Cambodia

03.12.2018 From Bangkok, we took the bus for Cambodia and our tickets were purchased the night before. We have decided to do the visa procedure ourselves instead of paying an additional fee. We were told to wait by 8h in front of the travel agency and someone would take us to the bus but it was almost 9h before someone showed up.

It should be easy in the border, so I thought. Using my Philippine passport, I was not to pay anything. But the officer asked for my date of entry which was of course posted in my CH passport. To make the long story short, I went back to pay for my visa using the CH passport. I apologized to the other passengers for waiting and they were all understanding.

We made few stops before reaching our destination and in one of those stops we were told to buy first before using the toilet. No, we didn’t need the sim card, yes, some water please. 😉

SIEM REAP

We arrived in Siem Reap early evening. At the station, tuk tuk drivers were waiting for the passengers to be taken to the center. We have negotiated for two tuk tuks to take us to our guesthouse. We stayed in Thngay Soben Guesthouse , a family run guesthouse, where the owner organized our rides and most of our tours.

WHERE TO GO

Art Box:

Good for children. Not for husbands. 🙂 We haven’t been to any 3d paintings and murals so it was a good occasion to visit this museum. We came early and luckily we were able to avoid the other tourists who came in buses. The tour took us less than an hour and at the end of the visit one can get free ice cream once a Trip advisor comment was done.

Sunset in Angkot Wat: After purchasing our pass for the next day tour, we went to Angkor Wat as people were exiting the temple.

Meet Up:

We have met some people in Siem Reap thru this Facebook group, some with children who were also traveling for a year and we were able to do things together on the duration of our stay in town.

Temple tour: With our hired tuk tuk, we left our guesthouse around 8h and started the tour from the last temple, we were hoping to avoid the influx of visitors. But that could not happen here. On to our 2nd temple, we have crossed path with fellow Asians who arrived in buses. However, it didn’t really matter. We entered the temple in awe and wonder while music floated on the air. For me, visiting the temples was about one’s communion with the sacred place, the nature and one’s inner peace.

We skipped some of the temples, thinking that we have seen those we wanted to visit.

Dine for a cause
On our second night, we had dinner with two french families at a french restaurant called Chili Pepper where students of Krousar Thmey performed.

Floating village tour We were picked up from our guesthouse then the driver continued picking up some more guests. Arriving in our destination, we were then driven to another area coz the first one did not have enough water. It was exciting at first, sailing by the houses painted with vibrant colors but as we reached the dry land, we were greeted by hawkers. And I wonder why do they sell pens and notebooks. Then as we moved along with our guide, showing us a small class underneath the houses, I understood then. But it felt uneasy walking in the area. I felt like an intruder. There was no interaction with the locals or any leader of the community.

We didn’t join the others in the mangrove visit. Instead, we stayed in the boat while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive and then watched the sunset.

BATTAMBANG

From Siem Reap, we have shared a ride with les Macax in their camper van. We stayed in Por Chey for 3 nights .

Phare Ponleu Selpak – The one not to miss here. There are performances every night and we were able to watch the “Village Market”.

We arrived early and had some drinks. There were some students who could create a caricature for anyone who were interested. My girls, of course had a tour of their souvenir shop.

Battambang bat cave A 45 min spectacle. The street was lined with tables and chair ready for the spectators. A girl pointed us an empty table when we arrived. She later told us that she was glad to be able to practice her english. We had some drinks while watching the bats went out of the cave and flew together.

Night market

We had a quick stop here after watching the circus and tasted some balut with the local sauce.

FOOD TRIP

Aside from eating at the Battambang Town restaurant with the whole family, I went to Jaan Bai with my daughters,
one afternoon while husband was resting. It was really good though a bit expensive.

Bamboo train We we’re driven to the station by Rith who was a nice fellow and explained us a bit about the bamboo train.

That afternoon we experienced riding the norry. It was an hour to and fro ride where one cruise along a green scenery. When another norry came in our direction, we stopped and our driver would lift the whole thing at the side of the track with the help of the other norry driver. And of course at the end of the trip, there were souvenir shops. My husband purchased a krama. I guess, no knitting this winter for me.

PHNOM PENH

Independence Monument

We hired a taxi for our trip to Phnom Penh. The staff of our guest house has given me a post-it where he wrote the english and khmer translation of toilet, stop and restaurant. The driver, incidentally, has already filled his trunk with some merchandise to be taken to the city. Luckily, we were able to fit our luggage inside.


Booking.com fiasco– arriving in our guesthouse, we found out that though we received Booking.com‘s confirmation, it was not the case for the owner. So we didn’t have any room. They found us a room for the night and then we came back to stay one more night with them.

What to do:

Musée du Genocide de Tuol Sleng A visit not to miss.

We were both moved by this. I would sometimes go out and just cry. How about the girls? I would ask if they would like to go on or tell them the the images would be shocking and there were some rooms where we didn’t let them visit. When we finished the visit, both of them had a fervent hope that this would not occur anymore.

Food trip in images

Miss Universe 2018

To celebrate Ms. Catriona‘s winning, we went out to eat at this restaurant with wall covered with clients’ drawings. My daughter, Karen, did the one above.

We were at VS Sweet Home,
(our guesthouse, a bit far from the center but our host went his way to make our stay comfortable) when the telecast for Miss Universe was going on.

then it was time to go…

So long, Cambodia!

From Phnom Penh, we took a plane for Bangkok where we’d stay for a night then fly to Manila with my sister-in-law, Zem. Really excited to finally see our relatives.

Thailand

Our ride to Noi Bai International airport was scheduled at 6h and I wondered if the driver would arrive on time. My apprehension came to a halt when the car arrived 5 minutes before. Then, there was traffic but fortunately our driver carefully and easily maneuvered us on the road.

Our plane for Bangkok was at 10h35 and we arrived in Suvarnabhumi Airport after 1h50 hours. From the arrival area,we went down the ground floor where we bought our tickets for  a shuttle bus for Khao San Road. The staff provided us with bottled water and then dropped us off by the road near our accommodation.

We stayed two nights in La Rivetta  before heading to Ko Pha-ngan and on the first night we bought our tickets (train, bus & boat combined).  Our train for Surat Thani was at 19h30.

Night time in Khao San road is so busy and animated. Walking around gave me an exciting vibe plus the fact that we’re few hours away from my country. We’d be seeing more of this, having Bangkok as our stop during our stay in Asia.

Our family met with James, my friend’s son and who is currently staying near Khao San road. We had dinner near our guesthouse, by the street where we were welcomed by an enthusiastic man. Their food was so good and really affordable.

Are we ready?

Our things are always arranged the night before our departure. I make sure that everything’s pack but sometimes there were little things left behind like a cap and this time it was my phone.

I charged it while waiting for our time to take a taxi and kept telling myself that my phone was charging.

Then it was time to go, fortunately there was no traffic and we arrived at  the Hua Lamphong station before 19h. 5 minutes later I have realized that my phone was still charging in the hostel. Panicked then Karen and I took a taxi (150 bht) to get my phone. I asked the taxi to wait for us and would pay him later but he kept telling me “money, money”. After paying him and making sure he understood to wait for us, we hurried out the taxi and recuperate my phone. Then we went back to the station. All along, praying that there would be no traffic. 15 minutes before our train departs, we arrived at the station. Grateful.

Trip to Ko Pha-ngan

Ours were combined tickets (bought from an agency in Khao San road) to Koh Phangan. The train from Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok left at 19h30. After a few minutes the staff started converting our seats to beds. Our girls were excited of the transformation. We had dinner in the train’s dining area, where the windows were all open and bringing in some breeze with the night scenery of the life outside.Then we found out that my husband had made an error on the reservation date for our bungalow in Ko Pha-ngan . He reserved for the following week.


The night in the train was fine though it was so chilly. I have asked the staff if he could lower the AC’s temperature but he might have forgotten about it. Luckily, we have our malong with us and leggings in our backpack, except of course for Carlo.

We arrived early morning in Surat Thani, someone asked we if needed help, our destination and pointed the bus we should take to the pier. It was almost 2 hours of bus ride and at the pier there was a restaurant where they served pad thai and fried rice. (Don’t hesitate to ask for some nam pla pric). Then,we were told to walk up to where the ferry boat for Ko Pha-ngan was docked.

Arriving at Ko Pha-ngan , we were approached by a guy and showed us some flyers. As my husband made an error on our reservation(remember, he made the reservation for the following week), we agreed to see the guesthouse and our taxi cost us 300 bht from the pier to Baan Haad Yao guesthouse. We stayed there for a week and have enjoyed the beach which  is only away from us. The mistake turned out to be a blessing.

A week later, we transferred to our new bungalow in Haad Gruad. There would be intermittent rain during the week,nevertheless, we have enjoyed our stay.

While in Haad Gruad, we went to a nearby beach resort called Salad Beach where we had massage, swam and relaxed. I was able also to exchange one book and we ate in Prung Tip restaurant which is not far from the beach just behind Jack’s bar.

27.11.18  7 minutes before 10h and the car has not arrived yet.  It should be here at 9h and we were supposed to be out and exploring the island. The moral of the story is: Do the business with the main man.

Anyway, after an hour the car arrived and we were able to drive around. We did not take lots of pictures though we had a great time going to a bookshop and eating in the market.

28.11.18 It rained last night. The waves are making their presence felt in front of our bungalow. Erin is reading her book found in a 2nd hand book shop yesterday while Carlo and Karen went to get the laundry. They might pass by 7-11, I was told. Lucie is in her post. Lazily lounging, seems to enjoy the cool morning breeze.

30.11.2018 The car came at 10h45 which left us ample time for our 12h30 departure from Ko Pha-ngan . By 17h30 we were at the pier where a bus would take us to Surat Thani train station.

While the others were boarding the bus, I have told the driver that we’d go to the toilet and he answered: “hurry, hurry.” So with my daughter Karen, we hurried to the toilet but when we get back our bus was nowhere in sight. They left us….We were told to go to the other waiting area, we ran then I hailed the other bus coming our way. Once in the waiting area, a lady told us to take another bus. This one took us and drove for 5 minutes where our bus was waiting for us by the roadside.

While in Bangkok, we stayed again in La Rivetta for two nights and there was a meet up with some families who are also travelling like us. We had a lovely time with the families of Poly,Celine (we met them in Bolivia) and Maxime.

The following day, we decided to go to Lumphini park with Celine and family but taxis would not take us with our proposed fare. Finally one came and our family took it. At the park while waiting for them, we walked around and came upon an activity called “Knowledge in the Park” in the Lumphini Youth Center.

Afterwards, we took the MRT and went to Siam.

Celine’s family was not able to join us that Sunday afternoon, we later found out that they were not able to get any taxi.

03.12.2018 We took the bus for Cambodia.

No *soucis! Only sushi, please!

Tokyo

Japan has always fascinated us. Admiring its culture, food and scenery from afar. That’s why we were thrilled to visit Tokyo and eat tons of sushi (as Erin planned).

While in New Zealand, I have reached out to a Facebook group concerning Japan and realized that it was too late to follow most of the tips given. I was worried.

No, this Nanay was not Japan ready.


We arrived in Tokyo on the first day of November and stayed for three days in Tokyo 2020 hostel.  Our room has a bunk bed for our daughters and a tatami for the adults. There are common bathrooms in every floor and a kitchen downstairs.Laundry service is also available. My husband and I hanged our clothes at the rooftop, all the while enjoying the view. 

During our stay, I would take our two luggage outside our room in the morning as we get ready for our day trip. We were not spoiled with room space here in Tokyo. However, our host,Tom and Kimiko, were very helpful and accommodating. Moreover,we have met  fellow Pinoys in the hostel, making me feel closer to my home country everyday.

We did not purchase JR pass or bought the IC card. No pocket wifi neither. What we did was purchase our tickets every time we’d use the public transportation. With regards to directions, I googled our itinerary  and screened shot everything and use our hostel’s wifi connection. I had some difficulty with Maps.me, so I gave it up entirely.

Of course, we would get lost or even perhaps looked helpless at times,but what fascinated me was- there would always be someone who would offer an unsolicited help EVERY TIME. If and when we were lost, this was a privileged time for me to unlearn my being introvert.


 
While searching for this tower, we chanced upon this bookstore. Do not forget to bring your passport to avail of the VAT.

Sushi course

I was keen for the girls to experience Japan. Knowing our youngest loves sushi, I booked us an Airbnb experience on our 2nd day. I have proposed several activities to Ate K. but she declined. There was no Mangga drawing course.

That night, my heart was bursting with joy as my daughter, Erin and I walked back to the hostel. She was cheerful and appreciative of our experience. For her, Nanay is the best.

Then we got lost. Yet there were  kind hearted souls to help us and language barrier was not a hindrance for them.


In our 2nd day, we took the girls to Legoland and bought a combined tickets for that and Madame Tussauds. At the end of the tour, we all agreed that the Discovery Center was not for their age bracket anymore.

However, we all enjoyed Madame Tussauds. No doubt about that even if Hugh Grant was not there. Anyway, I  found  Victoria B. but some tired dads were sitting next to her while their kids were strutting on the floor, so I just admired her composed figure from afar and promised to see her soon.

After sitting with President Obama and rocking with Madonna, we went back to Shibuya, eager to find this sushi train TripAdvisor has recommended. We found it but not without difficulty, blame it to my map expertise. Anyway, arriving on the 8th floor, the queue was so long. We waited for Carlo to finish his cigarette (yes, smoking room on that floor!) and decided that we would not wait anymore. We went to another resto nearby, disappointed.

After crossing Shibuya for the 2nd time, we went to get our books from the Kinokuniya bookstore. Then took the train at the Shinjuku station.

Nagoya

After 3 days, we took the Shikansen for Nagoya. I have booked our accommodation thru Airbnb.

We also planned to meet my college friend,Myra. We became friends during our freshman year along with 5 other girls.

She came bearing gifts of matcha tea, noris, a casserole pan and other Japanese goodies. Well, the pan..we bought some rice and I asked her if she could lend us one from her home.

It was an emotional reunion. The night was not enough for both of us,there were so many stories to be shared and reminisced. So the following night we had drinks and I spent the night with her and her family. She also joined us in our mini exploration of the city.

During our last night in Nagoya, she treated us for our long awaited sushi train dinner.

The next day, our tribe had a quick afternoon visit to the Atsuta Jingu shrine.

After Nagoya, we went back to Tokyo. We have booked at the Relief Premium hotel for the night.

In Keikyū Kamata Station, we discovered Ota City Tourist Center while trying to figure out how to go to our hotel.


The friendly staff, pointed us to the right direction and offered some activities.  A few minutes after settling in our hotel,we went back to the tourist office and the four of us immersed ourselves in folding, cutting and sticking beautiful Japanese papers.

I could stay all afternoon in that center, creating anything.  But after making our origami, Japanese fans and playing the chopstick game (Karen and I won), we went to explore the neighborhood and Daiso. Then walked back to our hotel,pleased with our day &  mesmerized by the night lights.

Love and drama

Everything enthralled us, from the vending machines to 7-11, from our hostel’s  luggage lift to the bathroom. We are in awe!

However,the day would sometimes not go as planned. There would be kids’ drama and helplessness for us, parents. We’d extend our vocal chords then  practiced patience all over again. Yes, we are constantly learning  with our children.

Giving them more love.   Remembering  that a few days back we were told that we were the best parents in this whole wide world . 😉  No voice records for that but they said it anyway  and that’s enough for us. 💖

The following day at 6h in the  morning, we were on our way to the airport. Next destination: Hanoi, Vietnam.

*worries

In the land of parilla and chimichurri

Jujuy to Salta

Everyone was getting off the bus, while someone was shouting Jujuy! So, we went down as well. The drivers knew we were going to Salta but did not take us to the new bus terminal.  I asked a man for direction but he said that the terminal was 1 km  and he indicated a bus which would take us to the Nuevo terminal. And yes, we were glad to take the bus.

We took the Salta bound bus at 15h30 and arrived after 2.5 hours. We had sandwiches while we waited for the departure.

I was amazed by the Nuevo terminal and its buses. A far cry from the buses, we used to take when I was a small girl.

13.10.2018 We have booked two nights in a hostel called Gaucho Backpacker Inn. There’s a kitchen and shared CR and bathrooms.

It was a bit difficult find a money exchange being Saturday. Most ATMs charge fee which would make one cringe in disbelief. We also forget that from 12h30 up to 16h or even 17h the shops are closed.

We found a restaurant called La Fogata. We were famished and so ate almost all the bread served to us before the main course. This was a big mistake. 😉 given the  hefty portion of the parillada for 2 that we shared. Good service, by the way. The lady even served a small portion of fries for the girls.

14.10.2018  7 am We had a long night. Our neighbor partied from 23h last night and the music is still on. It felt like I partied the night away minus the apéro.

Before midday, we returned to the center and  visited the museum near the plaza 9 de Julio. We were not able to visit the one in Arequipa so this time I have insisted on going.  It was an interesting one but left me feeling uneasy and disturbed.

Our bus for Corrientes was at 17h. During one of the check points around 22h, IDs were checked and some passengers were asked to open their suitcases.Ours being one of them. Unfortunately, two passengers were carrying an important amount of money and interrogation process lasted  until half past midnight.

15-16. 10.2018  Corrientes  We booked in a hostel for one night and  arrived at around 10h in the morning, the day where there was a féria and almost everything was closed. Still craving  for some parillada, we found a resto which serves a buffet lunch but not as good as the one we had in Salta.

In the evening, we joined the rest of the residents in the Camba Cuá park for the féria.

In the morning of our departure, we walked along Parana River in Punta San Sebastián. We ended up in a small restaurant where we waited almost an hour to be served. Why we stayed? One has to pay the order first. So along with 6 or so people ahead of us, we waited for ages and could not do anything other than wait.Verdict? Not worth the wait.

Our bus for Iguazu was scheduled at 21h30. Anna Lia, the staff of the hostel let us stayed in the girls’ room until 16h as we vacated our own room at around 10h. Having known that we’re leaving late, she agreed that we leave our bags till 20h30.So with a few hours to spare before our night bus, the fambam went malling.

For someone who doesn’t like the AC, remember to bring a sweater 😉 It could get too chilly inside the mall. And bring a book or something to read while the others dance battle.

video-1540974177

Corrientes to Puerto Iguazu

  • Bus company : Rio Uruguay
  • ticket price : 1055.-/ per person (no discount for the girls)

17-19.2018 We arrived in Iguazu at 6h40  and headed to a bakery shop near the terminal. We planned to stay for 3 days then head to Uruguay. Afterwards,  back to Buenos Aires where we would take the plane for New Zealand.

We planned  to see the falls on the 2nd day of our stay here. Unfortunately, it was raining but we went ahead anyway.

The next day was sunny and was a good day to return to finish the tour in Iguazú falls but our shoes were all wet. And no one has the strength to go back after our rainy trip.

My quest for chimichurri

What I found was not the chimichurri I’ve hope for, a bit disappointed so will just stick to my version.

Next is our trip to Uruguay…

Bolivia with the kids: Copacabana to Cochabamba by bus

sunset in Copacabana,Bolivia

Puno to Copacabana

We have stayed one night in Puno and in the morning our host has organized a tour of floating islands for our family for 100 soles.  Our guide fetched us around 9h and continued collecting 4 more groups of tourist. The tour lasted until after midday. My eldest daughter, Karen, has written about it in here.  The tour lasted up till after midday.

24.09.18  Our bus for Copacabana was at 14h. Was not able to have lunch but bought some snack for the trip. I was hoping to mail our Peru postcards but there was no mailbox in the bus terminal and the woman who sold us the tickets did not want to take the postcards saying that it would cost her 7 soles to get to town. My lesson learned : to note the address of the recipient before buying the postcard, once stamped, mail it/drop in the buzón before leaving the place/country we are visiting.

After paying the terminal fee, we went to board our bus. The driver gave    forms to sign for our exit from Peru and  entry to Bolivia.

After passing the Peruvian border, we were led to the Bolivian border control where we presented the signed form (filled up everything while the bus was moving!). Photos were taken and passports stamped. Afterwards, half of the form was given back to each of us.

We arrived in Copacabana at 18h30 and entered a café called Café Bistrot Copacabana to get some hot drinks and check our hotel reservation. Unfortunately, our reservation was not approved (we did this while in Puno) and the lady of the café tried to find us a room. We found out that the passengers of the bus we took could have a discount in a hotel nearby. We seized the opportunity. At the night of our arrival, we met a french family(with 2 boys), who is on a 7-month tour. Our children played card games and we had dinner together. The children had a tour of pedal boat in the lake  the following afternoon.

 Our view of the lake is beautiful but we cannot give the same praise to the staff of the hotel and I will not dwell on that issue here. In the course of our 2 day stay, husband resumed with the girls’ lesson. We also shopped for more warm clothes and walked around the town. During the search for stamps,  I found out that there was no post office in Copacabana.

early morning in Copacabana

27.09.18 We left Copacabana and headed for La Paz at 7h. I bought some empanada and brownies  the afternoon before our departure in the bakery  called Pit Stop in Ave.16 de Julio. There were also water and some fruits. We are definitely ready for our bus ride.

At around 8h15 we arrived in San Pedro. Paid 2 Bol/person for a ferry ride  of 10 mins to San Pablo de Tiquina. We took our personal belongings with us and left the baggage in the bus. While waiting for the bus being ferried, Carlo had  coffee while we used the baño. Tip: always have spare change for toilet use. The  driver blew the horn to call out the passengers back to the bus. By 8h45, we were on the road again.

La Paz

We arrived in La Paz ciudad not after 3.5 hours as I was told when buying our tickets but after almost 5 hrs. By 11h30, we were slowly exiting  El Alto. The traffic was awful.

My youngest daughter got sick on our second day here. While she stayed in bed, my husband and my eldest, Karen, took the cable car to see La Paz from above.

29.09.18 Be wary of the traffic when going to the bus terminal. It’s better to be early. Our bus for Cochabamba was at 10h30 but left 15 mins after because two passengers did not show up on time. Arriving at El Alto by 11h20, the bus picked up more passengers.

ticket for  Cochabamba: Bs.25.-/person (semi cama)


The Bolivian valleys are beautiful. Once passing Patacamaya, something caught my eyes. Plastic bags in the air being carried by the wind. In one setting, there was a man standing in his field, flock of sheeps and plastic bags around. This breaks my heart.

At 18h, our bus suddenly stopped for some repair. Smoke was coming out from underneath. After 10 mins we were ready to drive again. There was still 2h30 hours before we reach Cochabamba.

Cochabamba

It was already dark when we arrived and found our room in calle Colombia. Being Sunday the next day, almost all the lavanderias were closed. I found one in calle Anecito Arce. My youngest was still sick  and it was at this time that we decided to skip Torotoro National Park and go to Sucre instead ahead of our schedule. So aside from grocery shopping, eating out and doing our laundry,the whole family had a lazy Sunday. And being lazy means catching up on my book reading. Hopefully I can have it exchange in Sucre.

01.10.18 Monday morning, we let the children sleep while my husband went out to buy some fruits and mail my long overdue Peru postcards. Our surrounding is more animated. It was after breakfast that we went to the bus terminal to get our bus tickets for 20h30 bus for Sucre.  As I finish this post, the three are taking a walk and then we’re off to a 9-10 bus ride tonight.

And yes, Erin, who lost weight, is back to her old self after 3 days of being sick. ❤



Bus through Peru with children

Our family’s 3 week Peru adventure

on our way to Arequipa

We have started our journey in Peru on the 9th of September and left on the 24th . We had a total of 3 weeks in exploring this wonderful country. Leaving our family in awe of its architecture, ruins, arts and its people.

Entering Peru

Buying  bus tickets with passports at hand is very important. Carlo bought ours the day before. Our bus was at 14h and we were at the Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil before 13h, had a quick lunch in the food court and went up to our designated terminal number half an hour before departure. Pictures were taken before boarding and filmed while in the bus before leaving. Crossing the boarder went smoothly with the whole family.

Our itinerary: Mancora-Trujillo-Huanchaco-Lima-Arequipa- Cusco-Puno

We have taken overnight buses. Mostly Cruz del Sur and  Oltursa. We tried Primavera when leaving Mancora. I like Cruz del Sur but the rest of the family prefers Oltursa.

Overnight buses were our preference due to the fact that our youngest daughter, Erin, has travel sickness. Instead of taking medication, she opted for small bags and wet tissues. She was not either a fan of bus meals. Preferring to watch a movie, for the nth time or merely slept during the whole travel.  Karen,on the other hand, has gotten used to the comfort of personal screen of the bus and started drinking hot tea during the trip.

We  usually reserved our room a day or two before our arrival, taking in the feel of the town we were in or when. This might not work for everyone but it did for us. Our maximum stay was 5 days. We usually chose a hostal with a kitchen. If there was none,  then we’d eat out and  it would be  menu of the day, which sometimes one of the girls did not approve of. There the drama begun and the power of persuasion followed.

Experience has taught us that the girls should order one meal. There were few occasions that they were not able to finish their food. Sometimes the portion was too big for each of them and it was really unfortunate to leave a half-eaten plate. Yes, we did doggy-bags and we tried to eat their rest if we could. However, given our lesson learned, we only ordered 3 meals and shared between the four of us.

Staying in a place for a day and taking an overnight bus afterwards required an adventurous mind, energy, and lots of coffee. Of course, it  was easy to unpack and pack clothes but there were moments where I would like us to have a grasse matinée.

Given the quantity of our clothes, we lasted 3 days without doing our laundry. We did twice in Huanchaco then waited till we were in Cusco.  And of course,  who’s first in taking a shower was always an issue between our girls, just like at home.


Nevertheless, we compensated on afternoon naps so that everyone, especially the girls could rest and parents could recharge, ready to face another day of adventure.

my girls and I in Machu Picchu

Three weeks in Peru were not always  bed of roses. There were walk-out, tantrums and arguments. Nevertheless, there were also lemonade and pisco sour. Yes, life is beautiful.