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Piura Peru

Piura Peru – a dusty dirty, city in the desert

Our trip from the village of Vilcabamba in southern Ecuador to Piura in northern Peru was via the city of Loja.

We opted to take a taxi rather than the bus from Vilcabamba to Loja. It was early in the morning and misty in patches. The taxi driver drove “rápido”. In sections the roads are potholed with broken rough surfaces resulting in much braking and swerving. The taxis here are all rugged double cabs ... which are probably the one vehicle that can survive the road conditions!

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Vilcabamba Ecuador

Vilcabamba Ecuador – perfect weather and low cost of living

We took a shuttle from Cuena to Vilcabamba Ecuador … a four and a half hour trip from Hostel La Cigale to Hosteria Izhcayluma. It was more expensive than the bus but the journey is about two hours shorter and is door to door.

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Izhcayluma Loop Hike

Hiking the Izhcayluma Loop in Vilcabamba

After looking at the various hiking options in Vilcabamba we decided to do the Izhcayluma Loop Hike.

Making the decision to do a hike was easy … the area invites you out to experience the majesty, mild weather and clean environment. With that in mind we chose the estimated 5 hour Izhcayluma Loop.

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Biting Midges No-See-Ums

Biting Midges or No-See-Ums – mean little biting bugs

No-see-ums are unknown by their scientific name of Ceratopogonidae ... and it's no wonder with a name like that! 

But they are known all over the world by names like - biting midges - midgies in Scotland - no-see-ums - "sand flies" - punkies in the Americas - "sand flies" in Australia and "purruja" in Ecuador.

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Lake Titicaca Peru overnight stay

Lake Titicaca Peru Overnight Stay

The Lake Titicaca Peru overnight stay excursion includes visiting the Uros Floating Islands, Taquile Island and spending the night with a local family on Amantani Island.

​The journey starts from Puno which is one of the stops on the PeruHop bus route.

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Lima Peru

Lima Peru

Cheap tickets to Lima Peru are not easy to find. We flew from ​​Bogota Colombia​​ on VivaColombia (Fast Colombia SAS!). The experience started quite badly. For the first time I’d bought a ticket with all the add-ons including a “rapido” check-in. It turned out to be anything but “rapido”.

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Cuenca Ecuador

Cuenca Ecuador

We visited Quito and Cuenca Ecuador after Peru. Our trip planning wasn’t the best in that we had to pay the flight premium for going back north.

This happened as we'd spent longer than planned in Costa Rica with our Spanish lessons and the date for the Inca Trail had been fixed months before.

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Colombia bus travel

Bus Travel in Colombia

Accepted bus travel in Colombia takes longer than flying but:

  • you see the country,
  • the seats are more comfortable,
  • you don’t have to arrive hours before departure,
  • there is far less bureaucratic sludge to tramp through (all for you good you know!),
  • you can make jokes or comments about the driver or baggage handler without threats of prosecution!
  • there's no delay waiting for your assigned luggage carousel to start spitting out cases. 
  • there’s no luggage lottery hoping to see your suitcase.
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Bogota Colombia

Bogota Colombia – Not Just a Big Dirty City

In Medellin we were told that Bogota Colombia "is just a big dirty city". From our experience there's nothing further from the truth. While there are parts that are "big" and that there are parts that are "dirty" there’s a lot more to the city than the “big” and “dirty”.

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Walking the Inca Trail to Machu Piccu

Walking the Inca Trail Machu Picchu

I took on walking the Inca Trail ... the iconic 4 day 3 night hike ... a month before my 70th birthday.

It has a number of physical challenges but acclimatization, or acclimating, is very important.

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