Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Peruvian Drinks: Cusquena, Mate de Coca, Inka Cola and PISCO! Pa' Arriva, Pa' Abajo, Pa' Centro, Pa' Dentro, Salud!!!

Cusquena! Sweeter than most beers. Taste a lot like one of my fave childhood drinks, Malta
Mate de Coca
Mate de coca is the popular name of coca tea. It is prepared with the leaves of coca. The tea can be made by boiling the coca leaves or by dipping the tea bags in hot water. The tea originated in the regions of Peru in South America. Cocaine is one of the several alkaloids present in coca tea. The coca leaves contain fiber, protein, starch, volatile oils, dextrin and some kind of sugar. But the percentage of cocaine is so less and is approximately around 0.2%. In order to get one gram of cocaine from the coca leaves, at least 500 grams of those leaves are needed. Coca tea stimulates the nerves due to the presence of several alkaloids.

By drinking coca tea or by chewing the leaves, our system absorbs more oxygen. It enables us to combat altitude sickness and digestive problems efficiently. It is used mainly to escalate the physical energy level of the body at the time of severe pain, hunger and thirst. It is very helpful in the treatment of burns and skin diseases. One cup of coca tea is sufficient to relieve a severe headache. There yah' have it folks, Peru didn't make me a cokehead, Drink up!

Pisco Sour
2 shots Pisco
1 shot lemon juice*
½ shot sugar syrup
1 egg white
Shake all ingredients hard with ice for long enough to ensure the egg white is well mixed. Strain in to a cocktail glass and add a few dashes of Angostura Aromatic bitters to the frothy top of the drink.
* You can also use limes for an equally pleasing drink - try both and see which you prefer.

Inka Cola and its distinctive acid nuclear waste color, it's sweet n mild, like a cream soda

Someone gotta drink this stuff, ;')
Pisco Tasting (in where else?) Pisco, Peru

Fermentation bottles

Honestly, I really wasn't listening, I was wating for the PISCO!
I'm loving the crucifix with the skull and gambling dices, Viva Pisco!
Ok, here is the deal, Pisco Sours are made with RAW egg whites, and they don't even pasteurize them at the bars, therefore, enjoying a Pisco Sour in Peru was a big no-no for me. Over 80% of raw eggs have salmonella. I don't care what anyone says. I don't live in a Rocky movie fantasy. But not to worry strawberry, heat kills salmonella, and all is ok in Rica's World, "Traime una Cusquena, Por fa'." Soon enough, I'll be enjoying salmonella-free Pisco Sours when I make them at home with Duty-free Pisco, Ay-Yah-yah!

One thing I won't taste, Cuys (Guinea Pig)

Cuy Meat

Cuy cooking. If I were that little puppy, I would run, Far Away

Monday, April 27, 2009

Still in Peru and Having loads of fun!

Cusco: Plaza De Armas
Peru: Cusco Valley

Early morning fog in Machu Picchu

Colca Canyon, Hot Springs

Ollantaytambo: Sacred Valley

Ladies in tradional clothes: Cusco Plaza

Cute Courtyard: Hotel in Arequipa

Colca Canyon: Condor in Flight

Chillin' in Colca Canyon

Colca Valley: Condor

Ticket for the bathroom...LOl!

Party nite in Arequipa!!! Caipirhinas!

Yep, looking a bit wasted

Arequipa: I love how they always landscape the mountain grass, Chevere!

The best cure for a night of Caipirhinas, early morning rock climbing

Snow capped mountains, So nice!

Working out all those caipirhinas

Colca Canyon

Joyriding around Colca Canyon area, Peru is so beautiful!

G-r-o-u-p P-h-o-t-O!

Hot Springs! Felt so nice cos it was sooo cold outside.

Machu Picchu, Fog free!

Acting silly, Cusco Plaza Fountain

Machu Picchu

The 'town' of Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes

Goofing off!

Ollantaytambo, so pretty, reminds me of Europe

'Fancy' dinner at Los Perros, Cusco

Cusco Plaza

Middle of nowhere, Snowcapped mountains, Yeah!

Machu Picchu train , BETTER than walking for 4 days

Meeting the locals, Colca Canyon

Acting silly at Machu Picchu! ;')

Thursday, April 23, 2009

PEDRO...According to Fiona

Pedro is a 1969 VW Baja Beetle. He was happily enjoying the Californian sun until 2 crazy girls decided to take him on a little road trip.......a 21,000 mile road trip!

He has a 1776cc T1 engine, massive all terrain tyres and independent rear suspension.

He has grave concerns about the girls lack of mechanical skills but is really looking forward to this adventure and promises to behave as long as they change his oil occasionally and try not to crash into anything.

Pedro is currently in England under Fiona's care. She is currently getting him ready for the Overland to OZ Rally, and loves to show him off at events for the purpose of raising money for No More Landmines. According to Fiona, everyone thinks he is adorable, and people love to take his photo. I hope he helps us raise loads of moolah for NMLM. ;')

Pedro at a car show raising money for No More Landmines

Monday, April 20, 2009

Getchamotorrunning.co.uk...I'm Going back to Ozland!

In support of No More Landmines, Fiona, a car enthusiast and London to Gambia Rally veteran, and I are driving from London to Sydney this summer. No More Landmines works to clear minefields around the world and also support mine victim rehabilitation centres. We are hoping to raise 5,000 USD together. It's incredible to think that just £50 can help an adult or child who has been maimed by a landmine to walk again! We will stop enroute and visit projects supported by NMLM. It feels good to get involved in countries that we are visiting and help the local communities.

It is no secret that I love to travel, so this time I have decided to fullfill my adventure seeking cravings with a creative way of 'getting around.' Try a 1969 Baja Beetle named Pedro! (photos coming soon). Fiona and I will be responsible for all aspects of the trip including fundraising. She has assigned me as the main driver as she will work the camera. She is a professional television camera operator at Sky Television, therefore she will be filming the rally.

I'm not sure what I'm more excited about. Getting the chance to drive across the world with likeminded adventurous folks, or to have met someone who is just like me! Who lives life fearless and is constantly challenging herself. Girl Power!

I will admit I'm a bit apprehensive about driving Pedro. You see he is a gearbox car. For Americans, that is a standard car. At home, my car is modern and fully loaded, hence, it does all the work for me. Also, Houston is pretty driver-friendly. I'm just relieved that he has a left side steering wheel (Yep, he is American!), because I'm right-handed. I am just hoping that I can do a good job driving Pedro on left side countries. Is that right? Left-right-What?!!!! I'm sure all will be fine. Don't worry Fiona! I'm a trooper! There are other things to worry about right now. Like getting visas to Pakistan and Iran.

As for the route I'm not as concerned I have been to most of these countries, and at least I know what to expect regarding terrain, climate, culture, and greasy palms, yep, those inevitable corrupted officials.

The ROUTE (though, it changes as we apply for visas, driving permits, and safety)

England-France-Belgium-Germany-Austria-Slovenia-Croatia-Montenegro-Kosovo-Macedonia-Greece-Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-India-Nepal-China-Laos-Cambodia-Thailand-Malaysia-Indonesia-East Timor-Australia!!!!

"Can't wait to try Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine, never been!"

Something to aim for:
3rd July Day 1 - London - Goodwood
4th July Day 2 - Goodwood Festival of Speed
5th July Day 3 - Goodwood – Germany
6th July Day 4 - Salzburg, Austria
7th July Day 5 - Split, Croatia
8th July Day 6 - Montenegro
9th July Day 7 - Rest day, Montenegro
10th July Day 8 - through Albania and Macedonia to Greece
11th July Day 9 - Greece
12th July Day 10 - Istanbul, Turkey
13th July Day 11 - Rest Day – Istanbul
14th July Day 12 - head toward Goreme, Turkey
15th July Day 13 - Goreme
16th July Day 14 - Diyarbakir
17th July Day 15 - Dogubeyazit, Turkey
18th July Day 16 - Tabriz, Iran
19th July Day 17 - Hamadan
20th July Day 18 - Esfahan
21st July Day 19 - Rest day, Esfahan
22nd July Day 20 - Shiraz
23rd July Day 21 - Kerman
24th July Day 22 - Zahedan
25th July Day 23 - Taftan, Pakistan
26th July Day 24 - Dalbandin, Pakistan
27th July Day 25 - Quetta, Pakistan
28th July Day 26 - Multan, Pakistan
29th July Day 27 - Rest day
30th July Day 28 - Lahore, Pakistan
31st July Day 29 - Wahga (border ceremony and cross into India)
1st Aug Day 30 - Amritsar
2nd Aug Day 31 - rest day Amritsar
3rd Aug Day 32 - Corbett tiger reserve
4th Aug Day 33 - Agra (Taj mahal then on towards Varanasi)
5th Aug Day 34 - Varanasi
6th Aug Day 35 - Rest day Varanasi
7th Aug Day 36 - Nepal Border, Lumbini (Buddha’s birthplace)
8th Aug Day 37 - Pokhara (Himalayan Raptor Centre)
9th Aug Day 38 - Kathmandu
10th Aug Day 39 - Rest day, Kathmandu
11th Aug Day 40 - Chinese Border
12th Aug Day 41 - Mt Everest
13th Aug Day 42 - Mt Everest to Dingri
14th Aug Day 43 - Lhasa
15th Aug Day 44 - Rest day, Lhasa
16th Aug Day 45 - Nyingchi, China
17th Aug Day 46 - Ranwu, China
18th Aug Day 47 - Mangkang, China
19th Aug Day 48 - Shang-gri La, China
20th Aug Day 49 - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Lijiang
21st Aug Day 50 - Kunming, China
22nd Aug Day 51 - Jianshui, china
23rd Aug Day 52 - Lao Border on to Luang Prabang
24th Aug Day 53 - Plain of Jars, Laos
25th Aug Day 54 - Vientianne, Laos
26th Aug Day 55 - Cope Laos, Mine victim rehabilitation centre, Vientianne
27th Aug Day 56 - Pakse, Laos
28th Aug Day 57 - Head for Cambodia
29th Aug Day 58 - Head for Angkor Watt
30th Aug Day 59 - Angkor Watt
31st Aug Day 60 - Rest day Angkor Watt
1st Sept Day 61 - Bangkok, Thailand
2nd Sept Day 62 - Chumphon
3rd Sept Day 63 - Kuala Lumpar
4th Sept Day 64 - Rest day Kuala Lumpar
5th Sept Day 65 - Ferry from Melaka to Indonesia
6th Sept Day 66 - Jambi
7th Sept Day 67 - Ferry to Jakarta, Java
8th Sept Day 68 - Magelang, Java, Indonesia
9th Sept Day 69 - Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
10th Sept Day 70 - rest day Bali, Indonesia
11th Sept Day 71 - ferry to Mataram, cross island, ferry to Alas
12th Sept Day 72 - Bajo
13th Sept Day 73 - Ferry to Endeh, Flores, Indonesia
14th Sept Day 74 - Ferry to Kupang, Indonesian Timor

15th Sept to 20th Sept Day 75 – 79 – Explore East Timor, Clean, repair and ship cars to Darwin

21st Sept Day 80 - Fly to Darwin, Australia!!!!!
22nd Sept Day 81 - Rest day, Darwin
23rd Sept Day 82 – Rest day, Darwin (kakadu)
24th Sept Day 83 - Newcastle Waters
25th Sept Day 84 - Alice Springs
26th Sept Day 85 - Ayers Rock
27th Sept Day 86 - Coober Pedy
28th Sept Day 87 - Port Augusta
29th Sept Day 88 - Adelaide
30th Sept Day 89 - Melbourne
1st Oct Day 90 - rest day, Melbourne
2nd Oct Day 91 - Eden
3rd Oct Day 92 - Sydney
4th Oct Day 93 - Rest day, Sydney (or catch up)
5th Oct Day 94 - Katoomba and Blue Mountains
6th Oct Day 95 - en-route to Brisbane
7th Oct Day 96 - Brisbane
8th Oct Day 97 - Rest day Brisbane
9th Oct Day 98 - Rest day Brisbane
10th Oct Day 99 - Ship cars home from Brisbane
11th Oct Day 100 - Fly home

Luv SE Asian street food!

Vintage Australia: My first Big Girl trip
Nudie Beach, Whitsundays (wt Katya)

Not like Texas! A farm in Andorra Downs wt VB (gosh, dorky hat, cute kangaroo!)

Skydiving on the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns

Love the Aussies! Zanzibar, Tanzania

and Zanzibar!