Page 3 of Purple Haze Travel Blog Posts

South America » Peru » Ica » Paracas July 12th 2013

On our last few days in Arequipa we trawled through the local cheap eateries with Shane and Tom, demolishing massive hamburgers for $2 and other grease laden goodies for not much pocket change. The boys left for Bolivia and we headed north to Paracas, on the coast just up fom Ica. We had bought tickets for a mid-priced bus, which we will never do again. The overnight bus left 30 min late and this must have been enough of a reason for the driver to thrash the bus down the mountain, with the bus lurching from side to side as we weaved down the mountain towards to sea level. The better buses here are fitted with an alarm that is triggered off when the bus goes over 90km. The ear piercing alarm did not stop the ... read more
Birds on Islas Ballestas
Adolfo and his Ferrari

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon July 10th 2013

Arriving in Arequipa just as the sun rose on a Monday morning, we got a cab to our hostel and after waking up the owners, we luckily had our room available where we could have a hot shower and pass out for the rest of the morning. As you don't sleep much on the long bus rides here, it feels like mild jetlag the day you arrive somewhere and inevitably means that a good part of the day is lost. Stumbling out of the hostel sometime after lunch we were greeted by a bustling city, heavily influenced by Spanish Architecture with a lot of the main monuments being made out of the white basalt rock that was mined from the 3 huge Volcanoes that tower over the city nearly 4000m above us. At 6057m Chachani is ... read more
View over Arequipa to the Pikchu Pikchu Range
Condor at Cruz del Condor
Juvenile Condor at Cruz del Condor

South America » Peru » Cusco » Moray July 2nd 2013

On our last night in Cusco we caught up with Matt and Tasha, an English couple we met in La Paz about a month ago, and introduced them to Paddy's Shepherds Pie. They are a nice couple, similar age to us, and we shared recent travel stories and lamented over the fact that most of the date of births registered on our recent tour groups are in the 90's. It was nice to catch up with them, and we will probably do so again in a few weeks when our paths cross again. The next day, we had 12 hours to kill before our overnight bus to Arequipa, so we thought we would kill some of the time by visiting the Moray Inca ruins and the Salinas de Maras (Maras Salt Mines) around an hour out ... read more
Salinas de Maras
Salinas de Maras
View to Cordillera Range from Moray

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco June 28th 2013

We decided to forgo Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca and head straight to Cusco from Copacabana. This involved a very straight forward border crossing into Peru and a few hours layover in Puno, where we stumbled across Kyle again. We had met Kyle, a very young something Canadian traveller in La Paz. He has been travelling for 14 months and lost his credit card in Paraguay, and has since been scrimping, borrowing and hitch hiking his way to Lima where he had a flight to the states. When we last saw him in La Paz he had just managed to bribe his way out of an 8 hour stint in the local jail for drinking Singani on the streets with some local alcho's. When we saw him in the Puno Bus Terminal, he had ... read more
Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun)
One of the many paiper mache statues created for the festival
Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun)

South America » Peru » Cusco » Inca Trail June 25th 2013

Day 1 of our 4 day Inca Trail trek saw us rise at 3.30am, as we were being picked up at 4am for the 2.5 hour drive to the registration point and the beginning of the trail at Piscacucho. At 2600m it was the first time in nearly 2 weeks that we were below 3000m. This did not last long though as soon we climbed up to 3000m as the trail weaved through the Sacred Valley floor. It was quite warm, and Humming Birds were furiously beating their wings everywhere. By 1.30pm, we had reached our lunch spot and tucked into a delicious 3 course meal stacked full of carbs, as after we lunch we had to ascend to 3800m to our campsite for the nigh at Llulluchapampa. It was 4 hours of straight ascending mostly ... read more
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
All fresh and clean at the beginning of the Trek

Sore and tired after cycling down the WMDR (yes we are feeling our age), we sensibly had an early Saturday night in preparation for a 7.45am bus ride to Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We thought La Paz was chilly, but Copacabana takes the mickey, at just over 3800m the air is thin and cold, and when in the shade with a breeze blowing, positively freezing. Copacabana is only 100km or so from La Paz, but it takes almost 4hrs to get there. Firstly, it is just over an hour to get out of El Alto, the ever increasing suburb in the outskirts of La Paz. It is the fastest growing area of Bolivia as all of the people from the Altiplano move in from the country in search of a 'better' life in ... read more
Sunset in Copacabana
Sunset in Copacabana
Trout anyone?

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz June 15th 2013

After a slightly scary flight from Rurrenabaque that was completely in the clouds we landed in La Paz on a cold and wet day. The flight was as i say slightly scary as we were completely covered in cloud flying through mountain passes, some of which we did not get higher then on the previous flight. It was made worse by the fact that co-pilot kept falling asleep! I didn't think La Paz got any rain at this time of year, and it painted a very different picture. Not only could you not see the glacial capped mountains, but we could not see the top of the valley. It was a bit miserable after sunny Rurre. We had made plans with Paul and Sharon to go to Restaurant Gustu on our second night back. Gustu opened ... read more
Start of the Ride
Mojo ready to tackle WMDR
View back up to where we started

Sorry folks, a lot of photo's and words in this entry... We were not feeling all that crash hot in La Paz, be it from some food we ate, the altitude, or the fact that we were staying in a hostel with a microbrewery attached... So we decided to forgo biking down the world's most dangerous road until later, and head down to Rurrenebaque, to visit the Amazon for the first time. The thinking was that a warm climate and so fresh food would do us the world of good. It sorted me out, but not mojo... The flight out of La Paz was at 10am, enough time to make sure the planes were flying at that time (as in previous days the early flight were delayed due to freezing conditions), and we thought enough time ... read more
This moth was the size of my hand

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz June 4th 2013

So what do you do on a chilly Sunday afternoon in La Paz, go watch Bolivian women wrestle of course! No joke. We were told about this by some fellow travellers a month or two back, so we thought we would give it a go. It sounded like it could be a bit of a backpacker tourist trap, but we were pleasantly surprised. Yes there are a few bus loads of backpackers there, but there is a lot more locals who really get into it. It looked like some of the crowd really lived in anticipation all week waiting for Sunday to roll around, when they could yell abuse at the wrestlers and referees and throw all sorts of food into the ring. It was straight out of Nacho Libre, and good fun, considering it was ... read more
View Over La Paz
View over La Paz to Cerro Illamani
View over La Paz to Cerro Illamani

South America May 25th 2013

Our last day sees us up at sparrow fart again, for our last attempt to try and find the Giant Anteater that we saw on our first night, and has been evading us ever since. Once again he is successful in avoiding our futile attempts at tracking him down. We spot lots of animals, but no new ones that we have not seen on the previous days. After promising to go on a diet after the Pantanal, we tuck into out last buffet breakfast and make sure we get our fill, as the next three hours will be spent canoeing down the Rio Claro. It is a nice way to see the bird life as we are silent in our approach and less threatening at 2 feet off the water. There are Kingfishers everywhere eyeing for ... read more
Typical Pantanal Bridge on the Transpantaneria
Our trusty Combi

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