The more that you travel, the more that you realize that the scenery of most places will remind you of some other place that you have visited. When we first started traveling we expected to be find everyplace that we visited to be strange and exotic, but were often surprised at how familiar the landscape actually was. Part of that is for obvious reasons. The various regions of the planet are by there very nature similar due to forces of nature and the climate.
During our trip to Ecuador, we stayed at the Napo Wildlife Center in the Amazon Rainforest. Considering that we were deep in the Yasuni National Park and far away from any city, the amenities at the lodge were actually very nice. We had hot water, plenty of fresh food cooked three times a day, and even a fully stocked bar. There was also Wi-Fi, but it was a little spotty and didn’t always work. The lodge and bungalows sit on the shore of Añangu Lake and we had to paddle in canoes for a couple of hours to reach the lake from the river.
Planning a trip is a fun process as you investigate where to stay, what to see, and make travel arrangements. However, if you are traveling internationally, there are several things that you should be sure to do in addition to the actual planning of the trip itself. Some of these things need to be done several weeks in advance, so be sure to consider them as part of your planning process. They are simple steps that could help you avoid your trip of a lifetime from turning into the disaster of a lifetime.
We were driving through the countryside of Bolivia outside of Cochabamba and we came across a tiny village with an old Spanish church. We stopped and talked to the locals, but apparently the church was no longer in use and they didn’t have keys to let us inside. We walked around the church and found a window with a mesh screen that was loose and peeked through to see some of the contents inside. It felt as though we were looking back over a hundred years in time.
Whether visiting Peru or Bolivia, it is definitely worth taking the time to visit Lake Titicaca. The lake extends into both countries and has several islands with Incan ruins that are thousands of years old. Obviously, we visited from the Bolivian side of the lake and we visited both Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) as well as Isla de la Luna (Island of the Moon), which were fascinating. There are several tour companies that will take you out to the islands via boat or hydrofoil and it is even possible to spend the night on Sun Island. Our trip out onto the lake started out a little choppy as a single rain cloud seemed to follow us out to the island. We even saw a waterspout at one point and had to take cover inside of the cabin of the boat. We saw many interesting things during our time in Bolivia, but visiting the ruins on the lake was certainly one of the highlights of our time there.