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Settling Into Santiago

3. August 2009

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We settled nicely into Santiago, even getting ourselves an apartment. We knew we were going to be here for 4 or 5 days and heard that renting a short term apartment would be possible. It is more than possible and is somewhat economical too, considering we can cook meals (which, after 2 months of travel, [...]

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Chilly in Chile

31. July 2009

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San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

We knew that traveling south in South America would be cold…it’s winter here right now…but we hadn’t expected it to be this cold. San Pedro de Atacama is inland a bit  and, at 2500 meters, is the chilliest place we’ve visited yet. We got off the bus after dark and set about to look for [...]

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What Goes Up Must Go Down: Colca Canyon Trek

23. July 2009

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Colca Canyon, Peru

We start the Colca Canyon trek descent in the early afternoon. A dusty, rocky, steep trail that switchbacks down the 1000 meters to the bottom. One thousand meters…that’s one kilometer straight down. After climbing the heights of Dead Woman’s Pass on the Inca Trail, there was nowhere to go but down…to the bottom of the [...]

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Lake Titicaca

19. July 2009

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Lake Titicaca, Peru

When Jason first saw Lake Titicaca on the map of Peru all those months ago, he  giggled like a schoolboy and said that we had to go there. It definitely has a name that makes us all laugh and the joke is not lost on the locals. The lake is shared by Peru and Bolivia…Peru [...]

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How To Just Let Things Happen In Puno

14. July 2009

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Puno, Peru

I’d heard that Puno was the asshole of the earth. People said ‘don’t stay there, just head to the islands’. I figured it couldn’t be that bad. We took a tourist tour bus from Cusco to Puno. On board was a guide who explained all the sights along the way. We stopped at four historical/cultural [...]

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Machu Picchu

11. July 2009

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Machu Picchu, Peru

The history of Machu Picchu is a mystery. Was it where the great Incan Pachacutec instructed his people to hide during the Spanish invasion? Was it the great economic center of  the Incan culture? Or was it built as a prison to house those that had committed heinous crimes? In it’s current state it is [...]

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Inca Trail Trek

9. July 2009

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Inca Trail Trek, Peru

Having not done much trekking in my life, I can’t say where the Inca Trail Trek rates in terms of difficulty. What I can say is that with a porter to customer ratio of 1.4 porters for every customer (plus a chef and two guides), I have to think that this might be on  the [...]

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The Porters of El Camino Inka

7. July 2009

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Inca Trail Porters, Peru

I can hear them well before the sun rises. They are up breaking camp, preparing for the day, making us breakfast. They each carry 25 Kg on their backs over the same trail that I struggle to negotiate. They leave after we leave, pass us on the trail, and arrive at camp before us. They [...]

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Playing Fair While Learning Spanish

5. July 2009

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Santo Blanco, Cusco

It’s easy to find a Spanish school in Cusco, they are a dime a dozen. It’s more difficult to find one that offers a great program, is flexible, and gives back to the community. We found that, and more, at FairPlay. Run by John, a Dutch fellow, and his Peruvian wife, FairPlay is a not-for-profit [...]

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Inti Raymi: Festival of the Sun God

29. June 2009

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Inti Raymi Festival, Cusco, Peru

Inti Raymi is celebrated near the winter solstice on June 24th every year. It is an Incan ceremony that is performed in the native Quechuan language rather than Spanish. We arrived in Cusco 2 days prior to the actual ceremony and the city square was already abuzz with people and bands and general merriment being [...]

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Getting High in Cusco

26. June 2009

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Cusco Flag, Cusco, Peru

The plan was to take our time getting to Cusco from Lima. We were going to spend a few days, stopping along the way at Nasca and Arequipa to split up the journey. Then we learned that the Inti Raymi festival was happening in Cusco on June 24th so we thought we would head straight [...]

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