Drugs barons and banditos are what Colombia is famous for, but we don’t spot any obviously suspicious candidates in the immediate vicinity of the border. Maybe they’re all further up-country? We’ll keep our eyes open for them as we head north. On our way, our Colombia travel blog takes-in the odd mysterious monument, cactus desert, crater lake, death-road and a jaw-droppingly beautiful religious sanctuary.
Quito’s not a bad place as far as capital cities go. We wouldn’t ordinarily choose to spend ten days there, but we’re on an admin-mission here. Missions accomplished, we head north towards Colombia, with a few detours hovering around the Ecuador Equator: a misplaced monument, some little and large birdies, a great-fiesta-escape, some hats, and (another) volcano.
Physically speaking, we’re doing some ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ in Ecuador. We enter from Peru across miles and miles of banana low-land. Then we climb up-high. We get lots of cheese and chocolate, and spend a night closest to the moon. After that, we do a quick swing off a cliff (as you do) then it’s back down-low on the other side of the Andes, to the Amazon (again!).
So we’ve been a bit slack on the blog updates recently…. not our fault… we blame the location really! You see, it’s all down to this fab beach-camp. We’ve been doing a bit of pottering about, cleaning and maintenance on Cuthbert, generally ‘chilling out’ (as we believe the kids say these days) and… Oh yes…. doing a bit of whale watching – more on this in the next blog coming soon (promise!). Anyway… we’ve managed to fit in a bit of fancy-pants web-site stuff. Check out these travel blog stories…
Click on the link for our new ‘Story Boxes’ Page. This pulls together lots of our favourite and the most ‘Liked’ stories and posts of our three and a half years on the road so far, across Africa and South America. There might be a slight formatting/display issue on some mobile devices… we’ll see if we can work on that. Let us know if you have any problems with it and what you think.
So is it all Incas and llamas in Peru? Well, okay… there are quite a lot of Inca sites and there are quite a few wandering llamas. But there’s other stuff too…. Honest! For our third entry to Peru, we crossed the Brazilian Amazon into the (rather similar looking) south Peruvian Amazon. Now we head up to the Andes, Peru’s central highlands, for a long-awaited dose of cool, crisp mountain air. On the way we see battlefields, industrial heritage, some lakey-scenery and just the odd llama by an Inca ruin!
In the Andes at over 4,000m again… a bit of re-acclimatisation is required. We interrupted the sequence of our blogs slightly for our ‘Dakar Special’ when we had a tougher than expected challenge to catch the Rally in Bolivia. So now please humour our ‘time-warp’ as we step back in time to a few days before the Dakar: we’re leaving the beaches of Arica on New Year’s Day for a last bit of exploring in the Andes of northern Chile before crossing into Bolivia.
No, we haven’t just upped-sticks and shipped to Africa, we’re in Bolivia for the world famous Dakar Rally 2017. After a load of security shenanigans in West Africa, the rally formerly known as ‘Paris-Dakar’ was shifted to South America where it’s affectionately known by locals as ‘El Dakar’. Here’s the story of our attempt at finding over 400 bikes, quads, cars and trucks charging across the altiplano in 2017, together with our Top Tips if you’re contemplating a trip to see Dakar 2018.