A Travellerspoint blog

Arequipa

Not much to say!

semi-overcast 22 °C

After so much recommendation from nearly everyone we met we headed off to Arequipa for a couple of days. We arrived very early in the morning, waited until day light to check into a hostel and spent the day checking out the town and its tours.
Arequipa night.JPG

We decided not to bother with the Canyon tour (to be truthfull we have seen so much beatifull scenery that 2 full days in another coach was not our idea of fun) and spent only one more night before heading off again towards the coast.

Arequipa is formed of many white old buildings and its main attraction apart from the Canyon is the Convent, still in use. The convent is a huge village-like place surrounded by high walls.
Arequipa convent.JPG
The buildings are painted bright colours following an earthquake that demolished much of its original structure.
Arequipa tall Rob.JPG
Peruvian people are not the tallest!!!

Posted by robandem 04:57 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Machu Picchu

semi-overcast 20 °C

Now feeling much better we jumped on the 4hour train journey to the town of Aguas Caliantes (Hot Springs), closest town to Machu Picchu. The train journey itself was very slow but the amazing scenery more than made up for it.

Peru Rail.JPG

We arrived just after 10am and found somewhere to stay, we planned to see Machu Picchu the following day. The town of Aguas Caliantes is set in a deep valley surrounded by lush forest. It could have been beautiful, but as you can see in the pictures it was more like a building site!

Aguas Caliantes.JPG

The following morning we were up at 4am and set off to make sure we were the first ones into Machu Piccu. It was quite a hike up the side of the mountain, not quite the Inka Trail but the next best thing!

Machu Picchu Hike.JPG

After 1 1/2 hours of climbing steps we reached the entrance to Machu Picchu. Slightly worn out but excited to be the first ones in. The coach bringing the first lot of tourists arrived and we were straight in at 6am. We quickly went to the place where the classic shot is taken in hope to try to take a picture without any obscure tourists in the photos. Fantastic.

Machu Picchu Sunrise.JPG

Machu Picchu RobEm.JPG

The photos again cant describe how you feel when you are looking down on the site. It is huge, many different areas that were used for different purposes for the Inka´s. For example below is a picture of the residential sector.

Machu Picc..dential.JPG

We spent approximatley 6 hours at the site exploring all the different areas. There are many walks you can do around the site, but as I (Rob) found out they involve cliff hugging paths, the phrase ´my bum is beginning to twitch was used often´ as I am not good with heights!

Machu Picchu.JPG

Machu Picchu Ems.JPG
Em moved in quickly!

Machu Picchu Distance.JPG

Posted by robandem 10:06 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Cusco Tour

Maras and Moray

sunny 23 °C

We were now both better so we booked a taxi/guide to take us to some of the sites surrounding Cusco. About an hours drive from Cusco we headed of the main road, down a dirt track towards the area of Maras and the Salt Farm. Not really sure what to expect we arrived at the top of the valley overlooking the farm.

Road to Maras.JPG

Maras Salt Farm.JPG
It is difficult from the picture to appreciate the size of the salt lakes (there is a building in the top left hand corner of the picture which stores all the salt).

The Salt farm is composed from over 3000 small lakes (6ft x 6ft).
These are supplied with warm salt water through various channels which stem from one stream from the mountain. Approximately 20 people work on the farm collecting the dried out salt ready for dispatch.

Maras Salt.. stream.JPG

The guide walked us through some of the salt lakes. We were shocked by the sheer size of the farm and by the amazing formations created by the salt. Wicked!

Maras Salt Lakes.JPG

Next stop Moray - The Inca used this site to test which crops would grow at different altitudes. Each ring was supposed to simulate a 50m height change in altitude starting at 1500m a the bottom. Having been to the bottom and walking up the various rings we are not totally convinced of this, but who are we to question the Inca´s!

Moray Labs.JPG

Moray Lab size.JPG

Posted by robandem 09:22 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Cusco

Part 1!

sunny 22 °C

Well we arrived in Cusco over a week ago, very excited about seeing Macchu Picchu and looking around the gorgeous city. Our plans to date in Cusco havent really gone as we have hoped.

Cusco.JPG

Cusco Night.JPG

We have been able to get off the tourist trail at last - a trip to a peruvian hospital!! Great! Well firstly I got sick for a couple of days and then Rob decided to go one better and get Salmonella poisoning! We have been so carefull with what we have eaten in Bolivia and Peru and even stayed away from the tempting roasted guinea pig (much to my disaapointment). Somehow Rob managed to pick up Salmonella poisoning, probably from Bolivia! Therefore 24 hours on a drip in "Clinica Pardo" was where we ended up. Thankgod for insurance!

Cusco Hospital.JPG

Thankfully Rob is on recovery and our antibiotics are working a treat. We are very much looking forward to feeling normal again and enjoying food, cant wait to cook our own food and not worry about getting any more nasty bugs!

Due to the amount of time spent in the hostal room (San Blas Hostal) we had to amuse our selves by watching .....hmmmmmmmm.... Dawsons Creek, Changing Rooms, The OC and best of all ET! This also gave me the oppotunity to cut Robs hair! Yes you did read it right, Rob let his girlfriend cut his hair. As you know Rob has quite the buffro so it was quite a challenge for my first hair cutting exerience!

Rob haircut.JPG

Cucso itself is a gorgeous city, far too many toursits, but amazing buidlings, cobbled streets, coffee shops, restaurant after restaurant, shops all selling the same peruvian hats, ponchos, gloves (all made from alpacha) and many more daewoo mini taxis.

Inca Museum.JPG

We wont be sad to leave Cusco as over a week has been spent here, but it has been an experience (not a great one though).

Part 2 of Cusco will include at last Macchu Picchu (not the Inka Trail though as Salmonella got the best of Rob)!

Posted by robandem 11:22 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Puno

hmmmm, more like a visit to the floaters in Pooooooono!

overcast 15 °C

Not much time was spent here in Puno (Peru side of the lake). The town was horrible (hence pooooono!!) and within 1 hour of arriving in the town we headed off to the floating villages for the afternoon.

Lake Titic..loaters.JPG

When we got to the islands we realised it was very touristy! The village people survive on selling products/crafts to tourists. The floating villages have all amenities required, primary and secondary schools, a mini-market, a phone booth and boats to cross to the other islands (no McDonalds sail through yet!!!!!)

Lake - people.JPG

We then sailed to the next island on a reed boat, which was surprisingly stable.

boat.JPG

Ended the day with a great sunset.

Lake Titic..mandrob.JPG

That was it for Poooono and the next morning headed to Cusco!

Posted by robandem 14:59 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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