Archive for the ‘Peru’ Category

To Cusco and Aguas Calientes   Leave a comment

Wednesday 24 September 2014

For the 388 kilometres from Puno to Cusco we treat ourselves to a luxury bus –

Juliaca

Ruta 3S

They are too modest, those Peruvians…

The legendary Andean Explorer

We head straight for the Hotel Marani where I stayed the last time and are in for a big surprise – the hotel has changed name and ownership and belongs now to a sort of chain – and they charge triple the price! I’m also annoyed that they quote me in US dollars; we are in Peru, are we not? What a disappointment. We find accommodation elsewhere, close to the Plaza San Blas, which is not bad but nothing to write home about.

At the tourist information we enquire how we best get to Machu Picchu, where to buy the entrance and the train tickets (there is no road to Aguas Calientes at the bottom of the Inka City). We could organise everything ourselves, like I did in 2010, but it would cost us another day, so we decide to splash out and book a tour. Although it’s already 19.00 hrs, the agency can sort out all the documents that evening and we can set off the following morning – that’s worthwhile the additional cost, we think, and the price also includes accommodation in Aguas Calientes and a professional tour guide.

On our stroll through Cusco’s back streets we stumble across a typical eatery where we seem to be the only foreigners – the food is cheap and plentiful.

We enjoy ‘Bistek a lo pobre’ – which is anything but…

 

Thursday 25 September 2014

The next morning we leave our laundry with a Lavanderia near our hostal.

And walk via the Plaza de Armas –

– to the tour agency, where we just have to board the bus – it’s that simple.

Off we go

On the outskirts of Cusco

We drive over the mountains into the Valle Sagrado – the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Urubamba

Ollantaytambo

Here every tourist has to board the train

The railway follows the gorge of the Río Urubamba

Aguas Calientes

Very touristy, as you can imagine

Still, I always wanted to stay a night here to be able to see Machu Picchu either before the day tours from Cusco arrive or after they have left

There is a downhill competition in town

We follow the river towards the climb to Machu Picchu.

At 2,040 metres Aguas Calientes lies 1,400 metres lower than Cusco and thus the vegetation is richer and more colourful

Early tomorrow morning we’ll be up there…

We cannot wait!

Posted 30 September 2014 by Pumpy in Peru, The 2014 Rucksack Trip

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A day in Puno   4 comments

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Bye, bye, Bolivia – the next morning we take the bus to Puno in Peru.

Copacabana Airport

When we arrive in Kasani, the little border town, we queue for half an hour in the Bolivian immigration office and another 30 minutes on the Peruvian side to get our passports stamped. Meanwhile the bus is waiting for all passengers. You can also do this on your own – use a micro to get from Copacapana to the frontera, walk across and then catch another bus to Puno. But at a price of £2.70 we treat ourselves to the more convenient direct option.

Mind you, there are plenty of taxis about…

Welcome to Peru!

The road follows the shore of Lake Titicaca and we notice a lot of agricultural activity – farmland and many animals grazing along the route.

How I miss my Possu…

People carrier

Filling station

How do you get the sheep onto the roof in the first place?

Puno, ho!

When Johannes is grown up he wants to drive a bus with two twin axles

I’ve forwarned my dad that he shouldn’t expect anything too exciting in Puno (apologies to all the locals who are reading this) but as soon as we have settled in our room at the Hotel Zurit, the political demonstrations start outside – national elections are being held on 5th October – and we have a window seat to watch the spectacle.

We walk to the lakeshore –

– and take a ‘Rikscha’ back into the city centre

It’s also the local university’s anniversary and all the faculties celebrate in traditional costumes and dancing in the streets.

Puno’s Cathedral

In the evening we treat ourselves to typical Peruvian dishes –

Alpaca a la plancha y Cuy al horno

Mein Vater, der Meerschweinchenfresser…

It’s all in the mind – guinea pig tastes like poultry, it is a Peruvian delicacy, not cheap and served whole mainly to prove that it’s the real thing.

You see, there are quite a few interesting things going on in Puno – Johannes is well impressed. Tomorrow we’re off to Cusco; Machu Picchu is calling.

Posted 28 September 2014 by Pumpy in Bolivia, Peru, The 2014 Rucksack Trip

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