Page 2 of sapere18 Travel Blog Posts

South America » Peru » Ayacucho » Ayacucho July 9th 2010

The problem isn’t getting to Huancavelica from Huancayo to the north. It is trying to arrange any sort of transportation from the departmental capital moving south to Ayacucho. This missing link assures that foreigners will not go out of their way to spend time in the area. Until a bus link is established, Huancavelica will remain very quiet and its potential underdeveloped. “Four?” Then there was a very deafening pause, “In the morning?” “I told you, that’s the only way we can get out of town without going back to Huancayo.” And I am NOT going back to Huancayo, so help me! I failed to verbalize that last point to her. Rosalinda was discovering the ins and outs of getting around Peru. Moreover, being from Juliaca in the flatlands of the south around Lake Titicaca, the ... read more
She's Done This Before
Knees To Your Chin
Are We There Yet?

South America » Peru » Huancavelica » Huancavelica » Yauli July 8th 2010

If Huancavelica moves slowly, Yauli goes in reverse. A bucolic settlement forty minutes from Huancavelica by taxi, it is an unassuming town of a few thousand far enough away to leave the tedium of Huancavelica behind but original enough to make a day of it. Within ten minutes of leaving Huancavelica, the taxi turns off to the right and dips along an unpaved road. The track hugs the mountainside. Large birds of prey float overhead. Cattle graze in yellow fields cordoned off by stone fences. The river water looks deceptively clean and fresh. Rosalinda and I jump in the collective taxi at the noisy and scummy bus depot in Huancavelica. Just two minutes later, the final third and fourth passengers arrive. Collective taxis only leave when full, meaning it could be a quick wait or it ... read more
Vote for Cura!
Vibrant Colors
Attending to Details

South America » Peru » Huancavelica » Huancavelica July 7th 2010

Someone did something to piss off the driver who is taking us from Huancayo to Huancavelica. Master of his own Nissan sedan equipped for four scrawny passengers, he seemed to be in a good mood. Perhaps he was rooting for Argentina and lost it after they rendered a fourth goal to the Germans. I honestly have no idea, but why did he have to take it out on us? It is no wonder why Peru is famous for stories that appear in the newspaper or on the evening news about public transportation vehicles that roll down hillsides. I never really understood why until we got Mario Andretti as a driver. Rosalinda and I are pinned in the back seat like some high school physics experiment on centrifugal force. The racecourse is a one hundred fifty kilometer ... read more
Vertigo, Anyone?
A Cover for a Travel Book?
Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas

South America » Peru » Huancavelica » Huancavelica July 4th 2010

I once thought that those who contract altitude sickness were simply doing something wrong. They didn’t take the proper precautions. They were not employing the proper breathing techniques to get enough oxygen into their system. I was sure if I concentrated enough and took very deep breaths this surely would not happen to me. Rather it would be the other passengers who would start to sway and feel ill on the morning bus ride to Huancayo. It would take me over a high range of the Andes. I have rarely encountered motion sickness, so there was nothing to worry about. Motion sickness and altitude sickness are nearly the same, right? The highway from Lima to Huancayo begins to seriously incline after Chosica. The climb is not as if the bus were pushing its way up a ... read more
Orihuela Residence
Orihuela Residence
Inner Patio at the Orihuela's

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Barranco June 30th 2010

“Wh-What are those?” Rosalinda’s tone was one of shock and extreme disapproval. She pointed at the region around my thighs. I bent over to look for a creepy crawly or perhaps an embarrassing stain left over from lunch. Nothing. I bent around and took a gander down my backside. The coast was clear. I was relieved. It couldn’t be anything too humiliating.. “What are you talking about, Rosalinda?” “Those!!!” “My pants?” Even louder, “Your”, it was the pause that got to me, “jeans!” “What’s wrong with them? They look fine to me.” The fact is they weren’t fine, especially not for a Peruvian woman. “They’re all wrinkled and saggy. They don’t fit you.” Rosalinda, much to my amusement, was becoming visibly upset over the cultural perception on how jeans are to be worn in public. “No, ... read more

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Barranco June 30th 2010

Foreign tourists safely roam in the midst of the bright lights of Miraflores. They’re in a comfort zone. The posh coastal district of Lima calls them to what is achingly familiar. Need a pair of shoes? There is Payless. Don’t like the powdery dust that passes for instant coffee at your guesthouse? Then pick up a double mocha flat cinnamon decaffeinated latte with an imported caramel twist at Starbuck’s. Hungry? Kentucky Fried Chicken is right around the corner. Miraflores glistens with casinos, high rise apartments, and terribly beautiful women. It is where most non-Peruvian tourists come to enjoy the nightlife in Peru without having to plan for anything, including their safety. Circling the tastefully manicured centerpiece of the floral trimmed Parque Kennedy once, even I have let my guard down for the first time in Lima. ... read more
Quiet Chatter
Late Night Snack

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Barranco June 29th 2010

From the beginning I have received the same type of advice. Don’t do this. Don’t go there. Don’t walk at night. I feel imprisoned by factors beyond my control: my attire, skin complexion, and passport. There is a small part of me that wants to get mugged just to get it over with so I can get on with this trip. “So, Ricardo, where do you want to go today, my love?” Marisa is the owner of the bed & breakfast that she insists I call my home while in Lima. If she were any more pleasant, I might have to smack her. In her early fifties with short, wavy salt and pepper hair, she has started this little operation from the ground up. It is uncommon enough to come across a woman as a small ... read more
La Garua
El Salto del Fraile
Taking Precautions

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Barranco June 27th 2010

It is a city where I have never been, but one with which I am all too familiar. Lima does not wake up gently. Dawn brings about a concert of revving diesel engines, incessantly piercing jackhammers, and overly sensitive car alarms. Overstuffed minivans wobble as they race through intersections lacking stop signs, traffic lights, or a traffic officer. The limeño version of the classic scene of a golden retriever taking in the breeze out the passenger window differs. In place of the canine, it is one of ticket agents protruding his neck out to scream at pedestrians to see if they too wish to subject themselves to several minutes in a contorted position among new friends. Some passengers lean over the side in order to catch a breath of the solid exhaust particles wafting in the ... read more
Afternoon Lunch
Lomo Saltado
Going Through the Motions

Is it possible to do twice as much in half the time? Ever since my privately dramatic encounter with the legal system last year, long vacations in far off lands to have not been part of the program. A steel sword has halved the sixty-plus days of self-fulfilling meandering through countries whose towns I cannot pronounce and whose names are etched in script that would render me illiterate. Instead realty has tethered me to a life of numbing my extremities in the state’s top hockey rinks and chauffeuring my offspring to practices, pools, and birthday parties. Even so, to lodge a complaint among those who work in the real world would only result in foreseeable scowls, disdain and comments such as, “Yeah, my last vacation was to the casino for weekend in 2006.” Privately I ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Hobart August 12th 2009

It was a coin flip between Tasmania and Darwin, perhaps even Cairns. In place of parasols, sunscreen and holidaymakers poolside, I have opted for drizzly, pastoral, and off the radar screen. I have to congratulate myself for choosing so wisely. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but I’ve hit my stride in Tasmania. Those familiar ties are back to signal the winter stages of my brief Australian excursion. Every now and then a bitter, liquid film smothers my tongue, another reminder that the days are waning and this is my last stop. I question if I should have foregone the mainland entirely and dedicated more time poking about the perilously narrow country lanes that cut through sheep farms of the Midlands and the low but craggy peaks of the untamed Southwest. Tasmania is no ... read more
Great Oyster Bay
House of Assembly
Legislative Council

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