Like I said, I’ve been doing a lot of picture taking recently. Here are a collection of some of my shots. Please check out my Flickr and 500px profiles as well!
  Panama 067
Panama 026 Panama 027 Panama 031 Panama 048 Panama 040 Panama 042 Panama 045 Panama 054 Panama 049

My Travels in Peru: Part 3

Bit of a delay with getting these last pictures up, apologies.
So for the last part of my journey, and the reason for having traveled to Peru, was to do a five day four night hike starting just outside of Cusco and finishing at Machu Picchu. For about $500, we got meals, tents, hotel for the last night, entrance to Machu Picchu, men to carry our bags, a guide, and other things I’m currently forgetting. It was well worth it I must say.

Getting ready to start hiking.

Mint leaves. If I recall correctly, when smelled, smelled helped with respiration at such high altitudes.

There were beautiful plants everywhere.

Here is a well maintained aqueduct that was originally installed by the Incas.

Resting after the first day.

Where we ate our first day’s meals.

We were told about an awesome lake high up from the camp site that we hiked up to after arriving the first day. You can see the campground in the background. At such high altitudes like this, we were taking breaks every twenty or thirty steps to catch our breathes. Definitely the hardest part of the hike. 

Unhappy about waking up at about ~5am to begin hiking. It was FREEZING.

I decided, instead of following the switchbacks up, as you can see below. I went off the path and straight up the side of the mountain. Dumb mistake, it was ridiculously hard.

Reached the highest point!

Traditional Peruvian Household 

Passing through a recent landslide. 

Base camp on day two.

Looks like something out of A Bugs Life. Little setup to be able to fill your water bottle with spring water.

Method for crossing the river.

Celebratory beer after finishing hiking.

Sadly my camera died before I got to Machu Pichhu so I was unable to get more pictures.

Hot Girl Seat

Apologies for dragging my feet with posts as of recently. I’ve been occupied with my photography as of late and haven’t had the energy out of site to make blog posts as well. I’ll follow up soon with some of my photography.
This post was inspired because I found myself sitting in the hot girl seat on my way home from Panama city. What is the hot girl seat you ask? It’s one of the many peculiarities of the country I’ve called home for over a year now. I’d like to take the time to introduce a few of my favorites.
Hot girl seat: There are many types of public transportation offered in Panama, several of these have a seat next to the driver. This seat is typically surrounded by the only windows of a vehicle that haven’t been tinted so that outsiders can still see in. Who better to put here than the hot girl to keep the driver company, or show her off as a trophy, or use her as a siren to lure men in. I’m still not exactly sure why this happens. Every so often I end up sitting here, because others don’t seem to want it and I enjoy the spaciousness it offers. One time, the driver opened up the passenger side door of the pickup-truck-with-seats-in-the-back style transportation and beckoned my girlfriend and me to sit up front, probably due to the fact that, besides she’s hot, I was decked out in Panamanian clothes, rocking my sombrero. Damn it feels to be invited to hot girl seat.
Forever lonely on the bus: If I’m not sitting hot girl seat, I’m usually sitting in the back of the bus where there is not enough space for how big I am. Luckily, for whatever reason, Panamanians refuse to sit next to me until the bus is completely full. Luckily, I’m not a leper or something and this happens to many other volunteers as well.
There are no Walmarts or Starbucks in Panama. The former is probably due to the fact that the former president owned the largest would-be competitor to Walmart.
Water quality: Surprisingly, for all the warnings I’ve been given about water quality and drinking untreated water, it’s really not that bad. I’ve been to several volunteers’ communities and never had an issue with the water. Nowadays, I’m actually more worried about treated city water which in one city is found to have chemicals that cause infertility, and I recently read about some place in Louisiana finding a brain eating amoeba in their water. As a final note, think about where all those medicines, cleaners, vitamins, etc. you pour down the drain end up? Not all of it gets filtered out.
Sunday not so Funday: What a clever rhyme. Keep it in mind if you ever think of doing anything besides relaxing on a Sunday. Just about everything is closed.
Panamanian Hour: Set all your watches an hour ahead so that you’ll always show up an hour late to meetings. But it’s cool, because Panamanians living outside of the city will typically arrive an hour late as well.
All Asian people are Chinese: If you’re Asian, you’re going to be called Chinese. My hypothesis for this one is that Panamanians do not know that all Asians are not Chinese (or they’re racist). If I was to make a guess, outside of people I’ve met in hostels or through Peace Corps, I’ve yet to see a non Chinese Asian person in Panama.