Tag Archives: exploring

Exploring Arequipa

Exploring for me is gathering the essence of a place, this includes places that some people may find irritating, annoying or not worth seeing. Well, I am here to experience the world in all its diversity and nuances. Here I provide you with my best shots from exploring the Peruvian town Arequipa – one of my favorite places of the world.

The fences of the neighourhood

The fences of the neighourhood

Spiked walls for security

Spiked walls for security

In my first days in PerĂº I was quite disturbed about seeing a lot of spikes, fence and barb wires. Now I think it looks worse than it is. Here are some impression right from the road about Peruvian security measures. In Peruvian towns it is common that certain areas are locked during certain times, usually these areas are also guarded. I never experienced any problems, although it can be quite irritating if you see it the first time.

Bridge Crossing

Bridge Crossing

The Eiffel bridge oneway today

The Eiffel bridge oneway today

If this bridge looks familiar this might be due to the fact that this was built by Eiffel – yeah the same guy who built the huge tower in Paris also known as Eiffel Tower ;). This bridge is really interesting, it is really long. Yet, nowadays it is kinda funny and maybe a bit unpractical. From far away it looks really impressive – and it still is – but when you stand on it and realize that it is one way for cars, well yeah… not that practical. They view from there is great, I could take pictures of housing areas I usually would not dare to walk into.

Working Peasants

Working Peasants

I also discovered some peasants working near the roads, they had a cute dog “watching” the area. I really liked this sideroad. The first time I went down it, I was a bit scarred and then there appeared several eagles. Later on I discoverted the peasants and could take some of my favorites shots.

Men at Work

Men at Work

Later on I headed back into more urban areas. There I found a large road, which I had to follow. From a bridge a saw a repair shop. They took care of a police car, as you can see from the picture the police is armoured. I took some shots of the workers to capture such an authentic situation first hand. Then they registered me and began waving friendly, hence I took some more shots. I prefer honoring the hard-working people with my time and attention, than museums or statues.

After I went along the large road up on a hill, I discovered that this was one of the local breweries.

Here is a video with more photos from Arequipa:

For further information about Arequipa and Peru, I can highly recommend the following book: the Lonely Planet – Peru.

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Photo: Arequipa off the (tourist) road

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Photo: Arequipa, Peru I did it again. I wandered off the usual tourist areas while exploring the area around my youth hostel. Bookmark It Hide Sites

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Photo: Peruvian Taxi Driver washing his Car

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Photo: Arequipa, Peru During my exploration of the other side of the river in Arequipa (Peru), I found out where and how the taxi drivers wash their cars. I was somehow surprised, yet how else should they wash their cars? … Continue reading

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Raiding the Trains in Cordoba

we are in - taking a look at the nearby buildings

On one of my exploring trips through Cordoba I found a place with old trains, I saw and I knew “I want get in there” :) Luckily a few days later my friend Thomas visited me, before heading to his internship in Colombia. Hence, we took our new clothes, cameras and some stuff with us and headed to the “train cemetery” (later we found out that his was actually the part of an active train station…).

When we arrived there, we saw a wall before us, well it was definitely made to keep small animals out, because it was too low for us…

Moving on - Thomas leading the way
Hence, we were in :) running around the place exploring it and of course posing around. Beware, in these areas it may be common that “homeless” people live. After doing photos for a few hours, we began moving on. While walking along the rails, we realized that this wasn’t a train cemetery, it was the inactive area of a large train station. Hence, he headed towards the station platform. As we reach the platform and want to leave the station, we are approached by two policemen (note: I thought these guys were from the military, since their uniforms were green and the equipment look more army than police like). Now we learned something interesting ;) in Argentina you need a ticket to enter the platform, well since we left anyway, it was no problem at all. Thomas charme and persuasive skills were quite practical too.

Here is a video & gallery with more photos from our little adventure, enjoy! For questions and feedback drop me us comment or mail!

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Exploring – Discovering the Nature of a Place

One of my favorite acitivities is “exploring”. Basically, I take a camera and a map, then I head down the road from the place I stay. I take a look, which direction looks promising and then I start walking, looking and ENJOYING. At every corner and crossroad I listen to my hunches if I wanna go somewhere else or might this be good occassion for a great picture? Time to explore that store? Find out what this building over there is? The freedom to choose. Just to it! (A word of caution beware of too dangerous places. I only had one more or less dangerous situation, but I got out of it without a sratch or giving away a penny.)

This approach is one of the most natural ways to create an immunity against the dangerous backpacker disease called Monumentitis ;)

Monumentitis (n.) the condition caused by repeated exposure to the cultural and historical artifacts of a place one is visiting; usually accompanied by sore feet, sweaty armpits, and a generally unpleasant attitude.

It is amazing what you can learn on such a trip about a district, city or even country. No guide, no pre-canned lines, no tourist areas, just real life, real people and real situations. I love to get hands on the “real thing”, for me culture is not about museums, famous monuments or historic places. It is about the behavior and customs of everyone around. How do you give tip in Peru? Is it “ok” to bring friends to party in Argentina without asking? Where are the rich parts of the town? Where do the taxi drivers wash their cars? etc. etc.

When I am tired or finished I take out the map and try to find my way home or just call a taxi. Also I recommend to ask some experienced people, which places are safe. Yet, I often landed in not so safe places anyway, but I am pretty cautious and high alert.

Stuff to bring:

  • map + address of your residence
  • camera (for me this is crucial cause I take a closer look, if I am on photo tour)
  • water and maybe some food

I also used this “technique” i my hometown. is also applyable to your own hometown! I tried it out, it’s great!

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