At the moment, I am locked, dear readers, into a Duolingo streak. It’s only about a week and a half long at the moment but I’m determined to keep it going and revive my Spanish skills from the dusty drawer in my brain marked “GCSE bollocks”. This means, of course, that I spend a lot of time looking at the loading screen for the app since our WiFi is not the best and, while waiting for the lesson to load, a fact pops up which tells me repeatedly that “15 minutes of Duolingo a day can teach you a language. What can 15 minutes of Instagram do?”
Besides the obvious – wasting time, making you jealous of all your friends’ travels, of all the bodies of the models you follow, of the vegan food you can’t be bothered to cook, etc – it is also so much more than that. It has launched people’s careers, it inspires creativity in photography and photo editing (to some extent) and also it’s just fun. And that’s not such a bad thing, right?
My news feed tends to be filled with yummy food, pole dancing videos far beyond my capacity and a few celebrities I like. I’m the first to admit that I sometimes spend far too much time on there, but how else would I be able to drool over pole combos and my friends’ incredible travel photos? I also use Instagram as a photo diary, posting every time something of note happens, and I stalk back through my own profile far more than anyone else’s.
*pauses writing this blog post to do exactly that*
Last weekend, we visited Lake Humantay, one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen thus far in my (relatively short) life. We took a lot of photos. We put those photos on Instagram. One of the reviews of the tour (probably written by a bitter middle-aged mum called Sharon) was ringing in my ears as I did so. They had said they hadn’t had enough time to look at the lake, but that this “works for those who simply want that one photo to put on Instagram…”
Why the need for spite? The Lake was beautiful and I wanted to post a photo of it to commemorate the experience.
The hike to the lake itself was tough. It’s only a two-hour hike, but a three-hour drive away from Cusco in an upwards direction means that it was the highest altitude I had ever experienced and I was incredibly out of breath and light headed at various points. But, despite how tempting it was, I refused to get on a horse, and powered on up the steep incline, to be rewarded by these fantastic views at the top.
Instagram worthy? I think so.
The other trips we went on involved some more incredible views, this time seen from a quad bike. Moras and Moray were picturesque, to say the least, but the thrill of riding at high speed along a near-deserted road was unbeatable.
As my first fortnight abroad draws to a close, I’m looking forward and beginning to plan the next chapter of my adventure. Once the volunteering project in Cusco finishes (more on that next time!), I plan on heading into the jungle for a week, before exploring the volcanoes in Arequipa, the lines in Nazca and the food in Lima. I’ve been flicking feverishly through my travel guides, emailing hostels and just generally getting excited about where to go next.
Before that, though, a week of Halloween celebrations (and the Incan Day of all the Dead Souls), and a trip to Machu Picchu next weekend! Stay tuned by subscribing to email updates, and like and share this blog post with your mates if ya fancy!
Until next time,
The Bechdel Bitch