All posts by Brendan Farrell

A Peruvian Art Exhibition

A short post for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Sit back and enjoy some Peruvian artwork.

Before departing to the Cerelias reservation, where we undertook our first true jungle adventure, we stopped in the small northern Peruvian town of Tarapoto.

We passed one particular night here in this town at a local art exhibition with an unusual theme related to all of the pieces on show.
It was an exhibition of local Peruvian artists, where one of the main attractions was that most of the art had been inspired by the consumption of Ayahuasca.

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The Jungle Scene – Arrivals

One week into my time in the jungle; I had a fresh scar on my left hand, another on my right leg. Machete gripped in hand, I would cut firewood for our cookfire before heading down to the river to collect water.

I stopped for a moment, and thought to myself, ‘this might be the most interesting thing that’s ever happened to me.’

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The Two-Week Teacher

On a trip of this scope, a cross-continental undertaking, it is necessary to have some kind of backup plan in terms of money. If worst were to come to worst, to have the means to be able to generate your own income.

With this in mind, before I left Ireland, I enrolled myself in a TEFL course, short for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. The course itself was time-consuming, although not incredibly difficult; due to English already being my first language, I was able to focus more on methods of teaching. I don’t consider myself a particularly good public speaker, though I am confident in my abilities as an English speaker.

On a mountainside in Peru, in a region known as Paltachayoc, there is a small school, with only two full-time teachers and nine students over two classrooms.

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This is where I taught my very first English class.

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Urpicancha – Volunteering By A Lakeside

Travelling from the small town of Huacarpay, along the road leading to Lucre, yet another small and quiet town; the road skirts along the coasts of Lake Huacarpay, mountains looming on the horizons and their distorted reflections mirrored on the lake surface.
The sun shines on yellowed grass until the late afternoon, the night is home to glimmering stars, the kind of which it is impossible to witness in a city.

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Some twenty minutes along, at about the halfway point between Huacarpay and Lucre, sitting at the lakeside, is Urpicancha.

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Food, Glorious Food

Yes, I know the title is clichéd. No, I won’t apologise for it.

Today is a quiet day, we depart for the town of Santa Teresa early tomorrow to begin teaching English. Last night, we decided to eat out, finding a Mexican place. Unfortunately, yesterday’s decisions are today’s problems and the food isn’t sitting too well with me. Live and learn, I suppose.

It got me thinking, though, about the food in Peru. And it is glorious.

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The Journey So Far – Preamble

Sitting on a balcony in a small bar in Cusco, sipping a cold Cusquena on a hot midday, I have decided that Cusco is, at this moment, my favourite place in Peru.

Firstly, there was Lima, and as I said in a previous post, there is something about that city that denies comfort, it’s a place where I don’t think I could ever happily live. Too much smog, too hectic, it’s a city of eleven million people where everyone is alone. You can feel the souls of these people struggling to be heard amidst the drowning noise of a city that seems to suffocate. From my conversations with Lima natives, it seems the city is expanding and growing quite rapidly in this current era, so I suppose that because of this growth in Lima, people have not had time to adjust, to incorporate and regulate city life in regards to culture and history.

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Instagram Now Live: strolling_notions

Update: broken link now fixed.

So, a lot of photographs are being taken during this trip so far. Particularly some beautiful ones from Colca Canyon near Arequipa (post to follow soon), and not nearly all of them will be used for the blog, so I dug up my old Instagram account and repurposed it for Strolling Notions.

Any photos that don’t make it to the blog (and there will be plenty) will be found there.

So, the Instagram username is strolling_notions, you can also check it out without a phone here.

Hope you enjoy.


Thoughts on Lima

I seem to be spending quite a lot of time writing on buses. At the moment I am sitting on a bus taking me from Lima, the capital city of Peru, to Arequipa, a small town around sixteen hours away. Most of my travel will be done by bus, if only for the simple reason that flying by plane is far too costly. Surprisingly, this bus is somewhat luxurious, large reclining leather, a complementary meal, and even television currently playing Taken 3 (albeit in Spanish).

I have just spent the past four nights in Lima, and to tell the truth, there is something about that city that makes me sad.

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A Short Ramble on Barcelona and San Feliue de Codine

Barcelona, a distinctly European city, with touches of French culture, particularly in the architecture of its many grand abodes, with the overarching and unmistakable atmosphere of the Catalan people; a certain sense of uniqueness that never makes itself obvious yet is always present. Maybe in the way a certain word is spoken or a specific gesture serves as a constant reminder that Catalonia is most definitely a country and culture in its own right, despite its political troubles.

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