Exploring Peru – Cusco 

“Hey you went to Cusco! Did you ‘do’ Machu Pichu?”

Erm…………….no we didn’t….

“What about Rainbow mountain? Surely you ‘did’ that right?”

Erm…………..also didn’t……

“Ok well surely you took a tourist bus round the sacred valley…?” 

Erm…….about that………..

However we did ‘do’:- 

  • Tupac Amaru….

  • The Convento de Santo Domingo del Cusco

  • Cuddled llamas on the street

  • Tambomachay

  • Pukapukara

  • Q’enqo

  • Saqsayhuaman

  • Cristo Blanco 

  • Salineras de Maras

And crammed in Christmas Day, Boxing Day, family Skype and sitting around eating too………phew!! 


Death Road Downhill

Death road, Yungas road, the worlds most dangerous road and Camino de la muerte are all names for the same mountain road which leads up to La Paz. The road itself is no longer used by most of the traffic since the completion of the new Yungas road in 2006.


Death road is on the tourist must do list for La Paz; however, it has been on the waiting list for nearly 9 months. There is a lot of hype surrounding the downhill on this road with statistics like: “Between 200 to 300 travelers die a year”. What most sites don’t tell you is this is from 2006 when this road was the only choice for travelers; also that the vast majority are from buses and trucks. It is easy to see how 2 trucks passing on the narrow roads could cause such a high death rate. However; for cyclists its safe as long as you are not stupid.

Our guide was a veteran and has been running tours on the road for over 10 years. In all his time he has never had anyone have a serious accident. He mentioned that most of the deaths on cycles have come from when the rules are not followed. There should be a guide for every 5-6 people. However; to cut costs some companies will only employ a guide for 12 people. Our group originally had 6 people however 4 dropped out so it was just Ellie and I. We were recommended a new company called A1 Bikes, they have brand new bikes but cost much less to encourage customers.

The first part of the trip was on the new Yungas road, a far cry from the images from the tour operator. A slick tarmac and amazing views and downhill for miles and miles. I really enjoyed this part of the trip as you could just cruise and take in the amazing sights.





After a while we met where the old road joined the new:



This is where things got a little more interesting and you had to pay a bit more attention to the road.

The first section of the old Yungas road is the most dangerous, containing waterfalls and the infamous “corner”.


As we descended we needed shed layers, starting at 4700 meters and getting down to around 1100 freezing at the top and burning at the bottom! From high altitude to sub tropical.



At the end of the road we were picked up and brought to a hostel the river for lunch where we me this guy eating out of the mango trees.



Leaving Bolivia -🇧🇴-😭

We’ve had a wonderful last few weeks in La Paz before we had to leave to finish our travels off.  The last weekend at Fundacion Porvenir was just wonderful. My 6 boys rode their dressage test perfectly and completely unassisted (other than a reminder of which direction to go in) and all completed their test with a halt and salute to the judge – Dr Quiroga! Then on Sunday they all rode to collect their graduation certificates by themselves. I was one very proud and slightly teary teacher!

Then Sunday after the graduation we had a very special and again slightly teary thanks and good bye to the families, kids and team at the foundation. Humberto presented me with a plaque and a lot of kind words and the parents gave us all a tshirt to remember them all by (assisted by Adri!).

Then we were back in Funprobo for the big house move! Mixed in with a few patients (slightly tricky times as the building was in disarray and half the stuff I needed was packed!). Juan came back to visit us and I had another proud teary moment…..Juan was confined to a wheelchair for the last 2.5yrs following an electric accident where he lost and arm, leg, smashed his other foot and other hand and was unable to even transfer himself relying on his mum from everything. He popped back in with a new patient for us, he was beaming ear to ear, walking completely on his own with a stick, and threw the stick to one side and did a little jog and dance around the room for me. I literally couldn’t have been more excited and happy for him!

After that it was a week of packing our flat, packing the office, painting and tidying up!

We had our Christmas/leaving do from Funprobo on the last Friday before we left and had everyone round to ours for a very civilised dinner. We made hats and gifts as they don’t have crackers in Bolivia. Decorated what we could in tinsel, got the Christmas music on and had a great bring and share dinner of Stew, cake and ice cream and cheese, bread and port. We were 10 in all and it was lovely to share the evening with these guys who welcomed us so warmly into their lives. Only problem is we forgot to take any photos!

I still had some days of pony riding left too before we actually left so I spent the rest of my time just chilling, riding and cuddling all the ponies before we actually left.

And not forgetting the love of my life who before I left, despite being less than 4yrs old and entire, let me ride him round the paddock and the garden with no saddle or bridle and just on a headcollar. Also we nailed trot. I will miss this spotty boy terribly.

Then it was pack up and 15hrs on a bus to look forward to! Off to Cusco to meet Lu and have 7 days just chilling over Christmas.

We waved a sad and happy goodbye to Bolivia 🇧🇴 at the border (after 1hr in the border control explaining why we’d overstated our visa and paying a nice hefty fine!)

Then nipped over the border to Peru to start our next country adventure.


Exploring Bolivia – Trinidad 

Soooooooo we had planned to head to Sucre and Potosi with Florencio as our last trip round Bolivia. However at the last minute Florencio was invited to join a Spanish trauma and orthopaedic team who were flying into Bolivia for a 2 week project in the children’s hospital in Trinidad, Bolivia. Not one to miss an opportunity to jump on a charity trip and physio we invited ourselves along for a few days. 

We got off the plane in 33deg heat and immediately were happy with our decision.  However as we left the airport it became clear that the only way to travel in Trinidad was by mototaxi…….so off we went! My first time on the back of a motorbike. 

They’re not big on helmets or protective gear……in fact there’s no option…..however everyone is on a motor bike and all going reasonably slowly and very aware of each other. Still, took a bit of getting used to! 

We were introduced to the Spanish orthopaedic team who were all very nice, but in the middle of a hectic project so we didn’t get too involved. I met ‘Don Paco’ the amazing orthotist who Florencio had gone to work with and he is another amazing human being with such talent. His room was filled with braces, splints, materials to make splints, prosthetic knees, moulded chairs, prosthetic feet etc. He showed us some of his work from home and I can safely say he is another legend! He was very welcoming and the team had me a patient booked in for the next morning in no time. 

For the next two days I worked my socks off seeing mainly kids with neurological conditions with the local physios to problem solve and advise. I also got to work with Don Paco while he made a prosthesis for a 7yo girl who lost her whole leg and half of her pelvis from bone cancer. Seeing what him and Florencio crafted and problem solved for her was inspiring! Obviously I have no photos as I was a surprise guest and didn’t have to papers to get consent. But I got to high five two gorgeous boys with cerebral palsy, cuddle a beautiful squishy 4month old with development delay, played patticake with a handsome chap with muscular dystrophy, played hopscotch with a cheeky chappie with spinal cord issues and of course be a bossy physio to two adults with neurological balance problems. Busy week!! 

As usual Florencio looked after us like royalty and we ate like kings and queens. He introduced us to his friends who of course were all warm, lovely welcoming people like all Bolivians are, and we were looked after and ferried around for the whole time we were there. 

Then we headed off to the Tapicare resort for some chill out time, just in time for an epic sunset over the Bolivian pantanal. 

This place was just beautiful. We had a little chalet right by the lake with a view of the animals and birds second to none. Although we only had about 12hrs there we made the most of it. Amazing breakfast, walk around the grounds and an hour by the pool.

Then we jumped back on a mototaxi to head to the river to eat the best fried fish I’ve ever eaten in my life! 

Then it was time to head back to the airport, via one last Trinidad landmark…..a huge anaconda!! And some of his turtle friends. 

A quick group selfie then back at the airport after a whistle stop trip.