Well, it was finally time for me to take down my former bio where I was enthusiastically looking forward to my trip to Peru. It is now in the history books and will always be remembered as yet another great trip.
So, with that being said, I am now noodling on where I want to go next year.
Quick update: I am not entirely sure where I will go, but the entry and exit tickets have been secured. I fly into Lima again, and fly out of Santiago, Chile. My initial idea was to jet up to La Paz, Bolivia directly from Lima and spend some time seeing the Salt Flats and such before heading over to Chile. I have had some very good suggestions and strong arguments for heading to Easter Island and then Tahiti. Wow, there is so much to think about. If you have any opinions, please feel free to share them with me. I love hearing a person's pros and cons about where to go.
March 21st 2013
Well, I have a feeling if you either know me or have read several of my blogs that you realize I am no Saint; however, I do love that my namesake is the patron saint of travelers. No wonder it is in my blood. Today’s blog is covering Lima and wrapping up my trip to Peru. I am home again looking back on one heck of a great trip, so thought I would wrap up Peru 2013. As with all things, there are times I will remember and smile at as well as times I will look back and wish had gone down differently. I saw some of the most beautiful sights imaginable, experienced things I had not expected and saw people proud of their heritage and living it as part of their everyday lives. As ... read more
March 19th 2013
The end is coming. I can smell it. I can feel the hustle and bustle of the Lima airport stalking me from 160 miles away. I walk quickly, looking over my shoulder to make sure it can't touch me, and realize the only sure way to beat it back is by going out and having copious amounts of fun to spite it. So, that becomes the plan for Ica. My Cruz del Sur bus took longer than I thought. I have no idea where I got the idea that it would only take a half hour. In that scenario it was perfect. I would leave Nazca at 11:30, arrive here around noon, have lunch and head off to explore. I reality, I missed lunch entirely, arrived to a blisteringly hot, crowded, madhouse of a city. I'm ... read more
March 17th 2013
I still wasn't having any luck finding a tour to the aqueducts or for the sand dunes. As I sat doing my research and combing through my guide books, the phone rang. The tour desk here at the hotel had 4 people confirmed for the dune buggy ride out to the sand dunes and would I like to go? Heck yeah I would! All I had to do was show up in the lobby at 2:30 with my sunglasses, hat, sun screen and a jacket for the ride home. Sign me up baby, I am going boarding down the sand dunes in the Peruvian desert, something I really wanted to do. Since I had several hours to kill, I decided to take the bull by the horns and just hire a dang taxi to take me ... read more
March 16th 2013
The overnight bus ride from Arequipa to Nazca was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. The seats were comfortable and reclined. The bad part is that when the person in front of me reclined all the way back, it crunched my knees so much that I couldn't sit with my knees forward. I used positions such as hanging over the armrest into the aisle, or propping my foot on the back of his armrest. One thing I thought was odd was that the driver videotaped each passenger while saying what seat number that person was in. I have no idea what that was all about. We left Arequipa at 9:30 and arrived in Nazca around 7. Although I was not able to check into the hotel until 2, they let me stash my luggage ... read more
March 13th 2013
My trip to the Colca Canyon and Cruz del Condor was so large that I wanted to write about the city of Arequipa in a separate blog. This actually includes the final day in Puno as well as the time in spent in the White City. had done some research and found an interesting day trip to do before I had to leave at 2:30. Not far from Puno is Sillustani, pre-Incan ruins on a hill overlooking Lake Umayo. I wasn't sure what to expect, but since it was something that Tara and I could do together, I was up for it. First we had to negotiate with a taxi driver to take us to the site, wait for us and then bring us back to Puno. Now, when I say we had to negotiate, I ... read more
March 13th 2013
I am hoping that the blog title will have captured your interest, because this was an absolutely amazing 2 day tour. For all of the internal freak outs I have had on this trip, my overnight trip to the Colca Canyon was absolutely postcard perfect. Pick up was at 7:30 yesterday morning. When the guide told me that it was a small group, I didn’t expect that it would be only 1 other person on the trip, and he was on a 3 day tour, so today I was the only person on the tour. For someone who doesn’t like crowds, this was an unexpected surprise. Both the guide and the driver were incredibly friendly and helpful. I swear, that driver had eyes like a hawk. He could spot a chinchilla resting on rocks beside the ... read more
March 10th 2013
Although this blog is centered around Lake Titicaca, I have to back up a bit and ease into it. I flew from Cusco to Juliaca yesterday and had an hour taxi ride to Puno, where I am staying. The flight was nondescript, but the views from the window were far from it. We flew over snow covered mountains and once we reached our final descent and I had to put my camera away, there were the most incredible storm clouds. I knew that this was going to be an interesting place. For quite some time, and I messaged about meeting while I was down here. Tara has been in South America a long time and I have enjoyed her blogs and photos. It is always a shot in the dark to try to be in the ... read more
March 8th 2013
Today started at 4:30 AM. My hike up Wayna Picchu, also spelled Huayna Picchu, was to start between 7 and 8 AM. They allow 200 people up in that time slot and 200 people up in another slot. I was determined to get up there before the rain. I had a quick breakfast in the hotel and was at the bus stop by 5:20. Heck, I was so early that I was on the 3rd bus up the hill. As we ascended the hill, the sun started coming up and it looked like a nice day. By the time we were waiting for the park to open at 6, it was beautiful. I bolted through the gate like the gazelle that some of my coworkers know so well. Off I went up the steep stone steps, ... read more
March 7th 2013
Yesterday was a day of travel. I met my tour organizer at 6:45 to head to the train station. Due to rains and landslides, the trains are unable to run for a good portion of the trip, so we were bussed over an hour to our train. Kind of makes me glad I didn't pop for the uber expensive Hiram Bingham train. Ok, so I am actually really glad I did not. On my tour yesterday someone who had just visited Machu Picchu told me that the best scenery was on the side of the train furthest from the station. Was my assigned seat there? As if! But, I was ready to sit and enjoy the ride when someone asked to switch to the same seat on the good side of the train. Why yes, I ... read more
March 6th 2013
Thankfully I woke up feeling so much better today. I always plan an extra day in my landing city for the most undesirable "Wallow Brendan" where I feel crappy, wallow in self pity and second guess my desire to travel. By the next day he has been beaten into submission by one of my other selves and off we all go to have the most wonderful time. That was how this trip started. I had a nice breakfast in the hotel, met for the tour to the Sacred Valley. To be honest, I really signed up for this tour to kill a day and had no real expectations. Was I ever wrong? Today’s tour was great and the group had some of the nicest, most interesting people on it. All in all it was fun to ... read more