Tag Archives: miraflores

Panama

Last January, the need to escape the dreary Canadian winter was much stronger than in previous years as 2013 had been a particularly rough patch in my life.  I had gone through a separation and my holiday season had been overshadowed by family health concerns.  By the time the New Year rolled in, I had finally emerged from a couple of months of dark solitude and all I wanted was some space to regroup, clear my head and spend some quality time by myself.  While I normally preferred more off-the-grid adventure travel, I recalled loving the all inclusive resort I visited in Costa Rica, so when my travel agent suggested Panama, I jumped on a plane and left the cold behind.

"Golden Dust" - Santa Clara, Panama

“Golden Dust” – Santa Clara, Panama

The next week turned into a self made retreat.  I meditated and did yoga on my balcony each morning, ate platefuls of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish, went for long runs along the beach, and read and wrote my heart out.  I also went on a day trip to El Valle de Anton, a small Panamanian village nestled on the site of an extinct volcano.  In the valley I visited the peaceful, rustic El “Nispero” zoo, home to an impressive biodiversity of species and a beautiful collection of birds.  I also hiked through the local rainforest to the Chorro del Macho volcanic waterfalls and relaxed in the natural hot springs.

However, I was really looking forward to the second excursion  – a partial transit of the Panama Canal.

"Higher Cause", Panama Canal

“Higher Cause”, Panama Canal

I spent the day drifting along the canal and experienced crossing through two one hundred year lock systems: Miraflores and Pedro Miguel.  The Panama Port operation was quite impressive and it was pretty amazing to see how quickly the chambers filled.  To learn that over 25,000 workers died during the canal’s construction was pretty shocking, and to me the canal felt more of a cold, industrial traverse than a wonder of the world.

"Afterglow" - Pedro Miguel lock, Panama Canal

“Afterglow” – Pedro Miguel lock, Panama Canal

This inspired me to play around with the contrast and saturation in the photos I captured, attempting to bring out some of the darkness and sickness that plagued the canal’s history.

"Breakthrough" - Panama Canal

“Breakthrough” – Panama Canal

Panama was a fascinating place to visit.  My soul healed in the beauty of its rainforests, and I loved learning about the unique history of the country.  Driving through Panama City on the way back to the airport, the twisting sky scrapers loomed over me. The Dubai-like architecture reminder that even though this city is very much in the international spotlight, I will always remember the quieter moments that I shared with this country on my little wooden perch on the beach.

"100" - Miraflores lock, Panama Canal "Enter, friend" - Miraflores lock, Panama Canal

Have you traveled to Panama?  What did you think, and where did you go?  I would love to go back some day!

Peru

I had dreamt of trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for some time now.  Hiking in the footsteps of the Incas to the mysterious city hidden in the clouds sounded like a fascinating and challenging experience.  While there were many memorable moments from my trip to Peru: learning about the exotic biodiversity of the Amazon; strolling through the charming city of Cuzco; swimming in the freezing waters of Lake Titicaca – the highlight of the trip was still Machu Picchu.  From our amazing team of porters and chefs, to listening to ghost stories and playing endless rounds of cards; conquering rocky Inca steps to nearly being run over by a llama – the whole experience is now embodied in that classic shot of Machu Picchu.

Cathedral in Plaza de Armas, Lima

Cathedral in Plaza de Armas, Lima

Cathedral in Plaza de Armas, Lima

Cathedral in Plaza de Armas, Lima

Changing of the guards at Palacio de Gobierno, Lima

Changing of the guards at Palacio de Gobierno, Lima

Riot cop outside Palacio de Gobierno, Lima

Riot cop outside Palacio de Gobierno, Lima

Beef Hearts, Lima, Peru

Beef Hearts, Lima, Peru

Parque del Amor, Miraflores, Lima

Parque del Amor, Miraflores, Lima

view from Miraflores, Lima

view from Miraflores, Lima

Rio Tambopata, Amazon

Rio Tambopata, Amazon

Rio Tambopata, Amazon

Rio Tambopata, Amazon

Hoatzin or "stinky bird", Rio Tambopata, Amazon

Hoatzin or “stinky bird”, Rio Tambopata, Amazon

Saddleback monkey, Amazon

Saddleback monkey, Amazon

Capo tree, Amazon

Capo tree, Amazon

Guinea pig, Cuzco, Peru

Guinea pig, Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco

Cuzco

Plaza de Armas, Cuzco

Plaza de Armas, Cuzco

"Big Bad Wolf", Cuzco

“Big Bad Wolf”, Cuzco

Plaza de Armas, Cuzco

Plaza de Armas, Cuzco

"Sacred Spinning", Chinchero, Sacred Valley of the Incas

“Sacred Spinning”, Chinchero, Sacred Valley of the Incas

"These Hands", Chinchero, Sacred Valley of the Incas

“These Hands”, Chinchero, Sacred Valley of the Incas

"The Skin I'm In", Chinchero, Sacred Valley of the Incas

“The Skin I’m In”, Chinchero, Sacred Valley of the Incas

Corn beer, Chinchero, Peru

Corn beer, Chinchero, Peru

Stone oven pizza, Ollantaytambo, Peru

Stone oven pizza, Ollantaytambo, Peru

"Night rider", Ollantaytambo, Sacred Land of the Incas

“Night rider”, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Land of the Incas

Ayapata to Dead Woman's Pass, Inca Trail

Ayapata to Dead Woman’s Pass, Inca Trail

Ayapata to Dead Woman's Pass, Inca Trail

Ayapata to Dead Woman’s Pass, Inca Trail

Ayapata to Dead Woman's Pass, Inca Trail

Ayapata to Dead Woman’s Pass, Inca Trail

Inca Trail Food by Chef Alex, Peru

Inca Trail Food by Chef Alex, Peru

"Stories", Sayaqmarka, Inca Trail

“Stories”, Sayaqmarka, Inca Trail

"Spirits", Inca Trail

“Spirits”, Inca Trail

Sacred river of Urubamba, Inca Trail

Sacred river of Urubamba, Inca Trail

"Llama views", Inca Trail

“Llama views”, Inca Trail

Intipata "agricultural site", Inca Trail

Intipata “agricultural site”, Inca Trail

Last night on the Inca Trail

Last night on the Inca Trail

Cake on the Inca Trail, Peru

Cake on the Inca Trail, Peru

Sayaqmarka, Inca Trail

Sayaqmarka, Inca Trail

"Parting", Sayaqmarka, Inca Trail

“Parting”, Sayaqmarka, Inca Trail

"Classic shot", Machu Picchu

“Classic shot”, Machu Picchu

"Crumbled in the Clouds", Machu Picchu

“Crumbled in the Clouds”, Machu Picchu

Temple of the Seven Rainbows, Machu Picchu

Temple of the Seven Rainbows, Machu Picchu

East agricultural sector, Machu Picchu

East agricultural sector, Machu Picchu

"Pastel Puma", Cuzco

“Pastel Puma”, Cuzco

"Green with Envy", Cathedral, Cuzco

“Green with Envy”, Cathedral, Cuzco

"A New Day", Cathedral, Cuzco

“A New Day”, Cathedral, Cuzco

Jesus Maria church, Cuzco

Jesus Maria church, Cuzco

La Merced church, Cuzco

La Merced church, Cuzco

"Crossing", Cuzco

“Crossing”, Cuzco

"Hanging Out", Cuzco

“Hanging Out”, Cuzco

"Through the Blue", Cuzco

“Through the Blue”, Cuzco

"Writing on the Wall", Cuzco

“Writing on the Wall”, Cuzco

"Cats in the Cradle", Cuzco

“Cats in the Cradle”, Cuzco

"Sidestop", en route to Puno

“Sidestop”, en route to Puno

Floating islands of Uros, Lake Titicaca

Floating islands of Uros, Lake Titicaca

"Reeling", Santa Maria, Uros, Lake Titicaca

“Reeling”, Santa Maria, Uros, Lake Titicaca

"Left", Santa Maria, Uros, Lake Titicaca

“Left”, Santa Maria, Uros, Lake Titicaca

"Heavy", Capachira Peninsula, Lake Titicaca

“Heavy”, Capachira Peninsula, Lake Titicaca

"Awakening", Capachira Peninsula, Lake Titicaca

“Awakening”, Capachira Peninsula, Lake Titicaca

"Chores", Capachira Peninsula, Lake Titicaca

“Chores”, Capachira Peninsula, Lake Titicaca

Taquile Island, Lake Titicaca

Taquile Island, Lake Titicaca

"Breaking barriers", Taquile Island, Lake Titicaca

“Breaking barriers”, Taquile Island, Lake Titicaca

"Shadow", Taquile Island, Lake Titicaca

“Shadow”, Taquile Island, Lake Titicaca

Grilled Trout, Taquile, Peru

Grilled Trout, Taquile, Peru

"Pick A Side", Peru/Bolivia border

“Pick A Side”, Peru/Bolivia border