Previously KNOT JUST PICS. Same shit, different name.

Peru – Cusco back to Santa Cruz

Cusco was our last stop in Peru and we left it til last so that we would be there over Christmas, which we had heard is phenomenal. We arrived in Cusco late on Christmas Eve straight from Macchu Picchu and got into town as soon as we could. Quite uncharacteristically, we left our cameras in our room. We thought (for once) it may be nice to just experience events without our cameras, I only kinda think we were right. We eventually found our way into central Cusco around midnight and were met with a carnival atmosphere unlike anything we had experienced! Markets were set up all over the place, people were letting off crackers and fireworks everywhere and others were carrying baskets with little “Made in China” baby jesus dolls to get blessed during the church service. Religion is something that fascinates us so we spent some of our evening at the Catholic Midnight Mass in the main church on the Plaze de Armas before returning to the very traditional festivities taking place outside.

Luckily for us, Christmas Day in Cusco is as much as a party and we were lucky enough to see the street parades of people dressed in their traditional clothing which was definitely a highlight for me. After this we spent 3 days exploring this beautiful Incan capital.

We then flew back to Santa Cruz in Bolivia (not before being harassed at the Bolivian border AGAIN). Santa Cruz was unlike any Bolivian city we had visited as it was very cosmopolitan, and dare I say it, advanced. As it is right on the edge of the rain forest and the altitude is low, the climate is hot and humid, much like the weather in Durban. People were a lot more relaxed and casual here compared to in the other parts of Bolivia we had visited.

This posts starts with the pictures of the Christmas Day parade through the Plaza de Armas.

 

Cusco-1 Cusco-2 Cusco-3 Cusco-4 Cusco-5 Cusco-6 Cusco-7 Cusco-8 Cusco-9 Cusco-10 Cusco-11 Cusco-12 Cusco-13 Cusco-14 Cusco-15 Cusco-16 Cusco-17 Cusco-18 Cusco-19 Cusco-20 Cusco-21 Cusco-22 Cusco-23 Cusco-24 Cusco-25 Cusco-26 Cusco-27 Cusco-28 Cusco-29 Cusco-30 Cusco-31 Cusco-32 Cusco-33 Cusco-34 Cusco-36 Cusco-37 Cusco-38 Cusco-39 Cusco-40 The Church of la Compañía de Jesus. The main church in the square. What makes the Cusco Plaza famous is that it is supposedly the only Plaza in the world with 2 churches on it. Cusco-41 Cusco-42 Cusco-43 Cusco-44 San Blas is the arty suburb just up the hill from central Cusco, it is a truly beautiful and quirky part of time we ended up spending a lot of time in. It is also nice and quiet as many of the roads are too narrow for cars. Cusco-45 Cusco-46 Cusco-47 Cusco-48 Cusco-49 View of Cusco from the San Blas suburb. Cusco-50 Cusco-51 Cusco-52 Cusco-53 Cusco-54 Cusco-55 Some of the finest examples of Incan walls can still be found in Cusco. A lot of the walls were unfortunately destroyed by the good old Spanish, but there are places where pieces of the walls are still visible. Cusco-56 Cusco-57 Cusco-58 Cusco-59 Cusco-60 Cusco-61 Cusco-62 Cusco-63 Cusco-64 Cusco-65 Cusco-66 Ancient walls and modern glass juxtaposed. This wall pretty much sums Cusco up,  steeped in history yet modern and functional. Cusco-67 Cusco-68 Cusco-69 Cusco-70 Cusco-71 Cusco-72 Cusco-73 The ruins of Saksaywaman, the original 11th C Incan city now located on the outskirts of Cusco. The city was destroyed by the Spanish when they conquered Cusco.Cusco-74 Cusco-75 Cusco-76 Cusco-77 Cusco-78 Cusco-79 Cusco-81 Cusco-82 Cusco-83 Cusco-84 Cusco-85 Cusco-86 Cusco-87 Cusco-88 Cusco-89 Cusco-90 Cusco-91 Cusco-92 Cusco-93 Cusco-94 Cusco-95 Cusco-96 Choclo con Queso, or corn and cheese was probably the most delicious road side food we found. The cheese is home made, creamy and almost squeaky in texture.  Cusco-97 Cusco-99  On our last night in Cusco we saw a couple shoot for a wedding in the Plaza de Armas. It was such a lovely reminder of the universality of love <3 Cusco-100 Cusco-101 Cusco-102 We left cold and rainy Cusco and landed in hot and humid Santa Cruz. Bolivia is a pretty mountainous country so we were pretty surprised at how flat and open Santa Cruz was. Santa Cruz was so different from the other parts of Bolivia we saw. It was far more laid back and there was a fantastic leisurely feel to it. We hung out at the centre of town eating ice-cream and hanging out in the park with the locals. It has such a tropical feel to it its hard to believe it is not near the coast as we felt like we were on the Durban promenade in the height of February heat! It was awesome just hanging out and watching how the locals enjoy their Christmas holidays.SantaCruz-1 SantaCruz-2 SantaCruz-3 SantaCruz-4 SantaCruz-5 SantaCruz-6 SantaCruz-7 SantaCruz-8 SantaCruz-9 SantaCruz-10 SantaCruz-11 SantaCruz-12 SantaCruz-13 SantaCruz-14 SantaCruz-15 SantaCruz-16 SantaCruz-17 SantaCruz-18 SantaCruz-19 SantaCruz-20 SantaCruz-21 SantaCruz-22 SantaCruz-23 SantaCruz-24 SantaCruz-25 SantaCruz-26 SantaCruz-27 SantaCruz-28 SantaCruz-29 SantaCruz-30 SantaCruz-31 SantaCruz-32 We stayed in a gorgeous and quirky Boutique Hotel in Santa Cruz called Casa Patio as we wanted to spoil ourselves to an awesome arty home. This place was really awesome and a nice change from the hostels we had been staying at.SantaCruz-33 SantaCruz-34 SantaCruz-35 SantaCruz-36 SantaCruz-37 SantaCruz-38 SantaCruz-39 SantaCruz-40 SantaCruz-41 SantaCruz-42 SantaCruz-43

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Andy & Szerdi on Instagram

  • So keeping with the happy vibes ☺️ Oliver’s  face at seeing Sarah for the first time is everything 😍
  • Can I still just post happy people for a while?
  • We’re both still pretty miz after losing our little fur boy a couple days ago. So these super happy brides are mostly for me, but also for you if you need something to whack a smile on your face too.
  • A cheesey ass pic for a cheesey as hell day of the year. We’ve never been valentine people, preferring to honour our relationship on our anniversaries and other significant dates, but the older (and less jaded?!) I get, I realize there is no harm in celebrating your person and your relationship every chance you get. This doesn’t mean we are suddenly going to squeeze into a restaurant tonight crammed with tables for twos, or get some made in China synthetic teddy bear holding an “I love you” heart. But I am going to hug my person extra tight and remind them that they mean the world to me and life with them is the best thing ever 💜
  • Yesterday we unexpectedly lost this angel ruby eyed boy. We always knew bunnies were very delicate souls, but Doug and his brother have been through being rescued from horrific conditions before eventually ending up with us. We watched them gradually lose their timidness and grow into two wonderful quirky little guys. He’s the bun that made me fall in love with Rabbits. Both of us and his husbun Mike are super heartbroken at this unexepected loss just a couple months short of their 7th birthday.
  • Spontaneous hand kisses always make me weak at the knees ☺️
  • A love like this 💜
  • Run away veils, much better than run away brides ☺️
  • A lot of wedding blogs, Pinterest lists and photographers will suggest on your wedding day that you book into a nice hotel room, make sure there is no clutter (eeeek god forbid there is some signs of the day that’s been happening in the background!) and lots of natural light.  We tend to approach it kind of differently... get ready in a comfortable environment, don’t send your bridesmaids rushing to clear any sign of real life from behind you, and rather let your surroundings be part of the story of your day. I absolutely adore that Katie got ready in her childhood home, here you can see her sisters getting ready in one of their rooms which was covered in memories of their lives, which seems kinda perfect.
  • Carrying on from my previous post about the special place we get to occupy on a wedding day, these special and intimate moments abound if you just take the step back necessary to be witness to them. Claudia’s dad came in to see her once she was dressed, and while its easy to only see the enormity of the moment between them, when I stepped back and saw the overwhelming pride and love on her mum’s face, I knew I had to capture the bigger story.
  • Hands down one of my favourite parts of a wedding is watching the bride share her morning with her closest and most special people.  What an honour it is that I, an almost complete stranger get to be in this sacred space with them, and they trust me enough to be there and capture them honestly and with my whole heart.
  • Katie holds the drawing Colin made of what he thought her dress would look like, and in the background her sister holds her actual dress. Which luckily did not look too much like Colin’s drawing... Are you keeping your wedding outfit a secret from your partner?

We Choose Adventure on Instagram

  • I’ve played guitar and bass for a while and always wanted to try sitar. Had my first lesson today in Varanasi. What an amazing instrument! So different to guitar. I was very shit and my fingers feel like they’ve been manicured with a sword, but I love this thing.
  • Following @the_szerd around temples since 2010.

Our first big overseas adventure was to Nepal, where we got engaged. The travel bug bit hard and it’s been love and magical unicorn farts ever since. Here’s to a trillion more adventures with this person ❤️
  • There’s something beautiful and timeless about a shawl or saree. The Indian woman are such a vibrant contrast to the dusty streets.
  • Up to our eyebrows with hot chai (tea) and hotter curry. #wishyouwerehere #notreally
  • Unbelievable detail carved into these old stone mansions (called “Havelis”) from the 1800s. The one took 55 years to finish! It may take us that long to finish painting our kitchen...
  • Epic views over the small desert city of Jaisalmer in North West India, not far from the Pakistan border. 
First time in this beautiful country. Managed to step in cow shit within the first 2 minutes and dog shit within the first 10. Welcome to India!
  • This weekend exceeded all expectations! 🙌 Sooo many good bands, the friendliest people, and delicious veggie food. The mud and rain even made it a proper English festival experience 🌧 This was our first @downloadfest and we WILL be back! Thank you @the_szerd for enjoying the same noisy music as me and always being my band buddy 😘
  • This summer in Europe has been epic for bands so far! Another one from our “must-see” band list. Alice in Chains 🔥 Definite highlights were this song, Them Bones, and Nutshell, which Jerry Cantrell dedicated to Layne Stayley. Totes emosch 😥 @aliceinchains
  • I played bass for a long time and this man was my bass crush 😍 #justinchancellor was worth every second of the 20 year wait to watch this man play 🙌 ... and I got his plectrum ! That’s getting framed.
  • Tool 🙌 I waited 20 years to see this band and it finally happened last night in Berlin, of all places. They were a massive influence on my own band and were actually one of the reasons @the_szerd and I started dating over 15 years ago. I even played in a Tool tribute band back in the day. Excellent times!
  • People watching from the shade.
  • Exploring the narrow streets and alleyways of Stone Town, Zanzibar. This place reminds us so much of the old part of Jeddah with the African/Arab cross culture and architecture.

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