Journey Around The World – Lake Titicaca, Peru

Travel Sketching, Trip Around the World 2013

Home Stay on Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca, Peru       July 17, 2013

Our trip to Amantani Island started with a day at Puno which is a city on the shores of Lake Titicaca in southern Peru. We found that it was very cold at night even though it was July.  This is in large part due to the altitude of 12,507 ft.
Arranging a home stay on Amantani or Taquile Island can be done easily from Puno.  This was an amazing cultural experience that was another high light of our time in  Peru.  This was also another great opportunity to sketch and gather material for future paintings.

On Amantani Island we stayed at Isabel’s Bed and Breakfast.  There were no cars on the island and so the absence of cars was quite a pleasant experience.  People live a traditional life style of fishing and farming the land. This was another one of those places I could go and paint for the summer that is like going back in time.  It reminded me of the Mediterranean in that it was arid and rocky, plus it was hot during the day.  At the time that we were there they were building a hospital on the island and so things may have changed a little since our visit.

As part of this excursion we spent the following day exploring Taquile Island as well as visiting The Uros, a group of 42 man made islands inhabited by the Uru people.  The islands are made out of totora reeds and have to be replenished with more reeds as they only last for about 3 months in the water. This is the big tourist attraction on Lake Titicaca and is a fascinating place to visit.

 

Journey Around The World – Machu Picchu, Peru

Travel Sketching, Trip Around the World 2013

A Day To Remember At Machu Picchu                July 13, 2013

We boarded a bus this morning at 5:30 am, a short ride to the top of the steep mountain road where Machu Picchu is.  We arrived just as the sun was coming up, and we were able to see an amazing view over the valley.

As an artist I felt like a little kid having a birthday; the opportunity to paint and sketch in a place like this does not happen as often as I would like. The day went by rather quickly and I managed to get a couple of watercolor sketches done.  I also took a lot of reference photo’s in the hope that I would be able to paint some pictures back in my studio.

The sketches I have posted here were all done in my studio almost a year after visiting Machu Picchu.  Sometimes I will do multiple sketches together on one page.  I find that making a collage of pictures together makes a good trip souvenir and is a fun way to do preliminary drawings.

 

Journey Around The World – The Peruvian Coast

Travel Sketching, Trip Around the World 2013

Driving Down The Peruvian Coast               June 23, 2013

As we were leaving Ecuador, we drove past miles and miles of banana plantations.  The bananas while still on the trees were in these blue plastic bags. These bags I found out usually contain an insecticide called chlorpyrifos to protect the bananas during their growth.  Apparently this chemical leaches into the ground after rain storms.  After the bananas are picked they are treated with another chemical before being shipped.  Good to know!

Our first stop in Peru was  Mancora, a coastal town known for surfing and its white sand beach. The main street in Mancora is also the Pan American Highway.  It is a nice little tourist town with lots of restaurants and beach resorts. We were happy to stay one night and move on as we were looking forward to going to some of the more famous archaeological sites such as the Chan Chan ruins in Trujillo.

The Peruvian coast is primarily desert with some fertile valleys here and there. These valleys are irrigated by rivers flowing down from the Andes.  For the most part the scenery is very stark along the coast very similar to the coast in Namibia, South Africa.  This stark desert coast would be the back drop for the next couple of weeks.