Cold as a witch’s boob

I personally have no experience in the matter, but my friend Dave does. It’s hard to recycle the story but it’s a great story when you hear it from Dave himself. I’ll give you the short version anyway.

Dave and I used to work together. He was on my “team” at GE, now he’s moved on to management. Dave cut his teeth in aviation as a US Marine. He was a young Marine still in technical training when he started dating a cute young Navy electrician. If memory serves me they were both based in San Diego. I guess Dave didn’t understand at the time why this cute young thing didn’t seem to have a lot of dates and he took to liking her. After they’d been dating for a while, cute young electrician one night tells Dave that she is a witch. A bona fide practicioner of witchcraft, trained by her mother who was also a witch. I think cute young witch grew up in California, so that explains a lot.

Dave’s a good man and a God fearing Christian, the idea of dating a witch didn’t appeal to him too much but since he’d already been dating cute young witch for a while, he also didn’t break up with her right away. If I remember the story well, over a Christmas break he just decided not to call cute young witch and not to look her up after he got back to base. He didn’t really break up, he just disappered. In short, he woosed out.

The story ended with Dave standing around with his buddies one day when cute young witch snuck up on them and punched or yelled at Dave in front of all his buddies.

“You could have at least called!!!!”

And all Dave’s buddies: “Boohoo! She’s gonna put a spell on you!!!”

I never had the courage to ask Dave if cute young witch’s boobs felt really cold or not…

At any rate, the reason for all this talk about cold, is that it’s been unusually cold and rainy in the Cuzco area the past week or two. Normally between May and November the weather in Cuzco is great: sunny, dry and 21 degrees C (~72F) every day, with just a few clouds in the sky. As soon as the sun starts to go down though, it gets cold very fast. So these past couple of weeks, without the typical sunshine during the day, it was cold and miserable in Cuzco. Very unusual.

I had just returned home from a trip with stops in Nunavut (northern Canada), Greenland and Iceland, so you wouldn’t think I’d be cold in Cuzco, but I was.

The East coast of Greenland near Kulusuk

The East coast of Greenland near Kulusuk

Even after almost 4 years I still have a bit of a hard time with the climate and altitude in Cuzco. Cuzco is at an elevation of 3,400 meters or about 11,000 feet above sea level. I tend to get a little cold or flu more often in Cuzco than I did in the US or Europe. Patricia and Brianna hardly ever get sick, because they were born in Cuzco they are much stronger. I’m weaker than them and Patricia fusses at me every time I catch a cold or flu, but I blame it on being a bottle-fed baby. Silly Europeans and all their progressive nonsense!

Long story short, I’m seriously thinking about moving to the Sacred Valley of the Inca, which is about 3,000 feet (1000 meters) lower elevation than Cuzco and consequently has a milder climate, more tolerable for us gringos. With the boom in tourism and real estate in Peru, I’d like to beg, borrow or steal (not really) some capital and build a few villas in the Sacred Valley of the Inca as an investment project. From a little bit of research we’ve done here, building villas in the valley is a good business, as is building apartments in the city of Cuzco for that matter. I’m told you can make 20% return in less than a year, probably more if you have capital available and don’t need to borrow it. What many people do is build 5-6 apartments, condos or villas, sell all but one and have a free house for themselves at the end of the day.

That’s my plan, all I lack is time and money 🙂

Here’s some random pictures of the Sacred Valley of the Inca:

Brianna in Urubamba, Sacred Valley of the Incas

Brianna in Urubamba, Sacred Valley of the Incas

Overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Inca from the shrine of Señor de Huanca

Overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Inca from the shrine of Señor de Huanca

Dining room of a hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Inca

Dining room of a hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Inca

Back in Cuzco… and still raining.

This blog’s been awful quiet for the past month or so because I was on trip “up North”. I was gone for just over a month and was hoping that rainseason in Cuzco would have begun to fade away by the time I got back, but no such luck. I’ve been back in Cuzco since Sunday and we’ve had rain every single day since then. No worries though, another month or so and rainseason should be history. After that the forecast is 70 degrees (20C) and sunny through November.

Speaking of weather, I had some interesting weather on my trip. First I spent a few days in Lima which has hot beach-going weather during the Southern hemisphere summer. Then I was off to Quebec City, where there was about 2 feet of snow on the ground and I saw 3 snowstorms in 10 days:

Quebec City in winter

Quebec City in winter

After Quebec City I headed North to Iqaluit in Nunavut, Northern Canada. Temperatures in Iqaluit were about -27C (-17F) during the day with even colder wind chills. I admire the local Inuit who live there. (Inuits are the native population of the Artic regions, we used to call them “eskimo”, but I think that’s a bad word now)

Frozen Frobisher Bay

Frozen Frobisher Bay

After Iqaluit the temperature got about 10 degrees warmer every day for the next 3 days of my trip. First I flew out of Iqaluit to Greenland:

Preheating the airplane in Greenland

Preheating the airplane in Greenland

Compared to Iqaluit, the -16C (3F) temperatures in Sondre Stromfjord (Greenland) actually felt mild! Then I flew over to the East Coast of Greenland where the forecast 15 MPH winds turned out to be 35 MPH gusting to 50 MPH by the time of my arrival, so I diverted to Reykjavic (Iceland), which was supposed to be my next stop anyway. The next morning I took off amid snow showers in Reykjavic, but when I arrived in Egilsstadir on the East coast of Iceland, the weather was just beautiful:

Landing at Egilsstadir, Iceland (BIEG)

Landing at Egilsstadir, Iceland (BIEG)

Finally on to London. I landed in London in rain and low ceilings, but the next day it was sunny and mild, an unusually beautiful day for mid-March:

A beautiful day in London

A beautiful day in London

In case you’re wondering about the reason for the trip: one of the things I do occasionally to stay gainfully employed is to deliver airplanes. Small, personal or business type airplanes. Typically someone buys an airplane in the US and needs it delivered to Europe or another area of the world. I take an airline flight out of Lima to the US to pick up the airplane, deliver it where ever the final destination may be, then take another airline flight back. For most trips I can be back “home” in Cuzco in about 2 weeks, but on this last trip I ran into some delays and was gone about a month.

Read more about the fun and adventure on my flying blog. 😉