Trujillo – Pyramids, Plazas and Playas

Huaca Arco Iris

As we mentioned in our post on Caral, much of northern Peru is gloriously neglected by the country’s mass tourism. It’s a vast area filled with colonial towns, great food and the crumbling remnants of unknown ancient cultures. It’s an adventurer’s paradise waiting to be explored.

As we bused north on the paved Pan-American highway to Trujillo, the number of seductive dirt tracks luring travelers off the road to remote archaeological sites was almost too much to bear. We passed a number of remote ruins which I would have loved to visit including Paramonga, the fortress of Chanquillo, and Sechin. Thank god for visa limitations, or Thomas and I would be here for another six months combing the desert, side valleys and mountains for hidden treasures.

But it’s just a fact of life, there is no way to see everything in Peru because this country is overwhelmed with world-class Continue…

The Best Beaches in the World

Boracay Palms

Dreaming of sun and sand? Stuck in a cubicle with cold winds lashing against the frosty windows? Or do you just need a few tips to help you plan your next beach trip? We are putting together our ultimate “best beaches in the world” list. Unlike other lists out there, this is no mass-produced product thrown together with stock photos. We have personally been to (and totally loved) each of these extraordinary beach destinations and snapped the photos ourselves. Enjoy! Continue…

10 Attractions of Beautiful Tuscany

The Duomo in Florence, Tuscany

Tuscany is one of those destinations that is so beautiful, so historic, so filled with world-class attractions that some may initially dismiss it as something of a travel cliché. Guess what! It isn’t.

Birthplace of the Renaissance and home to some of the most magnificent art and architecture on the planet, Tuscany is an obvious choice for culture fans like us. But even if Michaelangelo and Boticelli mean nothing to you, the food, the romantic country hikes, and the sheer beauty of this Italian region will make you want to book a flight to Tuscany immediately. Here is a taste of what you’ll discover when you step off the plane. Continue…

Trekking Mount Kailash

Tony backed by Mount Kailash

The following post was written when we visited Tibet in 2007. In the last decade, much has changed. The roads leading to Mt. Kailash have been paved, Chinese guides must accompany tourists, and the once isolated region sees more visitors.

We were still half a day’s drive away from Darchen, the town at the foot of Mount Kailash and the starting point for our trek, when we caught our first glimpse of the snow-covered peak in the distance. After ten days bumping up and down on a series of increasingly deteriorating dirt rodes, Tibet’s holiest mountain was within sight.

The tension had been building for days. Rumors had been circulating that the Chinese military had moved into the area to clamp down on unrest resulting from the construction of an unapproved Buddha on the slopes of the mountain. Conflict had broken out between the soldiers and Tibetan pilgrims doing the Kailash kora. We had met several foreign trekkers and travelers who had been turned back by the troops. As we silently bounced our way towards our destination, we were all asking ourselves the same question: would we be allowed to trek Continue…

Adventures in Textiles

Textile Guide

We have a great travel guide recommendation for visitors to our site. Cynthia LeCount Samaké has written A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Peru and Bolivia, which highlights everything a dedicated textile enthusiast needs to explore the two countries.

The book is filled with fascinating information on Bolivian and Peruvian textiles and beautiful photography including two of our images from the Colca Canyon region. In fact, the first full-page photograph in the book is our image below of a woman wearing an intricately embroidered hat and collar. Continue…

Notre Dame de Paris

Today the world’s most famous church went up in flames. I turned on the news in the morning to discover the fire had just broken out. I sat in silence watching the Gothic masterpiece slowly be devoured by fire. It was completely shocking – 859 years of history gone in a single day.

Over the years, I have been to Notre Dame over a dozen times. And I would have gone another dozen had it not been destroyed. It was the first cathedral I ever saw in my life – as you can imagine, that set the bar for cathedrals a bit too high. Continue…

Walker Canyon Superbloom 2019

Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore

Sometimes, we Californians start to take the state for granted. We whine and whinge about the traffic or the high cost of living, and some of us – god forbid – even start to wonder if the state is still worth it.

When California hears us questioning her total awesomeness, she’s like, “Hold my beer.” Bam, she summons up a wild and wonderful floral display which leaves the flower children dancing in the streets. Superbloom 2019 is in full swing. From the Carrizo Plain to the Anza Borrego Desert, the hills are alive with fields of flowers. Continue…

Packing List for Adventure Travelers

Packing List: Our Favorite Things

After several decades of serious adventure travel, a lot of people seek out our advice on what to pack for that upcoming round-the-world adventure. Others often ask us what gifts to buy for a dedicate global explorer.  After circling the globe multiple times, it turns out we do have a few ideas on the topic.

Here is a travel list of some of the items and services we have come to love.  And I want to emphasize that we actually use all of the brands and services mentioned here. We’ve also linked to the specific items online, so shop away! Continue…

Exploring The Tribal Villages of Sumba

Tribal western Sumba is without question one of the most fascinating cultural regions in all of Indonesia. Eclipsed by more famous destinations such as Papua, Sulawesi, Sumatra and Flores, remote Sumba is primarily visited by travelers with a keen interest in ethno-tourism. Way off the beaten path – or any path for that matter – you don’t just end up here by mistake; you come here specifically to take in the unique Sumbanese tribal art, architecture and cultural heritage.

Sumba is a tough place to travel: there are few hotels, roads can be terrible, English is non-existent and the tribal communities can be somewhat volatile. Conflicts can break out at any time, even in the larger population centers such as Waikabubak. In fact, on our way to dinner one evening in Waikabubak, we were turned back because Continue…

15 Must-See Tourist Attractions in Bangkok

Wat Arun

There is no city in the world quite like Bangkok. The steamy cultural heart of Southeast Asia beats to a rhythm of cool chaos and quirky contradiction that makes it one of the most fascinating and diverse cities on the planet. Where else do veiled Gulf Arabs, Scandinavian sun worshipers, African money changers and local lady boys line up for a dish of sticky rice and mango, all backed by a mishmash of golden temples and steel skyscrapers? Nowhere.

Over the last three decades, we have visited over a dozen times and cumulatively spent more than a year in the metropolis. We have grown to love our crazy home away from home in Asia, but if you are new to the city, it can be hard to know where to begin. There are so many amazing things to do in Thailand’s capital that taking a couple of Bangkok private tours with locals might be a good idea to help you discover some hidden treasures. Here are Continue…