or Vegetation is over. Time to ripen

read on to come to know the truth about tomatoes:

[…] As I tie up the stalks, I think about the storms that blow through this time of year – bruising rain, sudden downdrafts – and it’s good to know that the tomatoes, at least, are safely moored.
But the truth is that I would rather grow tomatoes than anything else. Pathogens may spring from the soil in a hard rain onto the lower leaves, corrupting them, but the tomato stalk pushes upward, rampant, always probing outward, feeling its way, almost disregarding the fruit it was meant to bear.

Verlyn Klinkenborg, The New York Times

[full story at www.IHT.com]

worst product of the month:

the keyboard in the internetcafé at lima-airport (where i had quite enough time, as i had 27h delay…)

seen, tested and found it wanting. the power button right next to enter and del is indeed not a good idea.

hit by accident the pc shuts down immediately, without promting. no matter if you just had been editing a great story about lima in your browser-window…
bad thing….

anyway, by now im back in BsAs and try to enjoy my last few days as much as possible… 😉

still in cusco, but taking off soon.
now i know why it is called the rainy season, you could almost set your watch. every day, same time, same rain. after feeling quite lazy some days i moved myself to the agency to organize my trip up to muchu picchu.
due to haevy rainfalls the inca trail is closed, but there is a 2 days alternative, so i choose this option.

what really pissed me off, is that the whole thing is a big rip off. the only way to get into the valley is to take a train, you just get a ticked if you show your passport and then they charge you up to 45US$ oneway!. the cheaper ticket still is 35 bucks… tourists-tariff.
just at night and very early in the morning there is a mixed train for 12US$… so i took this one at night to aquas calientes and spent the night there. in the morning (at 6:00) i hiked back the rail tracks to km104 where the 2days trail starts. there i had breakfast with some loacal people (chicken with rice at 7:00am) and then i met up with a little group (you cant do the camino de los incas without guide) and we begun to ascend the mountain.
an amazing path, but very narrow and scary steep. passing by waterfalls, seeing a lot of beautyful flowers and funny animals. we spent the night up in the mountain in a kind of hostal to continue the next day at 4:00 am to machu picchu. as soon as sun set it started raining and didnt stop til dawn, when we were already on our way…
the first time we saw machu picchu it was quite covered in clouds, but it was still an amazing view!
it was good to be there before all the buses from aquas calientes arrived, coz then it bacame terribly crowded. altough it was rainy, cold and cloudy…

so here are the pictures, not as brilliant as you might be used to, but next time i will take more sun with me
have to stop spoiling you guys 😉

there are things you have to do… but you better tell your parents afterwards. after you survived.

as i was in potosí of course i visited a mine. those mines are not like a tourist-tour, they are still in use. there are still people in it digging all day. eight hours a day, seven days a week. the youngest are ten (10) years, till the end – expectation of life is about 45 years.
if this sounds shocking to you now, you may figure out how it feels being down there. four levels underground, hundrets of meters inside.

descending wasnt a big deal, although the wholes you have to crawl through are really narrow, neither feeling the beats hitting your body if there are explosions somewhere in the mountain (the agency i went with, is told the be the safest e.g. no explosions during the day, but other mines in the same mountain dont care about safety regulations), neither the heat of about 45ºC, bad ventilation or low oxygen because of the altitude of about 4200m was the really bad thing to cope with. chewing coca-leafs helps you to get over that…
but seeing 10-14year old children pulling the trolleys (each about 1,5t to 2t), standing beside them, staring and maybe taking some pictures like in a zoo makes you feel truly bad. somehow you legitimate your behavior by telling the world what unutterable happens there in bolivia.
on my way back to the surface i felt the first time something like claustrophobia. i dindt freak out, but my only thought was i wanna get out’a here!.

miners earn about 2-4 bolivianos an hour. 1€ is about 7 bolivianos…

mainly owend by canadian companies, but other so called developed countries are not better. europe (also austria) uses these commodities as well… at least your computer contents materials very likely mined in potosí.

right now i’m at 4070m in potosí (bolivia), an old mining town.
the last few days happend too mach to tell everything now. salar de uyuni was amazing, flooded with about 30cm of water like a perfect mirror reflecting mountains, clouds, everything. sleeping in barracks at 4600m. geysers at dawn at about 5000m, thermal springs to take a hot bath and lots more.
on the way back a stop in a little village joining them having a traditional celebration of whomever, getting stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere with our 4×4 enjoying the thunderstorm (amazing lightnings).
getting back to the ‚dark-city‘ of uyuni because the power supply line was cut due to the storm. having dinner with candles.
cought the last ticket twoday for the bus-ride (literally a ride, coz just 5% of all bolivian roads are paved) to potosí. told to be the highest city in the world, dont know if its true. btw. does anybody know the altitude of mont blanc?

es muss uebrigens nicht unbeding mustard sein, ich nehm auch gern euren senf

*in boliviaa (@ twoday staff: how the fu*@ can i write boli v i a without getting an anchor????)

quite an adventure!
first: the tickes were okay. almost. at the trainstation (1 1/2 hours before depature) they told us all tickets are personalized, if the name doesnt match with your id you cant get on the train. BUT you can change your name for an extra 15% fee. okay, no prob.
wrong. the only one able to change the name is the train conductor who was busy keeping bolivians from taking the train over.
while i queued up to get on the train my friend tried to check our tickets. a policeman (checking tickets and id’s) told me ‚you wont get on the train‘. somebody else explained me he actually ment my backbag, which was too big for the waggon. so i put my backbag to the cargo-waggon, not knowing if i could go with this train. back in the queue i herad the bell ringing: 5min to go.
as i still didnt know if we could get on the train i went back to get my bag off the train. ‚i cant give you your bag‘ – ‚why?‘ – ‚coz its the lowest one, i would have to move all other bags!‘
after telling him (using some very BsAs words, he probably didnt even understand) my bag is not leaving without me he started diging out my bag.
good. i had my bag back, but still no ticket… the horn of the train sounded. it is starting to move…
just in time my friend came running back ‚get on the train, get on the train!‘
in the beginning the conductor didnt let us, but after some secs we jumped on the already moving train.
the other conductore said we could go paing the 15% extra fee, okay. finally we made it.

wait. thats not the end of the story. after a while the (other) conducter came to check tickets: ‚we dont have the tickets, you know the other conductor has them‘ – ‚aha, your tickets please‘. so he pretended not to know. we offered him to pay the 15% or even 20% and thats it. he refused and explained we need to pay all the price for the trip. after arguing a while he said either we pay or we have to get off the train. tired of this supidness we just said ‚whatever, then you have to get us off the train‘.
he didnt.

i arrived in uyuni at about 2am after a 11 houres ride, which was supposed to be 5 hours.

tomorrow i make me on the way for a 4 days tour around the salar de uyuni. as i saw already some pics of somebody i met on my way i’m quite curious about that…

as i received some slight complains about writing in german ill write again in broken english now…

che, puto, seguí escribiendo tu weblog en inglés!!

humauaca is a nice, but very sleepy town. nothing to see… luckely my roommates in the hostle convinced me to join them for a trip to iruya. wow! a small little town half uphill and surrounded by an amazing landscape. just the road to get there is really scary… anyway, im happy i made it.

yesterday i took the bus tu la quiaca to cross the border to the bolivian town villazon. if anybody thinks argentina is 3rd wolrd (which is certainly not true) he should come over here to have a look…
today morning we (met someone heading same direction) went to the trainstation to get tickes for the 3:30pm train.
how foolish to think its that easy. first there is no staff, desks are closed, just to people sitting on the wooden benches waiting (for whatever). probably we made kinda lost impression so one of the two started to tell us soming about the bolivian style of traveling.
if you want tickets for saturday you have to start queuing up tomorrow at about 4:00am. other option is to take the bus, what she couldn recommend. actually she said, she didnt take the bus for the last seven years coz its too dangerous – unpeaved, steep, loose rocks, washed out etc.
okay, we left the station quite disenchanted.
we just crossed the street (or what is supposed to be one) a old women catched us up. she has tickets but couldnt go today… whatever, so we bought here tickes. not beeing sure if the are forged or not. we will see… at 3:30pm

if everything works out ill be in uyuni by tomorrow… im quite sure there wont be internet.

to everybody who wrote me an email:
i got that many emails and computers here are soo terrebly slow and bad that i wont reply to any of them. i hope you understand and the posting here is compensation enough.
all the best and please keep on writing altough it will take some time to get reply.

today morning i arrived quite wrecked here in san miguel de tucuman. as nobody wants to get toasted here, there is not a single soul on the streets before five pm. already used to the habits up here in the north i held my siesta as well.
as there is not very much to do or to see here ill continue heading to tafí de valle, ruins of quilmes and then cafayate (probably one overnight stop in tafí) tomorrow or the day after.
anybody out there who could tell me the name of the famous winery in cafayate?