Back in time for tea

Travelling the world, hopefully with a cuppa in hand

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We´re going to Machu Picchu!

Since arriving in Cusco on Saturday morning, we´ve been busy sorting out a trek, buying some warm gear (yay – more excuses to indulge my knitwear habit!) and doing a bit of sightseeing. Cusco is beautiful, not at all what I expected but it´s all narrow cobbled street, Inca heritage, amazing views of the hills and lots of tourists!

From a very early 4am start on Tuesday morning we´re trekking our way to Machu Picchu via the Lares route which should give us a good introduction to the culture of the indigenous highlands. We´re both looking forward to a few days of trekking; we always find it really satisfying and peaceful, although this time we´ve got a private guide, cook, horseman and three horses to keep us company. If nothing else we should be able to practice our spanish and perhaps even learn a few words of the local quechua language. We get back to Cusco late on Friday night so we´ll be able to update you all next weekend on how it went.

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Happy Birthday Pop!

June is a busy birthday month in the Wright family with Mum´s birthday followed hot on its heels by Dad´s birthday just three days later. They´re both on holiday at the month so we hope that they have lots of nice things planned for today and good weather to go along with it. Happy Birthday Dad, we look forward to hearing about how you spent your day. We`ll be starting our four day Lares trek and we`ll be thinking of you as we walk.

Lots of love, Lou and Jon xxx

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Happy Birthday Mum!

Today is Mum´s birthday and we wanted to send her lots of love and let her know that we´re thinking of her. Even though we´re away, she still looks after us from afar; always asking how we are and making sure that we´re taking care of each other.

Mum, we hope that the sun is shining for your birthday and that you have a great day with Dad and Donna. We´ll miss celebrating with you but are looking forward to hearing about it and seeing you soon.

Lots of love, Lou and Jon xxx

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Two for the price of one

Having a great time at the Iguazu Falls. See the Argentina photos for more.

We´ve just uploaded the photos from our second spell in Argentina, covering our amazing time at the Iguazu Falls, our trip to the Jesuit ruins at San Ignacio Mini and the lovely few days we spent in Salta. To give you even more to look at, we´ve also added a Bolivia album which includes our photos of the Uyuni salt flats and a few of Sucre. It was a beautiful city but we were too busy learning Spanish to be out and about with the camera. We´ll get chance to take some more when we return to Bolivia to visit the Amazon.

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Oink oink

The sound of little patitas - never again

We had our first menu disaster on our way to Arequipa when we stopped off just over the Peru border in Tacna. Usually, being adventurous and just picking something off the menu works really well but not this time! We asked the waiter what the dish was and got the impression that it involved salad and potatoes which sounded OK to me, going vegetarian would be a nice change.  What I got was definitely not vegetarian; it was a pile of little piggies´ trotters nicely garnished with red onion!!!!!!! I don´t like even slightly fatty meat so there was no way I was going to munch on one of those. Luckily, Jon is a lot less picky and did his husbandly duty and had a couple so the pile wasn´t quite so high when the waiter came to take it away again. We certainly won´t be ordering anything else with patitas in the title and we guess that this is one dish you won´t be recreating at home.

Later on as we continued our bus journey to Arequipa, Jon was rewarded by karma as he won the game of bingo on the bus and we now have one free return journey back to Tacna, just in case we want any more of those pig trotters!

Overall, our journey from Sucre in Bolivia to Cusco in Peru is nearly complete and we booked our bus tickets for the final leg to Cusco for tomorrow night. It´s been a long journey over the Andes; we had four hours waiting at the Bolivian-Chile border (Changara) at a cold altitude of 4700m but with great views of  the snow-covered Parinacota volcano and pink flamingos on the nearby lake. From Chile to Peru, we passed through the first desert of our trip and saw the vast expanse of the Atacama.

In Chile we broke our journey by spending a couple of nights in Arica, an oasis town bordered by sea on one side and enormous sand dunes on the other. While there we had a mini earthquake which was blithely brushed off by the locals as one of the daily tremors but was an interesting experience for us.

Santa Catalina convent

Arequipa is a beautiful city full of interesting Spanish architecture. We really enjoyed a peaceful afternoon wandering around the Santa Catalina convent built in the sixteenth century and described as a city within a city as it contains its own church, streets, houses, kitchens, gardens and even a cemetry. The nuns lived in comfort with four servants and luxuries provided by their families such as European tea services and furniture. From the deckchairs on our hostel´s rooftop terrace we also get an amazing view of the El Misti volcano that dominates the city. Arequipa is one of the places that Jon came to nine years ago, and it has changed quite a lot in that time, becoming hugely more tourist-orientated with boutique shops around the centre selling ´baby alpaca´woollen goods at London prices. We suspect Cuzco might be much the same, but we hope to join in with the centenary celebrations of Machu Picchu´s discovery and visit.

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