Cajamarca: A Love Affair. Part I.

After spending some time in the desert, I was ready to move on and experience the mountains that Peru is so famous for. Taking Julio’s advice, I booked a daytime bus for Sunday (rather than an overnight) on Transportes Linea from Trujillo to Cajamarca so that I could witness the beautiful scenery. It was truly remarkable; stunning mountains as far as the eye can see, small towns perched on the hillsides, and beautiful lakes. This is what I had been waiting for. Arriving in Cajamarca at night, without hotel reservations, was not as distressing as I had initially foreseen. Instructing my taxi driver to drop me off in the Plaza de Armas, I stepped out of the car onto a street lined with more hostels, hotels, and tourism agencies than I could count. Even at night, the view was beautiful! [Continue reading…]

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Doing It the Salkantay Way

Trekking to Machu Picchu seemed like an exciting idea three months ago, when I was getting organized for my big trip to South America. At the time, I hadn’t really considered what this ‘trek’ would actually involve. It’s just the ‘thing you do’… after all, I didn’t want to be one of those people who rock up at 6am to Machu Picchu on a bus with their freshly pressed jeans and shirts. I am an independent traveler and I am up for a challenge! [Continue reading…]

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Marcahuasi – Mystery of the Mountain

Marcahuasi is the Quechua name given to a plateau 60 km northeast of Lima, one that roughly translates as “the House of the Sovereign”. Exactly who this sovereign is, or what the stories are behind the stone abodes and rock monuments that dot the landscape, most experts have little clue. Some have offered a geologic explanation for the sculpted landscape, while others, such as proto-historian Dr Daniel Ruzo, believe that the rocks, which resemble everything from faces to dinosaurs, are markers left by an ancient civilization, long since annihilated by cataclysms of (literally) Biblical proportions. [Continue reading…]

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The Journey to Machu Picchu

As the sole survivor of the first month of volunteers and the only one left to tell the tale, I feel it is my duty to write a blog about our week-long Inca Trail adventure. The grandeur and beauty of Machu Picchu is world renown  but can sometimes be overwritten about and in many accounts lacks the challenges of the journey which are all too important and often overlooked. From my own personal experience I have learned that the journey is far more noteworthy and important than the destination itself. Yes, this is the biggest cliché of all time but in a world of clichés we lose focus of their messages and their messages are just as important today as when they were first said. So here is my account of our journey to Machu Picchu and the challenging yet rewarding experience it was. [Continue reading…]

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