Feb 21, 2019 - We go exploring: Machu Picchu and beyond!
Sorry for the delay, we have been having a few busy and physically challenging days, and the thought of gathering thoughts, much less photos, was too daunting... Yesterday we explored Machu Picchu, an Incan Citadel high in the Andes. We left our hotel at 4 am (ugh) in a driving rain ( double ugh) to take a taxi for 1 1/2 hours to take a train for 1 1/2 hours to take a bus for 40 minutes, to finally arrive at Machu Picchu. The ruins are spectacular, to have survived for the past 500 years in this climate is a testament to Incan ingenuity. It...Jump to full entry
Feb 18, 2019 - Exploring Cusco
Today was the perfect day to explore Cusco. The weather was mild with no rain. We mapped our route of the Museums that appealed to us and visited three of those while the fourth was closed. Barb and I are famously fastidious museum guests. We start at the beginning and go the end, examining each exhibit and read every explanation that is available. I do say that the quality of the museums was good, the exhibits well organized and English was provided. Although, why is the explanation on one exhibit three pages long in Spanish and only one...Jump to full entry
Feb 17, 2019 - Climbing (down) to Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Today we rode a bus from Puno and headed at last into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, The mountains were appropriately misty and mysterious. We descended about 1000 feet in elevation, and thankfully our headaches have disappeared. Our little hostel/hotel is perfectly situated one block off of the main square; the Plaza de Armes. It is a lovely park filled with families playing and spending time together. The Cathedral looms over one wall of the plaza, and the Jesuit church occupying the square to it's left. It appears that they have had a...Jump to full entry
Feb 15, 2019 - Puno: we are REALLY in the heights!
So, as many of you know, Barb and I tend to travel a bit on the cheap side; as an example, our current hotel is costing $26/night. For two people. I have always found the rooms to be clean, the staff welcoming and friendly. In fact the only time I have ever seen bedbugs was in a pricy hotel room in Vancouver, Canada. However, where I find this always to be a gamble is in... the bathroom. Specifically, the shower. Call it a foible of mine, but it can be 110 outside and I still do not want a cold shower. This is often a source of amazement to...Jump to full entry
Feb 14, 2019 - Traversing the plain to Puno
We left Arequipa at 8:45am; a much more civilized hour, if you ask me, and traveling the byways of Peru to land in Puna. This is where Lake Titicaca is located, and at 12556 feet elevation feels quite challenging. My legs feel like heavy weights, I feel lightheaded and headachy. On the plus size no nausea and vomiting, which I am told can be common initially. The sensation will pass hopefully soon; Barb and I have been upping our caffeine and chewing the local coca leaves, which is supposed to help. We shall see... We left Arequipa (a mere...Jump to full entry
Feb 11, 2019 - Arequipa trekking
Yesterday we wandered around Arequipa; partially to check out the town and partially because neither Barb nor I are terribly spatially aware and the streets are tiny and ancient and tend to change names every 50 meters or so... We saw several nice churches; lots of gold leaf and lots of bleeding subjects, then we went on a city walking tour of 2 hours, which wound up lasting about 4 hours... It was interesting, we saw where the original city was "founded" in 15 something by Spaniards. I am sure that the local population was glad to have...Jump to full entry
Feb 10, 2019 - The long, long ride to Arequipa
Well we made it to Arequipa, after a bus ride of it turns out 19 hours - it was a very comfortable bus, but ugh! Barb and I spent some time watching American films badly dubbed into Spanish with English subtitles and eventually without sound. It is so odd to see familiar actors sounding so differently than expected. We spend quite a bit of time discussing possible plots and concepts gone astray... Arequipa is lovely; built out of the local volcanic stone, which is white in color, so much of the old city is white, with bold accent colors....Jump to full entry
Feb 9, 2019 - Enjoying Lima
We had a wonderful, if steamy day here in Lima. The cab drivers keep saying that it must seem quite hot for us and we keep explaining that it is currently REALLY cold and snowy at out home. I suspect that Peggy Moe is very sorry that she lent me her down jacket for the trip!! We visited the San Fransisco church and Monastery, with catacombs and a huge library; looking much like a Harry Potter creation. It seems a bit ironic that the Catholic church was busy expressing horror about the way the natives sacrificed and buried their dead in a...Jump to full entry
Oct 29, 2018 - Amazon
A slight sleep in and breakfast at 6:30am before heading off to Oxbow lake. It took us a slow walk of around an hour with checking out plants and stuff along the way while trying to avoid the fire ants and bullet ants on the path (very painful if you get bitten by these). At the dock there were monkeys climbing in the trees but very hard to get photos of them amongst the branches. We took out a canoe and saw some very prehistoric birds on the bank and some Tucan in a far tree. Liberty had brought some bread and we fed the parana but they...Jump to full entry
Oct 28, 2018 - Amazon
Up at 4:30 to meet our guide Liberty for our Macaw clay lick activity, it was just Kelvin and I. It was a cool 2 hour boat ride up river and when we got there it started with a light rain. We walked around to a couple of spots where other tourists were bit the want much to see to start with, some distant green parrots and then we could see the Macaws gathering in the tops of trees. After just a little patience they started to come down to the clay lick. They were on the other side of the river so the best view was through the binoculars or...Jump to full entry
Oct 27, 2018 - Puerto Maldonado
Devided our gear so we had our small bag to take to the jungle lodge and were then collected for the airport at 10 am. Once dropped off we had a porter help us get all sorted with our boarding passes and luggage tags and placed in bag drop. He was a god send amongst the kaos but I'm not sure I tipped him enough. Our flight was delayed by 20 min but no big deal and only an hour flight. Getting off the plane or was hot. We were met outside by one of the staff and were added to the mini bus with other travelers. Made a note to all says try...Jump to full entry
Oct 24, 2018 - Machu Picchu
Up, breakfast and then wandered down to the train station just a little down from our hotel. Hung out in the waiting room for our train as the were a couple of different ones before ours. There was a dog that went and quietly sat with people while they waited. We boarded our Vistadome train and enjoyed the hour and half ride through the valley to Aguas Calientes (there town at the base of Machupichu). It was a little wet this morning which streamed up the window but still left great views along the way. We are met off the train and taken...Jump to full entry