The Elitist Cemetery Of Recoleta

Francisco Gómez family vault, Recoleta

At the end of calle Junin, behind a restored neoclassical portal supported by four tall Doric columns, is the repository of the collective history, heritage and memories of the city of Buenos Aires. The last landscape of its founding fathers. A city of the dead. Built in 1822 in the garden appropriated from the monks of the Order […]

Read More

The Wooden Balconies of Lima

Balcony, Casa de Osambela- Lima Peru

Glimpses of the Moorish imprint on Spanish colonial architecture can be witnessed on a walk through the UNESCO site of Central Lima. Most glaringly in the stylised Mudejar influenced covered balconies incorporated into the facades of colourful 17th & 18th century mansions.   Originally built as much for the same purpose as their Iberian counterparts […]

Read More

Rio de Janeiro – A Tantalising Taste Of Brazil

Praia de Botafogo from Corcovado

We are not beach people. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Add to that the prohibitive rates for less than appealing hotel rooms and we almost cut Rio de Janeiro out of our vacation plans, the main focus of which were Peru and Argentina. But with flights into South America routed via Sao Paulo, […]

Read More

The Bohemian Barrio Of San Telmo

The barrio of San Telmo, named after the patron saint of seafarers San Pedro González Telmo, is where Buenos Aires began. Where the Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza founded the first settlement in the 16th century, that grew into one of the most important cities in South America. When its wealthy residents fled North and East after an […]

Read More

The Sacred Capital Of The Inka

Whether it is a resurgence of indigenous identity or as in recent times, just political posturing by populist governments, a number of places from Peking to Pondicherry and Bombay to Burma, have undergone name changes in the past decade. Could I locate a renamed city among the photos in my archives for the story challenge: letter Q? It […]

Read More

The ‘Old Peak’ Of The Inca

Machu Picchu - Featured Image

“Remember to bury these under the Sun Gate.” Frank, our guide, handed over a bunch of coca leaves…. “For luck.” I carefully tucked the leaves into my pocket before boarding our train to Aguas Calientes. Frank was going to await our return to the Sacred Valley, the next evening. We lucked out with front row […]

Read More

Buenos Aires – The Barrio Of Kitsch

It is edgy. It is seedy. It is touristy.  And it probably deserves all the bad press it receives. But there is no denying the sense of drama and theatre in the psychedelic barrio of La Boca. A throwback to its maritime history and the meshing of cultures of early immigrant settlers. The name is said […]

Read More

Cusco – The City Of The Puma

According to local lore Cusco city is said to be laid out in the shape of a puma crouched over the Saphi river. And its streets denote its body parts. For example: Pumakurko street stands for the “Puma’s Spinal Column”, and the head is supposed to be located in Sacsayhuaman or “speckled head”! Furthering that myth, (rather shiny) brass plaques […]

Read More

Edificio Kavanagh

The Edificio Kavanagh in the Retiro neighbourhood of Buenos Aires is ostensibly a monument to the wrath of a scorned woman. And a reminder that you mess with a woman, especially one of means, at your own risk!   Corina Kavanagh, an Irish heiress, fell in love with Aaron, the heir to the Anchorena family, whose grand […]

Read More

The Mystical Inca Ruins Of Moray

Six concentric terraces surround a central circular ‘arena’ connected by a series of stone ‘steps’ fixed to the retaining walls in a radial pattern, mimicking the rays of the sun.  Six more surround them in an elliptical shape and another eight stepped terraces at the perimeter, span a portion of the narrow end of the […]

Read More

Floralis Genérica

 The Floralis Genérica is a flower with a difference. A flower that opens (at least it did till 2010!) at break of day and closes at sunset! A flower that according to its creator “is a synthesis of all the flowers in the world, and is a hope that is reborn every day to open”. The Floralis Genérica is a mechanical […]

Read More

The Andean Village Of Cinchero

Few conquests have been as devastatingly final as the annihilation of the legendary kingdom of the Incas. In under 40 years after their first encounter with Francisco Pizzaro in 1532, the Incas were history. Their gold looted, their religion wiped out and their architecture demolished. With the exception of Machu Picchu and a few other uninhabited […]

Read More