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Machu Picchu Through the Backdoor

Machu Picchu Through the Backdoor

To most, Machu Picchu is a bucket list destination, right up there with the Great Wall and the Pyramids of Giza.  It is a destination that defines an entire continent.  But what often comes with such a designation are the precise things one tries to avoid when...
The End of the Road

The End of the Road

I know what you’re thinking.  How did you get from Peru to the End of the Road?  Aren’t there a few countries and several thousand miles in between?  The truth, it seems, is that we’re not very good bloggers.  Or, at the very least, we’re not very timely bloggers....
Maintaining the Sanity

Maintaining the Sanity

The Cordillera Blanca is the highest mountain range outside of the Himalayas.  There are 16 peaks over 6000 meters including Peru’s highest, the mighty Hauscaràn.  Seeing as we like to hit the trail as often as possible we had looked forward to this section of the...
Los Baños del Inca

Los Baños del Inca

We started our day in Cajamarca in the same way Inca emperor Atahualpa did nearly 500 years earlier – in the soothing waters of the natural thermal springs that grace this area of the Northern Peruvian highlands.  Known today as Los Baños del Inca, the compound is a...
People of the Clouds

People of the Clouds

The persistent fog was all around us.  It had completely enveloped the mountain landscape, stealthily hiding the thousand-foot sheer drops and allowing our location on this craggy peak to be forgotten.  Originally we were hoping for the dense clouds to clear but we...
A Traveler’s Fantasy

A Traveler’s Fantasy

Most long term travelers have in the back of their minds a fantasy of a place that they imagine they could find themselves getting stuck in.  These fantasy scenarios often include opening up a hostel or some other small business to sustain a lifestyle abroad.  As we...
Surviving the Holidays Abroad

Surviving the Holidays Abroad

There’s absolutely nowhere we’d rather be than with our families during the holidays.  One of the hardest times to be away from home for us is the week between Christmas and New Years.  No matter how much fun we’re having, no matter how much of a rhythm we have found...
Things Heat Up in Baños

Things Heat Up in Baños

From the jungle we continued west through the town of Baños, a touristy spot where the activities are dune buggy rentals and bungee jumping.  Not necessarily the things we go out of our way to pursue but we had half a day to burn and figured the hot springs were...
Jungle Jaunt

Jungle Jaunt

I awoke from my slumber feeling relieved.  My fears of being violated by cockroaches during the night did not come to fruition and, to my surprise, I had slept peacefully.  Of course that could be due to my position in the hammock.  Zach might not have been so lucky,...
Milestones

Milestones

We had driven more than 30,000 miles up to this point.  We’d traveled for 14 months, through 12 countries on two continents and crossed the open sea.  Still, traversing the imaginary line that divides the earth’s northern and southern hemispheres is about as...
Market Day

Market Day

The market in Otavalo, Ecuador was by far the most impressive we’ve seen since Guatemala.  On market day when the market swells with vendors from surrounding towns the produce market alone would challenge in size any that we have seen in South America so far and that...
Zen and the Art of Pirate Camping

Zen and the Art of Pirate Camping

We spent two days in and around the town of Salento just on the outskirts of the zona de café.  The draw to Salento, aside from its charm, is the Valle de Cocora.  The cocora are the world’s tallest wax palms and can crest over 200 feet.  The valley is home to groves...
Nuestra Familia Colombiana

Nuestra Familia Colombiana

From El Cocuy we made our way to Bogota with a few choice stops along the way.  Let me start by saying we didn’t come close to giving Bogota the attention it deserved.  It is a huge city with countless museums, cultural events and pleasant strolling opportunities.  We...
The Peaks and Valleys of El Cocuy

The Peaks and Valleys of El Cocuy

Due to our four month hiatus in the States, we’ve had to accept the reality that we will be passing through many countries during an unfavorable time of year.  In Peru, we’ll face rainy season in much of the highlands and by the time we reach Patagonia the summer days...
The Darien Gapster

The Darien Gapster

While our car was making its way across the Caribbean to Colombia, it was up to us to find our own way.  We could fly from Panama City, take a sail boat across the ocean or go for the cheapest option which involves a number of outboard motor boats followed by a series...
FLASHBACK:  San Jose Guayabal

FLASHBACK: San Jose Guayabal

We left the the war torn hills of south eastern El Salvador to meet up with family of friends in a small town just outside of San Salvador, the capital city.  Mayte and Luis are the aunt and uncle of a former co-worker of mine back in my Henkel days.  Mayte is a...
Broken Down in Cerro Punta

Broken Down in Cerro Punta

A late lunch was quickly turning into an early dinner as Jill and I wandered through various small towns looking for the right place to eat.  Our hunger was distracted by the beautiful scenery of the mountains surrounding Volcan Baru in the NW corner of Panama.  We...
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Part II

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Part II

It seems that each “start” of the trip for us comes with a test of our convictions, a “prove yourself” diversion that would make even the most confident travelers question whether they could hack it (remember our first series of unfortunate events).  After four cushy...