To Cambodia by bus

We're travelling so I've taken a break from posting Peru things and hope my accumulating stock of photos will keep me busy for those long winter nights. It's been a wonderful adventure -- only a smidge of the runs and that passed fast. Imodium and cipro are my friends! After a few days in Ho Chi Minh City … Continue reading To Cambodia by bus

Lake Titicaca

Puno is Peru's major port on Lake Titicaca. Shared with Bolivia, Titicaca's 12,500 ft. elevation makes it the world's highest navigable lake. We set out early for our lake trip and the first stop was a group of floating islands (Islas de los Uros) in marshy areas near Puno. The Uru people live on more … Continue reading Lake Titicaca

Pressing on to Puno

We departed Chivay for a look at the Colca Canyon which descends more than 10,000 feet making it the deepest canyon in the world. Despite low agricultural prices which make farming unprofitable, people still cultivate some of the terraces which line the canyon. The Colca Canyon is also home to Condor Cross (Cruz Del Condor) where Andean condors make daily … Continue reading Pressing on to Puno

Up to Abra Patapampa & down to Chivay

We set off from Arequipa in a small bus with a new guide. Peter announced he would be our doctor and gave a detailed lecture on preventing altitude sickness. I had brought a prescription but opted for the recommended combination of coca leaf, dark chocolate and mineral water. I soon had a big wad of coca … Continue reading Up to Abra Patapampa & down to Chivay

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