Peru is a land of wonders – natural, cultural, and historical. We spent a month exploring this fantastic and huge country, marveling at the colorful desert landscapes, wide-open beaches with perfect rolling waves, snowcapped peaks, herds of llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, ancient ruins, and bustling municipal markets filled with myriad colors and scents. We roamed back and forth between the beach and the mountains – surfing great little breaks and free camping with a herd of other VW vans one week, and the next climbing in one of the most spectacular regions we’ve ever seen high in the thin air of the Andes. We also spent a month battling crappy roads and the very aggressive Peruvian drivers, but that’s all part of the adventure, and Chimera continues to perform like a champ. Here is a selection of the hundreds of photos we took and many adventures we had in roughly the northern half of the country.
Although Ecuador is small, as far as South American countries go, we still filled up a full month of exploration and enjoyment in this great country. We camped on the side of massive snow-capped volcanoes, strolled the historic streets of the capital city, played disc golf through a field of horny llamas at over 11,000′, hiked down to touch the frigid turquoise waters of a crater lake at high elevation, soaked our weary bones in scalding hot springs, hiked lush jungle trails, adopted another dog for a week while we boondock camped on the beach and surfed the perfect waves, and climbed impressive granite walls along shelves of agave and orchids while cows grazed around the van.
Colombia is an incredibly beautiful country and our first few weeks in South America were filled with colors. First we took in the lovely streets of old town Cartagena with its many terraces spilling over with bougainvilleas, then we spent a great week climbing at a spectacular sandstone cliff with an unbeatable view. Next we visited the picturesque colonial town of Barichara, where we camped overlooking another amazing canyon and walked the quiet streets. As we made our way towards El Cocuy we drove up and down mountainsides, across stream beds, and through rolling farm lands where spotted cows lazily munched away, and fields of purple potato flowers decorated the landscape.