Stunning Calendars on Sale

Yorkshire, UK Roz produced this calendar after her expedition to Peru in 2003, and it was initially intended to be the forerunner of the book about her adventures there. But before finding a publisher for the Peru book, her time and energies were overtaken by other plans resulting in her participation in the Atlantic Rowing Race 2005. The calendar has stunning photos of this most … Continued

Alpamayo – The Next Instalment

Kew, London (Above: it had to be done! Machu Picchu and me.) When you last left me, I was hanging on my axes and the points of my crampons on a sheer wall of ice. I’ve been inundated with requests for the next instalment of the story, so…. …I thought long and hard about it, and decided you’ll have to wait until the book comes … Continued

Hitting New Heights

Huaraz (Above: view of Alpamayo from the Col Camp) It was love at first sight. As soon as I saw the photograph in the expedition agency in Huaraz, I knew I wanted to climb Alpamayo, allegedly the most beautiful mountain on earth. But the path of true love rarely runs smooth. I started a training programme to get fit for the climb. Day 1, I … Continued

How the Other Half Live…

Mancora, nothern Peru Ten weeks into my travels, and I was starting to flag… I still had my pilgrim’s cough, was covered in mosquito bites from the jungle, and was yearning for a break from cheap hostels and constant decision-making. So I did what any responsible traveller would do, and headed for the beach. Mancora is a coastal resort in northern Peru, famous for its … Continued

Jungle Juice

Iquitos, Amazon Basin Just back in Iquitos, after an interesting week of heat and hallucinogenic experiences in the jungle of the Amazon Basin. Unsurprisingly, I had a heavy cold after 4 days of sleep-deprivation and sitting on a glacier at Qoyllur Riti, so when the opportunity came up to see a shaman in the jungle, it seemed like a good way to cure my cold … Continued

No Sex Please, We’re Pilgrims

Cusco I have just returned from a pilgrimage to a sacred mountain called Ausangate, which involved four days of sleep-deprivation, freezing cold, squalor, non-stop noise and dreadful food. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I went to the festival of Qollyur Riti with a troupe of traditional dancers. I was lucky to be hooked up with a band of spiritual brothers who allowed, … Continued

Going for Broke in Bolivia

Majes Valley, nr Arequipa, Peru Above: Follow the yellow brick (Inca) road… You know you’re broke when you’re trying to flog your flip-flops to a cafe owner to raise the bus fare home… Last week, my friend Chris and I spent a couple of days in Copacabana on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, where the Isla del Sol lived up to its name and … Continued

Peruvian Protesters and Bolivian Bribery

La Paz Above: Our bus gets a ferry ride across Lake Titicaca Strikes, rockslides, breakdowns, numerous bus changes, stroppy border guards, bribery and corruption… it was quite a day. Have made a little detour into Bolivia to renew my tourist visa, but this simple plan was easier said than done. President Toledo has declared a state of emergency in Peru, which is currently in the … Continued

Petroglyphs, Bugs and Bones

Majes Valley, near Arequipa This is all a bit of a contrast. From hobnobbing with New Romantics to being eaten alive by mosquitoes in one of the remoter parts of southern Peru. Never a dull moment. I’m now in the Majes Valley, a green oasis surrounded by huge dusty mountains, to study petroglyphs (carved pictures on great big lumps of rock, to the uninitiated). My … Continued

Spandau Ballet and Roast Guinea Pig

Cusco Above: I get matey with Tony Hadley Our end of expedition party was a huge and somewhat surreal night, featuring two roast guinea pigs, a total eclipse of the moon, and Tony Hadley, the lead singer of Spandau Ballet. Roast cuy, or guinea pig, is a Peruvian speciality, so it seemed an appropriate menu choice for our celebratory dinner. When we arrived at the … Continued