Tag Archives: travel photography

Peru – The road to Chivay

Many of you may have noticed I haven’t been entering photo contests recently.  Not to worry, after I catch up with processing photos from our previous trips I will start submitting to the challenges again.  I have over 1,000 photos from our trips to sort and process so for now I’m concentrating on documenting our trips.

You may recall that earlier this year we went to Peru.  After staying in Arequipa we went to Chivay.  It was a long day on the road but there was plenty to see.

We spotted lots of wildlife along the way through what is a seemingly desolate landscape dotted with volcanoes – some smoking, most not.

And we ran across a “must see/do” bucket list item.  The highest outhouses in the world located at Mirador los Andes.  Raeski gave one a try.  At 16,109 feet (4910 meters) you even huff and puff to do that.  🙂

Last but not least is the view of Chivay taken from the rim of Colca Canyon.  This is one of the deepest canyons in the world, even deeper than the Grand Canyon.

The town of Chivay from the top of Colca Canyon.
The town of Chivay from the top of Colca Canyon.
Advertisements

Zapallar Sunset

A while back Raeski and I went with some friends to Zapallar.  (Pronounced Sap -pie-yar)  Being a little over an hour’s drive from our home it’s a great day trip.  Zapallar is a small town of around 2,000 people.  Since it was winter it wasn’t crowded.

While we were there, we were treated to a colorful sunset.  Looking at the photos certainly brings back memories of a great day.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Wordpress Weekly Photo Challenge – Zigzag

Some roads in South America are noted for their zigzags with good reason.  You simply don’t want to take the fast way down.  Here are a couple.  The first is the main highway from Santiago that crosses over the Andes and takes you to Mendoza.  Raeski took this photo from the bus window.  The second dirt road takes you to Machu Piccu.  If you are like most, you wish the bus driver would take it a little slower.

Peru Adventure – Lima

As we flew in over the bay with long running waves that seem to stretch forever I thought this must be a great place to surf when the waves get heavy.  Our drive from the airport to our hotel did nothing to dispel this thought as we rode alongside the beach.  The next day we saw a surfer with his board heading to the water.

We stayed in the upscale Miraflores district of Lima.  Most of Lima’s population is poor and are unable to live in such a nice area.  Unlike the U.S., in South America the hills are where poor people live.  Yes, they have a great view from their homes, but poor construction and lack of utilities ensure daily living with hardship.  I know I wouldn’t like having to carry water up a steep hill every day to my home.  It’s a harsh life when you are poor and don’t have access to the things we often take for granted.  This is the life of many in South America that tourists don’t witness.

Where the Poor Live
Where the Poor Live

What most people see when they come to Lima are places like Parque de Amor where they see the famous Victor Delfin statue, “El Beso”, or in English “The Kiss”.  The views are fantastic from the park as are the tile mosaics lining the walkways.  Of course the people in the park are fun to watch as I suppose we were when we emulated El Beso.

Since moving to South America we walk a lot more than we used to and as a result we stumble onto a lot of things other folks don’t see.  In the Miraflores area there is a mall that is cut into the cliff.  What’s nice is the view on top of the cliff isn’t spoiled by a lot of buildings.  Above the mall there is a park overlooking the ocean with stupendous views of the ocean.

We also walked between Parque de Amor and the mall where we were rewarded with more sculptures, views and oddities.  Painted stairs, a beautiful divided roadway and a rather eclectic door were a few of the things we saw along the walk.

In Peru one of the methods people use to draw attention to their cause is by striking.  On the day we were in the main square doctors and nurses were marching for better medical standards, care and pay.  The police were ready and also ready to smile for the camera.  In the same square, as with many squares in Peru, was a cathedral.  There is an amazing amount of wealth to be seen in these churches – something that will be discussed in another post.

Finally there are Inca ruins being restored in the city.  Since granite wasn’t available in this area the Inca’s used adobe.  While adobe isn’t the best building material to use in a seismic prone area, it is what was available to the Incas and the Huaca Pucllana still stands.  The Incas were truly an amazing people.  Like Raeski, I too wonder what would have happened if the Spaniards and Church hadn’t destroyed their culture.

In Lima the modern sits next to the ancient.  You find a well-dressed business person rushing past a person in traditional dress.  Hills filled with the poor overlooking the Spanish colonial homes they can only dream of owning.  Street vendors hawking their goods across the street from a mall filled with efficient Norte Americano stores.  It’s a vibrant place where we started our Peruvian adventure.

Every region has its own hat style.
Every region has its own hat style.

7 Wonder of Wonders from our travels in Peru

Today Raeski is contributing a post about our Peru adventure.

Our seventeen day adventure to several cities and sites in Peru filled us with much wonder but left me with many contemplations beginning with “I wonder…”

We began in the capital and largest city of Lima, Peru where we stayed in the area called Miraflores.  This coastal site hosts a park inspired by Antonio Gaudi featuring a huge sculpture of a man and woman (the sculptor and his wife) embraced in a kiss and aptly named El Beso.  Wonderment #1:  How many people have been kissed at this location and who holds the title for the longest?

Parque_de_Amor_07b

 

Arequipa, ‘La Ciudad Blanca’ was constructed predominantly from volcanic silica and serves as the gastronomic center of Peru.  Curiosity #2: “Does alpaca taste like chicken, too?” was answered with a resounding “no” and left us considering ordering more.  Not only is the meat scrumptious, but also the fibers of the baby alpaca are extremely soft and warm so we also became consumers of the external product with the purchase of a beautiful sweater, hat and scarf.

AlpacaSteak

Mirador de los Andes and Cruz de los Condors presented magnificent views of the splendor of the seven snow-capped volcanic peaks at 5,600 to over 6.000 meters and the majestic flight of the condors scavenging the heights.  Here we were left wondering #3: “Do the local caballeros toss their dead livestock over the edge of a ridge to keep the condors circling and inhabiting this specific area?”

Condor_03

Exploring the inhabited areas of the highest navigable lake, Titicaca at 3,812 meters (12,507 ft) was an interesting marvel. In the village of LLacon on the peninsula we watched demonstrations of their textile handicrafts, and on Isla Taquile we participated in a ceremonial lunch event giving thanks to Pachamama or Mother Earth and the other gods represented by the condor, puma and serpent. On our final stop, one of the floating islands of Uros, we were welcomed by members of a family and treated to a visual demonstration of how the tortura roots and reeds are layered to create their anchored living platforms.  We learned they apparently chew the tortura reeds that provide a source of fluoride but we couldn’t help but wonder #4 if the coarse fibers couldn’t also be fashioned into toothbrushes, which by their smiles, seemed to be of great need.

Reeds of Uros

On our Inka Express bus trip crossing the highest point between Puno and Cusco we visited the panoramic vista and had the chance to use the highest public toilet (whole in the ground with planks and a hut for a bit of privacy).  A short distance later we caught the flow of the Vilcanota River, which spans over 6,000 km and connects to the Amazon, eventually emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.  That made us reflect on the fact that we pee’d at what would be the Continental Divide of the South American continent.  Wonder #5: which way the urine flowed?

Highest_Outhouse

Visiting the many ruins and foundations of the ancient Andean peoples emanating from the “obligo” or navel of civilization in Cuzco, one cannot help but be awed by what incredible engineers and craftsman the Incas were.  The planning, chiseling, movement and careful construction of huge rock structures that have withstood centuries and earthquakes were somewhat mindboggling considering the time and lack of technology for such feats. No mortar and not even a blades-width of gap between stones cut with nearly a dozen angles seemed unimaginable, so #6: where would Peru stand in today’s’ global economy had the Conquistadors not trampled the indigenous peoples and “enlightened” them? At Sachsayhuaman (fittingly pronounced ‘sexy woman’), I offered a silent prayer deep in her womb chamber for Peru to remain resolute to preserve its hundreds of varieties of corn and thousands of strains of potatoes against such enemies as Monsanto and persevere as the heartland of organic products to keep us nourished and healthy.

Sacsayhuamán1

But our final wonder was one on the list of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of the World #7: Machu Picchu, The Lost City rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. Mere photos do not do the experience justice.  Everyone should touch the Inca construction; feel the reverence to the gods of earth, air and water and sense the community of the terraced farm areas, communal areas and urban planning features. How thankful the world should be that this 15th Century treasure remained unscathed and is now available for humanity to enjoy and relish in the wonderment!

Wordpress Weekly Photo Challenge – Relic

Some relics we hate to see go because they remind us of a time when things moved at a slower pace and we didn’t feel so rushed.  Others are better at adding ‘character’ to fields and yards.  Those are probably best left where they are found.  Some become monuments leaving us in awe and wonderment.  And finally some remind us of a past taken from storybook pages.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Wood

I’ve always been enthralled with trees that cling to life in harsh environments.  Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah is one of those environments with cold windy winters and blazing hot summers that are occasionally interrupted with lightening, strong winds and short torrential downpours.  It is here these extreme elements converge and shape the twists and turns of these trees.