getting off the inflatable because of swells, etc., but the crew were magnificent in handling the inflatable, swells, dock & passengers!   We all did it & it did get easier after a few of these dry landings.

Our hike took us up a muddy path to the water source for this island.  Our guide, Pauli, told us the story of the infamous Galapagos affair.  I'm reading a fascinating book called "Floreana" by Margaret Wittner, she was part of the early families who built a home on this island and recalls the "affair" that I mentioned.  

One of the many iguanas we walked by.

All the guide books (& our guide) told us not to approach the animals we might see.  We observed this rule, however his Galapagos tortoise approached us!   We gave him plenty of room as he crossed the path.  Pretty cool to be this close to them. 
On the cement dock, our welcome committee!

Sally Lightfoot Crab

Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014 All Girls' Jam, MBYC

I spent a great day yesterday on the water photographing the All Girls' Jam, a race for women only, maybe in its 11th or 12th year?    Here are a few of the women racers, Juniors and Seniors racing Sabots,  all ages racing Snipes and CFJ's.  

Can I nominate Gene Ratliffe for "Best Boat Boy" ?     He was the driver of the boat I was on & made it very easy for me to get some great photos of all the racers.    Just a preview of some of the photos I took yesterday.  

"Best Boat Boy" Thanks Gene for driving!


Snipes rounding the mark
Sabots racing


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Back to the Galapagos ...

We toured the Centro de Interpretacion San Cristobal Parque Nacional.  Our guide, Pauline, gave a very informative tour of the center.   We had a chance to walk around this area, then took a bus back into the town.     Here are a few photos from our walk at the center.    More photos to come from the town of San Cristobal.

Main entrance to the interpretive center.  Lots of mo-peds for transportation on the island.

Galapagos Cotton

Giant Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia spp.)
 This plant (Galapagos Cotton) gets its name from the oval seeds.  They break open to produce something like white lint (cotton) and the guide book says this is used by finches and other small birds for nest lining.

I loved the fungus growing on this tree, couldn't resist a quick photo of it.

For those who care:  I just learned how to use Lightroom to make my photos web friendly.   So far so good.  Quick & easy (at least compared to the way I was doing it).   I had read that it was possible, but wasn't figuring it out, then thanks to a tutorial from Julianne Kost (Photoshop guru), it's happening!  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Change of pace ...

My daughter-in-law, Barb, sailed this past weekend in the Sr. Sabot Nationals Regatta held at Mission Bay Yacht Club.  She hasn't raced in years and was up against some great competition.   Barb held her own and against 17 other competitors, placed 2nd in the Masters-Gold category.  She missed 1st place by one point !   So proud of you Barb.  

Great skies too.  

Start line.  

Heading back to the beach after a great race!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The workers in the cities

Here are a few photos of folks working in their neighborhoods.

These guys started waving & smiling for the camera!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Home-hosted lunch in Urubamba community

One of the many highlights of the trip was to be able to have lunch in the home of a Sacred Valley family.  They graciously cooked a wonderful home-made meal for us.  The standard fare in many homes was guinea pig (!) --  I tried it and, yes, it tastes like dark-meat chicken.  We also had the most wonderful home-made soup, roasted stuffed peppers, and many other treats, and topped off by a wonderful dessert.  

Guinea pig ready to serve.  
Stuff peppers, lightly battered & fried.  Yummy!

Delicious vegetable soup.   

Bright sunny room for our lunch.  Love the yellow walls.
Beautiful vegetables.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ollantaytambo Ruins, Sacred Valley, Peru

One of our first activities in the Sacred Valley was to explore the Ollantaytambo Ruins.  Per the OATs guide info, this is one of the few places where the Spanish lost a battle during the conquest of Peru.   We did the climb up the terraces guarding the ancient hilltop temple area.  I was fascinated with the walls, built entirely by hand by the Incas and lifted up into place.    If you are interested, check out this link  to Wikipedia site for more information regarding their architecture & construction methods.

Here's a view from half-way up the path.    We kept hiking and I became more & more fascinated with the structure of the walls.

The last photo is of our group, heading back down to the Sacred Valley.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weavers in Chinchero, Cusco, Peru

We were able to visit a weaving coop in a small town in the Sacred Valley (Chinchero).  The weaving co-op was called "Winayawa".   It is run by a gentleman who houses and feeds the weavers  and allows groups like ours to come in and see the techniques they use.  The weavers stay approximately 2-3 weeks, then return to their homes while another group comes in.  Each of the girls sells their work.

Our leader, Juan Lazo, introduces the organizer of this group.
Natural dyes used with the yarns.  
Juan with organizer of the co-op.  

Weaver demonstrating the use of the  drop spindle.  

Backstrap weaving, you can see the pattern starting to take shape.  

Another view of the backstrap loom.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Finally ... posts coming up from the Galapagos & Machu Picchu trip

I just returned from a wonderful trip with OATs (Overseas Adventure Travel folks).   They delivered as promised:  lots of discoveries & adventures.  We had two guides:  Juan Lazo (Peru) and Paulina Aguirre (Galapagos).  Both guides were extremely knowledgeable about their areas & made sure we saw the sights!  

My first post is a photo of a land iguana, one of many seen on the Galapagos Islands.   These iguanas are all over, just sunning & posing for photos  ;)   See that smile?   Just for me!  LOL

I'm still unpacking, doing laundry, yard work (anyone want succulents -- they seemed to thrive happily without my TLC ) and all the stuff one needs to attend to after a 16-day absence.  I will try & post at least one photo a day, maybe more, until everyone yells "Stop" 

It was a dream-come-true trip for me,  to be able to visit both these areas.  I was not a bit disappointed, they are both amazing & beautiful in their own ways.  More to come ...