Posted by: Jessie Kwak | January 4, 2010

December wrapup: KnKnKnK explore Peru

Well, it’s official. We’ve been in Peru for four whole months. With each passing day, with each new city or ruin, we understand more and more how little of the country we’ve actually seen, and even though we haven’t left yet, I’m already looking forward to our return trip (tentatively scheduled for October or November this year).

December brought a big change to our travels as we transitioned abruptly from our sleepy Huanchaco lifestyle to a frantic two-week tour of Southern Peru’s highlights with my parents.


We spent the first half of the month in Huanchaco, seeing and doing everything we’d missed in our previous month there. We took a surfing lesson with Chicho Huamanchumo of Muchik Surf School, were gently escorted out of Buenos Aires by the tourist police, and eating raspadillas.

We also spent a lot of time with our Fairmail kids: photos of the kids, photos by the kids.


Our posting got a bit spare after December 14th, when my parents arrived in town. We found ourselves running a mini-tour agency, spending time with Mama and Papa Kwak, and trying to keep up with the blog. Obviously, something had to be cut back.

We spent a few days in Lima, where we found out a protest in Cañete had stopped any buses from getting through. This screwed up our plan to get to Pisco and see the Paracas reserve, but we made the best of our time and continued on to Nazca as soon as the “problems” cleared up.

Nazca was both a disappointment and a surprise. We spent our first day cranky, exhausted from the too-short overnight bus, and overheated in the desert sun. The next day, however, we flew over the lines, something which truly was worth the tourist hype. Rob has some great Nazca lines photos up on Flickr. We spent the afternoon touring the ancient aqueducts of Nazca that are still in use today, then hopped on another night bus to Arequipa.

Arequipa was a beautiful city, one that I’d been looking forward to seeing for some time. Mom turned a youthful 29 on the 20th, and when we asked her favorite way of celebrating it? River rafting. (Check out the rafting photos taken by a kid named Daniel on Rob’s Flickr).

Santa Catalina Monastery

We spent some good time in Arequipa, visiting Juanita the Ice Princess and the Santa Catalina Monastery. The first could have been just as interesting to read about in a magazine, but I’d highly recommend a visit to the monastery. We’ll be posting more about the monastery eventually (we’ve fallen pretty behind, obviously)….

We wandered north to Puno, where we celebrated Christmas by visiting the Sillustani tombs and taking a day tour of the Uros floating islands and Isla Taquile on Lake Titicaca. We’ll be posting more about those, eventually, as well, but until, feast your eyes on the above photos, and these from our trip from Puno to Cusco.

Our whirlwind journey ended in Cusco, where Rob and I are spending another week or so to relax and catch back up. And did we visit Machu Picchu? Yes we did visit Machu Picchu. Rob’s got some rather lovely people-less photos in those previous two links, and I’ll have a post up tomorrow about our trip.

We eventually set our parents off on a plane to Lima, then celebrated the New Year, Cusco-style.



We’ll be in Cusco for another week, then we’re going to begin wandering through the Sacred Valley, bouncing from ruin to ruin in the haphazard style to which we’ve become accustomed. After that we’re planning to return to Puno and Arequipa to see a bit more of those regions, visiting the Paracas Reserve, and returning to Lima in the first weeks of February, where we’ll start preparing for our reinsertion into US society.

Stay tuned for more dispatches from all the events of the KnKnKnK Explore weeks that we missed, and, of course, for new material as we continue to wander through Peru. (And check out the new endemic bicycle species on our Bicycles Page.

Jessie and Robert.



  1. What what what? I have barely realized that we’re back and that it’s over and you guys are coming back already?!! I actually checked the blog right after getting my Huaraz wool socks out and thinking I wish I’d bought more – make sure you stock up!

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