Learning About Peruvian Cuisine in Cusco

We took a cooking class during our time in Cusco. The class was a bit expensive, but it was associated with a well-reviewed restaurant that we ate at and really enjoyed, so we took a chance and signed up. It was just the three of us and the teacher Jose, which meant that it felt very personalized, and we were able to ask lots of questions. We really liked our teacher: he was passionate about Peruvian cuisine, and spent a lot of time explaining the history and uses of a long list of important ingredients, many of which we’d never heard of before. My favorite tidbit of information was the fact that Peru is home to over 4,000 varieties of potatoes, many of which were produced via crossbreeding strains with desirable traits in the hopes of developing naturally disease- and pest-resistant crops. read more…

Machu Picchu

One of our original motivations for traveling all the way to South America was to have the opportunity to satisfy a long-held mutual goal of visiting Machu Picchu. I’ve wanted to see the “lost city of the Incas” ever since I learned about it in high school, and Ola was equally excited about it, so in the last few weeks of our Southeast Asia travels we began planning our visit in earnest. read more…

Colonia del Sacramento

This is a quick post to cover a trip that Richard, Ola and I took to Uruguay during our week in Buenos Aires. Colonia del Sacramento is an Uruguayan town located along the delta of Rio de la Plata (River of Silver), and is easily reachable by ferry from Buenos Aires. Not ones to miss an opportunity to get another visa in our well-stamped passports, we ferried over early one morning and spent a day exploring Colonia. read more…

Storming Buenos Aires

Our friend Richard first floated the idea in January of joining us on our trip for a while. Ola and I both agreed enthusiastically, but it wasn’t until February that we figured out when and where we’d actually meet up. By that time Ola’s and my plans had brought us to South America, and with the prospect of being incommunicado for a week or more during our hike in Torres del Paine followed by Richard heading to Thailand, Ola and I made the most in-advance plan that we’ve made this entire trip: a month later, on March 21st, we would all meet in Buenos Aires. read more…

Getting Out of Uyuni

I covered our visit to the Salar de Uyuni in the previous post, but there’s a couple things I left out. At the end of the three day jeep tour we’d taken from the Atacama Desert in Chile, we visited Uyuni’s Train Cemetery. Located just a few kilometers outside of town, the cemetery is the resting place for a number of antique locomotives and train cars that were built at the turn of the previous century when Bolivia’s mining industry had the need to move large quantities of minerals to the Pacific Coast. read more…

Our Cross-Country Jeep Tour to the Salar de Uyuni

Our Salar de Uyuni adventure began about 300 miles southwest of Uyuni in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile. The Bolivian salt flat is not an easy place to get to, especially from Chile; there are no highways in or out of Uyuni, and the route from Atacama consists solely of a plethora of jeep-worn dirt paths which are constantly shifting and being replaced as drivers decide that the old routes are too rutted and worn to continue using. We’d hired a jeep and a driver, and it was through this untamed land that we travelled for the next three days. read more…

High Altitude Adventures in Chile’s Atacama Desert

According to National Geographic, the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile is the driest place in the world, with some parts never having received even a single drop of rain during recorded history. The area is rife with unique desert terrain and volcanic formations, and several Chileans insisted we include this in our South American travels, so it was to this windy, desiccated place that we travelled next. But at altitudes that range from a respectable 2,407 meters (7,900 ft) to a staggering 4,860 meters (15,944 ft), one’s breath does not go far, even just walking around the flat roads here! read more…

24 Hours in Santiago

We barely had 24 hours in Santiago, but it was enough time to get the sense that we’d found something special. Santiago is not that far from Mendoza, but the two cities are separated by the Andes mountain range, and the route between them is filled with dramatic, snowy peaks, so we decided that our best option was to take a bus due to its low cost as well as the opportunity to see the mountains up close. We’d read that buses in Argentina/Chile are pretty nice, and this was no exception; the ride was very comfortable and we had spectacular views. This part of the world is very pretty! read more…

Catching Our Breath in Bariloche

The next stop in our northwards journey out of Patagonia was the Argentinean ski town of Bariloche. This is one of the places that I visited during my motorcycle trip from Seattle to Ushuaia a few years ago, but the weather then was pretty terrible, and I only stayed for one night before continuing on southwards. This time around, however, we had beautiful sunny days, and I finally saw what the fuss was about. Chocolate shops outnumber coffee shops here, and everything from the winter-ready architecture of the buildings to the street musicians playing Beatles covers gives Bariloche a definite charm. read more…