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Posts Tagged ‘tour’

18th September
2011
written by Justin

We got up early again – around 6am – to depart for our walking safari which started at 7:15 and was to last 3 hours.  Fortunately the chefs at the Waterfront opened the restaurant early (sweet!) and we were able to eat before loading up on the safari vehicle.  It was our first safari 4×4 – seemingly a converted pickup truck with 4 rows of 3 seats in the back.  They very considerately provided poncho-like blankets for the drive to the park, which was fairly cold in an open-air vehicle early in the morning.

En Route to Safari

En Route to Safari

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23rd June
2011
written by Hazel

So sorry to be so far behind in our adventures. We’ve had a wonderful time seeing friends and family and haven’t had much time for blogging. But, that does mean that we have lots of wonderful days to post about!

We arrived in Edinburgh after one of the nicest (read: least bumpy) flights ever. There was one slight mishap on the getting to the airport in Madrid. I woke up, in a panic that I had slept through my alarm, roused Justin and very sleepily hustled us out of the hostel, only to find out that my alarm hadn’t even gone off yet! We were about two hours earlier to the airport than we needed to be. But I suppose that’s better than two hours late.

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20th May
2011
written by Hazel

We had an easy bus trip back from Trindade to Rio and got to spend a couple of days in the city before heading on.  We stayed at a hostel in Le Blon, a nice neighborhood in the far south of the city.  The only problem with this was that it is a little far from the areas with stuff to do, so when we arrived at the bus station we immediately had to deal with a long trip through town and then out the other side.  We made it eventually with the help of a friendly local and got settled into an 8 person dorm.  Everyone at the hostel was really friendly, but it was a pretty noisy place, so not so much with the sleeping there.

Our first day in the city we walked up the incredible beaches and just took a good look around.  Rio is a beautiful city and the beaches were worth spending some time on.  We saw Le Blon beach, Ipanema beach, and Copacabana beach.  It was sunny in the morning, but then we had a pretty strong rain in the afternoon.  They said the weather was going to improve though, so we signed up for a city tour the next day so that we could see some of the big city landmarks.

We had an amazing sunny day and were picked up at the hostel in a big 16 person van.  Our first stop was the famous statue of Christ that looks down over Rio.  It is up on a mountain behind the city and was pretty crowded with tourists.  We had fun looking out at the views and taking a ton of pictures.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

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6th May
2011
written by Hazel

Since I’m so incredibly behind on these blog posts this tour may not get quite as much attention as deserved.  However, Justin has already put up our wildlife report and I’ll sketch out a few of the tour details.

Firstly, we went to the Manu National Park Cultural Zone with Amazon Trails Peru and would absolutely recommend this company.  Since we only had a short time in Peru we did the shortest tour that got us close to the wildlife reserve.  We had been a little concerned that if we didn’t make it all the way into the reserve we wouldn’t see very much.  This turned out to not be a problem though and for the short amount of time we had we saw so, so much.

We also need to give a lot of credit to our guide, Carlos.  He was excellent – knew all the birds, found us all kinds of things to look at that we would have missed, and could tell us all about the plants and how they are used by the people who live in the jungle.  He also carried about 80 pounds of wildlife reference books (including one he had put together with his friends) and spent lots of time helping us record what we saw.  Awesome!

The tour was 4 days and 3 nights.  We started in Cusco and had a very long van ride out to the jungle.  On the way we stopped at some pre-Incan burial ruins.

Pre-Incan burial towers

Pre-Incan burial towers

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22nd April
2011
written by Hazel

Cocawell

From Arequipa we decided to take a two day tour to the Colca Valley to see Colca Canyon.  This canyon is one of the deepest in the world, so we thought it was worth a look.  We went with a cheap tour that we booked through our hostel and while there was nothing really wrong with it, we weren’t thrilled.  The biggest problem was that every time the bus stopped it was for people to try to sell us stuff.  Since we weren’t interested in buying anything this left us with big gaps of time in a place we weren’t really interested in with nothing to do but try to avoid buying things!  Not ideal.

They were 45 minutes late picking us up and then the first stop was at a shop to buy coca products.  Turns out that to get to this valley you have to cross a VERY high pass and they strongly recommended that we buy and consume coca products to help with the altitude.  Justin tried “Cocawell” a soda, but we both prefered the coca candies or the coca tea to the soda.  For those of you at home, coca products come from the same plant as cocaine, but don’t have any kind of effect like the drug and aren’t processed at all.  Seems to help with the altitude and the tea is everywhere here.

The area around the pass was a preserve area and was very scenic!  Volcanos, vicuñas, llamas, alpacas, lakes and birds! (more…)

9th April
2011
written by Hazel

Today we set off on a 11 hour tour of the area south of San Pedro de Atacama. We went with CosmoAndino Expeditions because we heard they had a good reputation. There are so many tours available in this town, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to pick, but we can definitely recommend these guys.

This post is going to have a lot of photos because it was an incredibly scenic day! And there are more in the gallery! Lots more!!!

They picked us up from our hostel at 7 am and after a bit of a drive around town to pick up the other passengers we set off for the Laguna de Chaxa (Chaxa Lake). The lake is in a reserve area and is part of the Salar de Atacama – the third largest salt flat in the world. Our guide, Alex, was full of information and we learned a lot about the birds, minerals, and mining in the area. But the best part was that it was chock full of flamingos and the morning light was awesome on the water!

Flamingo!

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