Monday, March 13, 2006

Noises for the Leg

Here are a few pictures I took when I did The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu back in 1998. I spent about 5 weeks travelling through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia with an overland group run by Dragoman. It's a great way to travel if you have a limited amount of time, don't mind the backpacker culture, but need independent transport so you cover plenty of ground. They'll take you off the beaten track, get you a good local guide where needed, and brush up your camp cooking skills when it's needed.

We were a fairly small group. Eight travellers and two group leaders from Dragoman. We all kept in touch for a while afterwards - when you travel as a group for a reasonable amount of time, even someone with my dubious social skills tends to fit in after a while. In terms of bangs per buck, we did plenty and I'd have to say it was the most complete holiday I've ever taken.

I'm always surprised at how few people have travelled anywhere in South America. It's a stunning place, the people are great and there's always something to look forward to even it's just the spectacular scenery that confronts you round every corner. The cities are a bit full-on but once you're out of them you can detach yourself and really forget the other world you inhabit. People tend to assume South America is defined by Rio during Carnival but there is so much more to it than that.

Standing above Machu Picchu at 7 in the morning watching the sun burn off the clouds as they raced up the mountainside and passed over us will be a memory that will stay with me for a lifetime. I'd be back there tomorrow if I didn't have to fix the plumbing.


Terra Shield said...

Machu Picchu happens to be a dream destination of mine. I think South America is a very interesting place to visit, but the last time I checked, it was rather inconvenient for Malaysians to travel there. I'll need to check again, though.

King of Scurf said...

Terra: If you do get the chance to go to Machu Picchu then try to do the Inca Trail which involves a 3 day hike/camp. It's much more satisfying than just visiting MP as a day trip from Cusco.

What are the inconveniences for Malaysians? Is this logistics or visa requirements?

Terra Shield said...

Both I think. I had a friend who worked in Venezuela at that time so a bunch of us thought we could catch up with her there, and visit the continent,