North By Northwest

DSCF1005_1920_1440After several days at a beach resort, it was plainly clear that I needed a change. This change took form in another beach resort further up the coast, near the border with Ecuador. The small town of Mancora is well known to younger Peruvians who flock there during national holidays to surf and sunbathe and fortunately I was not there at one of these times. It’s quite tough to find much of a range of accommodation online for Mancora (hitherto being the best way to arrive in a place with a reserved bed in a nice hostel), so I plumped for the highest rated place in town; a hostel called Loki. Continue reading


Turf, Then Surf

DSCF0235_1920_1440For many people, the trail from Cusco heads straight towards the coast, via the Nazca Lines, those mysterious etchings in the desert seen only fully from the air. The other option is towards Arequipa, a town popular with gringos and in close proximity to the world’s deepest canyon, Colca. Time was not on my side however, so it was straight to Lima for me – a city that I had been told time and time again was dirty, crowded dangerous and unpleasant. Continue reading

Kicking Off The Bucket List – Macchu Picchu

DSCF0142_1920x1440There are a handful of things that comes to mind when thinking about South America, such as the sights of Rio, and the Jungles of the Amazon. Plenty of places can be used to talk about the continent and one of the most emotive is surely the ruins of Machu Picchu. Many people choose to visit the ruins as a day trip, but something like this is surely best kept as a culmination of experiences that grant context and meaning to the time you actually set foot in the most famous archaeological site in South America. A quick confession: Pre-colombian ruins bore the crap out of me. Every example I have seen of them thus far have left me very underwhelmed – I guess I am spoilt from the multitude of impressive ruins in Europe. Don’t get me wrong – I find Incan history fascinating, and the various items that have survived are often very beautiful. The Pre-Colombian art museum in Cusco is a wonderful place and I am looking forward to the Gold Museum in Bogota (pretty much the only thing I am looking forward to in that city). Machu Picchu might be the most important, or at least the most well known, ruins in South America, but they are for me, just a part of what made the five days around the area so special. Continue reading