Transition from Canada to Colombia – Ask Someone Who Knows
My trip began with an overnight flight from YVR to Toronto on an Air Canada 777. I booked a business class flight on points which became available two weeks before ...
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Colombian Fiddlers on The Roof
On the drive from the Cali Airport to Guadalajara de Buga (Buga) we passed a scooter on the highway with three people on it: a man, a woman and an ...
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Why Travel?
A couple of days ago Eliot told me that he wanted to go home.  He was suffering from a splitting headache a- complication from the Chiconguna virus he got from a ...
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Popayan to Pasto- Carnival de Blancos Y Negros
January 6, started with an early morning sprint with our packs to the Popoyan bus station to catch our 7 am bus to Pasto. It had rained and I was slipping on ...
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Food In Latin America vs Canada Part 1 Festival de cuy (guinea pig)
On January 7, we went to the festival de cuy  (guinea pig).  Cuy are an important traditional food of the indigenous people in the area and this was the place to ...
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Food in Latin America Part 2- Pets in Restaurants
The official currency of Ecuador is the US$ and  the guide books tell you that it is hard to break a 20. We found this out when we were trying ...
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Open or not the gay travellers dilemma
On January 8, 2016 we left Pasto Colombia for Otavalo Ecuador.  We arrived at the bus station at 8.30  and were directed by shouts to an Ipiales bound coach. The ...
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Filet Mignon
I grew up in a time of violence in Colombia where traveling was extremely dangerous. There were towns that the guerrillas would take over and either kill all its inhabitants ...
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Quito January 11-14 2016
On January 11 we left Otavalo for Quito. We liked La Luna lodge so we packed without enthusiasm and took our time with breakfast. I even got a few last minutes in the hammock locking out ...
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This is How We Roll- Trujillo to Chachapoyas January 19
After 2 days on the beach at Huanchaco, we were ready to go to the mountains. Destination Chachapoyas, Amazona province Peru.  To reach Chachapoyas from Trujillo there is an overnight ...
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Lessons from A Shoeless Lady in Chachapoyas
We awoke in Chachapoyas on January 20, 2016 in the hostel. It was quiet and cold and we had a mission- pack, move our bags to new hotel, eat and ...
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The things I have taken for granted/ Las cosas que no habia apreciado antes
Growing up poor in a hard working family with strong work ethic values taught me to be very thankful of all the non-material (relationships, health, and emotional well-being) and the material things I have ...
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Fortress City of Kuelap
Our first tour in the Chachapoyas area was a day trip to Kuelap, the remains of a fortified city inhabited from the 6th to the 16th century by the Chachapoyas. The ...
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Caves Graves and Cataracts : Caverna de Quiocta & Sarcófagos de Karajía
On January 22, 2016 we went on a tour that took us to the Quiocta caves and the Sarcofagos of Karajia. Eliot and I and a Peruvian couple were overflow so ...
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The Midnight Bus to Cajamarca
The only way in and out of Chachapoyas is by bus and the taxi drivers will tell you that this is because in 2003  Trans Peru flight 222 crashed into ...
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Hit that kid/ Pegenle a ese niño
Augusto told us that the best food in Cajamarca was to be found in the market and that we should venture there on our first day in the city. He ...
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Business Class Collectivo
On January 30, I woke to the sound of a song bird tapping on the bathroom window at around 5.30 am. This was a good thing because David and Tilo ...
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Tipon
Incas, Waris & Catholics
There are a number of archaeological and historical sites you can visit on day trips from Cusco. On February 1, we arranged for a private tour with Lyle of Tipon, Piqillacta ...
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Yahrzeit In Cusco
Sundown January 29, 2016  coincided with the "yahrzeit"  (anniversary) of the date in the Jewish calendar in which my father z'l died in 2012. On Yahrzeit close family members of the ...
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Ollantaytambo, Pisac and Moray- Sun Temple, Terraces and Experimental Farms
Between February 1-6, we did some self tours to other sites in the sacred valley and around Cusco. Of note we visited in the Cusco were Ollantaytambo, Pisaq and Moray. We ...
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Machu Picchu
On February 3 we got up, downed coca/ muna tea with stale bread and headed out of the Ecolodge. We decided to take what Lyle describes as the most expensive bus ride ...
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The Way to Machu Picchu-Raging Rivers & A Raging Redhead
To get to Machu Picchu, you pass through Aguas Calientes which was renamed Machu Picchu to confuse everyone. From Aguas Calientes you still have to get to the hilltop site by ...
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Food Photos
Here are photos of some of the foods that we ate and passed on during our trip ...
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Carnival in San Blas- Tilting Saints and Drag Queens That Dance for Beer
On our last two nights in Cusco the carnival was getting into swing in the San Blas neighbourhood. The main square had two sound stages and multiple beer and food ...
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The relationship between local food and my stomach/ La relacion entre la comida local y mi estomago
I would describe myself as a non fussy eater. I grew up eating tripe, black sausage, intestines and other animal parts in Colombia that are not offered in Canadian restaurants ...
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Puno- Spinning Spaniards, Skirts and Demons
On February 7, Eliot and I  left Cusco for Puno, a town on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. David flew back to Vancouver and Tilo stayed on in Cusco ...
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Lake Titicaca
From Puno we went to  "Quechua Family Inn" airbnb on Lake Titicaca. The collectivo cost 4 soles and our bags rode on the roof. We got to see the countryside while listening to the local ...
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Uros Islands- A Peruvian Upper Canada Village
On February 11, we followed Walther's advice and booked a tour of  the local Uros islands . For 200 soles we were promised a visit to islands that are not touristy and lechon ...
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A Tourist View on The Peruvian Elections 2016
When we arrived in Peru in January, the campaign for the April 2016 general election was in full swing. There were election billboards in the big towns and in the poorer parts ...
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Road to Arequipa: Crossing Rivers in Pick Up Trucks and Potholes in Double Decker Buses
We left Capechica on February 12, our destination was Arequipa via Juliana. One of the bridges was under repair and the detour through the ditch was impassable because of the rains. We ...
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Visa Blues The Jew without the Ginger
The reason I have been posting a lot recently is that I am stuck in Lima waiting for a Brazilian visa due to a screw up on my part. This ...
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Arequipa Volcanos Black Underwear and Citizen Revolts
Returning to the trip in chronological order. After Lake Titicaca we headed out to Arequipa.  Peru's second most populous city and renowned for its cuisine, earthquakes and rebellious population. The city ...
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TOT (TIRED OF TRAVEL) & TADD (TRAVEL ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER)
On our second to last night in Arequipa we got TOT (tired of travelling). We did not feel like going anywhere. We did not want to pack and unpack and research hotels, ...
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Colca Canyon Condors, Geysers, Hot Springs & Oasis
After abandoning the Jungle option we had one day to plan and book our trip to the Colca canyon. We met a guide that got outstanding reviews on Tripadvisor who quoted twice as ...
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Lima- Our Last Stop In Peru
After the Colca canyon trek, we returned to Arequipa for one last night before heading out to Lima. With time to kill before our the departure of our night bus, we ...
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Rio De Janeiro People in No Mood for Bossa Nova and Samba
The tag line for this blog is a semi-haphazard trip around the world and our  stop overs in Rio and Ethiopia on our way to Asia is an example of ...
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Addis Ababa The New Flower
The 14 hour flight/ 10 km from Sao-Paulo to Addis was easy. We each had a row of seats and slept as the plane crossed the Atlantic and the African continent ...
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Ethiopia Simien Mountain Trek- The Guide, The Cook and The Scout
Eliot and I trekked in Simien mountains national park for four days from March 8-12. In those 4 days, we saw incredibly beautiful landscapes and watched wildlife up close. The trek was ...
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Poverty is a relative concept
Throughout our trip, something has become more apparent. We all have the same needs: to eat, to be cared for, to love, and to belong to a community. These are ...
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The Simien Mountains Days 1 & 2- Sankabar Campsite, Gich Village
We spent 4 days and nights in  Simien Mountain National Park.  In that short period we walked about 60 km and reached altitudes of almost 4,000 meters. We stayed at campsites and in ...
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Simien Mountains Days 3-4 Geladas Chennek, Argin and Ambaras Villages
As we watched the Geladas descend the cliffs and call out to each other, Dave explained that they are monkeys rather than baboons. Sociable, grass, root and flea eating monkeys that live in ...
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Shanghaied in Beijing & The Flying Fish in Hong Kong
You know the story, a man in Shanghai meets a red silk clad beauty and follows her to a smoky bar near the docks. A few hours later the sailor wakes up with ...
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Japan- The Geisha and Godzilla
I was thrilled to arrive in Japan after trekking in Ethiopia for five days. I was looking forward to organization, cleanliness and a good bath. I had a big smile ...
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Shoulder Dancing Finger Foods and Solid Rock Churches- Gonder and Lalibela
After showering and charging our devices we toured Gonder with Dave and his friend. We visited a series of castles built by  Solomonic emperor Fasilides in the 16th century after he restored the ...
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Japan- Kanazawa to Kyoto March 16-20
The flight from Addis Ababa to Narita took about 14 hours including a one hour stop in Hong Kong. We slept most of the way after snapping up 2 empty rows ...
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Kyoto- Temples, Geishas and Mochi Balls
Kyoto is located in the central part of the Island of Honshu Japan. It was the capital of Japan until the capital was moved to Tokyo (Edo) during the Meji ...
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March 22-23: Onomishi to Imabari- Washlets, Bikes & Bridges
After Kyoto, we headed south to Onomishi. Our plan was to bike the 75 km Shimanami Kaido from Onomishi to Imabari. The Shimanami Kaido leads across the six islands of Mukaishima, ...
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March 23-26: Matsuyama-Osaka – Onsen, Elf Bakeries and Japanese Latinos
The final crossing on our bike ride was the Kurushima-kaikyo Shashi Bridge. The bridge took us to the Island of Shikoku- the smallest and least populated of Japan's four main islands. There were ...
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Gucci, Mao & The Emperor- First 2 Days in China : March 31-April 1, Beijing
The JAL 787 from Tokyo to Haneda was half full and we ended up in business class. It was the most fun I had with an electric seat since my father ...
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Emperors, Kebabs And The Cultural Revolution- Xian April 2,3 2016
The  huge waiting room in the Bejing train station was packed with travellers heading home for the ancestors holiday. Adults sat with bundles and sacks while kids made a game out of ...
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Made In China
From the moment we stepped into Beijing, I could sense we were up for an adventure of a place completely unfamiliar to us. The only Chinese cultural references we have been ...
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Live Your Dream – Shanghai April 6-8, 2016
The bunks next to ours on the overnight train to Shanghai were reserved by a young couple and their daughter.  Sensing an opportunity to finally get an upper bunk I used hand ...
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Walk Gawk and Shop, Hong Kong -April 6-8 2016
Three hours after leaving the rain in Shanghai, our Dragonair flight landed in the newish airport in Hong Kong. The new airport is outside of the city so there was no white ...
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Mumbai April 8-11 Slums, High-Rises, & Lessons from a Taxi Driver
We left Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific jet bound for Mumbai.  The view of the sunset lighting up the Hong Kong skyline and the mountains was beautiful after take off ...
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Rajasthan – Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh April 13-15 2016
Our first stop after Mumbai was Udaipur (उदयपुर), the capital of the kingdom of Mewar.  Instead of taking a 15 hour+ train ride we took a 1.5 hour flight on Indigo ...
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Rajasthan Part 2- Rama- Sweets and Camels Jodhpur – Jaipur
 Jodhpur ( जोधपुर)  is known as the Blue City. It is in northern Rajasthan on the edge of the Thar desert. We arrived late afternoon.  We left our van in the modern ...
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Jaipur to Agra April 16-18 2016
We left for Jaipur at 5 am from  "Clean Station Jodhpur". Even at that hour, the station was full of travellers camped out on the platforms. There were families with ...
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April 18-22, 2016 Agra- Delhi- The Taj and the Train
We arrived in Agra, Uttar Pradesh mid-day after an unmemorable first class train ride. Agra is hot, dusty and busy. Our guest hotel was a large modern house decorated in ...
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