Blogs » South America 2005

South America 2005

This blog is used during my 8 weeks trip in Chile and Peru 2005.
Created by peter on Wed 02 of Nov., 2005 19:40 UTC
Last post Mon 16 of Jan., 2006 22:31 UTC
(27 Posts | 36560 Visits | Activity=2.00)

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By peter on Mon 16 of Jan., 2006 22:31 UTC
Some days have passed since we returned back home and the life starts to get back to normal. Since I got back home I have been busy unpacking my bag, cleaning my hiking boots, doing my laundry and trying to figure out where to put all my new souvenirs. Also, in the last days I have started to get some perspective to the time I spent in Chile, Argentina and Peru and I have started to realise what a great trip I had!

The top five experiences

1. Trekking in the Torres del Paine and Monte Fitz Roy area.



2. Jungle tour around Puerto Maldonado.



3. Arriving in Machu Picchu early in the morning.



4. Climbing the Villarica Volcano.



5. Spending days on Amantani and Taquille islands on Lake Titicaca.




I'm so amazed about all the interest for this blog but as you know everything needs to come to an end.

Thanks for reading! biggrin

(This was the last post in this blog)

By peter on Wed 11 of Jan., 2006 21:13 UTC
This afternoon we arrived at Copenhagen airport and a couple of hours later I entered my apartment in Malmö. Home sweet home!

I have uploaded another 27 pictures to the gallery and also inserted some thumbnails in the Sea birds and sea lions in Pisco and Miami news posts below.

In the coming days I will wite a wrap-up for this blog but now it's time for some sleep. The vacation is over and I will start working tomorrow!

By peter on Tue 10 of Jan., 2006 16:13 UTC
We have arrived in Miami and just finished our breakfast at a sunny Miami beach. We have another couple of hours to kill before we need to go to the airport again - I guess the beach and a close by shoping mall will do the trick.



See you when we are back in Sweden again!

By peter on Mon 09 of Jan., 2006 20:31 UTC
Hi there,

last Saturday morning we went to the airport in Cusco to take our early flight to Lima only to discover that Tans (airline company) had cancel all services that day. After a few stressful minutes everything got sorted out and we could take-off with Lan Peru to Lima airport. In Lima we found the perfect bus to Pisco and after buying a coke and a water through the window at a traffic stop and after listening to some strange seller speaking, in spanish off course, about some miracle medicine we arrived in a hot cool Pisco 4 hours later. We found a nice hostel with pool and relaxed that afternoon.

Yesterday morning we went with a tour boat company to some nearby islands, even called the poor mans Galapagos, to watch the wild life... and what a wild life we saw. I think both me and Emma agreed on that we broke the record on spotting sea birs, penguins, crabs, sea lions and bird shit! The smell around this islands was almost as bad as the it was funny to see all this crazy and noise animals enjoying them selfs on this islands. Luckly we stayed in the boat and did'nt walk around on these island. Have you seen the Hitchcock movie?



In the afternoon we went to a nearby beach and in the evening we took the bus to Lima.



This morning we had a busy time to get our stuff and all the new stuff we bought into our backpacks but we could finally close the zippers.

The last hours here in Peru we will spend just relaxing before we take the flight to Miami late this night.

Now it's time for the last ice cream here in Peru!



It's time to go home! confused cry biggrin Yeah, it's mixed feelings!

By peter on Sat 07 of Jan., 2006 04:28 UTC
Tuesday morning we went to hike the 4-day inca trail through the Andes. Since it's not allowed to trek the Inca Trail without a guide we needed to organise this trek with a tour company. We got picked up by our tour guide early in the morning and went by bus to the start point not far from Ollantaytambo, located in the Sacred Valley, 2 hours from Cusco.

We were lucky (as always) and ended up in a great international group (Sweden(!), Canada, US, Argentina, Urugauy and Peru). Along the group we had two guides and 10 porters carying tents, food, cooking gear etc.



The first day was quite easy with just a 4-hours walk on the andes flat which basically means walking up and down without passing any greater ridges.



When we arrived at the camp our porters had already organised our tents and started to prepare the dinner (luxury).

The second day was really tough, starting of with a 4-hours climb to the Dead womans pass located on 4200m and finished with a couple of hours tiresome downhill. This day we had great variety in the weather but in general it was just great for trekking.



The third day walk was really nice with a huge variety in the nature and many inca ruins to enjoy along the way. However it was raining a lot and the clouds sometimes hided the scenic views. It was a long day of walking and we arrived tired and hungry at the camp at 5pm. A few hours later we had finished the dinner and went early to bed for some hours sleep.



This morning we woke up at 4am(!) and had a quick breakfast before we left for Machu Picchu. The first stop was the sun-gate-lookout over Machu Picchu were we arrived after a couple of hours. We were unbelievable lucky and had the best weather this morning with great views over Machu Picchu. After enjoying the lookout we went down to to explore the ruins.



After we finished Machu Picchu we walked down to the nearby village Aguas Carliente to enjoy some proper food, i.e. pizza and beer, and wait for the train back to Cusco were we arrived tonight.

Tomorow morning we will take a flight to Lima and from there take a 3-hours bus ride south to Pisco were we will take a boat ride to see the wild life on some nearby islands. On Sunday evening we will try to take a bus to Lima and on Monday night we will fly back home to Sweden with a one day stop over in Miami.

I have uploaded 82 new photos to the gallery. Enjoy!

By peter on Mon 02 of Jan., 2006 03:08 UTC
We have had some really nice and relaxing days here in and around Cusco. We spent Friday shoping souvenirs and drinking coffee and yesterday we did some classic tourist things (museums etc).



Yesterday night we had a really great time. We started of with some beers at a nearby pub before we went to a nice pub/restaurant for dinner. At midnigt we all went down to Plaza de Armas for celebrating the New Year in a traditional Peruan manner, i.e. running a lap around the plaza. Yiaks, it was so crowded!



This morning at 7.30am the alarm went of and a few hours later we went by bus to Pisaq, located in Sacred Valley, and the weekly Sunday market. While Emma enjoyed herself around the market I took a hike up the valley watching some old inca ruins.



In the afternoon we went to Ollantaytambo, western end of the Sacred Valley, to watch a famous inca fortress.



Tomorrow is the last day here in Cusco before we head out on the inca trail so we will probably just relax and buy the last souviners (I have promised my dear friend a Peruan flute).

By peter on Thu 29 of Dec., 2005 23:00 UTC
We are back in civilization again after spending some excellent days in the rainforest close to Puerto Maldonado. Luckly we did'nt go to the rain forest in north of Peru! Why? Read this! (external link)

A quick summery of our days in the amazon.

Last Sunday night we took a flight from Chiclayo to Lima to catch a connecting flight to Puerto Maldonando on Monday morning. We organized our flight ticket and djungle tour with our friend Axel (Axel tours (external link)) that have helped us a lot during our stay here in Peru.

Monday morning we went to the Lima airport and by coincidence we met our djungel guide Daniel on the same flight. We were lucky - our group just consisted of me, Emma and Daniel! When we arrived in Puerto Maldonando we quickly realised that we had entered another world - a world of humidity and extremely hot weather. After a quick motorcyckle taxi ride (no cars here!) we took the 3h river boat upstreams to the lodge situated in the centre of the Tambopata national reserve. A really peacefull place with lodges, common house and hammoc area looking out over the river.



First evening we had a 1h night-walk and listened to all the djungle sounds. That was the time we realised what a terrific guide we had found. Daniel is born in the djungle close to Inquitos and has an extraordinary knowledge, ears and eyes that can spot any animal in the dense rainforest. Even me with my knowledge in orienteering would not like to walk around by my self.wink



After VERY careful expection of the room with flashlight, no electricity here, we went to bed listening to all the djungle sounds. Amazing! A few hours later I was asleep and dreamt about all the piraha fish I would catch the next day when I suddenly woke up by Emmas terrified scream! eek At first I thought we had a spider, snake or something worse in our lodge but it was only the the sounds of the amazone bambu rat that scared Emma.

The next morning (6am) we went out on our first real djungle trekk to a nearby lake, watching monkeys, birds, butterflys, snails, spiders, vegetarion and a bunch other things.



We arrived 3 hours later at the lake and took a beautiful canoe ride spotting parrots, giant otters(nice!) etc.



Then it was time for some pirahna fishing. I tell you, this was an experience. Using cow meat as beat and splashing the water to simulate an animal moving, a bit different from fishing in femlingen (lake in sweden). The pirahna were hard to catch and the first 30min we basically feed them with meat before Emma cought the first (and biggest) pirahna. Yiaks, we promise you that the teeth on this fish are sharp. No swimming in this lake, at least not for gringos. Luckly I got a pirahna as well a few minutes latera and I still think that my fish was twice the size of Emmas although we have photos that tells a different story.



After hiking back to the lodge, enjoying our fried pirahnas and taking a nap in the hammocs we took a boat ride on the Tambopata river to spot some capybaras (external link) the largest rodents in the world. Once again we were lucky and saw a couple on the river bank before returning home to the lodge.



That night we had the same procedure as the night before - two scared gringos with a flashlight looking for snake and spiders under the bed.

The next morning we took a 1h trekk to another lake hoping to find some anacondas and howling monkeys.



Unfortunately this day was very hot and all the monkeys were probably sleeping somewhere in the shadow. Our guide Daniel pointed out some fresh anaconda traces but we think the Anaconda is still back in hollywood enjoying the jetset life after playing in the latest movie. Although we did'nt see the monkys and the snake this day we had a really nice morning paddling the canoe wathing and listening to birds and insects.



In the afternoon we went to a nearby family watching the daily life and their huge plantation which included bananas, mangos, avocado, starfruits, lime, papaya, hot chile, guana, cinnamon etc. I guess you understand what we want to say - they had everyhing you can grow in this environment!



Back at the lodge, Freddy (one guy in the staff) took us on tarantella hunting. We found a small tarantella(according to Freddy) but for us this as everything else than small.



In the evening the big rain started which prevented us for going for hunting caymans(freshater crocodile) in the river.

Naturally we search our room in a gringo manner, as the previous nights, before we went to bed.

By peter on Sun 25 of Dec., 2005 23:51 UTC
Have you seen santa claus? Me and Emma have spent the last 24h looking for him for but the only thing we found where three asparagusies with funny santa hats and a laid-back "jesus in the crib" with a straw hat and all.



Since we can't find santa in this part of Peru we will try our luck somewhere else. We thought he might be somewhere in the rain forest and we will therefore fly there tonight. Maybe his rain deers got stuck in the tree lines when passing over the border from Brazil? Excepet for spotting some rain deers we hoping to experience some true djungel adventures.

We will spend 4-days in the rain forrest and have limited internet access until the 30/12.

Until then...

/Peter & Emma

By peter on Sat 24 of Dec., 2005 01:05 UTC
Yeah, Emma has finally arrived in Peru!

This Tuesday night I went out to the airport to pick up Emma. After a loooong wait, I thought she missed the flight, she finally passed the customs. She had no problem spotting me since I'm nearly double the hight of all Peruian people. wink

After a long sleep we woke up rested in the Miraflores suburb in Lima. We spent Wednesday day in Lima before taking the night bus north to Huaraz.



Huaraz is next to the Cordillera Blanca mountain massive and is a great base for a lot of activities in the mountains. We arrived early Thursday morning and a few hours later we went away on a day tour to a nearby mountain lake.



Today we went to see a glacieer located on 5200m. It sure was a struggle to climb the path from the parking lot to the glacier. The air is so thin at that hight and it is very easy to start to feel sick. We took it easy so except for some headache we did'nt suffer to much.



Tomorrow we will leave for Chiclayo that is located next to the ocean and relax there until Sunday night when we will fly to the amazonas for a 4-day djungle tour.

In amazonas we will hunt(with camera) monkeys, spiders, snakes etc - and the mosquitoes will for sure hunt us with their blood-sucking-malaria-infected-snable! I think we will be alright!

Merry Christmas! santa

By the way, there are 34 new photos in the gallery.

/Peter & Emma

By peter on Mon 19 of Dec., 2005 23:12 UTC
The last days have been really great!

Last Thursday I went on a 2-days trip to Cañon del Colca, the second deepest canyon in the world. Apperently the worlds deepest canyon is located just a mile from Cañon del Colca but it requires a long hike to reach that spot. I ended up sharing a mini-bus with a dutch couple, 2 japanese girls and an Peruan family.

On the way out we had some coca leaves and stoped for some classic coca-tee which helps to avoid altitude sickness.



The alpaca seemed to like the coca leaves as well. I guess it got addictive after all tourists feeding it with coca leaves all day long.



In the afternon we reached the Chantel village and had a lunch. A few hours later we went to some thermal hotsprings for a relaxing bath. In the evening we all had a peruan dinner anjoyed the alpaca meat with some beers and piso sour.



Early next morning (6.30 am) we headed for the canyon to spot some condors. Off course we had some stops on the way and enjoyed the great scenery with all terasses on the mountain built by the Incas.



A few hours later we reached a quite impressive canyon and after half an hour we saw the first (and last) condor. I know, the picture below on the condor could be ANY bird so I guess you need to trust me - it's a condor.



After a long ride back to Arequipa me and the dutch couple ended up taking the 6h night bus to Puno. Wow, that bus really sucked in comparison to the buses in Chile. We arrived late that night and woke up a few hours later by 15 peruan men drinking, fighting and crying. Since these people should stay another night we changed hostel.

This Saturday we had a look around in Puno and its surondings. By the way - Puno is a small city/village next to Lake Titicaca.



After we had a look at the market, plaza etc we ended up at the port booking a 2-day trip to the floating islands, Alamanti and Taquille island.

In the afternoon we went outside Puno to try to find a place were we could see how they make their boats from sea-grass.



Yesterday morning I went down to the port to catch the 7.30am boat on Lake Titicaca. However, since the engine (car engine) refused to start we could'nt leave the port before 9am.



First we went to the floating islands and the Orus people. This people are actually living on islands built by sea grass!



After that we went to Amantani (real island) were we spent the night at a nice local family. However, I think they need some help with their wiring. Is the color coding on the wires correct?! smile



Amantani is a really cool island we very nice people living there.



Today, before heading back to Puno, we went to Taquille (another island) and I spent a few hours climbing the mountain on the island.



To night I will go for a coffe with the dutch couple and a swiss couple I met on the iticaca trip. Tomorrow morning I will fly to Lima to meet Emma.biggrin

I have uploaded another 130 pictures so the gallery is once again up-to-date. The image gallery now contains 349 pictures. Some of them a really great so check them out!

I have also updated the Rocoto Relleno is hot! and That was a loooong ride! posts below with some thumbnails.

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