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THE world trip his journal is to let all those i know and care about (hello!) get a little bit more info about what im doing, and where. Also, its a gesture to calm my poor mums nerves whilst her first born child explores the big wide world. Hopefully it wont back fire

Crikey, cusco, via puno, tacna, and ARICA

PERU | Saturday, 17 March 2007 | Views [1608]

WOW!Been a hectic 10 days! First off, we went to do the inca trail, via macchu piccu. This took 10 days, and my lord, it was amazing!! Anyone we have subsequently met who ( in our eyes) have foolishly been to the anciet inca site via the train to aguas calientes, have been talked down until they admitted the inca trail is the best. As yuo can see from the pics, we crossed some immense terrain, from the jungle with beautiful green parrots, t the cloud forest, right up to 4200 metres, were it was so cold, wet, and the altitude was such a pain, poor clare flt the full extent of my wrath!

  THe trail, though hard (dont believe anyone who tells you other wise, esp' the second day, where you face dead womans pass, which is basically a never ending cloudy and steep and high pass, which you dont realise in which the valley you pass into holds the most amasing views you (in my case) will ever, ever camp in, is so worth it. We were tired and dirty, until the third and final night camping, where we got the best cold beer and hot showeer ever ( before that, the trail latrines had consisted of scary shed like toilets, complete with dog basketed full off dirty toilet paper, as the peruvian system cant cope with much more than human excriment) And then, the next day, up at 4 am, to witness macchu piccu in all its glory, via the sun gate ( and also not at the advertised sunrise time, as peruvain authoritises, again in their wisdom, didnt open the final check point until 5.30).

 Considering the walk, and the hype, the view was actually breath taking. The site, when walking around it, is the most unbelievable piece of engineering i have ever seen. The pics do not do justice- to be up there, was not just a tourist ploy, but an incrediable piece of human indenuity, and presense of mind. It was amazing, and if we hd not been so tired from the trek, it would probably have been even more immense.

After macchu piccu, we made our way to cusco via agua caliente. Due to our sun burnt and peeling skin, we did not grace the hot spas, but hot footed itr to Mama Africas in Cusco, to celebrate our ince achievement. After this foray, we caught a bus to Puno, at 7.30am that mornig to Puno, on the shores of lake titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world ( FOR 25 SOLS,  a 6 hour journey on a bus, for 6 english pouds).

  Settled in Puno, and the next day, got a bout tour to the floating island of uros - the people there actually construct whole islands out of the reeds. It was so interesting, we even got a reed boat to the next island! Then we went to the 'proper' island of taquille. The locals all wear local dress, ( red hats from married men, white and red for single men) and there our quide organised a 12 sol ( 2 pound) lunch of soup, and fresh caught king fish, from the lake, plus the obligatory mate de coke ( legal cocain leave tea, that helps the altitude sickness, and that was forced down our necks on the inca trail).

Thre trip was very interesting, but very long, as the lake is unbelievably huge, and more like the sea.

We then began our prep for crossing to Chile. We got a 5 hour bus tripto Tacna in south peru ( amid much hassle at the station-damn my feeble spanish). Tacna was intense, with lots of taxi drivcers touting fro business to peru, but we stayed the night, and the city centre is actually very beautifeul, with the cathedral and main fountian by effiel, of effiel tower fame. We had a very nice night with sangria, and sleeping, until a crazy tout wke us up in our hotel room t 6. 30 am, trying ( in respect to my feeble spanish) to convince us that the chilean border would close for the next 4 days, us we did not sign up with him, there and then, to go with him across the peruivain border with three  peru guys, for 12 dollars each. Unbelivebale, and quite shakey. Managed to get him out the room, and late got an official coollectivo, with two peruvian women, and a child, for 4 dollars. It really annoyed me.

Currently in Arica, in Chile, and it is a big difference to Peru- i had not realised how poor peru was, until seeing how cosmopolitan chil. Been busy so far!!

Tags: Mountains

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