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

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Patagonia Part II – Chalten and Norwegian Blues*

DSCF0205_1920x1440After the second of which was to eventually become eight crossings between Chile and Argentina, I began my journey north to the small settlement of El Chalten, a town that was explicitly founded to legitimise Argentina’s claim to the area near the Fitzroy massif. That it has also become a trekking Mecca for this area is a felicitous side effect.  Continue reading