A Travellerspoint blog

The City of the Lost Incas

Machu Picchu, Peru: 13.1631° S, 72.5456° W

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View of the city

Nosotros somos en la Ciudad de los Incas perdidas finalmente! We are finally in the City of the Lost Incas. We are in Latin America and this is another chance for us to practice the basic Spanish we know some more.

This city is actually pretty old, it has been around since the 15th century. It is pretty amazing how the ruins still remain after this long. We have decided to try something new on this trip, so instead of taking a hotel, we are going to be camping! Yes, I did say camping... Since we had packed a tent anyway, we thought why not? And we also have sleeping bags, so it's all good! Other than the fact that our annoying and heavy luggage take up a lot of space in our tent. Oh well.

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The ruins from the mountain

We visited the ruins, which was near our tent. There are different places in Machu Picchu. There are the actual Machu Picchu ruins, then there is the Wayna Picchu. There is also a bunch of temples, such as the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Three Windows. There is also a place where there are 12-sided stones, or something like that and it's pretty cool. What I love about this place is that behind every landmark, there is an interesting history that dates to way back.

The only reason why we decided to come to Peru was not only because Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the world, but they have a really rich culture. For at least a part of this adventure, my sister and I want to learn about the various cultures and traditions that people have in different countries of the world. This topic really interests us, because in a way, we learn different lifestyles and there's just so much.

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Taking a walk on the Inca Trail

We walked along the Inca Trail, which gave us more chance to discover more the secrets that the city has. We also visited the Sacred Valley. It is near the capital of the country, Cuzco.

This place was actually named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983!

While in Peru, we tried some Peruvian cuisine, because we never had some before, even though there is a Peruvian restaurant in Oakville, about 30 minutes from home. But really, I think the dishes from different countries taste better if you taste them when you are in the actual country of it. My sister is totally against that though, she says that it depends on the cook. But, yeah...

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The dish that we tried was ceviche, which is a very traditional and famous seafood dish there. It is basically raw fish in a citrus juice. It is also sometimes served with sweet potato and corn. We also learned that they eat cuy, meaning guinea pig. After that, we also tried llama meat with rice. And finally as for a drink, we had IncaKola, which is a soft drink. It tastes better than most of the soft drinks I tried too.

Anyways, we're now off to Buenos Aires!

Posted by ZK_15 14:34 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

The Sunshine State

Florida, United States; 28.0908° N, 81.9604° W

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The beautiful Miami sky

After spending three days at sea with about two days of bad weather, we are finally back to the Sunshine State! Our cruise got back to the Port of Miami at 7 am. Right before we got off, we exchanged our contact information with our friends.

We left with Simona and her two brothers, who were apparently staying at the same hotel as us until tomorrow. I was surprised, since they didn't come with their parents either. So in a sense, we sort of had a connection there and we didn't expect that to happen at all. We decided that we will go to the airport together and say goodbye there as they leave for Italy and us for Peru.

When we got to our hotel, we checked in right away and went to our rooms. We got room 317 and they got room 312. Luckily, we were on the same floor. We then went straight to the indoor swimming pool, where we played some pool sports, such as volleyball and basketball together in teams. As usual, after our swim we were all quite hungry. So we changed and went to eat together at a local restaurant.

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Miami Beach

We also brought them to the mall, since they didn't get a chance to see Miami a lot and they wanted to do some shopping for their family. We came back a bit early to get a chance to take a few hours' nap, because once we get to Peru, we won't really have much time for that. Then we all headed to the beach for another swim. This time though, we made a sand castle and unlike when we were back at the hotel, we actually spent more time on the beach than in the water.

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On our way to the hotel after spending a long time at the beach

The beach wasn't as packed as I was expecting. But then again, I guess people like to tan more during the peak times of the day, from around 12 to 4 pm. The five of us were happy though, because we went a bit crazy and just ran around the beach. Simona's brother had two nerf water guns, so we split into two teams and played a game of sand tag, which we all invented.

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Downtown Miami

Then at night, Simona, Joseph and Michael came over to our room after we came back from Downtown Miami, which is where we basically spent a good portion of the night: having dinner, watching a movie in theatres, going bowling, going window shopping, etc. We ordered some pizza, watched a movie and played some board games. They left at around 2 am, and after cleaning up the room and packing our last minute things, we went to bed and set our alarm for an early time tomorrow morning.

It is actually our last Good Morning America tomorrow and I'm not sure how the rest is going to turn out, but so far, everything is good...

Posted by ZK_15 18:11 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The Island of New Providence

Nassau/Coco Cay, Bahamas: 25.0667° N, 77.3333° W

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Our cruise, the Royal Caribbean

We arrived in Bahamas at last! The cruise is amazing, all we are doing is basically enjoy the cruise we took, the Royal Caribbean International. We got a cabin with the water view, so it is amazing and quite relaxing to watch the water.

Going on a cruise gave us the opportunity to make friends from all over the world. One of the nicest twins we met there were Olive and Bianca, two girls from France. They started talking to us since before we got on the boat. Their cabin is coincidentally right in front of ours. They came with all of their cousins and parents. Since we are only the two of us, we mostly hung out with all the people we befriended and that is making our time on the cruise more fun.

We spent a lot of time in the youth room, where we played video games, watched movies, played games such as Dance Dance Revolution, etc... We also went to the water park, ate from the various restaurants, enjoyed the facilities the cruise had to offer like; trying tai chi for the first time, the rock climbing, fitness centre/jogging track, the masquerade theatre, etc...

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The Straw Market

Our first stop was Coco Cay in Bahamas. We were able to go to the Straw Market, where we got the chance to buy a few souvenirs for everyone back home. The Straw Market was pretty sick because it was like a Farmers' Market that we find back home, but here they only sell everything handmade made out of straw. We only stayed here for a few hours, from 8 to 5, so we didn't get the chance to do a lot, other than trying things for the first time; trying the floating beach mat, go on the Coco Cay Nature walk and the Wave Jet tour.

On our way to Nassau, we unfortunately got really bad weather, so we had to stay inside the cruise. But it didn't matter, because there were tons of things to keep us busy luckily! We went to the fitness centre and the spa. We also spent a lot of time in the Youth/teen room with our friends.

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Nassau

When we got to Nassau, we were allowed to go anywhere we wanted and just forget about the cruise for a few hours. However, we have to be back before it leaves or else we'll be stuck here. We went around and with our little group of friends. I really wanted to go to Atlantis since a few years back and it was this was my chance, so my sister and I took the Discover Atlantis tour. Afterwards, we went to see the Pirates of Nassau and finally we went on a Seaworld explorer trip, where we got to see the fascinating underwater world of the Bahamas and it was extremely breathtaking as well as a one-of-a-kind attraction. I have never heard of an underwater observatory until now...

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Junkakoo

In Nassau, we also got the chance to see a Junkanoo, which is a street parade with music. It was cool and the costumes were different. It reminded me a lot of Toronto, because of how every year they have a Caribbean festival Downtown.

In Bahamas, we also tried some of the typical food and we were finally trying something new, because we were starting to get tired of the American cuisine, because we are so used to it. We had a conch salad and a coconut floating island, which is a dish with rice, a coconut sauce, corn and shrimp.

Now we are heading back to Miami and we only have so much time left with our friends before we say goodbye and go our seperate ways. But, even if it's unfortunately a goodbye to the people I've spent three days with, the adventure keeps going for my sister and I.

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A refreshing drink that we had on the Island

Posted by ZK_15 14:43 Archived in Bahamas Tagged me sunsets_and_sunrises beaches people travel adventure discover Comments (0)

The Magic City and the Cruise Capital of the World

Miami, Florida, USA; 25.7216° N, 80.2793° W

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Arriving in Miami

We have reached Miami, which is also known as the Magic City due to the rapid growth in population. We will only be spending one night here, as tomorrow our cruise leaves for a 3-day tour to the Bahamas. I am really looking forward to it, because we are starting to get tired now and it will be a great way of relaxing before we leave North America. Since Miami has a high population of Spanish speaking, and fortunately we know some basic Spanish, that helped us in many situations; at the mall, the beach, the restaurant, etc...

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Downtown Miami

The Downtown Miami Historic District is the largest historic district of the city and that's where we went also! We did a lot of walking in Miami, even if nothing compared to The Walking City. We stopped at many landmarks on our walk, such as the Freedom Tower, the Coral Castle, the Vizcaya museum and garden

We went to the beach first thing after checking in at our hotel, but we only stayed for about an hour only. We decided that it's better to go explore around more instead and take advantage of that, since we can go the beach and swimming a lot while on our cruise.

We then went to the Aventura Mall and had light lunch there at The Cheesecake Factory.

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Aerial view of Miami

We then came back to our hotel, where we Skyped in with our parents, who were staying over at my cousins' place in Rochester, before they head back home.

We watched a few hours of TV before heading out again, this time to the botanical gardens and then to the Dolphin Mall, where we spent the rest of our day. The thing about being on our own in a city where we don't know anyone is that we have to use public transportation and we hate that because of the amount of time we waste. Also, since we don't really know anything about the city or anyone, other than the research we made before leaving, we don't really know how to explore the city.

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Leaving for our cruise

After going to bed quite early last night, we had to wake up early once again today. We had breakfast at the hotel and then grabbed all our stuff and took a taxi to the Miami Cruise Port. We are about to leave for a 3-day cruise to the Bahamas, did I mention that we're excited? This is our first time going on a cruise, so it's quite a big deal for us.

We'll see how this turns out!

Posted by ZK_15 04:17 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The Big Guava

St Petersburg, Tampa, Florida; 27.9106° N, 82.6872° W


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View of the beach from Sailport

After taking a plane to Tampa, my sister and I took a shuttle to our hotel, Sailport, which is near the Tropicana Field Baseball Park, where we are going to watch a game tonight. We are pumped, as we have never watched a baseball game before, even if the Blue Jays play quite often at the Rogers Centre, in Toronto, Canada, near our house.

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Our room in Sailport

Since our hotel has so many activities, we decided to stay there for 3/4 of the day. The beach is also connected to the hotel, and the view from our room was perfect, since we got a beach view. We went to the beach.

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Tyrone Square Mall in St Pete's

We then went shopping a few hours after lunch. We spent our whole afternoon at Tyrone Square.

We came back right after dinner though, so we could have enough time to be able to rest and just enjoy the hotel,before having to leave for the baseball game.

Tomorrow, we are leaving early to go to Miami, Florida. From there, we will be staying only one night, before departing for our 3 day cruise to the Bahamas.

It feels like it's been so long since we left home, but really we're only in North America. We planned to go to two more regions in the world and so even if sixty days doesn't seem a lot to visit all these places, in the end it'll be worth it even if we're tired.

We are soon going to be switching timezones, so I wonder how that's going to be to get used to.

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Tropicana Field Baseball Park

Even though we love baseball, after attending the game, there was a whole different feeling being at a game than when we play a game. Everybody was into the game and mostly everyone was a Rays fan, since it is the baseball team of Tampa.

And talking about the Rays team....we got the chance to meet the mascot!

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Tampa Bay's baseball team the Rays' mascot

Posted by ZK_15 10:20 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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