The stunning vista of Colca Canyon
Colca Canyon is an enormous hole in the ground situated 6 hours from Arequipa in Peru, famous for being home to the phenomenal condor. It’s hiked by an awful lot of visitors to Peru but many will visit for just a day or two. We decided to make the most of our time in the area and had an absolutely brilliant 4 day backpacking trip.
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Sandoval Lake at dawn on day 2, the mist on the lake was beautiful
For me one of the things that screams South America is a visit to the Amazon Jungle. We’ve spent time in jungle environments before but this is the Amazon, the mother of all jungles that spans 9 countries across 2.7 million square miles. The mighty Amazon River is responsible for a staggering 20% of the world’s fresh water that flows into the ocean and the jungle is the most bio-diverse rainforest on the planet. You’ve probably realised by now how much Paul and I love spending time in nature and one of the main reasons for this is wildlife, we were determined to have a wildlife experience in the Amazon and one particular little lake had some animals we’d been dying to see for years.
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Stunning flamingo lakes
To catch up on part 1 please click here
The evening before had been extremely cold, we slept at just under 16,000 ft in every piece of clothing we had with us and just about managed to stay warm. So it was with great relief that we saw the sun coming up on day 3. It’s not every day you get to sleep on top of the world on a vast tundra with a fair few flamingos toughing it out in a nearby pink lake so it was all worth it!
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The stunning Laguna Verde with Licancabur Volcano in the background
When you’ve been travelling continuously for as long as we have you start to get a little complacent with what you’re seeing every day. It becomes normal to be exposed to jaw dropping scenery and new cultures on a daily basis and you feel like you’re always striving for the next travel high. I had high expectations for the Bolivian South West Circuit but all of those expectations were blown completely out of the water by the real thing. It proves that no matter how long you do this for some places can still completely take your breath away. We travelled for 4 days across rugged terrain without seeing a single road, we covered just shy of 1000 km and saw the most varied scenery you could hope for. This trip goes down as one of the greatest experiences of my life.
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This isn’t the culprit but possibly a distant relative
All long term travellers have stories to tell about misplacing or breaking belongings during their time on the road. The number one item that bites the dust is probably sunglasses due to a variety of mishaps that occur whilst lugging your life around in a backpack. We have gone through our fair share (9 pairs between us and counting!) and aren’t too concerned about something that can be replaced for a couple of dollars. However, we may just be setting a new standard in managing to destroy anything of a technical/electrical nature.
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Up close and personal
The Asian elephant is the second largest land mammal on the planet, only surpassed by its African cousin. So what would you do if you were stood in the middle of a huge field with two of these 3 tonne giants walking straight at you? They are not shackled in any way and they are getting closer! Do you turn and run? No, you keep walking towards them, strangely calm and feeling unthreatened. Eventually you are stood next to these two beautiful creatures dwarfed in their majestic presence and all you can do is reach out and give them a stroke and a cuddle. Does this sound ridiculous? Probably, but that is what we did!