Rain coming in at Bluff Beach

I am one of those people who may be found in the shade of at the back of the beach, complaining to everyone willing to listen about everything that others generally like about beaches.

I burn at the slightest hint of sunlight; the accursed sun lotion gets in my eyes and stings like original sin; the sand that sticks to everything always finds its way into the house and from there invariably into my bed.

However, on occasion, when mother nature offers up a helping of rain to wash clean the slate of the sunburned, overheated and sand-covered tourist, life can be good. Very very good.

And unlike home in Norway, it can be enjoyed with the certainty that there will be sun again in an hour…

The Urubamba River

Within an hour of landing in Cusco, I found myself standing at a bridge near Ollantaytambo, taking in this most pleasing scenery.

“This isn’t how Peru is supposed to look”, I thought to myself. “This is how Alaska is supposed to look. Where are the colourful, pipe-smoking ladies with bowler hats, where are the pan flute players, where are the llamas, why are there tall conifers here?”

None of the expected stereotypes was satisfied. And yet Peru it was.

I knew shamefully little about the Sacred Valley upon my arrival. I thought of it as nought but an unavoidable transit leg from Cusco en route to Machu Picchu.

This assumption proved wrong on two counts :

1. One does not travel up from Cusco (3,399 m.a.s.l.) to Macchu Picchu (2430 m.a.s.l.). One does, in fact, travel down by nearly one thousand meters of altitude

2. The Sacred Valley is a great destination. There are weeks worth of things to see here, and its only misfortune is its proximity to Machu Picchu.

The Urubamba River

Hyderabad, India

I 2001 då eg fyrste gong møtte Shankar planla vi at eg ein dag skulle vitje han på heimebane i Hyderabad i India. Shankar kallar byen Hyderabad “heime” men er eigentleg frå ein “landsby” med namnet Vijayawada nær 300 km aust-søraust om Hyderabad. Med sine usle 1,048,240 innbyggjarar er ikkje …