Isla Amantani

Did You Know There Were People Living on Floating Islands? – Island Hopping on Lake Titicaca

What a week! Completely stunned by the beauty of Isla del Sol, we made our way up north back to Peru and the other half of the biggest high altitude lake – Titicaca.

Our base camp was again Puno where we stayed at the hostel Ollanta Inn. The owner is a really kind man that knows a lot about the history of the country and he also gave us some recommendations about what to do with the remainder of our time in Peru.

For Titicaca we definitely wanted to see the populated islands not too far away from the shore. So one brisk morning we joined a tour that took us out to the first stop: The Floating Islands of Uros. Read More »

A Little Update from Ecuador

Hello, there. Long time no see! ;-)

Puuh, the last few weeks have been quite eventful. As some of you might know, we spent over 3 weeks at the coast of Ecuador “workawaying” for a US American couple. We had some really great times there. Our work consisted of walking and feeding the dogs twice a day and doing some cleaning or repairing work around the house. Pretty easy! We had our own little bungalow right next to the pool and the ocean was only a 100 m walk away. Sounds like paradise, huh?Read More »

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 »

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 »

Sharing a ride with a 40-something truck driver

When we made our way to Cuevas we stopped a truck by the street that would take us with him to the nature reserve a few kilometers down the road. (Yep, it is like hitchhiking, but they will usually expect some money!) He was really interested in us and asked questions about where we were from, how much money we need for our travels, how much things cost in Europe, what the weather was like, and so on.

He also told us a lot about himself – he drove a truck from Potosí to Santa Cruz and back. It would take him a few days. His wife was back home in Potosí and had a small kiosk, she had to take care of. He said it was not possible for them to live off just of his salary, so she had to find something to do for her. He said people in Bolivia wouldn’t earn a lot of money, only those that went to school and would now sit in an office.Read More »

One day in the biggest city of Bolivia

Most people might have not even heard of this place before, at least I haven’t before even entering Bolivia – Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It is with over 1.5 million people the biggest city of Bolivia and located in the East right before entering the jungle on either side but the West. The name means Holy Cross of the Mountains which doesn’t really make sense to me because it’s more a selva-place (jungle). It is a surprisingly modern city, clearly influenced by nearby Argentina and Brazil, and also serves as industrial hot spot of Bolivia. We haven’t really thought about visiting it but as we arrived with the night bus at 7 am it gave us plenty of time to stroll around in the center and just enjoy a relaxing Sunday there before continuing our trip.Read More »

Long-distance bus disasters

Long-distance buses are essential for traveling South America. They’ll take you anywhere! It will take you a few hours, sometimes more, sometimes less, but you will get there eventually. Since we landed in Lima in the middle of January those buses were the only way we made it from A to B, not always comfortable but reasonably priced and (almost) always there when you need them. When you look at the continent of South America it might seem small because countries are so big and spread out. To take you from Lima to Cusco for example will take you around 22 hours and that being on a good road. So we’ve gotten pretty used to spending good amounts of time on buses and even came to like it. Everything that is under 6 hours actually seems to be a short time of traveling. Darn, that will be a big change coming back to Europe and realizing that everything is so close!Read More »