Over the Andes

Having travelled down to the Chilean capital of Santiago (which is as far south as I’m going to on this trip), it’s now time to start heading east, and finally go over the mighty mountain range that I’ve been following ever since northern Colombia.  And what better place to do that virgin crossing (and pop my trans-Andean cherry) than in the shadow of the tallest mountain in the Americas. Continue reading

Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu

After spending time among the mountains of central Peru, it’s time to rub shoulders with what looks like the entire continents of Europe and North America on their summer hols, as I head to the country’s most popular city, Cusco.  Home to the most famous pre-Colombian civilisation in South America, it’s the eastern end of the Sacred Valley, a series of mountainous villages that run along the Andes, all the way to the most famous ruin on the continent. Continue reading

¡Hola Guatemala! – Rio Dulce and Livingston

Day 4

As easy-going and lovely as Flores is, it’s time to move on.  Having already had trouble from the Coyotes, I decide to eschew the tour agencies and travel like a local (travel agents in virtually every Guatemalan tourist town can book private shuttle buses for tourists, but they’re more expensive than public buses; and some of the agents aren’t exactly legit, either).  So I take a tuk-tuk from Flores to Santa Elena bus station, and jump on the first bus to Rio Dulce town.  Simples. Continue reading

Easter Travels Part 2 – The Boat

Originally, I was going to write one blog entry about the entire Easter weekend’s travel adventures, which included both the hair-raising bus journey and a terrifying boat ride.  But clearly, once I found my literary ‘voice’, the material just wouldn’t stop flowing, so I’ve had to separate it into two parts.  And here’s Part 2: Continue reading

Easter Travels Part 1 – The Bus

Before you shake your heads, or say anything, or email me, or just inwardly groan, I know, you’re right – Easter was weeks ago (in April no less) and, if I’m going to blog about something, I should make sure it’s at least written in the same month as the thing I’m describing.  In my defense (and I admit it’s not a case-winning, conviction-overturning defense), the twin devils of cooking and washing (and their equally diabolical cousins TV and beer) have kept me occupied and away from the blog.  But, as it’s now the end of May (and my OCD dictates that I have to write at least one entry every month, to make the blog calendar look full), it’s time to put fingers to keyboard again. Continue reading