Page 5 of Still Crazy Travel Blog Posts

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo June 27th 2015

Another early morning! We were on the station by 7.55am to get the train to Ollantaytambo, a small town on the way back to Cuzco. This time we were using Inca rail but it wasn't a patch on the Peru rail we'd travelled up on. We were served with coffee but told to 'hang onto our cups' as the train carriage rocked viciously from side to side, still the great views though, When we reached Olantaytambo station we walked into the town for lunch and spent the afternoon exploring the ruins there. After Machu Picchu though nothing quite compares. We jumped on a collectivo back to Cuzco and then dragged our aching legs back up to San Blas to Dave and Claire's apartment where we collapsed on the bed exhausted. Claire had prepared a very welcoming ... read more
The little Town Sits at the Foot of Yet More Inca Ruins
Colourful Stalls to Tempt the Tourists
Traditional Weaving

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu June 25th 2015

After many years of dreaming of visiting Machu Picchu we are almost there! However we took the easy option of getting there on the train from Cusco rather than the 4 day hike up the Inca trail. The journey here up to Aguas Caliente was amazing. As the train chugged slowly through the valley following the Urubamba river, vast mountains towered above us. The river rushed along tumbling over the rocky bed at great speed. Almost four hours later we arrived in Aguas Caliente, the little town that is the gateway to Machu Picchu. We have two nights here so our plan is to set off early tomorrow to see the sunrise and then explore the site itself. We spent this afternoon exploring the area, shopping in the craft market and visiting a butterfly farm. ... read more
M.P from the Guards House
Stan and I waiting for Sunrise
The sun peeps over the mountain and lights up Huayna Picchu

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley June 23rd 2015

Along with Dave and Claire we caught a collectivo ( mini bus) to the start of a walk down in the sacred valley. The day started off cool but by the time we were walking the sun was out and the temperature rising. We started off along a fairly flat path winding through the homes of the local people and then the climb began. The scenery was spectacular as we got ever higher. Eventually we came to some salt ponds where the local people extract salt from the ground. We were able to walk amongst them, it was fascinating but looked hard back breaking work. After a quick lunch stop we carried on walking to Maras to get the collectivo back to Cusco. Maras was a sleepy little town away from tourism so quite refreshing. Had ... read more
Start of the walk
With Dave
Tiptoeing thru the salt pools

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco June 21st 2015

After a long bus ride all through the night we finally arrived in Cuzco at 7am. Dave was there to meet us at the bus station. After a quick coffee together Dave and Claire showed us around the Plaza De Armes and the local market where they buy all their food. There is going to be a huge parade on Wednesday in the Plaza to celebrate the winter solstice but already there is much preparations and celebrations and it's expected to go on all week. The whole place is buzzing! Later that afternoon we all took a walk up to the Temple of the Moon,a steep walk out of town where we got great views of the surrounding mountains and of Cuzco itself. It felt great to be stretching our legs instead of sitting on buses. ... read more
Narrow streets
View over Cuzco from near Saxy Wayman (Inca ruins)

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon June 20th 2015

The alarm went off at 2.15 am and we dragged ourselves out of bed, by 2.33am we were on the bus to Colca Canyon. After 3 hours we arrived in Chivay for breakfast. From there we stoppped at several small villages and saw local ladies and little children marching around the village square and got asked many times if we wanted to take photos of the children in their brightly coloured costumes. By 11am we were at Colca Canyon itself, the canyon was vast. We had just 40 minutes to spend here so rushed down to the best vantage point to see the condors. After a short wait we saw several huge condors cruising around in the sky getting closer and closer to us. All too soon it was time to leave, we stopped at some ... read more
Snowy mountains on the way to Colca Canyon
Small village on the way to Colca Canyon
Traditional costume

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa June 19th 2015

Finally after the nightmare bus journey we arrived in Arequipa. We got a taxi to take us to the hostal we'd picked out but unfortunately it was full. Just a few doors up the road though was another just as nice and it did have a room available so we were soon settled in. We spent what was left of the day getting to know the place and booking the trip to Colca Canyon for Saturday. The next day we had the luxury of just staying in one place rather than jumping on and off buses and ambled around taking in the sights and relaxing on the roof terrace of the hostal where we had great views of the mountains and volcanoes that surrounded the city. That night we intended to go to bed early as ... read more
Inca Roots Hospedaje (hostal)
View from our roof terrace
View from our roof terrace

South America » Peru » Puno » Puno June 19th 2015

Time to move on again. We'd booked our bus ticket to Arequipa two days in advance and got the pick of the seats so chose two front ones. Our taxi dropped us off at the bus station with a good 45 minutes to spare so nothing could go wrong - could it? Wrong! We were ushered immediately to another ticket desk had our tickets changed and then rushed at break neck speed to the departure tax window then onto a waiting bus. We protested we needed water so were ushered back to a stall where we bought 2 litres - much needed for the long hot bus journey. When we got on the bus our allocated bus seats 1 & 2 were occupied. That,s when we realised that as the tickets were changed so were our ... read more

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca » Taquile Island June 19th 2015

Bang on time the taxi arrived and whisked us off to the port where we joined a group and were ushered onto a boat. The boat turned out to really nice and comfortable, not the wooden plank seats I'd been expecting. A pan pipe player greeted us followed by an English speaking guide. We soon reached the first floating reed island. As we stepped off the boat the ground was really springy beneath our feet. The sun was shining but it was still quite cold. The bare footed woman in traditional costume gestured us to sit on bales of reeds and proceeded to demonstrate how the islands are made. As the reeds rot from below the island is replenished by adding more reeds to the surface. The reed houses only last about ten months then the ... read more
Being greeted by pan pipes at the start of the trip
Being greeted onto the island
Talk on how the reed floating islands are made

We arrived at the bus station as told at 8.10 am and were hustled onto the bus. It was full - seemed like everyone else had been told 7.30am Good start! We climbed steeply out of La Paz to the rim and were soon back on the altiplano Eventually we reached the shore of Lake Titicaca, being at an altitude of 3,980 metres it's the highest navigable lake in the world. It was huge, resembled an ocean rather than a lake and was a most amazing shade of deep blue. At one point we were all ushered off the bus and loaded onto a small boat to cross a narrow part of the lake. The bus was loaded precariously onto a floating platform and drifted across along side us, I feared for my luggage! Once safely ... read more
We had to get off the bus to cross a part of the lake
The bus followed on a very precarious looking platform!
Waiting for lunch in the sunshine

MISSING June 17th 2015

I was a bit apprehensive about coming to La Paz as we'd heard or read some bad stories - corrupt taxi drivers, pick pocketers, altitude sickness and freezing weather.Well I'm pleased to say after a whole day here all is going smoothly and we're really glad we came.We followed the golden rules - drink plenty of water, wear plenty of layers to keep warm and hide valuables inside your layers of clothes.La Paz is an amazing city as soon as you step out of the hotel you're either going up hill or down hill, steep hills at that, so steep the pavements are stepped to help you get up or down, often with handrails, but it's still hard work due to the high altitude of over 12,000ft.We began our day here walking down to the Plaza ... read more
Plaza De Armes
Every day life - Plaza De Armes
Government building

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