• Travel Diaries

    Machu Picchu and its wonders

    There is a reason why they call Machu Picchu one of the best places to see in the world. It is. I had decided to go to Peru the first time I ended up in South America (in 2014, for the World Cup in Brasil). But as luck would have it, I divided my time between Brasil, Bolivia, Colombia and very briefly, Ecuador. I couldn’t visit Peru due to visa issues. This time though, I went to Delhi specifically to apply for a visa from the Peruvian embassy there. After sorting out the issues, I got my first and most awaited visa for the trip, after a wait of more…

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  • Travel Diaries

    7 days, 7 cities, 6 countries, 3 continents

    As I went over the flight options for my first trip to South America in 2014, I ended up booking a return flight from Bangalore to São Paulo. I didn’t realise at the time of booking this flight that I would have to make my way back to São Paulo to fly back to India, which would cost me both time and money. This is the story of how I ended up across airports in 6 countries because of this mistake. In South America, I landed in São Paulo, and after my volunteer stint in Brasil, I proceeded to backpack across Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador. In the last few days…

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  • Travel Diaries

    A chance meeting with Iguaçu falls

    So I was looking to book my flights to Perú and got an option to fly with TAM, which was São Paulo to Cusco with layovers in Iguaçu and Lima. Since the layovers were only a few hours and I love airport hopping, I booked this connection. My flight from São Paulo was at 1 in the afternoon, and I got to the airport after a crazy Caipiriñha-filled night in Rua Augusta. I reached the Guarulhos airport well in advance and checked in comfortably for my flight. I was already very excited with Perú in my mind and didn’t really think about the layovers that awaited me. On short flights,…

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  • Travel Diaries

    The time I met Mandela

    Okay I admit, the title is a bit of a clickbait; I didn’t meet Nelson Mandela, but I did meet his grandson, Ndaba Mandela, who is one of the heads of the Mandela clan now. This is the story of how I randomly bumped into Ndaba. So after I landed in Porto Alegre to volunteer at the FIFA World Cup in early May of 2014, I had a few days free after my orientation and a few of us volunteers decided to go and explore Rio. I had interacted with a volunteer who had got a role at Rio and we decided to explore the local sights together. We decided…

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  • Travel Diaries

    Maca’s antics!

    While in Yolasa, we were at the end of the Death road and were wrapping up at the restaurant just outside of the village. Maca was just chilling nearby and having never seen a macaw in real life before in the wild, I was very very intrigued and fascinated. I just observed Maca for a few minutes, with it eating and chilling in its own world. I then decided to take out my phone to take a picture of the beautiful bird, and that’s when it all happened. Maca apparently deemed my action of capturing the moment as threatening. It donned an aggressive stance, with wings spread, beak open and…

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  • Travel Diaries

    This is the Death road!

    So here I was, lazing around in my party hostel called Wild Rover at 2 pm. I was in La Paz for about 2 weeks, since I had to apply for my Colombian visa from the consulate there, and I had already walked around the city multiple times, experienced the Sunday fiesta, seen the ruins of Tiwanaku, and was debating whether to spend a couple of days going down south to Salar de Uyuni and ride bikes on the salt flats and see the train cemetery (!); be adventurous and head North East to the Amazon; or try to climb the Huayna Potosi. While I was dreaming of such adventures,…

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