Blogs from Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Cusco April 2nd 2019

The magic of Peru grows stronger every time I visit. The kindness and warmth of the people, the sublime beauty of the mountains, the depth of Incan history and Quechua culture. I love it all. It makes Peru exciting and mysterious on the one hand, but also comforting and familiar on the other hand. It’s hard to not compare my three times there: 2013 on my own traveling around to several places in southern Peru; 2017 guiding a group of 20 high school students around Cusco and on the Inca Trail, and this trip guiding another group of high school students. Each time I have fallen hard for Peru. This trip started out with a visit to the Parque de Amor in Lima, which I visited in 2013 alone, under a cloudy sky. This visit on ... read more
Sacsayhuaman
Korikancha
Milky Way

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco March 30th 2019

This has certainly been a spectacular 3 months for us. Quito, Galapagos, Selva Amazon Lodge, Cuenca, Barranco/Lima & now 12 days on the road to Nazca and beyond. The schedule is hectic. Many days start at 5.30am and involve plenty of walking, climbing and scrambling, mostly at altitude. I can’t say enough good things about Peru Tourism. We looked at their suggested tours then custom built our own 12 day trip. They looked after everything...transportation, transfers, accommodation, guides entrance fees and many of the meals. All the hotels have been top notch, way above what we would normally book. And the cost a very reasonable $5300US for the 2 of us. No, I’m not on their payroll! 3 Panoramas above, 5 second delay between each: 1. The Andes Mountains behind Arequipa. Misti is the perfectly shaped ... read more
Huacachina oasis
Nazca overflight
Overflight route

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu March 28th 2019

Our final 5 days in Peru were spent in the heart of the formerly glorious Inca Nation. At its height, when the Spanish arrived in 1523, it stretched from Chile and Argentina to Colombia. It is mind boggling that fewer than 200 Conquistadors destroyed a powerful empire of 15 million! We marvelled at their building skills, without iron, the wheel or animals that could do the hard work, in really demanding terrain. Their scientists developed strains of potato, corn and grains suited to climates from rain forest to desert. Yet they had no written language to record their accomplishments. The Spanish managed to reduce their number to less than one million through disease, wars and the Inquisition. The Inca was the king. The common people were “of the Inca” his to command. Panoramas (5 seconds between ... read more
Puccara Bulls
Palacio del Inka
Palacio del Inka

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Barranco March 18th 2019

In hindsight we could have spent less time here and found another place in Peru for a week or so. We found Lima too big, busy and crowded for our liking, particularly after the charm of Cuenca. Traffic in and around Lima is brutal so we avoided taxis and Uber and walked, 75km last week. The apartment was excellent and of all the districts we felt Barranco was the most genuine and the best bet for us. There are 6 panoramas in the section above. They change every 5 seconds. 1. Barranco beach on a hot weekend. Too crowded for us. Reminded us of Sauble Beach on a long weekend in summer. 2. An Incan inspired wall mural in Barranco. 3. Plaza de Armas in central Lima. 4. From Miraflores, looking south to Barranco. 5.Huaca Pucllana. ... read more
Barranco.
Colourful streets of Barranco
High above the Pacific

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » San Isidro March 9th 2019

I have an interrupted night’s sleep due to: 3 am – texts from daughter number two. 4 am – the old man leaves for an 18 hour coach/boat trip. I have spent enough time on a bus recently so opt out. 5 am – the fire alarm goes off. I go to the foyer in my pyjamas, only to be told not to worry, it’s just someone smoking in bed. It’s our last day in Peru with its stinking beaches and salty food. I can see why Paddington (a) wanted out and (b) stuck to marmalade sandwiches. After a few more hours sleep, I get up, have breakfast (jam sandwiches) and set off down the Malecon in the opposite direction to yesterday. First stop, the Lugar de la Memoria (full title – Place of Memory, Tolerance ... read more
Lugar de la Memoria
Lugar de la Memoria
Lugar de la Memoria

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores March 8th 2019

Today we are having a quiet day, just wandering round Miraflores. We walk along the Malecon for a couple of miles through the line of parks, until we reach Larcomar; a shopping mall built into the cliff side. On the way we find Paddington Bear – who knew he’d made it back to Peru? Then we walk back through Miraflores via the central park, which might be called Parque Kennedy, or may be named after some random date. Here, dozens of very well fed stray cats live amongst the flower beds. We stop at Café Buena Vista for a drink and a microwaved empanada. Not the best lunch, but the café is on a cliff overlooking the ocean, so at least it’s not kidding about the view being good. We spend the afternoon watching tennis on ... read more
Malecon
Malecon
Malecon

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Lima March 7th 2019

Today we are going sightseeing in Lima. For the first time in days, no early morning alarm or eating breakfast with one eye on the time. We have the luxury of a lie in (minus the texts from daughter number 2 at 3 am). The old man wimps out of using public transport, so we take a taxi into town. We start at the art museum (MALI) which takes us on a brief chronological tour of 3000 years Peruvian art. The Spanish colonial art is fun; indigenous artists weren’t allowed to sign their work, some got round this rule by painting their faces into the picture. It’s like playing a religious game of ‘Where’s Wally’? Then we walk the length of the old city through Plaza San Martin to Plaza de Armas where we stop to ... read more
MALI - angry pot
MALI - Funeral of Atahualpa
MALI - spot the artist

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores March 6th 2019

Today we are flying to Lima. I’m so looking forward to returning to sea level – very sea level as our hotel is only 400 metres from the ocean. We are back to flying with LATAM, the only airline we have used in South American without problems. And sure enough, we are due to land at 11.06, and by 11.07 we are sitting in a taxi en route to our hotel. We are staying in Miraflores, an upmarket suburb by the Pacific. The hotel is nice but backs onto a scrap metal yard, so is rather noisy during the day. But if you peer over the car wrecks, you can just glimpse the ocean. After lunch in the neighbouring chicken shop, we go for a walk on the promenade which runs along the cliff top. It’s ... read more
Miraflores Malecon
Miraflores Malecon
Miraflores Malecon

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu March 6th 2019

Im letzten Eintrag hatte ich ja bereits beschrieben, wie mir kein ruhiger Schlaf vergönnt war. Und nun stand ich schon um 4 Uhr in meinem Zimmer in Cusco und habe auf mein Taxi gewartet, welches für 6 Uhr bestellt war. Und der dazugehörige Bus sollte um 7:50 losfahren, doch es wurde einem geraten schon eine halbe Stunde früher zu erscheinen. Um zwanzig nach sechs stand ich im Wartesaal. Naja, die Vorfreude war groß. Und um 7:15 saß ich im Bus, der bald darauf losfuhr. Das war allerdings kein Fehler, sondern ganz einfach gute Organisation von Seiten der Veranstalter, die sich nämlich darüber im klaren waren, dass die Menge an Menschen die in einen Zug passen nicht mit einem Bus zu vergleichen ist und man also auch schon fahren kann sobald eben jener Bus voll ist. Jetzt ... read more
Der erste Aussichtspunkt
Die Sonne bahnt sich ihren Weg
Der Pfad auf Waynapicchu

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu March 5th 2019

Today we are going to Machu Picchu. We have to get up at 5 am for a second consecutive day, added onto a 17 hour overnight coach journey and I would be flagging, apart from the fact that the drop in altitude has rejuvenated me. Machu Picchu isn’t cheap; train £268, hotel £73, entry £75 and bus to the entrance £37. That’s £453 for a 4 hour visit. And that doesn’t take into account the cloning of our credit card whilst purchasing the tickets. We get to the bus queue by 5.30. It’s very busy but well organised with a constant stream of buses, so we are on our way within 10 minutes, driving the 5 mile uphill zigzag to the entrance, trying to avoid pedestrians too tight to pay $24 to be driven up a ... read more
Machu Picchu at dawn
Alpacas at Machu Picchu
Alpacas at Machu Picchu




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