Published: March 25th 2012March 25th 2012
Sorry about the lack of blogging, it's been non stop and we're covered an enormous amount of ground the last few weeks and haven't had a chance to stop.
The journey from La Paz to Copacabana was an interesting one, it cost us 1 pound 50p each to travel for 4 hours along muddy uneven roads surrounded by locals. On the jounrney we had to catch a small boat over part of the lake to get to the other side.
On our first full day in Copacabana we took a day trip out on the lake to visit Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) we took a slow boat to the island which lasted about 2 hours. We were dropped off at the North end of the island and were given two options, the first was to just explore the North of the Island and travel back 2 hours later or trek to the South side of the Island and catch the evening boat back to the mainland - we opted for the trek but little did we know that it would be 8km mostly uphill and considering we were still at an altitude
of 3500m above sea level the task was made even more difficult. However, we were really pleased we did it as the views were stunning and on reflection we actually really enjoyed the walk.
We had booked an overnight bus to Cusco which was set to depart at 6:30pm so we spent the day exploring the town and visited its amazing Cathederal where we lit candles for all our family. However, our day didn't go to plan as our bus was cancelled due to strikes over the border into Peru, we were advised to stay another night in Copacaban rather than to attempt the journey at night.
We got up early and luckily we were able to squeeze onto an already full bus set to depart for Cusco (literally as Josh had to sit at the front of the bus with the driver). We crossed the border into Peru absolutely fine, but 10 minutes into Peru is where out problems started. People had placed large rocks across the road stopping motor vehicles from continuing, as a result we all offloaded from the bus and ourselves and roughly 50 other backpakcers had to walk for
2 hours in the blazing sunshine with all our luggage. Somehow, we managed it (leading the group for most of the time) even though jess had blisters on the soles of her feet by the end of it. After nearly 10km a bus was waiting for us at the next town to continue us on our journey. We had to switch buses twice as one of them broke down and after 15 hours travelling and one of the worst days we have experienced, we arrived in the beautiful town of Cusco around 10pm, shattered, hungry and thoroughly cheesed off!
We began our Machu Picchu tour package, the first day consisting of exploring Cusco and it's wonderful architecture.
We were picked up at 6am and transfered to the bus station, from where we were taken to the train station and caught a train which lasted an hour and a half up to Machu Picchu. The views were incredible as this is known as one of the most scenic train rides in the world. We were then met at the top by our tour guide who took us around the Machu Picchu site, we were extremely
lucky with the weather as we had spoken to other travellers previously who had only experienced rain on their visit, however for us it was dry and the sun was shining for most of the day. On the tour we learned lots about the Inca process of constructing towns such as Machu Picchu, how the people would have lived their lives and also the mystery surrounding Mach Picchu. It was never discovered by the Spanish, therefore still completely intact and only discovered 100 years ago in 1911 by an American explorer Hiram Bingham but it was found deserted, and no one is sure when it was abandonded and for what reasons.
After hours exploring the site it began to rain but we were happy to leave because we had spent a really great day there. We caught the bus back down the winding roads to the nearest town about 25 minutes away called Aquas Calientes, where we spend the night.
12/3/12 - 15/3/12
We really enjoyed our time in Cusco, we explored the Inca Museum, the Temple of Gold and the food and crafts markets around the city. We also spent a day white water rafting which
was great fun and we were absoluetly shattered by the end of it! Before we left Cusco we thought we would reward ourselves with a massage as it was only 5pounds for an hour!
16/3/12 - 17/3/12
We had travelled overnight from Cusco to Arequipa which is the second biggest city in Peru and based in the south near the Chilean border. Here we spend St Patricks day in a irish themed hostel, watching England beat Ireland at rugby with a load of Irish ex-pats who worked at the hostel! We explored the city, which had a lovely square similar to most south american cities we have been to.
18/3/12 - 19/3/12
We spent mothers day travelling down through Peru and into Chile, where we weres stopped and searched numerous times, when we finally arrived in San Pedro de Atacama at 9am the following day. San Pedro is a really quiet, laid back, dusty town in the Chilean desert, perfect for enjoying the warmth and relaxing after a stressful 24 hours of travelling. We had travelled the journey with a German girl and a Greek guy we had met and it was nice to have some
different company and conversation (especially as they were both fluent in spanish!)
From here we booked onto a 3 day tour of the salt flats in Bolivia (see next blog) which was easily one of our highlights of the trip so far!
Hope everyone is well back at home and enjoying the nice weather we hear!
J & J xxxx
There are more photos below