The Incan ruins of Machu Picchu outside Cusco, Peru grab the lion’s share of that country’s travel press. But before the Incas stormed through this region in the 15th century, there were actually some other clever people living in Peru. They built an impressive city and lived in circular houses on a mountaintop in the north, near the town of Chachapoyas (meaning “People of the Clouds”).
A shot of the ruins of Kuelap, the citadel they built in those clouds, can be seen in the panorama below.
We tend to carry a healthy dose of skepticism with us when visiting ruins, but this particular pile of rocks — and its stories — exceeded our expectations. Continue Reading »
The key to eating grilled mutton is to chew and swallow it before the fat cools and congeals on the roof of your mouth.
— Our guerrilla eating tip for Central Asia.
“You guys seem to have only good things to say about your experiences, especially the food. Have you ever had a bad meal? Something disappointing, gross, or even repulsive?”
You bet. Continue Reading »
We don’t know about you, but when we think Malaysia we think street food. And hawker centers (awful name, but that’s what they’re called) are where the action is for street food fanatics like us. Continue Reading »
“In your travels, did you ever feel like you were being followed?” a friend recently asked.
We looked up as if to page through our mind-file of creepy experiences: “No. At least we don’t think so.”
Although we use the term “couch surfing” in the title, the experience related below was in no way connected to the CouchSurfing
network but was arranged through a friend. We are satisfied members of the CouchSurfing community and in no way mean to imply that CouchSurfing is unsafe.
Even when we answered, our response struck me as supremely naïve. Although we aren’t terribly important in the geopolitical grand scheme of things, somebody somewhere must have taken more than a casual interest in our movements. After all, we’d been throughout the former Soviet Union – including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan — and to places like China and Burma.
Surely we had a tail somewhere along the way. Continue Reading »
Visit any European central square on a weekend, and along with the wedding parties in celebration and the locals in transit, you are likely to find tourists shutterbugging away. As evidence, we offer Vilnius’ Cathedral Square (Katedros aikštė). Continue Reading »
As our rental car began to drift atop a layer of windblown sand, I grabbed hold, down-shifted and noticed the hills around me were swirled in a peppermint twist. All those Ruta 40 signs in Argentina finally delivered on an implied promise: you’ll be impressed, and what once captured your imagination will now claim your full attention. But it wasn’t the fabled Route 40 of Patagonia that would provide the exclamation point on our time in Argentina. It was a week-long road trip across the quebradas of Northwest Argentina, where chilies dry in the midday sun, llama comes served with wine pressed just down the road, and gauchos hold harvest festivals in the hills.
Continue Reading »
- Road Trip Northwest Argentina: Where Gauchos Go To Party
- Three Vignettes: Beautiful Everyday People of Northwest Argentina
- Audio Slideshow: Northwest Argentina, Road Trip Style
“For safety reasons, we’ll need to go in groups of at least four to the cemetery,” our Spanish language teacher informed us.
“Why,” we wondered. “Are the dead coming back to life?” Continue Reading »
Filed Under: Travel
by Daniel Noll
So we’ve been running all over creation for the last three and half years and living abroad for almost ten. In May, before visiting the United States we told people we were “coming home for a visit.” More recently, we found that Central Europe (Prague, by way of Vienna and Bratislava) still feels like home.
In an email just yesterday, one of our friends in Uruguay asked: “Are you back home finally or at least in the U.S.?”
It was his confusion that tuned us into a more universal query: Where is home?
And more importantly, what is it? Continue Reading »
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be in the middle of an ethnic minority market in China’s Yunnan Province? Even if you haven’t, we’re going to show you anyway. Continue Reading »