Spanish colonial towns – the charming and the unexpected

June 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

In South America, though the capitals typically contain 30-50% of the entire country’s population, they are not generally destinations in and of themselves (exception, Buenos Aires). Let us recommend three alternative cities which are probably new to you: Sucre, Bolivia; Arequipa, Peru; and Cuenca, Ecuador.

All of these cities have a similar feel with their well-preserved buildings, square Spanish-style plazas, and cute cobblestone streets. The United Nations has listed them all as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Two of them even have the same nickname: “The White City”. As Andean cities, all have elevations of at least 7,000 feet. And though they overflow with historic charm, each of them intrigued us with some non-traditional surprises as well.

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Salt Flats

March 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

In 5 months of travel, we’ve seen our fair share of breathtaking scenery. Mountains, volcanoes, beaches, forests, waterfalls, extravagant churches, ancient ruins, argentine women, and more. But one sight triumphs over them all: the salt flats in Bolivia.

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The People You Meet.

February 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

1) Where are you from? 2) What is your trip like?

These are almost universally the first two pieces of information traded when meeting other travelers. Since it’s just Joe and me most days, we enjoy the chance to meet people with whom we can share a drink or a conversation. Some random encounters have been with other Stanford people, identified by the gear. Once we chatted with a girl all day, only to find out at dinner she worked for the same company as me. We frequently meet others on similarly long trips, especially in places like Bolivia where people wouldn’t go for a short holiday visit. We’ve noticed some interesting trends in the kinds of people, though the categories highlighted below are by no means exhaustive. « Read the rest of this entry »

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