After 17 days, more than 60 hours in the bus and two pan flutes, we left Peru. After a somewhat difficult start (long night at Brussels airport, almost missed our connection in Madrid because the French went on strike and 12 hours in a cramped plane) we arrived in Lima. Quite a culture shock, especially the driving behaviour, the battered cars and smog instead of oxygen. Culture shock or not, quickly we moved on to the other extreme compared to the Netherlands, the beautiful and dry/dusty Huachachina, a true oasis in the desert where we drove through the sand dunes as in a real Dakar stage. Full of sand and adrenaline, we quickly dived into the tuk tuk with all our stuff; we had to catch a bus, cause Buenos Aires is still far away, sjenk joe.

Our first night bus experience was luxurious; huge seats in which you could almost lie down, bad movies, hot dinner and even a nice breakfast. If only every bus was like this. In Arequipa, our next destination, there wasn’t much to do. A very big city with a miniscule center which might be worth a visit. Traditionally dressed women with long braids and various hats are the mainstream here.

Quite a culture shock, especially the driving behaviour

At 3 am our next adventure started: Colca Canyon. Along the way you can already see the condors floating on the air currents with their striking bald heads. From Cabanaconde we took an alternative route to a village in the gorge; this route resulted in a walk of about 25 km, an encounter with wolf-like foxes, many cactus spines and a beautiful geyser (ok, we got lost..). Luckily we arrived just before sunset in what does not deserve the name village, a small collection of shacks with delicious food, nice owners, hot springs and a stunning view. Here we took a break for one day before we were ready for the return journey (1500 meters climb up again).

You should not miss Machu Picchu if you visit Peru, so we traveled from Cusco to this Inca sanctuary with a rickety van and walked another 12 km through a beautiful jungle to reach the village at the foot of the mountain. The next morning our alarm clock let us down and we had to run up the mountain to arrive at the top around 6 am, so that an English speaking guide could show us around Machu Picchu.It was so beautiful! In the early morning this ancient old city on top of the mountain was still shrouded in fog and later with the sun fully out, suddenly the whole city appeared and we were amazed.

After visiting this unique place we moved on to Bolivia, but not before stopping at lake Titicaca first. At this lake,  indigenous people live on self-built reed islands, a very special sight. The lake also crosses the border into Bolivia, where we walked around the hills and fragrant eucalyptus forests on the beautiful Isla del Sol. And at this moment we are in La Paz, seeking shelter from the pouring rain. Fortunately no problems with the altitude so far, we have been around 3800m for about 5 days with an occasional sip of coca tea at breakfast (which tastes like liquid spinach). Luckily there is our new favorite drink ‘Inca Kola’ to wash away the taste.

You may also like...