Time goes fast when you are having fun

Hello everyone. I am in Lima now. Took an archeological tour of Huancayo yesterday. I was the only passenger. Huancayo does not have the charm and grandeur as the ruins around Cusco. Whatever it lacks, it makes it up with the way her people go around doing the daily business. If there is a truly representative Peruvian Andean town, Huancayo it is.

A few observations about Peru. It is a more indigenous country than I remember during my childhood. Maybe my childhood was surrounded by a different group of friends. The economical difference among the various levels is obvious, specially in Lima. It is as if there are two different countries in one city.

There is a general strike by farmers right now. Some of the freeways have been blocked. The main reason is because the government is increasing the cost of fertilizers. Also, lots of fights about privitetization of cultural areas. I am not sure if the government of Alan Garcia understand what the population is thinking. I have not been affected by the strikes, thankfully. It is just so nice to use the plane. On that theme, back to the U.S. tomorrow, and see what happens to Hillary.

Machu Picchu is for sissies, real men go to Huayna Picchu

Hello from Cusco, Peru. It has been a bit while since updating this blog. I was busy whoring around the sacred valley of the Incas. Everything went according to plan, or something like that.

Instead of staying in Cusco before visiting what tourists come here to do, I went straight from the airport to Ollantaytambo, one of the gateways to the sacred valley. It was a good thing too, because it was at a lower altitude and with beautiful views of the countryside. Well worth the trip.

Anyway, all trips are not adventures unless adventures happen. In my case, one of the side adventures happened when my companion and I went to the ruins of Pisaq. The taxi driver took us all the way to the top of the ruins (actually a mountain range). The idea being that we’ll walk a short distance down and he’ll be waiting us at the gateway half down. Obviously, we got lost. We kept walking down, and down, and down. An hour and half later, we ended up in the market of Pisaq town. Obviusly, our driver was not there and we had to find a taxi to drive us all the way up to meet our driver, who was already desperaretly waiting.

Ok, so much for that day. Next day is the jewel trip, that is, Machu Picchu. I already read from the guidebook that it is possible to go up to a nearby hill from Machu Picchu. It is called Huayna Picchu. Once you reach to the top of the hill, you have an eagle’s view of everything. Having had the misfortune of walking down Pisaq hill, I was not going to do that. But guess what. I met some other hotel guests while moving around Machu Picchu. They were a couple from San Salvador. They said, lets go there, it should be fine. Well, being the fool who I am, I followed them. Half way up this Peruvian El Capitan, they chicken out and decided to turn back. Me, being the foolish brave guy, decided to keep going. Vertigo or not. All I can say is that I did it. But being all the way up on the sky with nothing to hold you is something that will never leave my brain. Worse, once I was up there, there were no signs to go down. Thankfully, a met a couple of guys…yes gay guys…yes from San Francisco. They had a great guide, took pity of me and allowed me to follow them. Thinking about it makes my heart leap.

Ok, that’s it. Going to a bar called Fallen Angel now. Lets see if I have fallen enough

Meeting the ghosts from my past

Hello everyone from Lima, Peru. I arrived safely via the good hands of TACA. Thankfully, the diarreah that I contacted the day before departure disappeared during the flight. There is something to be said about modern medicine.

I spent the whole of yesterday touring the central area of Lima. Like all tourists, I am staying in Miraflores, the safer neighbourhood. Weather is nice and I am having a good time.

One of the reasons that I decided to tour central Lima was to visit the apartment complex where my sister used to live. I fondly remember coming down from the mountains and visiting her in the Summer. For a mountain boy, it was like heaven going to the coastline and touch the ocean.

The apartment complex is in the middle of Lima´s Chinatown. Seeing it bought memories of those long years past. I was able to go inside and walk through all the corridors. But as the saying goes, you cannot go home again. The Lima of then is quite different than the Lima of now. I have a vivid memory of the apartment complex being a lively place with children running around and neighbours talking to each other. The corridors were bright because people lefts their doors open. Nowadays, all the apartments have iron segurity gates. Everything is dark. Nobody is around. Actually, although the whole Chinatown seems to be quite lively and with lots of activity, there was something lacking…where are the Chinese people?

El visitador is travelling

So, my friends, it is time to pack the bag, have a good night sleep, and take some rest.  In about 24 hours or so, I’ll be heading to the airport to take my TACA flight to San Salvador, connecting with another flight to Peru. I may be crazy going up the Andes at this time of the year. Also, I have not been feeling so good. So, this is certainly going to be an adventure.

I’ll try updating the blog via Internet cafes, but I would not hold my breath. In the meantime, happy blogging everyone.

The Microsoft bid for Yahoo – The real reason is AT&T?

I woke up today with the news that Microsoft is making a hostile, unsolicited bid for Yahoo. The pundits at the financial news stations keep talking about Microsoft’s need to compete against Google on the search engine area. All they were concerned was whether it makes good competition against Google.

Again, something splashed in my mind and I realized there may be something else behind Microsoft’s bid. A few messages earlier, I commented how I have been trying to lower my monthly fees for the Comcast cable TV service. At that time, I was trying to find an alternative product to the cable service. During my research, I stumble upon the Microsoft TV website (see here). It is basically software to provide TV content via broadband. Kind of like Apple TV. Microsoft is also including that kind of software in its Xbox game machines.

Reading through various discussions, I know that AT&T has been embarking on expanding its broadband infrastructure by laying new cable optics lines (basically, what the cable companies did in the late 90’s). In 2004, AT&T already selected Microsoft TV to be the software platform. As we also know, AT&T also has Yahoo as the portal for its broadband subscribers. Soooo….Maybe Microsoft is really going beyond what the pundits are saying. That is, beyond trying to compete in the search engine area, it may be viewing the purchase of Yahoo as also a stepping stone into a revenue stream obtained through any future partnership with AT&T.  Remember that AT&T is also a giant wireless phone company. Just my two cents.