Solo South America

Born in Buenos Aires and raised in Lima, Tim had not been back to South America since he turned 17. These blog posts are about his solo return journey round Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru, to celebrate his 50th and to take stock of his life so far. If you’d prefer just to see a selection of images from this epic journey and avoid his thoughts, best go to the four ‘Journey with Myself’ galleries in the Portfolio section.

Mancora Beach

Mancora Beach and Existentialism

After having been on the road for over a month and with my birthday looming, I decided to check out and head off to a beach for some well-deserved R & R. I’d heard good things about Máncora up in the far north of Peru and booked myself a flight from Arequipa to Piura. It’s all well and good roughing it on overnight buses for a while but every now and then you’ve got to treat yourself to a creature comfort […]

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Arequipa and the Colca Canyon Rush

After a great five days in Cusco, I headed a little further south to Arequipa, the capital of Peru for a brief period in the mid 19th century, and still regarded by many of its inhabitants as the country’s cultural centre. Being the birthplace of Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010, helps to re-inforce their gleeful claim to moral and cultural superiority over the coastal den of iniquity that is Lima. I found myself staying at a […]

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Colca Canyon

PotD: Obvious to some

Sony A7RII : f/7.1@500th : ISO 100 : EV -0.7 : FE 90mm f/2.8 You’d think that when you visit a place of natural beauty such as the spectacular Colca canyon in southern Peru that you would not need to paint a sign on the side of a rock telling visitors not to pee on said rock. Then again, what is obvious to some is not necessarily obvious to others. And, if you have to deal with over 120,000 visitors annually, […]

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PotD: Condor at Colca Canyon

Sony A7RII : f/7.1@2000th : ISO 200 : EV -0.7 : FE 90mm f/2.8 The tour bus from Arequipa to Colca canyon left at 3am and somehow I ended up on it. I hadn’t been on a guided tour since the first week of my journey when it was the only way to make it onto the Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia. That had turned out to be an excellent tour and, even though I had actively avoided going to […]

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PotD: Kitchen in Santa Catalina monastery

Sony A7RII : f/5@80th : ISO 3200 : EV -1.0 : FE 35mm f/1.4 One of several smoke-stained kitchens in the the monastery of Santa Catalina in Arequipa, one that can be described as the opposite of a modern kitchen, but certainly built to last. The light in this image dropped off very quickly from right to left and the result I was able to achieve in Capture One gives you an idea of the dynamic range of the sensor in […]

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Santa Catalina

PotD: Streets of Santa Catalina

Sony A7RII : f/9@250th : ISO 400 : EV -1.0 : FE 35mm f/1.4 It’s hard to imagine what it must be like to live in a cloistered community but walking round the streets and buildings that make up the monastery of Santa Catalina give you some idea of the lives led there. Originally built in the 16th century for wealthy Spanish families to place a daughter for a life of service to the church, the community reached about 450 members until the […]

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PotD: Arequipa Cops

Sony A7RII : f/4.5@800th : ISO 250 : EV +0.7 : FE 35mm f/1.4 I took the bus from Cusco to Arequipa and spent just a couple of days here. The town is definitely on the traveller’s trail, which helps to explain the presence of several police similar to these two Arequipa cops. I think they are a separate arm of the local police force and they are there to make people from out of town feel safe and may even have been officially […]

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Cusco Market

Hanging out in Cusco for New Years

I arrived in Cusco before sunrise aboard the Bolivia Hop bus, having left La Paz almost 24hrs earlier. The journey had been broken up by spending half a day checking out Lake Titicaca so I wasn’t feeling too spaced out when my feet touched the ground in Cusco. Bolivia Hop, the same people who run Peru Hop, organise taxis to get everyone to their arranged accommodation when you arrive in town and I was amused when my taxi whisked me off up the […]

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