A belated update!

Published: October 26th 2008
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Hello everyone,

Apologies for the delay, its been a very busy couple of weeks on the tour and so its been difficult to get anywhere near a computer for more than 1/2 hour at a time and then impossible to find one thats capable of downloading photos! So this message is an amalgamation of the Peru trip... I hope I explain it all OK!

So, its been a busy couple of weeks!
So from Nazca we continued South to Puno and Lake Titicaca, we spent the day hiking around a smaller island on the lake and being shown the local traditions, (which included the men showing us their knitting!!.. traditionally women weave and men knit on the islands) before travelling to Talique island where we stayed with a family there. Walking into the family┬┤s house was the moment when I properly realised the gulf between UK and rural Peru, we had driven past so many mud brick houses it kind of became acceptable, but this mud brick house was basically a barn with 2 bedrooms upstairs and a kitchen downstairs, the rest of the barn stored hay etc. The Kitchen was 3m x 3m, mud floor with a wood burning stove, to cook on, a rickity homemade wooden table with enough room for two people (me and Frankie) to sit, another small table held the plastic washing up bowl.... no sink, no running water (let alone hot water), no plumbing, no electricity anywhere. The family made a real effort for us, once we had had a dinner of vegetable soup, potatoes and rice we were dressed up in the local dress (worn everyday) and taken to the town hall for a fiesta, the locals danced for us and with us and everyone had a good time!

We left the next morning wishing we could give them everything we owned and went to the Uros Island, which are floating islands made of the reeds found in the Lake and then travelled back to Puno before continuing up to Cuzco!

At Cuzco the group split, those that were doing the 4day Inca Trail hike left and the rest of us explored Cusco, visiting a plethora of Museums dedicated to both the Inca and Pre-inca civilisations, very interesting! We then Travelled to Agua Calientes the horifically touristy town a 20min bus ride from Machu Picchu. The night before we went tp MP we were all very excited, the moment we had all come here for wsa finally in sight.

Up early and feeling groggy, we all clambered onto the bus and took the 20 min ride up to MP, my my it was the most wonderful thing, we rounded a corner and got our first glimpses of MP in the misty morning, the place was so much bigger and better than I could ever have imagined.. fantastic!

After spending the morning at MP we joined the group that had hiked, exchanged stories and made our way back to Cusco, a couple of free days and then we went to Puerto Maldonado for two days in the jungle.

The weather was roasting and the humidity was high, but the sights and sounds were once again fantastic and worth it! We had a fab couple of days exploring the jungle and shown 300 year old trees and howler monkeys, we found frogs, butterflys and strange beetles and had 4 showers a day!!

So yesterday we returned to Lima, my the temperature difference is as stark as the culture difference, but I have clean washing, I could update this and now I am ready for my flight tomorrow!

I have thoroughly enjoyed South America and I hope that I am fortunate enough to be able to visit some other countries on this continent in the future, (when my spanish is a little better!!) however it is Adios to South America for now and Hello Australia on Friday!!!

Bye for now!
Lorna xxx

Additional photos below
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...next to the hugest tree... (and Lazlo in blue!)

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