I have always felt at home in the mountains. Growing up (and to this day) some of my fondest memories revolve around time spent in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. As a result of this inherent connection I thoroughly anticipated our trip to the South American Andes. Although arriving in the rainy season, the misty ambiance added to the mystique and allure surrounding this majestic area. This was particularly true of our visit to Machu Picchu, where watching the mist part while at the top of Wayna Picchu was nothing short of magical. We continued through to the highest navigable lake on Earth, Lake Titicaca to spend a night amongst the locals of Isla de Sol. Our last stop in the highlands was the Bolivian capital of La Paz, an incomparable (and breathtaking – figuratively and literally as the high altitude eats away at your respiratory system) city filled with wonders of all kind. All told, this was an area unlike any other in South America, lacking the conventional beach, suntans, and warmth (at least at this time of year) generally associated with the continent, and providing a glimpse at the stark contrast the people of this mountainous region are exposed to in their daily life.