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Heliboogie 2017

The stunning Kjerag Cliff near the small town of Lysebotn, is one of the most beautiful base jumping sites in the world.  Norwegian Stein Edvardsen, founder of The Norwegian Base Association and later The Stavanger Base Klubb, is credited with bringing Kjerag Cliff as a jumping site to the attention of the world. The Helicopter Boogie at Kjerag in Lysebotn began in 2000. Prior to that, base jumping from Kjerag meant a long 5 hour hike in.  This year I was very fortunate to attend and see my little brother Simon participate. The weather was not the best, but the jumpers managed to find small windows of clear sky to sneak in jumps between heavy fog and drizzling rain.  I was so excited about my first heli ride up to the top that Simon kindly gave me his GoPro. It was exilerating!  Here is a video of the heli experience and watching Simon jump. It includes his Headcam view. Enjoy!

 

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RSIS: Day 2+: CUSCO & Lamas & ¡Potatoes!

Thursday July 19th we all flew to Cusco where we had a lunch and heard our first of many versions of the song “Pacha Mama”  (Earth Mother).

[wpvideo mQvSyhO1]

After lunch we headed off in the bus and stopped off to learn about llamas…….  (pronounced yamas!)

I knew nothing about them and had no idea how fascinating they are!  Firstly, despite their lack of a hump or two, they are related to camels and are in fact in the same family (Camildae). Just like camels, they are even-toed ungulates which means they have bumps on the soles of their feet.

Before you start telling me I have mispelt the title on the video below by leaving out an “L”, let me explain that the llama and the alpaca are two different species that have been in and out of the same genus.  Firstly they were classified in the Camelus genus, then later the genus called “Lama”  – so one may be forgiven for calling them all llamas! However consensus in South America is that there are 4 species under two genera:

Genus Lama = species llama & guanaco

Genus Vicugna = species alpaca & vicuña

Vicuñas and guanacos are timid and not usually domesticated.

Llamas and alpacas have been domesticated for over 1000 years, llamas being used for meat and as pack animals and alpacas more for their wool, which is lanolin free.  All of them come in a range of colours, as you will note in the photos. Llamas range from 5 – 6ft and can weigh up to 200kg, whereas alpacas are smaller. Llamas are social creatures that live in herds and can reach a ripe old age of 30.
¡One rather interesting fact about llamas is that they mate lying down and for an extended period of time, ranging from 20 – 45 minutes! Females mature much earlier than males (not so unusual) and ovulation is stimulated by mating (very unusual!).  Baby llamas are born weighing between 9 – 14 kg and their gestation period is 11 1/2 months!  Babies are born in the mornings so as to avoid both predators and the cold.

Enjoy the photos………. (and the silly Llama song)

[wpvideo FNxMpL3w]

Peruvians love their potatoes and corn!  I have never seen so many different varieties of corn and potatoes!  There are over 55 different varieties of corn – different sizes and colours!

Potatoes are even more interesting!  There are apparently over 5ooo different varieties of potatoes in the world and 3ooo of these can be found in Peru!  The potato, as part of the human diet, can be traced back to over 8ooo years ago in the high Andes of Peru. The humble spud fed the Incan armies, and the Spanish conquistadors introducted them to Europe.

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Damn Lenses!

Now it is tomorrow and this is not a great day!!

I can’t get the damn things out!  I tried and tried last night and ended up having to go to sleep with them in.

I still can’t get them out!

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The beginning….

This is a blog…. It is set in the My Blogs page.

The latest posts are at the top,

so this is actually the very first post.

Read from here upwards.

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