Archive for September, 2009

Machupicchu*1 from coca to chinchillas…

Machupicchu<sup>*1</sup> from coca to chinchillas...

We’re now in Peru, birthplace of Paddington Bear, after having flown from Bogota to Lima and then straight to Cuzco last Friday. We’re staying in a nice hacienda-style place called Quorichaska. When we arrived, the lady at reception made us coca tea to alleviate altitude sickness and neither of us has suffered with it at all. On Saturday we took a couple of minibuses to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and then a train called the Vistadome to Aguas Calientes, which is the closest town to Machupicchu. The train was a great experience and far nicer than I can imagine…

Click to read on...

Bogota – Developing a seriously dangerous habit…

Bogota – Developing a seriously dangerous habit…

We’ve been in Bogota for almost a week and have come across an increasing amount of an addictive white powder that can be found on every street corner, in the “panaderias”, sold by kindly ladies with white coats and hairnets. It’s called icing sugar, it covers the delicious pastries and cakes that are made here in Bogota and we’re hooked! We generally have just one “proper” meal a day (i.e. something with meat and vegetables) and otherwise survive on coffee (Ise), chocolate caliente (me) and various tarts, flans, croissants, cheesecakes, crepes, ice-creams and sponges. We are now cake addicts. We’re…

Click to read on...

Cartagena – Torture and Mud

Cartagena - Torture and Mud

We’ve been in Cartagena since last Sunday – it’s incredibly hot and humid and it took us a few days just to aclimatise and work up some energy. We were staying in the roughest area of the city, where all the drug dealers and pimps hang out, but they didn’t cause us any trouble when we told them “no gracias” to whatever they were selling. The old town, inside the city walls is very cute – old buildings, lots of metal sculptures and statues, horse-drawn carriages and people selling hats, necklaces and artwork on the street – great for people…

Click to read on...

Bliss in the San Blas

Bliss in the San Blas

We’ve spent the last week aboard the Windseeker, a pretty little boat owned by chain-smoking Aussie Captain Mike (Mr Birdseye-on-Slimfast on the left below), being fed extremely well (lots of yummy pasta) by Maurizio (on the right) – a half Scottish, half Italian (and all mental) chef who could well have been Mario and Luigi’s long-lost brother, given his stereo-typical facial hair and the fact that he used to be a plumber! I was the only girl aboard the boat, but luckily the other boys were fully house-trained. As well as Captain Mike, Mauri the chef, me & Ise, there…

Click to read on...

Panama City & Canal

Panama City & Canal

We spent most of the last week of August in Panama City and were lucky enough to meet a really lovely ex-pat couple – John and Lorna – on our first night there (in an Indian restaurant – typical). John very kindly offered to take us around Panama City and we were only too pleased to have a local English guide – thank you John! John took us first to the old City of Panama, which is mostly crumbling ruins, apart from a tower that you can walk up to get great views over the new city and all the…

Click to read on...