The story about ALPAMAYO in outdoor mag, Germany

15 11 2010
 

outddoor mag 01 | 2011 will be sold from 14.12.2010

 

 

Finally – the first story about our trip is going to be printed. In the german magazine “outdoor“.

Just before christmas “outdoor”, being published by Motorpresse Stuttgart, will have a 8 to 10 page story about our circuit of the Alpamayo on the Santa Cruz Trail.

Outdoor 01/2011 will be on sale from 14. december 2010.

 

 

Outdoor_Preview 01 | 2011

 

Outdoor 12/2010 - das aktuelle Heft





Around the Alpamayo

6 06 2010

From Cusco we hopped to Lima (one hours flight) to drive north to Huaraz, a small town in the Cordillera Blanca – also called the “Chamonix of Peru”.  More than 20 mountains over 6000m (19700 ft) were waiting for us. We did a 9 day hike around the Alpamayo (130 km, 90miles, with one or two passes every day) and are now back in Huaraz. Today we take a bus back to Lima – to fly home on monday.

A little detour to the Alpamayo basecamp.

Day 2 of the Alpamayo Circuit. Amazing glaciers all around the camp.





Fiesta in Cusco

24 05 2010

After hiking 10 days to Machu Picchu and back we spent some very relaxed days at Cusco. We happened to be able to watch a big fiesta on the sunday of Pentecost – all different cultural groups of Cusco and surroundings met at trhe Plaza de Armas – it was a show of historic and modern costumes, dance, music and a mixture of colours you nearly couldn’t believe…. I am lucky I brought enough memory cards for my camera… more photos soon.

Peruvian colors at the Pentecost fiesta in Cusco.





Been there… the Inca City

22 05 2010

The typical Machu Picchu view... okay, the background only.

The promised photo…. 7 o’clock at Machu Picchu. Now we are back in Cusco, resting, and planning the last days. Probably more trekking north of Lima, at Huaraz.

This was the path around Salkantay…   beautiful and stunning landscape, but quite a tough walk….

The way to and around Salkantay.





Machu Picchu via Salkantay

20 05 2010

Just a quick note from the Internet cafe in Aguas Calientes – we hiked from Mollepata (80 km from Cusco) around the Salkantay Mountain to Machu Picchu – visited the legendary and really impressive Inka city yesterday. Today we start hiking back to Mollepata – 3 or 4 days…. photos when we are back in Cusco. Everything fine – also thanks to Mountain Lodges of Peru where we spent a wonderful first night.

Mountain Lodges of Peru - Soraypampa.





Peru – the prussian country of the potato

10 05 2010

Peru is the most amazing country we have travelled in so far. People are very very friendly and warm and  – it must come from the line of the Incas – are extremely well organized.  This shows in a prussian sort of punctuality and cleanliness which is almost too much. Even for us disciplined germans. The driver, supposed to pick you up between 3.00  and 3.30 am (yes, in the morning) rings the bell of the hostel at exactly 3.00 am. Two different chauffeurs of 4x4s, getting us to and back from the foot of 18.000 feet mountains were exactly on time – not one minute late even if they had to drive for 3 hours to arrive at the pick up point.

The big double storey busses, preferred means of transportation with own terrepuertos (groundports instead of airports) leave their bay punctual – 9.30 is 9.30, not one minute later.

When you have to use the Banos (bathrooms) at the bus station you pay 1 soles (25 Eurocent) and you get a  printed ticket as proof that you paid. Every piece of luggage gets a tag and you only can retrieve your bag when showing your tag with the identical number. It is more strict than being in an airport.

Even the taxi drivers in Arequipa where we stayed for ten days only try once to rip you – a little bit. A normal tour within the town costs 3 soles (= 1US $). If you ask for the price they tell you: 4 soles. You say “no” with a smile, they smile in mutual understanding and say “3 soles”. Deal done.

The other astounding aspect is the cuisine with a lot of varieties like ostrich, alpaca, guinnea pig (no, we didn’t taste that), all sorts of seafood and “cebiche” (or ceviche, the Peruvian way of sushi) and countless sorts of potatoes in all sizes and in colour variations from red over greenish-yellow to blueish.

There are dozens of differents kinds of potatoes in Peru.

We have this knowledge from a supermarket in Lima, but there is a better source:

Although the Spaniards could never have guessed it, potatoes were to be Peru’s greatest legacy to the world. They originated in Peru and grow there in a profusion of varieties and colours. It has been calculated that the world’s annual potato harvest is worth many times the value of all treasures and precious metals taken from the Inca empire by its conquerors.

The Conquest of the Incas, John Hemming, Pan Books

Writing this in a bus from Cruz del Sur rolling over the altiplano at 3800m altitude (12.500 ft) between Arequipa and Puno we are looking forward to visiting the lake Titicaca and the capital of the Inca empire – Cusco.





Lima in two days

25 04 2010

Aren’t we lucky? Meeting people while travelling is natural but with Victoria and Fernando who picked us up at Uspallata it is something special. Fernando lives in Lima and invited us to stay at his place when we arrived from Caracas, Whow. Two days of perfect private guiding through the city of Lima, dining at special places, seeing the nice spots – thanks again, Fernando for two great days.

Scallops galore at the Hawaian restaurant, Lima

Like all the major cities in Peru Lima has a Plaza des Armas with catholic churches and monasteries built by the Spanish conquerors – Lima even has a museum for the Spanish Inquisition – then the way to convince anybody that the catholic God is the only one….

Plaza de Armas Lima

Besides that Lima is the city with the most water fountains we have ever seen, there is even a special park for illuminated water plays. Lima is also sort of food capital of Peru with various restaurants and tons of seefod and an own mixture of Chinese and Peruvian – called Chifa – which is still quite Chinese.
Best was a buffet at the “Hawaian” where you could eat as much as you can with nice conchas (scallops), sushi; all kinds of fish and meat and typical peruvain postres (desserts) which are really really sweet.
The Miraflores district we stayed in is close to the sea where hundreds of surfers are trying to catch the wave – only the water temperature is not really comfortable. Definitely below 20 degrees C.

Waveriding beach at Miraflores Lima, Peru

By the way – they now call it Mira Torres (see the towers instead of see the flowers) because of all the high buildings – but we found it still has its charme especially the beach front with a long stretched park wehere you meet runners, bmxers, skaters and a capoeira group (again) practising.
Fernando helped us getting a bus to Arequipa because LAN had not accepted our booking/payment for flight from Lima to AQP – Oltursa got us in a night drive of 14 hrs to Arequipa, the white city of Peru, surrounded by volcanoes.

More pics on FLICKR





Good bye Caracas

23 04 2010

Leaving Caracas - flying to Lima





Pearl of the Carribean

22 04 2010








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To avoid the rainy season of Peru in march we decided to have a sort of holiday in between our travel program. Looking for a place where you could windsurf and surf – and have nice weather and warm water – we stranded at Isla de Margarita, belonging to Venezuela, 40 km north east from Caracas.

Let’s make 3 weeks short: We had a wonderful stay at the Villa Carribean Sunshine thanks to the heartily and personal care of Waltraud (you guessed it – she is german) who lives for 17 years on the island. She showed us the best cocada place and gave us all the tips for the best spots, restaurants and what to do and where to go. And we met Alonso through her, fisherman, diver, surfer  who delivered langustos, camarones  and fish fresh out of the water.

Nadine and Sammy paid us a visit (more on  www.carajitoplaya.blogspot.com, sorry, only in german) and also Natascha – so we all had a good time riding the waves and cruising the island with our Chevrolet – in this case a real Chevrolet Caprice, 6 cylinders and all the bells and whistles a 20 year old American car had to offer.

Thanks to Vicente we learned a lot about surfing and Capoeira. And Kim and Natascha had one of their worst muscle aches in years after their first lesson.

La Isla de Margarita is also called the pearl of the carribean – not because it is so shiny but because there were pearl banks which were looted by the Spaniards when they discovered South America. Now the Venezuelans are looting the alcohol contingents of the island while partying during the Semana santa which is more a unholy week. I have never seen before people standing waist deep in the water eating chips and drinking cuba libre with 80:20 rum and coke…

But what can you expect from a country where alcohol and petrol are the cheapest goods because they are tax free. One litre of 95 octane costs 1 Euro cent – Venezuela has the 4th biggest oil reservoirs of the globe, questions anyone?

The  controlled shortage of electricity of 2 hours daily and a strike on our departure day where one of the streets  to  the airport was blocked with burning tyres indicates that the country is not in best shape – to say it this way. If you want to know more about the situation you can watch this TV coverage from the german station NDR.

Okay, lets stay with the good points:

  • 27/27 – these are the temperatures of air and sea in Celsius, and this is 24/7.
  • The best cocada (a mixture of coconut milk, coconut flesh and ice) and therefore also superbe pina coladas we ever drank.
  • Fresh juices from every exotic fruit you can imagine.
  • Fresh seafood and sushi to reasonable prices.
  • Great waves for experts and beginners at the beaches Playa del Agua, Playa Parguito and Playa Guacuco.
  • Good constant wind at Playa El Yaque for windsurfing and kite surfing.




Hop in, hop out

28 03 2010

Santiago de Chile is a warm relaxed, almost European looking and feeling  like city with a  perfect quarter with restaurants, bars and cultural life: Bella Vista. We had a hostel right there. Which meant we had only one minute to walk to sit and relax at a nice restaurant. And it also meant that we nearly did not sleep because our room was close to the lively street and it felt as if all the shouting, laughing people walked right over our bed at 3 o’clock in the morning.

We had to get up early because we had booked a flight to Caracas at 9.00 in the morning and – as rumours said – you had to be at the airport 3 hours before your flight left because of the chaos at the airport caused by the earthquakes some weeks earlier.  So we had to get up at 5 in the morning. Which brings me to the fact that travelling is not always holidays….  but, hey, no complaints.

Nearly asleep we arrived  at the airport just to learn that everything was working fine and there was no visible damage or problems – as we had also not detected any damages in the city at all. Trust only the facts you dramatized yourself … or so goes a journalist’s saying.

By the way: The food in Santiago was very good – I had mussels with cheese (yes) and Kim had a big salad with all sorts of veggies and  fresh green stuff. But the best was the celebration of the “wine month”: Buy a bottle from a selection of a special menu and you get a second one for free which you can either drink or take home with you. Feels like “Happy Month” instead of “Happy Hour”. We decided to take it to Isla de Margarita/Venezuela, our next station.