On vacation with Steven in Peru
The last 3 weeks Steven Vrebos, a friend from Belgium is joining me. Together we are doing some pure tourism. I arranged a vast scedule of organised visites, through the highlites of Peruvian tourism.
I picked Steven up at the airport of Lima. From there he had a long busride from +- 18 hours to get to Arequipa. There we visited the Colca Canion. A canion with lot's of remainings from the ancient Peruvian cultures, thousands of terraces on the hillsides for agriculture, some beautifull old villages and places where the condors fly really close so you can observe theme well. But this is a different kind of tourisme. Hundreds of people doing the same trip, making the same pictures. They attract the condors by placing carcasses with rotting meat. So they fly unnaturally close to the people.
Back in Arequipa, we visit the city with it's beautiful old parts, magnificant monastries and lot's of antiek shops. I almost bought a door knocker 'The hand of Fatima'.
From Arequipa we went to Puno the city that gives access to the lake Titi caca. Which lays at the border between Peru and Bolivia. We did a 2 day trip on the lake. Taking a boat to the floating islands made of straw. The in deginous people still live in the traditional way. Thanks to tourism and fishing for selling in Puno.
Every 25 years they have to construct a new island and move their houses.
Later we went to real island, Amantani, where we stayed overnight. We where hosted by local families, where they cooked traditional food for us. We went to visit the Pacha Mama temple on the highest point of the island and made a wish.
In the afternoon we helped some local men to make adobe bricks for constructing new houses. These bricks are made from earth, water and straw.
From Puno we rushed on to Cusco. We took a cheap nightbus with a lot of locals. In the morning we arrive in Cusco and discover that Steven camera has been stolen. But impossible to find it back or find the thieve because the bus stopped at least 20 times at night to let local people in or out... In the hill's next to Cusco we visited some archeological sites without paying. If you entre through the exit or you climb the hill's next to the tourist sites you can see everything for free.
From Cusco we went on a 4 day Jungletrail to Machu Picchu. The first day we arrived high in the mountains to do some 'downhill' cycling. Then we walked 2 days in beautifull nature towards Aguas Calientes the city next to Machu Picchu.
The 4th day we woke up at 4 AM to klim the mountain to the entrance of the ruines, to arrive there at sunrise. After having 30 min. of explanation on the site, Steven and me we climed the Wayna Picchu mountain untill the temple of the sun on top of it. From here you've got a wonderfull view on the whole site of Machu Picchu.
At night we had a train and minibus back to Cusco arriving very late, tired and shaked.
After these 3 tours (Colca Canion, Lake Titi Caca and Machu Picchu) we finally got some time to chill and enjoy our last days in Peru. Travelling with two people is so different from travelling on your own. On your own you do just the things you feel like and you go straight from one point to another. With two people you take your time, drink a beer and chat a lot enjoying the sun. Things take more time. For me it was a difference like on your own your travelling and always on the move. If you've got compagnie you are suddenly more in a vacationmood and you enjoy things different. And with two you're more mischievous, but that's so much fun!
Later we passed at Curahuasi the village where I did my volunteering to visit the volunteers. We saw the school children practising marching and playing in their marching band. Because on sunday the 28th of July, the day we have our flight back to Belgium, it's the national independantsday of Peru.
On to Abancay, the capital of the Apurimac region, to hike through the Sanctuario National de Ampay.
The next day we arrived to the city of Ica, with his famous sanddunes of Huacachina. It's nice to climb the dunes, but don't stay there to long because it's a real tourist-trap. One afternoon is way enough.
And then our last destination in Peru: Lima.
Most of the time Lima is clouded by smog, and there's not so much to see or do. In the historic centre, La Victoria, there's the convento de San Francisco, where you can visit the tumbes where the former people from Lima where burried. You can see thousands of bones and skull's. And there are lot's of old paintings. 'The last supper' by a painter from Mechelen (= Flanders, Belgium) and the paintings of the crucifiction painted by Rubens and his students.
And then my six months in Latin-America where over...
Last pictures of this wonderfull and rich experience:
Our hostel, 'L'auberge Espagnol'
The Colca Canion
Gringo's having fun!
A pink flamingo
Lake Titi Caca
The floating islands
Making adobe bricks on the Amantani Island
Creative recycling, shoe versus door hinge.
Saqsaywoman, free tourism
Jungletrail to Machu Picchu
The 'Sexy Llamas' preparing for the trip.
Steve and me
A long way to go...
Our guide in a small Coca field,
local people chew this hole days to keep working without hunger or thurst.
You kneed at least 5kg of this and a lot of chemicals to make cocaïne.
Easy roads and tracks for advanced hikers
The last Inka Emperor.
Machu Picchiquetito from the Wayna Picchu.
The busstation in cusco
Children preparing for independenceday
Ruines next to Abancay
Thanks for watching, next episode coming soon...