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Holiday 2012 - slideshows

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Santiago  

 
 
   Capital of Chile, arrival city in South America after 14-hour flight from Sydney with LAN
   Airlines. A quite interesting but spread out city, difficult to explore on foot. What we saw of
   its river, the Mopocho, was singularly uninspiring, although there are parks along one bank.
   We didn't have time to venture beyond the city.  

 
Lima  

 
 
   Capital of Peru with some fine buildings, several museums and a bleak seascape. Was not
   unduly impressed. For tourists I'd guess it serves mainly as a departure point for Cusco and
   Machu Picchu.  

 
Cusco  

 
 
   This splendid Andean city at an elevation of 3400m and a population of about 440,000
   was the capital of the Inca empire (1438-1533), but now mostly looks like a fine old Spanish
   town. The thin mountain air did not affect us. A few shots of the regular Sunday parade in
   the Plaza de Armas are included.  

 
Sacred Valley
of the Incas
 

 
 
   Also known as the Urubamba Valley, a beautiful, relatively fertile and sheltered region
   near Cusco, it contains many historical Inca sites.  

 
Machu Picchu  

 
 
   Legendary Inca city, one of the highpoints of our tour and a pilgrimage fulfilled. This
   slideshow also includes the scenic train journey to Aguas Calientes, the starting point
   for the winding bus ride up the mountain to Machu Picchu, plus a few pics of this town.  

 
Train from
Cusco to Puno
 

 
 
   A scenic, entertaining and indulgent train ride from Cusco to Puno on the shores of Lake
   Titicaca.  

 
Puno and Lake
Titicaca
 

 
 
   At 3812m Titicaca, spanning the border of Peru and Bolivia, is the highest navigable lake
   in the world and the largest lake in South America. Noted for its floating grass island
   settlements and the historic Island of the Sun (Isla del Sol). The pics also include Copacabana
   on the Bolivian shore.  

 
La Paz  

 
 
   Capital of Bolivia, a remarkable, dense, traffic-clogged city, parts of it hanging off crumbling
   mountainsides. Highest capital in the world, it merges with its poorer sister, El Alto, on yet
   higher ground (4150m). Main attraction - Mountains of the Moon, with its daunting unfenced
   track which tourists are expected to negotiate.  

 
Rio de Janeiro  

 
 
   The pics of this great city include Copacabana beach and views from the top of the
   Corcovado mountain (Statue of Christ the Redeemer) and the Sugar Loaf.  

 
Iguaçu Falls
(Brazil side)
 

 
 
   This magnificent and very accessible series of falls (also spelt Iguazu orIguassu) is my top
   holiday destination. Photos cannot capture their vastness and thunderous energy, the beauty
   of their surroundings and the richness of the local wildlife. But planning and luck are needed
   to see them at their best.  

 
Iguaçu Falls
(Argentina side)
 

 
 
   Yes, you need to see the falls from both sides (some people say from the air too). An
   astonishing variety of butterflies here (difficult to photograph with a snappy camera), also
   birds (including Hornbills) and animals, the most conspicuous of which is the fearless Coati
   that frequents outdoor restaurant areas. One of them snatched my unopened carton of juice
   from the table!  

 
Buenos Aires  

 
 
  The overcrowded capital of Argentina (metropolitan population 13 million), renowned for
   its architecture, football stadiums (Boca Juniors and River Plate), the immensely wide
   River Plate itself (not pictured here), nightlife, tango shows and festivals.