Friday, February 24, 2012

February Fishing

Today marked only the second time I've been on (in) the water this month. Results were about the same as last time.

Just over a week ago, Russ gave me a call about noon and asked if I wanted to go to Taneycomo, with little hesitation, even though it was rainy and cold, I said yes.  He took me to a place just above the old KOA Kampground that I've not fished before.  The water looked great; looks can be deceiving. Russ, who always out catches me only caught three fish and he was the one who asked to call it a day after only about two hours.  I netted one, only had two takes, and it was a very colorful 15 inch rainbow.  Quality tops quantity?

Today was cool, cloudy, and windy.  At least the lake wasn't too crowded.  I found a spot that I usually do okay in and tied on my soft hackle, a purple and starling.  In the past I've done well with this fly, in these conditions.  That was in the past. Nothing, not even a take on this fly. Shortly afterwards I tied on a red fox squirrel soft hackle.  I really did well with this pattern in January.  Finally, a take and a rainbow. It was very close to being a keeper, on the short end; there's a 12-20 inch slot here. that means you release everything in that range. Small, colorless fish but at least it was a fish. I moved a little ways downstream and in a very short time had three hits that led to one fish in hand, a long distance release and a complete miss.  The fish brought to hand could have been the same fish I'd caught earlier.

I mentioned that it was cool, cloudy and windy.  It was actually nice whenever the sun broke through the clouds, which was rare and the wind wasn't gusting from 25-30 mph, which was even more rare. You know what, it sounds like I was complaining, but actually I was explaining. Cold as I got, as slow as the fishing, I was out in the water and that was great! Its always so relaxing when I get out like that.  Did I mention, that before I got in the water, I stopped at Dana's for one of the best burgers in the area?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Galapagos Islands and Peru part 6

Thursday, this morning we had a "late" wake up call and after breakfast we went to the Santo Domingo Monastery, built in the 17th century on the walls of the Koricancha Temple of the Sun.  Here we saw the smallest of the carved stones and the Inca "Lego" blocks. Then it was on to the market place where the citizens of Cusco buy the food and many other items.  I believe the group really enjoyed this because we were right in with the people and not in an area designed for tourists. After the visit to the market we were off to see sexywoman, actually Sacsayhuaman, but pronounced the way I spelled it first. Here we saw the largest stone and also one with 11 corners. Our last evening in Cusco we heard and saw Kike Pinto discuss, and play a number of Andean preColumbian instruments.  He collects and plays traditional music on these. There were whistles, flutes, horns, drums and other percussion section instruments. I was most impressed by a "whistle" that was two bowls connected by a tube. One bowl was closed except for a small hole.  Water was placed in the bowl and by tilting it back and forth he forced air through the small hole causing the whistle.  I did by one of his cds featuring these instruments.

On Friday morning we flew to Lima and were met by a city guide.  She took us to the Rafael Larco Herrera Museum.  Here we saw Peruvian pottery and artifacts.  We were able to visit the storeroom of the museum where we viewed many "extra" pieces of pottery and artworks.  The grounds were full of beautiful blooms.  Before we left we were able to go to the pre-Colombian Erotic gallery.  I'll simply say these guys were really into sex.

We then bussed to the city center and walked past the Lima Cathedral and the presidential palace. We were going to Casa Aliaga.  This mansion was built in 1535 by Pizarro's treasurer, Don Jeronimo de Aliaga, and has been in the family ever since.  This is where we had lunch. Then we drove through the residential areas on our way to the hotel for our last night in Peru.  My room was on the 6th floor and overlooked a beautiful park and the Pacific Ocean.  After settling in I walked to a mall.  On ground level was a park or plaza, then the mall was at least three stories down, built into the face of a cliff that overlooked the ocean.  The stores were the same as you would find in a nice mall here.  Underground was also a movie complex and parking garage.

Most of us were going to Miami, but as there were different locations and those of us going to Miami were leaving very early, a lot of good-byes were said tonight. This smaller group, 21, had grown close during the Peruvian trip.  Lots of hugs and even a few kisses were exchanged.

Some of the travelers were discussing which part of the trip was best.  I couldn't say because they were so different. In the islands we were experiencing and interacting with the animals and enjoying what nature provided.  In the Andies we saw things that people had built and see how those peoples had changed.  Personally, I wouldn't want to have missed any of either part.

Now for a few pictures from Cusco and Lima. I believe I've got over 1000 photos total.  Bet your glad I did post them all.

The extremely close fit tells us this was a temple

Laura telling about fitting these "Lego: blocks together.

The smallest stone, one of the ladies covered this with her finger.
Now a few market pictures.

The largest stone, about 130 tons

Casa Aliaga

Lunch at Casa Aliaga
This picture should have been with the largest stone, this is the many cornered stone.

That's all folks, I hope everyone enjoyed sharing my trip.  Ralph

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Galapagos Islands and Peru part 5 Machu Picchu

The main ruins as seen from Intipunka (the Sun Gate)

Tuesday morning we had a short bus ride to Ollanta station where we boarded the train for the ride to Machu Picchu. The train was much nicer than what we were expecting and the ride was about an hour and a half. All along the ride on the train we saw Inca ruins and terraces.

On the train with BJ and Rollin

We then took a bus up to the gate at Machu Picchu, our hotel was just outside the gate, less than a two minute walk.  We had a complementary tea and immediately went to the site. Forget Disney, this is the Magical Kingdom. The scene was helped by the clouds around the mountains.  Unfortunately, they soon began to empty.  I was getting so wet that I put my camera away and got out my waterproof camera. It is hard to describe this so in a bit, I'll let the pictures to the talking. As the rain was ending it was time to go to the hotel to check in and have lunch. It didn't take long to to dry and after lunch I went for a dry walk and then came back to the hotel. Behind my room was a beautiful garden and orchid walk. It was very nice and the hummers are larger than here at home.  On my afternoon walks, I found some nice quite areas and sat and thought how much Connie would have enjoyed this trip and especially today. 

I started Wednesday with a short walk around the site.  I had told a group that I might meet them for the walk to the sun gate; a walk of about two and a half hours that was very steep.  Finishing my walking around below, I figured I'd start up on my own.  Being the oldest in the group, I believed this would keep me from slowing the others down.  I started up and rested, walked some more and rested, and to make a long story a little shorter, met the group about two-thirds of the way up. I was coming down already. We left just before noon, had lunch at a nice restaurant near the railroad and then went back to another nice suprise in Cusco.

I've so many pictures to put in here because I had a difficult time doing much eliminating. All that follows here are the pictures.  I should have said this before, but if you click on any picture that one will come up and the others are thumbnails that you can click on as you like. Hope you enjoy these.


You can see the road we drove up on the bus.

The group I was going to walk up with: Carol, Percy our guide, Francie, Carol and Tommy.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Galapagos Islands and Peru Part 4

Sunday, yesterday was traveling and this morning we flew from Lima to Cusco. We actually arrived early in Cusco so we went to the Cusco Cathedral. This is a beautiful cathedral, lots of gold statues and art work. Two things I'll remember about it.  This is the first church I remember where the gowns on the statues are actually cloth.  On some there are competitions on special occasions to see which gown is worn. There was absolutely no photographs allowed, with or without flash. Most of the art work is copies of "old world" masters. They were done by Quechuans (Inca) for the Spanish.  The artists were not allowed to sign their work and were not supposed to use any of their religious symbols in the paintings. The cathedral houses the painting I most wanted to see.  It is a copy of the "Last Supper", but they have many Peruvian symbols in the painting. One of the most prominent is the main course right in the center of the table. A cuy, what we call Guinea pig was the main course. The table also was full of produce common to Peru.  I have a post card of part of the painting but it leaves out another big difference. There is a window on the left and through that window you can see Christ on the cross.

We then went to a very nice restaurant for lunch.  Here I has my first of several cups of coco tea. This was the only place that we actually had the tea brewing over the leaves.  The others the tea was in bags just like home.  Of course, we couldn't bring any home. After lunch we drove to the Urubamba valley were we visited a place were llamas were bred and were the did knitting with alpacca wool.  Beautiful garments, but very pricey.

We then drove to what was to be out hotel for the next two nights. No way I can explain the grounds, I'll show pictures. We had a lecture from Peter Frost before supper.  This was bad timing as most of us had a difficult time staying awake.  We then had a late supper and I shared a table with Peter.  He was much better after food and rest.

A Bob Marley Llama

No Child labor laws?

Hotel Grounds

At the hotel

At the hotel

We each had a cottege like those behind me.
Monday and we are going to visit the ruins at the fortress of Ollantaytambo.  This is an impressive site and Peter does some of his work here.  He has accompanied us and is acting as a guide.  Hard climb to near the top, but I enjoyed it.  The altitude difference was evident, but I think the Coco tea helped.  After this we returned to the hotel where we were treated to weaving demonstration by ladies from the Center for Traditional Textiles which was established to aid in the preservation and revival of Peruvian Inca textiles. We then had lunch and afterwards a Peruvian Paso horse demonstration.  Then we were given some options for the afternoon and I chose to spend more time talking to Peter, exploring the grounds and resting.  After supper we enjoyed a short performance of "Gods of the Andes" on Inca myths. The weavers, horsemen and hummingbird are all on the hotel grounds.

Tomorrow...Machu Picchu!!!

Quite a climb...lots of stairs.

Notice the part of the Inca Cross...a lucky charm

The water flow could be started and stopped with the flick of a finger

The yard ball is thrown back and forth...its in the air here