CA, Ontario: Killarney Provincial Park – Best hiking trails of the year: 2020

The Crack

As soon as we got on the trail, I knew it. All the street noise has suddenly ceased, the only family we passed by got quiet, the silent forest enveloped us in its magic touch, and then I knew I’m going to love the place. Was it the park itself, or just my desire to get out after so much social distancing, time will say.

Killarney park - The Crack trail

After a torrid month we’ve had some rain in the forecast, which made us decide to start with the most difficult day hike of the park: The Crack.

Continue reading

PE, Arequipa: The colours of ‘The White City ‘

How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #14, April 2019: Arequipa – Plaza del Armas – Basilica Cathedral – Plaza Yanahuara – Convent of Santa Catalina

 I was still day dreaming when we arrived in Arequipa, as a piece of my heart was left behind, floating in the foggy morning along the Colca Canyon.

I suddenly noticed the bustle of a big city; many buses, a tumult of people going everywhere, cars, and adds all over the places. It was the industrial area of Arequipa, and the guide told us that this specific area is used mainly by people coming from the highlands, therefore the similar outfits we’ve seen along our 2-days trip.

Arequipa, Bolognesi Bridge
Arequipa, Bolognesi Bridge

Continue reading

PE, Puno to Arequipa: 2Days 1Night Colca Canyon tour, second day

How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #13: Yanque – Mirador de Antahuilque – Maca – Santuario del Condor

 The morning fog is deepened hard into the valley, sticking up to the mountains, the river, and the sky. It goes far to the end of the valley, as far as one can see, enveloping the crops, the grass, the rocks. A couple of small clouds are dissipating quietly in distance, while the sun is getting ready for a new day. A sun that is indulging our presence, sending its rays to create mystery and magic. A sun that is teasing my senses, and will haunt my memories forever.

Colca Canyon - near Mirador del Tunturpay
Colca Canyon – A spot with a view, near Mirador del Tunturpay

Continue reading

PE, Puno to Arequipa: 2Days 1Night Colca Canyon tour, first day

How to Peru in 2 weeksDay #12: Mirador Lagunillas – Reserva Nacional de Salinas y Aguada Blanca – Chinitos Patahuasi – Tocra swamps – Mirador de los Andes – Chivay – Yanque

Shortly after we exit the busy streets of Juliaca, we see again the landscape we got so accustomed few days before, along the Route of the Sun.

The bushes become dwindling bundles; the grass turns into thistle clusters. Hundreds of shades of brown mixed with shades of grey. When we see a green patch of land, we know a little spring or a pond is trying to give some life to these parched lands at 4,000+ m altitude. Otherwise, most land looks arid, and dreary. The barren land looks dried and frail, sad in its majesty, generous in its magnificence.

Colca Canyon - road trip Continue reading

CA, British Columbia: Blooming memories @ The Butchart Gardens

Even though Spring has given us promising signs earlier this month, the temperatures dropped in the past week or so. What a better time to dig into my coffer, and find some blooming memories😊 – The Butchart Gardens, that we have visited back in 2016 when we did a road trip across half North America.

After an amazing ride by ferry from Vancouver, we arrived in Vancouver Island, planning to go to Victoria, the capital of the Canadian province British Columbia. As soon as we got down from the ferry, we wondered what if we could take a little detour to these gardens I was reading occasionally about. We found the entrance tickets were a bit expensive, but why not, since we are here already!

The Butchart Gardens

Continue reading

PE, Puno: Titicaca Lake, Islands and people

How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #11: Titicaca Lake – Floating ‘Uros’ Islands – Taquile Island

According to an Inca legend, Manco Capac -the creator of Inca Empire- and Mama Occllo emerged from the waters of Titicaca Lake carrying a golden staff instructed by the sun god Inti to create a temple in the spot where the staff sank into the earth. Another legend says that Wiracocha itself emerged from the Titicaca waters, heading to Sacred Valley to establish Inca Empire. While the legends can continue, Uros people are real. It is not certain where they came from (maybe from the Amazon), but they moved on the waters of Titicaca since they were oppressed by the local population, and not able to get some land of their own. Originally, they built these islands near the middle of the lake, but due a major storm in 1986, they rebuilt them closer to the shore.

Titicaca lake, view from Puno

Continue reading