Peru, Ecuador & Panama

"Kanon kulan" (Canon ball) works as good in snow as in water

Peru, Ecuador & Panama

First stop was the city of Cusco in Peru for a visit to the ancient Inca city
Machu Pichu. It’s a 12-hour bus ride from La Paz to Cusco passing by the
Lake Titicaca – very scenic bus ride. Cusco is a very pretty colonial city
and well worth a visit. It’s though very touristy and you have people
bugging you all the time to sell something. To get to Machu Pichu from
Cusco you need to take the train. It’s a very nice 4-hour train ride and they
even had a fashion show (showing Alpaca clothes) on the train on the way
back. Not sure to call it a fashion show, but they tried there best – it was
really funny.

Machu Pichu

Machu Pichu is even more stunning then you can imagine from pictures.
It’s an incredible place with an impressive story. Our guide gave us the full
version during 2 hours. A strange guide with a “hard to understand”
sophisticated language and a tone hard to not laugh to – very funny.

Cusco carneval girls

Left Cusco for a quick visit in Lima before continuing to Guayaquil (Ecuador).
Main reason for the Lima visit is to check out the Peruvian cuisine. Peruvian
food is really good and seafood is of course on the menu. They also have an
interesting fusion with other cuisine, i.e. Italian, French, Asian, etc. You must
go to a Peruvian restaurant if you have the possibility.

The coastline north of Lima is impressive with huge sand dunes and dramatic
coastline. It took us 26 hours by bus from Lima to Guayaquil and we had the
first major set back on the bus. When we arrived at the hotel in Guayaquil,
we discovered that our digital SLR camera had been stolen and most likely
did it happen on the bus. Not good at all and we now need to manage with a
temp solution until we can pick up the new one end October. Just watch your
stuff when traveling in South America; it can easily disappear at any time.

Guayaquil is the hub for travelers going to the Galapagos Islands. We tried to
get a get a good deal on a tour, but it was just too expensive ($1200 for 4 days)
and at this point not worth the money. If you are in Guayaquil, visit the Red Crab
restaurant. They have all sorts of crabs and you just go ahead a hit the crabs with
a wooden hammer to get to the meat. It’s a more aggressive version of a Swedish
crayfish party, but without the schnapps.

A short flight took us to Panama City. Of course did we check out the Panama
Canal, impressive. Panama city has an impressive skyline and it’s construction
going on everywhere. It’s some fancy stuff that’s being built. Where’s the money
coming from??? And where are all the well shaped beautiful women coming
from????? Nice surprise!!!

We had enough of the city after 2 days and we headed for Bocas del Toro on the
northwest peninsula (Caribbean side) of Panama. A tiny cool laid back place.
The main draw back is that the beaches are quite far away from the city.
The best beach is clearly Playa Bluff about 15 minutes by boat away from the city.
It’s very nice, 4-5km of pure Caribbean sand and almost no people at all – great.
We just chilled out on the beach for a few days. Yes, we also checked out dolphins,
red frogs and the under water life snorkeling. Pretty far away from skiing.

Richard is the islands table tennis champ. 4 different local guys challenged him
and they didn’t have a chance. If you are in Bocas, stop by the Flip Flops
bar/restaurant and ask about the Swedish table tennis champ. Is this maybe the
start of  a new  amazing table tennis era/story????

JO Waldner - You are our hero

We are now off to Costa Rica for some more beach life and some surfing.

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