From the Highlands of Ecuador to the Beaches of Peru and onward...


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South America » Peru
April 11th 2007
Published: April 11th 2007
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Ecuador - Peru

ECUADOR: Galapagos - Guyaquail - Riobamba - Cuenca - Vilcambamba - PERU: Puira - Trujillo (Huanchaco) - Huaraz

Mt. ChimborazoMt. ChimborazoMt. Chimborazo

From the roof of a train in Riobamba. 6053m makes it the tallest in Ecuador.

Ecuador - Peru
Ben & Nastassia
¿Quittal Amigos?

Well lots has been going on since getting back on the continent...

We went directly back up to the highlands where we left off in Ecuador. Next stop was Riobamba where you have to ride the train down the ´Devils Nose´, a steep valley rockcut that apparently looks like a nose... Anyways riding on the roof is not only allowed, it´s encouraged. We had a beatuiful day before us as and we set out to spectacular views of Mt. Chimborazo, the tallest peak in Ecuador. We had a great ride on a what should be a ´condemed´ railway that should have stopped operating oh, lets say thirty years ago. Nevertheless we didn´t crash or even derail so I guess they still know what they´re doing.

From there we went through the city of Cuenca to Vilcabamba in the ¨Valley of Longevity.¨ Rumoured to have the greatest per capita 100+ year olds anywhere in the world. We never saw any but when your that age you usually aren´t out and about that much anyways. Here we did lots of chillaxing and did some hiking in the beatuiful surroundings. Ben also got to make a fun trip to the hospital. Yes, unfortunately there is some more bad news to come out of the Whale Story, as the cut got infected and a round of anti-biotics had to be administered. Four weeks later, the cut still hasn´t fully healed (although its is healing eversoslowly). Although this is the perfect place in the world to kick back, relax and forget the real world, we still got two more countries to see and times a tickin´!

So onwards we went into Peru and were shocked to wake up in the middle of the desert. Peru´s entire coastline is a desert, in sharp contrast to the lushness of Ecuador. Our first stop was Trujillo and and sea-side town of Huanchaco which was much nicer to stay in. From here we checked out many ruins of two pre-inca cultures. First the Moche Culture that flourished from 50-900 AD and second the Chimu Culture that took over from 900-1500 AD. The Inca´s moved in after that and made short work of these guys. But the ingenuity to build a civilazation in a real desert 2000 years ago is quite remarkable. Surprisingly many of the ruins aren´t even run by the Peruvian Government
Moche CarvingsMoche CarvingsMoche Carvings

Carvings from the Moche Culture from 50 - 900 BC. The colour is original and beautifully preserved.
and they haven´t even supported the restoration or preservation meaning many sites are drastically underfunded and have not even been fully archived by acheologists yet!

A few days there and it was off to Huaraz, adventure capital of the Andes and perched on the side of the ¨Swiss Alps¨of the South America. The Cordillera Blanca has something like 50 peaks over 5500m (18000´) in a area of 120 km by 20 km. We made a valiant effort to do the popular Santa Cruz Trek but were foiled by a large rockslide that covered the trail a day earlier and by a fradulant tour company we went with that planned a three-day trip but told us it was a four-day (and we could have completed it in four). Coniving bastards, and they still haven´t given us our money back...
But on a better side, the weather was far from ideal anyway. Apparently the views are spectacular any way you look around here but all we got was the rocky base of all the mountains and ´occasional´ glimpes of a whited out peaks. Lots of rain too. And just to insult us even more, our last day back in town turned
Laguna LlanguncacoLaguna LlanguncacoLaguna Llanguncaco

Something like that, try and pronounce it because I can´t.
out to be gorgeous clear day but we couldn´t go anywhere because of a two-day public service strike that shut down all the roads. The big tourist season is from May to August and for good reason. I think we may come back sometime in that season too.

Well all for now. Hope everyone is just swell with you. We are off to the dunes and desert to get back on a board for the first time this season...


Additional photos below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 24


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Roof-top RidingRoof-top Riding
Roof-top Riding

Takin the train down the Devil´s Nose (in background)
Vilcabamba Rainbow 1Vilcabamba Rainbow 1
Vilcabamba Rainbow 1

Oooh, it´s....
Steep Ridgeline HikingSteep Ridgeline Hiking
Steep Ridgeline Hiking

Vilcabamba Area
View from our hostel dining area.View from our hostel dining area.
View from our hostel dining area.

Izychaluma Hosteria - Awesome Place
Hello Peru, Goodbye EcuadorHello Peru, Goodbye Ecuador
Hello Peru, Goodbye Ecuador

3am after 1.5 hr wait for Imagration Ecuador to get their computer working. Good ol night border crossing.
Chan Chan RuinsChan Chan Ruins
Chan Chan Ruins

Restored Ruins of the Government Offices. Chimu Culture 900-1500 AD
Chan Chan and the Sands of TimeChan Chan and the Sands of Time
Chan Chan and the Sands of Time

All that is left of the unrestored city of Chan Chan. Used to be a city of 60000 and covered an area of 20 square km carved out of the middle of a desert.
The Peruvian Hairless DogThe Peruvian Hairless Dog
The Peruvian Hairless Dog

They used to use them as skin warmers for arthritis back in the ancient culture times.
¨Look another rainbow!¨¨Look another rainbow!¨
¨Look another rainbow!¨

Temple in Chan Chan - Chimu Culture
Temple at Chan Chan.Temple at Chan Chan.
Temple at Chan Chan.

Only in a developing country will they let you explore ´all´ the ruins. No preservation here...
Big BenBig Ben
Big Ben

This one goes out to the ONE and ONLY (you know who you are).
Drink INCA COLA!Drink INCA COLA!
Drink INCA COLA!

¨I drink Inca Cola 5 times a day becasue ITS FUN!¨
Old and NewOld and New
Old and New

The claim is that these were the first surfboards - as they have been used since Biblical times.


12th April 2007

¨Ben, your so dreamy with your long, flowing curls of yours...¨ Love from Pookey
12th April 2007

Fog and hard pack
Hey ho girls and boys Looks like more and more goodtimes coming from the BN show. I espically like the animal photos of the galapagos. You guys are nailing quite the experience. Brad Luke Kalle and myself drove up the yukon for the haines easter weekend. There must have been at least 1000 people out there. Full size semis 100s of rvs and a few make shift ones. The weather was the pits and it rained on us a few times. Monday was half decent but spring slush and no signs of decent powder. Got a few good photos. Diamond drilling on Sunday. Chow
17th April 2007

We are living vicariously - beautiful pictures guys. The trip looks AMAZING. We really want to get down there some day. (((hugs)))
18th April 2007

Love the photos
Hi Ben and Nastassia - gorgeous pictures again! Auntie Karen, Uncle "C", Auntie Ger and Uncle Jas send their love. Ger is out in Vancouver with the kids and the Grahams are in Toronto visiting their kids. I just got back from Chestervile and Oshawa. Had a good visit with Mom and Dad on Sat. eve from Mexico. THey are home now (Wed 18th). We are all looking forward to seeing them in the summer. We will miss you this year!! Lots of love, Auntie Moe xoxoxoxo

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