Phil Murray


Phil Murray

Just another travelin' Texan looking to experience the world.

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores December 20th 2010

It took about 15 hours yesterday, but we made it to the hotel here in Miraflores (a suburb of Lima) about 11:30 last night after a relatively smooth trip. Good weather and no delays actually caused us to arrive a little early. Sadly, it's not always that way! Mary is at the dentist office right now while I'm sitting a sidewalk table at Starbucks waiting for everything to open so I can do my errands. Technology is a wonderful thing. I can make this entry on my iPad and later make phone calls here and back to the US also with my iPad for almost no cost. Fortunately wifi is as common here as back home. We have tickets for a 16-hour bus trip to Cajamarca in the north, but I'm hoping to find cheap tickets ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » Richardson December 19th 2010

It's nearly 6 am and I've already been up for 2 hours after getting to bed after midnight. We had a lot of things to do yesterday and a lot of packing, but now it's time to finish and head to the airport for our flight to Miami where we'll catch the second leg to Lima. Mary hasn't been back in 3½ years and it's been nerly 4 years since she's seen her mother so she's pretty excited. It'll be my 16th trip to Peru, but this one will be very different as we'll be spending some time in her mother's very remote, very rural village deep in the Andes. I'm not sure what to expect! I'll try to post each day, but it may not be possible. Feel free to email at -- I'd ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu June 24th 2009

I´m not going to write a lot tonight. I returned a little awhile ago from Machu Picchu after ten hours of exploring the site and my legs are exhausted. I left about 6:30 in the morning and caught a bus up the mountain to the entrance. I heard some folks talk about climbing the moutain Wayna Picchu for the beautiful views high above MP. Like an idiot, I said, why not? I guess it is one of those things that you just can´t pass up if you have the opportunity, but it was incredibly difficult, thought the reward when reaching the top was a spectacular view of the ruins far below. It was the steepest climb I´ve ever undertaken. How the Incas managed to do it, I´ll never know. Once back down, I explored everything I ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes June 23rd 2009

It’s Tuesday night and I’m in Aguas Calientes, the tiny pueblo which serves as the base for Machu Picchu activities. Pretty much everything here revolves around the ruins. And it really is tiny. I’ve walked from one end to the other several times. Because Inti Raymi and tomorrow’s strike has pretty much isolated the village, it is very dead today. I think there are only a handful of tourists in this hostal, Hostal El Tumi (which isn’t very nice by the way). In fact, there are relatively few tourists here in Aguas Calientes at all. I found out that the strike will cover LOTS of things including restaurants tomorrow. I bought a few things to eat, but I’m counting on the strike ending tomorrow night. I’m really curious to know if I will be able to ... read more
Railroad in the Rainforest
Rio Urubamba and Aguas Calientes
Aguas Calientes

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco June 22nd 2009

The last couple of days have seen some interesting ups and downs which, I suppose will make the trip more interesting when I look back on my time in Cusco. Fortunately, my cold has just about subsided and the pain in my calf has also become bearable - something I’m a little surprised about considering how much walking I’ve done up and down Cusco’s really steep hills. I’ve dealt with over fears about strikes keeping me stuck in Cusco or Aguas Calientes past the time I need to return to Lima to catch my flight home. After watching the protests and hearing rumors of a shutdown of the airport this week, I think the huge number of national police have calmed to protesters just enough to keep everything open. Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well at all, ... read more
Traditional Dancers
Traditional Dancers

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco June 21st 2009

This is going to be a short day time-wise. It’s 6:30 in the evening and I hope to be asleep within an hour. Unfortunately, this cold is really beating me down. The congestion really makes it hard to breathe when you’re at 11,000 ft! I didn’t get much sleep last night - that sure didn’t help my cold - because I left for the airport at about 3:15 in the morning. The flight was again without problems. It was about 2/3 full of Japanese tourists including the two ladies who sat next to me. They spoke a little English and were very polite and helpful in the short 50-minute flight. Because of clouds and the early morning hour, sightseeing in the Andes was very limited, but I did get a good look at Artesonraju, the steep, ... read more
La Compania
Tradtional Dancers
Swine Flu

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Lima June 20th 2009

I'm back in the airport. It's 4:22 and I've been up for about two hours now. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep, but in about three hours I'll be in the Inca capital of Cusco. I have been extremely lazt the last couple of days and last night discovered why. I've come down with a pretty nasty little cold -- sore throat, congestion and some sneezy, and feeling really tired. I'm a little better after drinking some orange juice here in the airport Starbucks, but I need to sleep and get some rest to be ready for the next six days -- especially a very busy two days at Machu Picchu. Being without internet access in the hotel has been a pain, too, but that's one little incovenience I can deal with. Late yesterday ... read more
Paragliders over the Pacific

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores June 19th 2009

I’m back in Lima. Actually it’s Miraflores, an upscale suburb of Lima that is very popular with tourists, very safe, and is very much like any U.S. city. I got to the hotel about noon and immediately went to KFC for lunch. I know that’s sad, but I had to have some American food for a change. I'm pretty spoiled after having internet access last week. My hotel here (Hotel las Palmas) is comfortable and convenient, but it doesn't have wi-fi so I have to hike over to a nearby Starbucks to access the internet. The last couple of days haven’t seen any writing because, to be honest, I haven’t done much. When I returned to Iquitos I just didn’t want to be out in the heat and humidity any longer so I spent a lot ... read more

South America » Peru » Loreto » Iquitos » Amazon Rainforest June 15th 2009

Just have time for some quick notes about yesterday’s excursions. I had a great time visiting the local villages - especially Segundo’s home on the other side of the river. I felt like the Pied Pier of Hamlin. Once they got over their intial shyness, kids in both villages followed me around and had a great time seeing themselves on videotape. I spent several hours playing with them. Today we’ll visit a local school in the morning, return for lunch, then catch a boat back to Iquitos. Hopefully, I’ll be at the hotel by late afternoon and can get a nice, hotel shower. I wish I had spent more time writing each day, but I plan to catch up once I get back to the city. I’ve got a lot of photos and tons of video, ... read more

South America » Peru » Loreto » Iquitos » Amazon Rainforest June 14th 2009

It’s early Sunday morning in the rainforest. It’s about 6:50 in the morning as I write and it looks like a beautiful day ahead. The last two have been pretty overcast and a little wet, but that has also kept us cloaked in unseasonably cool temperatures. Sleeping has been easy the last 2 nights. I’m curious to see what today will bring, though I can take a little discomfort for another day and a half. I’m awfully curious to see how the video will come out. It’s frustrating not to be able to do some editing or even look at it on a bigger monitor, but I’ll be able to hook up to the TV in my hotel room once I return to Iquitos tomorrow. Soon we’ll be served breakfast - the menu say scrambled eggs ... read more

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