Blogs from Peru, South America - page 3


South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Lima December 22nd 2014

Crossing the border from Ecuador into Peru, it may seem the barren landscape which suddenly engulfs everything around you is lifeless until the mounds of litter that pave the roads indicate there must have been life since the Incas, and that whoever lives here is not impartial to a bag of crisps and a Coca Cola. Whilst this doesn't paint the best first impression of a country notorious for its historical wonders, this spoiled exterior is almost inkeeping with its charm as almost anywhere in Peru you can blow the sand off to find ruins of a civilisation gone by, but it is a younger generation leaving their mark now. When I said you can find ruins almost anywhere in Peru, I largely meant anywhere except Mancora, where the closest remnant of a pre‐Colombian era is ... read more
El Vino

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca December 22nd 2014

Yesterday, Sunday 21st December, we took a tour to visit a couple of islands on Lake Titicaca. It was a beautiful sunny day with not a drop of rain, despite being the rainy season now, and the lake was almost as blue as the Mediterranean. An American girl on our tour said that it looked so like the Med, she wanted to jump in, but of course, it is severely freezing cold, so didn´t! Very wise! The Uros people of Lake Titicaca have been building and living on floating reed islands for centuries. Originally driven from terra firma by Quechua tribes, they lived for many years on boats made from reeds and then progressed to building islands and houses as well as boats from the reeds of the lakes. The roots of the reeds ... read more
Uros reed boat
Uros lady doing tapestry
Another floating island nearby

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca December 22nd 2014

Friday 19th December 2014 Cuzco is a splendid city, full of superb architecture. It has many fine precision-made Inca walls, as well as 16th Century Spanish churches. The oldest church in Cuzco is San Blas built in 1562. The cedar wood pulpit is a masterpiece, which took indigenous Indian woodcarvers twenty years to create. It is rated as one of the finest examples of Cuzcan Indian art in the world. Although a Catholic Church, it has many Native American symbols which can clearly be seen in the frescoes, so coca plants, Peruvian fruits and llamas are depicted. url=file:///C:/Users/Vivien/Documents/Blog%2023From%20cathedrals%20to%20floating%20islands.docx#_msocom_1 tolerated these symbols, indeed they encouraged them as part of their strategy to convert the native peoples to Catholicism. The altar, covered in 22 ct gold leaf is Baroque in ... read more
Bell tower, San Blas Church
The barrio of San Blas
View of the city from the bell tower

South America » Peru » Arequipa December 22nd 2014

Arequipa, moins touristique que bien d'autres endroits du Pérou, bénéficie d'une histoire très importante et d'un cadre assez splendide. En effet, le coeur de la ville est classé au patrimoine de de l'UNESCO et en toile de fond se dresse le volcan El Misti à 5825m d'altitude. Le but de notre passage à Arequipa est de nous rendre dans le Cañon del Colca, second canyon le plus profond du monde. Après nous être renseigné dans quelque agence de tourisme sérieuse, nous prenons un bus de nuit qui nous emmène sur les hauteurs du canyon. Nous descendons à Cruz del Condor, point de vue impressionnant d'où nous pouvons observer le vol des condors. Nous commençons alors notre petit trek en suivant la route jusqu'au mirador San Miguel, proche de Cabanaconde, à 3287m d'altitude. Une grande descente, d'environ ... read more
Cruz del Condor
Condor 1
Condor 2

South America » Peru December 21st 2014

Le Lac Titicaca étant partagé entre la Bolivie et le Pérou, il ne faut que quelques minutes pour atteindre la frontière. Le passage et l'obtention du visa est évidemment une simple formalité pour nous européens. La monnaie est le sol péruvien : 1 € vaut environ 3,5 soles contre 8,5 bolivianos. On se rend compte assez vite que la vie y est également plus chère. Au programme, Arequipa et le Cañon del Colca, Cusco et le Macchu Picchu, les lignes de Nasca, Lima, et tout ce que nous aurons le temps de faire...... read more
A la frontière

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa December 21st 2014

After a day in Aguas Calientes to enjoy the hot springs, a soft bed and our first showers (care of EcoPackers hostel) in a few days we headed for Arequipa, the white city. Straight off the overnight bus we joined a free walking tour and get a great introduction to the city including the white volcanic stone cathedral, the food market with frog juice, a view to the three volcanoes that surround the city, some beer and chocolate samples and of course the obligatory pisco tasting to finish it off! After the walking tour we headed for Wild Rover Arequipa hostel and enjoyed beers by the pool in the beautiful afternoon sun. The night saw some quality pub trivia, Courtney pulling off an award-winning rendition of url= read more
Condor spotting at Colca Canyon
Happy little vegemiters at the top of a 2.5hr climb out of the canyon
A local girl in traditional dress in Colca Canyon

South America » Peru » San Martín » Moyobamba December 20th 2014

Sui muri delle citta´ in Amazzonia... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu December 18th 2014

John read a review recently, written by a couple from New Zealand, who visited Macho Picchu a few months ago with their teenage children. Their verdict was that Machu Picchu was “over-priced and over-rated”. Surely not! Machu Picchu was to be the highlight of our South American trip, we thought. Everyone raves about it! People claim to “feel the mysticism” when walking around it, as though it is hallowed ground. Or are they just saying what they think they should feel, indoctrinated by the hype? Ok, we know that as Europeans we are spoilt. After all, we have castles and cathedrals older than any Inca building. A fifteenth century Inca town isn´t exactly Pompeii, or Hadrian´s Wall, but it should still fill one with some awe. Well, it doesn´t, because 90 percent of it isn´t Inca ... read more
First view of Machu Picchu
Main gateway to the Inca Sanctuary
Wow! 15th Century thatched roofs?

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco December 16th 2014

Our last photos taken in Ecuador were of the three volcanoes, Tungurahua (5,023 m) and Cotopaxi (5,897m), both taken on the bus journey to Quito and Pichincha (4,784m), taken from the plane. For our four day stay in Baños, Tungurahua had been cloud-bound, then as we drove away on Saturday morning, the cloud cleared and we got a final photo of this huge active volcano, which dominates the whole valley and beneath which we slept peacefully for four nights (check out the smoke coming from the crater). Cotopaxi looked stunning, and most majestic, covered with a crown of snow all year around. Yesterday, Monday 15th December, was my brother´s 70th Birthday. “Happy Birthday Stephen!” We made an early start on Monday morning, leaving the hostel at 5.30 a.m. for the airport and our journey to Cuzco ... read more
Cotopaxi 5,897m
Pichincha 4784m
Another Pichincha crater

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu December 16th 2014

Our arrival in Cuzco was somewhat marred by stomach bugs that continued to plague Paul then struck Courtney too. Giardia antibiotics from home cleared up Paul pretty quickly so the next day he sought the same medication for his patient. Regardless of stomach fortitude we stepped out to see the city and began preparations for the highly anticipated Inca trail. We meandered through the city of Incan streets and walls, large plazas and narrow streets all making for good exploring territory. A free walking tour lured us to the far corners of Cuzco including some magnificent history and views, a visit to Saqsaywaman (an Incan site above the city), watching a band perform traditional music, learning about alpaca wool and we met a man who makes and plays beautiful wooden instruments – it even finished with ... read more
A rough guide to the Inca trail
Dead Woman's Pass - 4215m above sea level - the highest point of the Inca trail
Our view from the Sun Gate at about 6:30am

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