Vietnam Visa sticker shock

Gone are the days of showing up at the border and having a nice man stamp your passport and welcome you to his country. We're planning our next trip to Vietnam and just got our 30-day multiple entry tourist visas. Almost C$200 each. Yikes! Here's the painful bill: Note that a multiple entry visa is required … Continue reading Vietnam Visa sticker shock

To Peru’s White City in the black of night

The 10-hour Nazca to Arequipa overnight bus trip was not a pleasant experience. There were no stops and the bus ground slowly on with lots of sharp turns and -- judging from the sound of the engine -- big hills. Maybe it was better that we couldn't see anything. The only alternative was to backtrack to Lima … Continue reading To Peru’s White City in the black of night

Peruvian textiles

Handmade textiles are a big part of Peruvian life. Alpacas and llamas provide the fibre which is often hand-dyed using traditional methods and is spun, woven, embroidered and knit into all kinds of products with both traditional and modern designs. Mummies are still clad in their 2,000-year-old shrouds and museums display some amazing examples of similarly-ancient … Continue reading Peruvian textiles

Nazca’s desert mummies

After the Nazca Lines flight, our stop at the Chauchilla Cemetery, an open-air Nazca Culture burial site and Indiana Jones movie location, was decidedly more subterranean. Legally protected since 1997, Chauchilla was discovered in the 1920s but local grave robbers (huaqueros) plundered valuable artifacts and damaged the site. The cemetery is in the middle of a … Continue reading Nazca’s desert mummies

Nazca Lines, Geoglyphs & Biomorphs

Ahhh… the big day… our flight over the Nazca Lines. Safety standards are said to be high for these flights, a co-pilot is required and they claim to have rigorous mechanical checks for the aircraft. Apparently this was not always the case but these flights bring in a lot of cash and they don’t want … Continue reading The mysterious Nazca Lines

Even if you’re not a birder, the Ballestas are remarkable

Wonderful visit to the Reserva Nacional Islas Ballestas. Only protected since 2010, the area was once covered by guano up to 70m thick. The nineteenth century guano trade created modern "input-intensive" farming and guano is still mined though in much lower quantities. Before the birdshit came the birds and they are still there in vast quantities and configurations, … Continue reading Even if you’re not a birder, the Ballestas are remarkable

Dry & dryer… on to Paracas

Departed Lima for Paracas, a coastal city several hours south, aboard a double-decker tourist bus. A very bleak desert journey with endless semi-cultivated fields, debris, half-finished buildings and an occasional dusty person. A depressing sight and hard to imagine there was anything worth seeing or visiting. Our destination changed that perception. Paracas is a small, walkable beach … Continue reading Dry & dryer… on to Paracas

Acclimatizing in Lima

This was a first for us  -- a private tour put together for a group of friends, neighbours, relatives and assorted hangers-on. It was treat to be picked up at the airport and not face the unease that comes when arriving in a strange city at 2 am. Next morning we were right at it and had three … Continue reading Acclimatizing in Lima

The Blog Begins

Here we go... Tired of Facebook and needing a purpose for my photos I've become a blogger. They tell me that blogs require dedication and consistency so we'll see how it works out. There's a lot to talk about that doesn't involve politics -- retirement, photography & travel for starters -- and I hope you'll join me.