Tag Archives: travel photography

Coming Soon! A Cuban Summer

Photo Aug 13, 4 52 33 PM

After the rain in Havana, Cuba

Sweet Spot has been MIA!  Life, kids, work, kids, travel, kids…well, you get the picture!  During my hiatus from the blog I have traveled to Spain, Joshua Tree, Los Angeles, New York city – twice, Lake Tahoe, and this summer, to Cuba!  I am looking forward to sharing these adventures in pictures here on Sweet Spot.  So for whoever is interest, stay tuned!



Lima, Peru: CATS Revisited


img_1663Lima was our jump off point both coming and going on our trip to Peru.  Truth be told, we did not leave much time to see things in Lima.  We spent a few hours at the Convent of San Francisco after convincing a tour guide to take us on a private tour of the Catacombs underneath to see the bones…


And spent some time in Centro de Lima at the Hotel Bolivar and area…

img_1658img_1655But mostly, we were obsessed with the “cat park”  in Mira Flores.  Also known as Parque Kennedy.   Now, those who know me know I am partial to cats (good thing my dogs can’t read) – I have always owned them and, well,  I’ve been one. So it seemed only natural to explore the infamous cat park of Mira Flores.

The cat park is a sanctuary for stray cats – not feral, just stray – where they are looked after, protected, sometimes adopted when the population gets too big and loved by all visitors to the park.  In fact we quickly learned, as far as the cats were concerned, if you are in the park you were there to serve…them… in one capacity (providing a lap) or another (providing food). If you sat down anywhere in the park, it wouldn’t be long before you had one, or more visitors.



When a lap was not to be had, they made do with each other…


Or the heat coming up through the sidewalk grate.img_1668And were ecstatic when the “Cat Man” to arrived with food and treats!

img_1660img_1661img_1659We spent time there both coming and going through Lima.  Possibly at the sacrifice of seeing some other things – which I am sure in the cats’ mind, was as it should be.

And with one final photo of this Men’s clothing store mannequin, our trip to South America was complete, for the time being, at least.

img_1654Thus concludes the adventures of our South American Summer.

Next up – A Spanish Fall!

For more on South America: Go Here

For more Sweet Spot Travel: Go Here

Machu Picchu: Getting There and Away


img_0937The “Coup de Gras” of all trips to Peru – getting to Machu Picchu!

While it is much easier than back in the day when the only way to reach Machu Picchu was by hiking the Inca Trail (which can be done – with lots of hand holding tours) – it is still a bit involved. The town at the base of MP, Aguascalientes, is only accessible by train – no cars.  And, the only way to get there by train is to catch from Cusco or Oyantaytambo.

We chose the Oyantaytambo route – mostly because of the multitude of things too see in the drive from Cusco to Oyantaytambo (ruins, salt mines, crop circles, quaint towns, more ruins). But, Oyantaytambo is the end of the line, from the quest to Machu Picchu standpoint…


So, early in the morning, we walked to the train station in Oyantaytambo.


In a market at the entrance to the train station was a woman selling the best coffee in all of Peru (I kid not!) for a few cents.  Had Machu Picchu not been our quest, I believe Teen and I would have gotten back off the train to get another cup.  However, it was not to be – and so we settled in for the beautiful train ride through the canyon of looming mountains – headed towards Aguascalientes.


The trip was beautiful with mountains rising up on both sides of the train, along the canyon river, and ending in the rustic town of Aguascalientes…


And before we did the journey in reverse on yet another train…


We completed our quest and made for Machu Picchu…

img_0929Next: Machu Picchu!

For More on South America: Go Here

For more Sweet Spot Travel: Go Here

Road Tripping in Peru



img_9147One of my favorite things to do in a country is drive.  Of course, I love trains as well,  But, driving allows you to stop at will. You see things that are not in any guide books, or posted on line.  You get the authentic feel of a country, catch unexpected views,  stop at random roadside stands, and see everyday life in towns.

Since as this blog posts, I am on the road again – this time in Spain, I decided to share some of my favorite random photos from driving in Peru.  Mostly in the Sacred Valley.





For More on South America: Go Here

For more Sweet Spot Travel: Go Here

Chinchero, Peru


She’s there.

The town of Chinchero – we were going to skip it.  We had such an ambitious schedule of sightseeing on the day we drove near Chinchero, we were going to go on by.  However, our cab driver, Juan – who was taking us from Cusco to Oyantaytambo – encouraged us to make a stop.  He said the church is unique, we did not want miss it.  Ok, we have seen alot of churches in our day and were dubious about the claim.  However, we hate to think we missed something special.  So…we stopped.

To get to the church involved a walk up hill which, after hiking two ruins already that day, did not thrill the Teens.  But we pressed on up the colorful, quaint streets until we reached the church yard.  The church was an old village church – And what do you know, the man knows his country!  It goes down in my book as not only one of the most beautiful churches I have seen, but also as one of my favorite places in Peru.

Honestly, I am not sure I captured it in pictures – but I tried.

Processed with VSCO with 7 preset

A little Llama shopping.

Processed with VSCO with 4 preset

The market.

Processed with VSCO with wwf preset

The church yard

Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset

The church.

Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset

The beautifully painted ceiling

Processed with VSCO with n1 preset

A little fun.


She’s still there.

Next time: The Ruins of Pisaq

For More on South America: Go Here

For more Sweet Spot Travel: Go Here

Beautiful Cusco and the No Tocar Lady


Planning the next adventure…

Cusco is a stunning city and as it happens, the perfect jump off point for our quest to Machu Picchu! We spent days there both coming and going.  In that time we were able to learn some very pertinent pieces of information about Cusco and Peru.

Like, for instance, Peruvian cats are pretty much the same as cats everywhere as in “Lady, hurry up and take my picture and move on down the &$# road so I can get on with what’s really important… my nap time.

Processed with VSCO with g2 preset

Queen of the market.

As the ever present South American stray dogs, take whatever they can get and sleep wherever they can…


A rest between trash pic ups…

The merchants work and sell in style and technicolor…

Processed with VSCO with 7 preset

Processed with VSCO with wwf presetProcessed with VSCO with g2 preset


Teen became a Chincha drink connoisseur … I think hope the kind without alcohol…

Processed with VSCO with g2 presetThe churches were grand and beautiful so as not to be outdone by the majestic surrounding mountains..

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Santa Monica Monastery


Compania de Jesus

Side Photography Note:  There was a big sign in the way, preventing me from taking this photo symmetrically. Teen pointed out later, the sign said “no foto”.

Processed with VSCO with wwf preset


I like my Jesus in a gold sequined loin cloth…

And unless you want to be boosted for soles for services rendered – as in payment for letting you take their photo with the baby Llamas…

Processed with VSCO with q1 preset

Seriously? I only bribe my kids  and pets to pose for me…

Take the photo from the back…

Processed with VSCO with g2 preset

Be prepared to walk, alot…

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetphoto-jul-29-2-19-55-pm

Catch stunning views everywhere you go…


Oh – and very important!  If you are going to seek out the not to miss, but hard to find 12 sided stone, watch out for the “No Tocar” Lady.  No matter the time of day or night, the minute you get anywhere near the ancient stone, she will leap out of the shadows proclaiming her battle cry of “No Touching!!!!”.  Yeah, well, can’t blame a tourist teen for trying…


So close…

On the chance of any Incan God repercussions, for my non-payment of the Llama girls, unauthorized photos,  and Teens aggressive attempts to spurn No Tocar Lady, we thought it best to move on…

Processed with VSCO with wwf preset

Cusco, Peru

Next – The Ruins of Peru.

For More on South America: Go Here

For more Sweet Spot Travel: Go Here