Peru: Huaca del Sol y de la Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon)

Peru: Huaca del Sol y de la Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon)

I had been in two minds whether to go by public transport or pay the extra and just catch a taxi. If you are stretched for time then I recommend going on a tour - it will save you the hassle and stress of trying to get there. However, if like me and you are up for an adventure, then have your coins handy and go by combi. If you don’t want to book a tour online, head to Plaza de Armas and walk around looking for “tours” signs on the buildings. They may seem hidden at first because signage in Peru is more subtle, but there are plenty around.

My guest house, D’Barrig, was in the barrio of Monserrate, in the old part of Trujillo. It was a street away from Avenida Costa Rica which turns into Los Incas, one of the major streets that takes you to the historic centre of Trujillo, Plaza de Armas. There are some street signs in Trujillo being a small city, which helped me to get my bearings. I did find this post by Unpaved South America handy.

The van dropped us off at the entrance of Huacas de Moche, the museum and ticket booth. Entrance to Huaca de la Luna is 10 soles and 5 soles for the museum - although I was only charged 3 soles because either I looked like a University student or Peruvian. It’s worth visiting the museum before going to the temples as it does have English translations and a brief history of the people and the site.



Coastal Kayaking Adventure With
KG Kayaks

Coastal Kayaking Adventure With <br>KG Kayaks

A moonlight kayaking tour with KG Kayaks was my introduction to ocean kayaking two years ago. Since then, I have been out on Ohiwa Harbour to check out the little islands - which make great picnic spots by the way! Most recently, I joined him on the Whale Island tour - where we encountered some decent swells due to the Winter months. There was even a curious seal pup swimming alongside us for part of the trip. This blog post covers an awesome morning exploring the beautiful coastline between West End in Ohope and Whakatane.

It’s only been a couple of weeks of New Zealand’s Spring and I officially have a tan line thanks to this adventure. Kenny McCracken, from KG Kayaks, was already unloading the kayaks at West End when I pulled into the car park. His good friend, Jim Robinson of Motu Trails, made up the trio on this morning trip. Both are experienced kayakers so I knew I was in safe hands, besides, we had picked a beautiful day to be out on the water (read ‘very little chance of me falling in’).



Escape To The Beautiful Karaponga Reserve

Escape To The Beautiful Karaponga Reserve

Bill Clark and I go way back to my musical theatre days - he is indeed a man of many talents and passions. Today he is my guide to what he describes as the Onepu Project, a collective of activities and experiences in a village just 20 minutes from Whakatane. It’s a place us Eastern Bay locals should know about, or maybe we do and don’t use because of the perceived inconvenience of getting out there. Some people in cities sit in traffic longer every day, I feel pretty lucky to be living here.

I had stumbled upon the Karaponga Reserve when I bumped into a local walking her dog at the Onepu MTB Park. She saw that I was interested in photography and said that the waterfall and hydro-dam walks were a must, especially since they were just down the road. For dog lovers, the Karaponga Reserve is dog friendly. Bill’s dog Lucy took great joy leading us to the waterfall, and I could tell she had been here many times before.

After my morning walk at Karaponga, I’m excited to see this place as it develops over the coming years. Development doesn’t have to have the dirty connotation of commercial agendas - for I see Onepu’s activities enrich our appreciation of the natural beauty of the outdoors. This will require ongoing education and respect of this place. Public spaces - be it urban or rural, require the patience and passions of locals to maintain its beauty and culture.



Kayaking Whale Island

Kayaking Whale Island

Rain jackets with hoods up sums up a January summer in New Zealand these last few years. We had a big storm just a couple of days ago, so I knew the water would still be a mucky soup of driftwood, but the rain stayed with us as we kayaked around Whale Island.

Whale Island (Moutohora) is a dormant volcano (although there are active fumaroles) about 9km offshore from my hometown of Whakatane. It is currently a Department of Conservation Nature Reserve, and landing on the island is by special permit only and subject to strict quarantine conditions. Owner and operator of KG Kayaks, Kenny McCracken, is allowed to land on the island, and the tour includes landing on a couple of beaches, which includes Hot Water Beach on Onepu/Sulphur Bay.