Ayacucho and Vilcashuaman

Right after coming back to Cusco from our long hike to Machu Picchu, we made our way to some more rural and less visited areas of Peru. The first stop was Ayacucho. After a complicated night bus ride, we arrived in the city, where only a few decades ago domestic terrorism was part of everyday life. What we immediately realized: we were the only white people there. And that didn’t go unnoticed by the locals. Coming from Cusco where it felt like indigenous people were a rarity, Ayacucho was quite a change. Read More »

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We are all earthlings

Hey!

Another funny but also insightful story from Samaipata:

During our time there we met an interesting person from Germany. She was a transgender that has been living in Bolivia for a year and a bit now. She didn’t really have an easy time there. Learning Spanish is not her strength I guess, and immigration’s have been harder than expected. But proud she told us that the energy from El Fuerte would help her out and that’s why she stayed here. Probably also because there are so many travelers all the time. :-)

One thing that she said made me think about a specific topic from a completely different side: I have always had this opinion that being respectful and understandable is a necessity when going to another country, especially when the country was poorer than mine. That it was crucial to adjust to what the locals expect from you. Indeed, this makes all travels easier in any case.

What this woman said however, is in some way also true. Read More »

Soaking up the energy of El Fuerte

Hello there!

Remember when I told you about the energetic place that attracted loads of expats to stay in the village of Samaipata? Of course we couldn’t skip these ruins. So a sunny and really hot Sunday morning we made our way to the historic place. It is a 10 km walk or taxi ride from the center of the village. As we had plenty of time on us we walked there, rewarded by the amazing views along the way.Read More »

Are you a tourist or a traveler?

You probably don’t even have to get out of your home town to meet most of the different kinds of travelers. There are selfie-tourists, the extremely culture-savvy tourists, the “hippies”, the luxury travelers, the nature adventurers. And a lot more. Especially Peru being a big destination for all kinds of people – rich and not so rich – we met a whole bunch of different people, some only spending a week escaping from their busy routines at home and others who are in their third (!) year of traveling the Americas. I think getting to know every single person inspired me and boyfriend so much and meeting new people, like-minded or not, is one of the best parts of traveling.

After all I noticed some conflicts or rather differences of opinion between the groups of travelers. Somehow, each group is looking down on the others in some form.Read More »

How to: Build a house 101

In Samaipata we were able to help out a Spanish family. I already talked about them before. They had two small but beautiful houses, one they lived in and the other one they were renting out. But their plans are much bigger. They want to build another, bigger house where they wanted to move into and then live off the rent of the other two and eventually from that money travel a little bit in South America. So we were happy to help. At the moment they are working on a small garden hut for their tools and to provide their volunteers a sleeping space upstairs. We helped to render that from the inside and out.Read More »

No cuevas en Cuevas

Located around 30 km from the village of Samaipata there is a little town called Cuevas which means “caves” in Spanish. Having a little nature reserve with the three famous waterfalls it attracts a bunch of tourists and locals. And now I definitely know why. As Cuevas is on a lower sea level and getting into the jungle, the weather is much more humid and therefore all the kinds of plants and animals are similar to those in the jungle. We saw several species of butterflies and other insects. One kind that caught my eye was a light blue butterfly with big wings that was really common throughout the park. Next to one waterfall I even ran into a green snake, and in shock I jumped into the water haha. But when we tried to look for it again, it already had escaped into a whole. So I guess we were both similarly scared of each other.Read More »