When we arrived in Buenos Aries at the start of our trip, we were very excited to see Monk Parakeets strolling around the lawns. Half an hour, and many photographs, later we had noticed that everyone else was ignoring them because they are so common! That was our introduction to a group of birds (parakeets, parrots and macaws) that we grew to be very fond of over the course of our journey. The sound of a flock of parakeets flying overhead became something of a home comfort to us. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Peru
[June 2016] After May’s events, June could only be an improvement. With the van running well after all the repairs, but nervous as to how long that would last, we nevertheless decided to stick with our plan to drive north to the border with Ecuador through the mountains of Peru and we are very glad we did… It was a spectacular few weeks, taking us along dramatic roads between historical towns and through the beautiful landscapes of the romantic Cloud People. A few days into the drive, we got news of the birth of my little niece – a little bundle of joy to cheer up June! This blog is a picture story of this wonderful journey.
[May 2016] By the end of April, after our successful trip to the Amazon, the rainy season in the mountains of Peru was over, so we turned back south again to go and explore the High Andes of Peru. However, we hadn’t got far when I got the sort of phone call that everybody dreads, especially when they are a long way from home – my father had been taken ill and had been admitted to hospital. The first days of May became about getting me onto a plane back to the UK. Bruce stayed with the van in Huaraz and, for him, that two week period rapidly degenerated into a cascade of interrelated mechanical problems and then culminated with him, on the day I was travelling back out, taking an unusually bad fall while rock climbing and giving himself a concussion! June could only be an improvement…
One thing that Becca has repeatly said during our trip is that she would like to see an opera at the opera house in Manaus. Manaus is right in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon, on the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Amazon, and emerged as the capital of the rubber boom in the late nineteenth century. When things were going well, it was such a rich city that building a grand opera house, importing marble etc. from Italy, seemed a reasonable thing to do! Manaus is down stream from Iquitos in Peru, so once we had done our conservation trip, we thought it would be an interesting experience to travel down the Amazon by boat to get there.
Something like a third of South America is taken up by the basin of the river Amazon. The outflow into the Atlantic is greater than the next seven largest rivers in the world combined and accounts for 20% of the freshwater flowing into the world’s seas. So we just had to visit it at some point on our trip. After spending the last week of March 2016 with a bit of a beach holiday in Zorritos on the north coast of Peru, we flew to Iquitos on Friday 1st April to start our Amazonian adventure with a conservation cruise up river of Iquitos. Part II of our Amazon blogs will describe our journey down the Amazon to Manaus in the heart of Brazil. Continue reading
We wouldn’t exactly describe ourselves as foodies, but we do like our food and enjoy eating out regularly. Learning about and trying the different foods we have, and are yet to, encounter on this trip is an important part of the travel experience for us and we suspect we are choosing to spend more of our budget on dining out than many of the other overlanders we meet on the road. Given that, we arrived in Lima (on Tuesday 16th February 2016), dubbed the food capital of South America and one of the world’s great dining destinations, with high hopes for some gastronomic experiences. But a good meal (or two) every day for six days was more of a splurge than even we had anticipated! Continue reading
To drive along the coast of Peru is to journey through numerous cultures spanning more than 6,000 years, charting the rise and fall of civilazations. As we travelled north up the coast in February 2016, we visited as many archaeological sites as we could to try and get an understanding of the pre-Columbian history of this fascinating country, as well as taking some time to appreciate the rich coastal sea-life. Continue reading
This blog describes the second of two exciting mountain drives to and fro across the Andes of Southern Peru, taking in two of the deepest canyons in the world, Colca and Cotahuasi. This drive took us from the historic city of Arequipa, through the remote Cotahuasi canyon and over one of our highest passes yet, to join the major road to Ayacucho, arriving just in time for the start of its carnaval on 6th February. Continue reading
We set off from Cusco on Sunday 17th January 2016 to cross the Andes southwards to Peru’s second city of Arequipa. Given we were in the midst of the wet season in the mountains, we expected to simply drive north up the coast of Peru from there, but that wasn’t quite how things developed. This blog describes the first of two exciting mountain drives to and fro across the Andes, taking in two of the deepest canyons in the world, Colca and Cotahuasi. This drive, the first of the two, took us to the historic city of Arequipa and its famous convent of Santa Catalina, via the picturesque Colca canyon and its condors. Continue reading
We arrived in Cusco from Lake Titicaca on 23 December 2015, just in time for Christmas. In the end, we spent more than three weeks in and around Cusco and the Sacred Valley, which gave us plenty of time to explore the many, many Incan sites in the area. We’ve selected our favourite of these for an accompanying blog here – there is so much more to this area than Machu Picchu! As well as seeing how modern Peru marks Christmas and New Year, we caught the festival of the “Coming of the Kings” in the Sacred Valley at Ollantaytambo, and, despite it being the rainy season, we did some delightful walks along some lesser known Incan trails and even managed a little rock climbing, as well as the fantastic Skypod experience.