Arriving from Bolivia, our trip in Peru started in the far south with Puno, a city built on the riverbanks at the west side of the enormous Titicaca Lake. From there we took a boat to visit the floating islands of Uros, which are entire villages built on bamboo. It’s incredible to see how creative these people are with Bamboo (islands, houses, boats) as for us Bamboo mainly serves decoration purposes. It’s more incredible even when you see how these people manage to live from a small amount of resources found in their close environment and maintain their ancient lifestyle that is in big contrast with modern Peru.
After this, we headed to Arequipa where we wandered around in the Santa Catalina Monastery and Covent which was definitely worth the long ride. The colonial architecture, combined with an explosion of colors makes it really one of a kind. On our way back we coincidentally bumped in the ‘fête de la musique’ that night, a from French origin concept where concerts are held in the streets.
The next morning it was time to hop back on the bus to set course to Cusco. We decided for a change to travel by day – mainly for safety reasons – but instead the journey took twice as long and the bus took off without me while I was buying a drink (luckily I could hop on at the corner of the next street and the whole bus was laughing and cheering once back on board as Julien made quite a scene when the bus driver took off without me – or at least that was his version of the story ;) ! 12 hours later we finally arrived at our destination in a nice hostel where we could recover from our journey. From Cusco we took the train to Aguas Calientes, a small village at the bottom of the Machu Picchu mountain. To arrive before sunrise at Machu Picchu, we had an early wake-up and although the sunrise was not as particular as we had hoped for, it was good to explore the site a few hours without thousands of tourists that arrive in the early afternoon. The incredible architecture built in extreme altitude and conditions are really impressive. Our guide explained us much about the history of the Incas and it’s clear that Machu Picchu testifies of how skilled and intelligent the Incas were. After our tour, we decided to walk all the way to the top of the Machu Picchu mountain which took us over 4 hours but for those who have been there know that the view is largely compensating the endless(!) walk up.
After intensive physical efforts at the Machu Picchu we decided it was time for a laid back weekend to recover from our muscle aches. We had heard about this Oasis in the middle of the desert called Huacachina which was something we did not want to miss out on. And indeed, Huacachina is quite an extraordinary place if you have never seen an Oasis, although the village purely survives on tourism. It’s an ideal place for sand boarding and buggies and to simply watch the sunset over the miles of sand-dunes. After this last amazing stop, it was time to catch our flight to Brazil to spend the final two weeks of our world tour in the middle of the world cup madness…