Bman and I went to South America for the first time back in June 2013. We never really got around to sharing photos from the trip, so I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to write about it and to share some photos with everyone here! It can also serve as a highlight of things to do in South America for those who may be planning on going sometime (which I highly recommend you do)!
Where we went
It was a pretty amazing trip. We spent the first part of the trip in Quito and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Then, we hit up Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru. We did this all in three weeks’ time. Bman scuba dove in the ocean for the first time. I hiked and camped for 4 days with no showers for the first time. We both opened our palates up to amazing South American cuisine for the first time. So, lots of amazing firsts!
What was new
Almost every aspect of the trip was a new experience for us. Boats were the main form of transportation in the Galapagos. Everywhere we went, we had to hop in a boat for. That was really cool. Until Bman got seasick. We walked alongside giant land tortoises (that sound like mini dinosaurs going through brush everytime they moved). Stood beside massive marine iguanas, pelicans, and sea lions. Swam with sea turtles, sharks, and seals. We also got to see Darwin’s finches. We dove 18 meters below sea level and then hiked our way up to 1,800 meters above, in a span of two weeks, all in one trip. We fed llamas and experienced the flight of the Andean condor. We learned about the culture of the Incas.
The food, friends and other highlights
The food was incredible. Fresh plantain chips – never had them before and could never eat them again unless it is fresh from South America. Fresh grilled seafood, Peruvian chicken quinoa soup, and fresh mint tea were some of my favourite new takes on ingredients that I already know. A completely different way of eating that I had not known about before. That is one of the many things that I love about travelling so much. Getting fresh new ideas. New ideas on how to cook things, how to eat things, how to do things – inspiration for the many different ways that we could live our lives.
Travelling with my three really good friends and Bman’s aunt was also a highlight of our trip. One of those three friends was nakanit. The other two I had known since junior high and high school. I have been friends with all of them for over ten years by that time. It was so amazing to be able to do a trip like this with these dear friends of mine. It was also fantastic for me to be able to get to know Bman’s aunt better. All in all, it was time well spent with people I love.
Another highlight of the trip was hitting up a “modern” salsa club in Cusco with our tour guide, my three close friends, and Bman’s aunt. By far, it is the best club that I’ve ever been to in my life. The music and the atmosphere moved you – it just made you want to never stop dancing.
I think this trip tested our resilience in many ways. For Bman, it was dealing with the challenge of the ocean and scuba diving. For me, it was going for four days without showering and a seemingly endless uphill climb (I hate going uphill so much). That’s another great thing about travel. It gives us an opportunity to push ourselves beyond our own boundaries and see what we can be capable of, if we let ourselves go out of our comfort zones. It makes me believe that we can always do what we want to do no matter how difficult, unusual or unlikely it is for us.
Our South America trip was one of inspiration and discovery to me. I hope you enjoyed the highlights and photos! Look out for posts to come on more highlights, planning, preparing, and packing for a trip to the Galapagos and Machu Picchu!