When I woke up this morning it was still dark. As photographer I always observe the sky and so I did this morning. The light started changing and the sky turned red. Unfortunately I had to go to work and had to catch my train. I got itchy and just had to get my camera out; I knew there was no time for me to go down to Gunnamatta Bay for a shooting. So I said to myself: “Alex you just need to be creative and get the shot”. These are the results of it; taken from my balcony. Not the photos I had expected to take but this makes it interesting and different.
Have you been to Arequipa or are you planning your next holiday to Peru and are still debating if going to Arequipa or just directly to Cusco? Well you really should consider a visit to the white city and here I tell you why:
It helps your body to adjust to the altitude slowly
Arequipa is sitting at 2,325m (7,26ft) above sea level and is surrounded by the Andes mountains. The sea level is not as high as Cuzco but already high enough than your body is used to. You will adjust slowly to the altitude and help you coping with potential altitude sickness problems.
From my own experience when I got off the bus, I felt nothing at all. So, I thought that’s cool. However, we headed to the city and had some dinner. At night it was a bit chilly, so we were walking back to the hotel a bit faster. Believe me, I am used to do exercising and had personal training before, so it was definitely not my fitness level but I could feel that my breathing was a bit strange. My chest was telling me I need to slow down and unfortunately your brain is going crazy and you think you can’t breath anymore. I had to stop and concentrate on breathing. Back in the hotel, all I wanted was to sleep. Strange feeling but you know it is just the altitude and you will be fine.
Sometimes you just need to trust your gut feeling. Today was one of those days. The weather here in Cronulla, Sydney, Australia, was pretty all over the place, from nice and warm to unbelievable hard core showers. However it cleared up and it was nice and warm again. Something told me to get out; go to the beach and play with my camera. So I did. It didn’t take long for a crazy rain shower to come down but then I also could see the sun still trying to be brave and fight against the rain. In my mind I was saying: well, no beach and playing with my camera but then I stopped and thought ‘ hang on a sec.’ rain and sun equals rainbows, right? So, I decided to keep walking and when finally arrived at the beach there was the beautiful rainbow. I loved the clouds formation and the rainbow pushing through.
Now, it started raining again but I knew it will stop soon anyways. Then I was able to capture that beautiful scene.
I couldn’t get enough of these beautiful rainbows. More and more would follow and then this massive cloud coming in…oh oh…first I had to get the photo. I worry about me getting drenched later.
…and now, guess what…yes, i got drenched…unbelievable this heavy rain. I was literally running to a shelter in Shelly beach in Cronulla; absolutely soaked but excited.
…and here there was another rainbow again….what a great afternoon.
I had to wait for quite a while; went then home, totally wet but with a big happy smile.
What did I learn today: Get out and trust your instincts and you will see amazing things when you just open your eyes. Mother nature can be amazing.
We made it to Cuzco, what a great city in the Andes with lots of charm. I will share some photos soon. Everybody was excited to go to Machu Picchu, however, first we travelled through the amazing and beautiful Sacred Valley. My tour was with Gadventures who together with Planeterra (a Not for profit organisation) support that particular Community. I was very keen on visiting that Community where indigenous people maintain their traditional way of life. It was very interesting to see the process of weaving, from hand-spinning and dying the wool with natural dyes to the final weaving process. Believe me, the women are so fast and accurate in weaving so many different kind of textiles…I was simply impressed. I definitely recommend to buy their high quality handmade products; it is a great memory and you know YOU support those women.
While I was observing the happening in that community I saw that cheeky little girl playing with a beanie. How cute she is. I was lucky to capture that moment.
Today I was so excited – the Peru tour finally started. The tour operator was Gadventure (https://www.gadventures.com), a great company, which I absolutely recommend. Great local tourguides, great accommodations and everything is organised for you – the only thing you have to do: relax, listen and observe with a positive mind, flexibility and a sense of humour.
Three hours south of Lima is Paracas, which is a sleeping fishing village that serves as the starting point for all tours to the Balelestas Islands – ‘the poor man’s Galapagos”. Ballestas Island is home of hundreds of sea lions, many species of sea birds, e.g. my personal favourites the blue footed booby including the Humboldt penguins.
Early in the morning we headed off to the Ballestas Islands to take it all in – what a lucky day we had. We didn’t only see the various sea birds, sea lions and penguins but also a pregnant dolphin – how lucky.
My Peru trip started in Lima. For me Peru stands for food, a great culture, very friendly and kind people who respect each other. In my opinion the Peruvian cuisine is one of the best in the world.
Peru has so many different and at the same time beautiful landscapes.
Arrived at the hotel in Miraflores we firstly strolled along the ‘Parque del amor’ or in english ‘Park of Love’. The Love Park is entirely dedicated to all lovers and offers a stunning view over the bay of Lima.
I finally made it to South America after almost a year of planning; first stop Buenos Aires. Unfortunately we choose the only 2 days where it was raining cats and dogs as described in my earlier post. However, with a positive mind and sense of humour, we sighted some amazing places ‘inside’. For example the cathedral, the great bookstore ‘El Ateneo’ as posted earlier. The Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral is the main Catholic church in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is located in the city center, overlooking Plaza de Mayo, on the corner of San Martín and Rivadavia streets, in the San Nicolás neighbourhood.
A visit to La Boca is a must in Buenos Aires; the best thing about the rain was, that not too many tourists were on the road. La Boca is a neighbourhood with a strong European flavour with many of its early settlers being from the Italian city of Genoa. The conventional explanation is that the neighborhood sits at the mouth (“boca” in spanish). Among sports fans, Boca is best known for being the home of world renowned football club Boca Juniors. La Boca is a popular destination for travellers visiting Argentina, with its colourful houses and pedestrian street, the Caminito, where tango artists perform.
Today I have visited the Foz de Iguazu, the Brasilian side. The most amazing waterfall I have seen. I simply cannot describe it. Did you know that the fall is 2.7km long and between 60-82m high? Approximately half of the river’s flow falls into a long and narrow chasm called the Devil’s Throat. The Devil’s Throat is U-shaped, 82 metres high, 150 m wide, and 700 m long. The pressure of the water you feel when you stand right next to it cannot be described in words. If you haven’t visited it yet, go for it.
Nun für meine deutschen Fans: Heute waren wir an den Iguazu Fällen in Brasilien. Das waren die schönsten und beeindruckendsten Wasserfälle, die ich jeh gesehen habe. Wusstet Ihr, dass die Iguazu Wasserfälle insgesamt 2.7 km lang und zwischen 60-82m hoch sind? Ungefähr die Hälfte des Wasserfalls fliesst in die enge Teufelsschlucht, die in einem U geformt ist. Das Gefühl direkt neben den Fällen zu stehen, ist unglaublich und kann nicht in Worte gefasst werden.
Die Iguazu Wasserfälle muss man unbedingt sich angesehen haben.