Machu Picchu to Cuzco – Day7

Thursday: We checked out early and high-tailed to the depot to catch the 8am bus up the mountain so we could explore the citadel  before the flood of day-trippers arrived from Cuzco around 10am. After roaming through the terraces, dodging happy-snappers and wandering alpacas, we slowly gravitated to the path leading higher up the mountain towards the Sun Gate. Intipunku, the Incan…

Machu Picchu – Day6

Wednesday 6am. The phone delivered the wake-up call exactly as requested and we had commenced dressing for breakfast when we received a second call advising that our driver was waiting at Reception to rush us to the Ollantaytambo station for the re-scheduled Vistadome journey to the ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu. As Michelle hurried off to settle our account I stuffed…

Sacred Valley of the Incas – Day5

Tuesday: A buffet breakfast at 7am in the antique-littered hotel dining room afforded the spectacle of an Indian woman shuffling across the frosty hotel lawn carrying tall bundles of folded cloth. Finding a sunny patch, she placed her bundle down and smoothed out two blankets on the crisp, white-covered grass, one for her pile of brightly coloured blankets, the other…

Reserva Amazonica – Day3

Sunday. Very little disturbs me more than being dragged from a deep sleep before the sun approaches the general vicinity of a yardarm, so  imagine my general pissedoffedness at being woken at 5am by an Interpreter banging on the wall of our cabana in Reserva Amazonica. Choosing not to believe we had deliberately eschewed the 1/2 day Lake Sandoval tour…

Amazon to Yucay – Day4

Monday. After breakfast we joined a party of departing guests for the upriver cruise to the port at Puerto Maldonado and the short drive to the airport. Whether it was the oppressive humidity or simple tiredness, there was little chatter among the nearly departed. A two-hour wait culminated in the arrival of the plane and we were once again flying above…

Lima to the Peruvian Amazon – Day2

Saturday. With our pickup and airport transfer scheduled for 0630, we lingered over a buffet breakfast and wandered the hotel admiring its examples of  pre-Columbian relics and replica statuary. Outside the atmosphere was typically Lima-heavy. The all-pervading mist from the cool Pacific trapped over the flat urban landscape by the distant Andes mountain range. The airport drive seemed much longer…

Lima – Day1

Friday. The arrival in Lima was a mildly disorienting experience. It was the culmination of a six hour flight from Mexico City and occurred just  short of midnight. Collected by our driver-guide for the short visit we were ferried through the fog to our hotel in the beachside district of Miraflores, sleep deprivation and the pervasive mist casting the initial…

Saigon

Sipping a chilled 333 in the window of a buzzy bar on Saigon’s renowned Dong Khoi Street I was taken by the faith and trust complete strangers place in others. The spark of this reverie was the nonchalant way many visitors stepped off the footpath into the path of a tsunami of motorbikes and purposefully strode across the road as…

Beijing

A chilly, foggy Friday morning and we made the 2 hour flight to Beijing. I know it’s 2 hours because we made that flight twice. Turned back just prior to landing in Beijing we returned to Xian airport for a long and frustrating wait in the terminal where we made deletions to our Beijing itinerary to compensate for the lost time.…

Xi’an

The first experience of Xian is an airport very similar in design to Pudong International, if not quite the same scale. We’re collected by our local guide Cynthia, and led to our people mover for the hour-long drive into Xian. On a vast plain, bisected by a number of lowflowing rivers, Xian presents as an unremarkable and quite unattractive metropolis…

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