The last few weeks were entirely under the sign of movement and this in the footsteps of the Incas.
From the chaotic city, La Paz 'out we went to the Choro Trail. A taxi took us early in the morning to the trailhead. A tough but short climb took us to about 4900 meters above sea level high ball. This was followed by the long descent. We said goodbye to the barren landscape of the Andes and gradually worked our way into the tropical lowlands before. The road, which was used by the Incas as a trade route, was spectacular. Simply admirable to create in such a landscape, this stone paths: It must have lasted an eternity! We enjoyed the walk along by individual, isolated houses, friendly locals waving and of course the llama flocks.
The second day was hard and long, but the scenery and especially the alternation traveling motivated us again and again, and the more we enjoyed the well-earned after-work beer. On the third day we took the last part of a total of 3700 meters of descent in attack. Thanks to recently Autostopp we saved us the taxi and ended up at the crossroads, from where we in the minibus back to back, La Paz were 'accommodated.
We said goodbye, La Paz 'we were on our way to Copacabana on Lake Titicaca. On the way we were able to take a last look at the city: Spectacular nestled in a valley, the highest capital was again the best side. Copacabana was then a disappointment, not a tourist trap same: Overpriced, pushy and crowded. We started the next day at the Isla del Sol, Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca. We enjoyed the ferry ride on the lake, which is 13 times as big as our Lake Constance! We wanted the flow of tourists to dodge and already got out in the south of the island, counter-cyclical behavior has until now always worth it! :) So we could start walking alone. We marveled at the terraces produced by the Incas, saw women with their flocks of sheep on the road, pigs on the roadside and beaches with crystal clear, sparkling water.
In the north we reached the Chikana ruins with the sacred stone, where the history of the Inca mythology is said to have run its course. From there, the road led us back to the south, where we moved into a nice hotel room. When asked after a warm shower answered the Senora us that we could take a shower only a maximum of 4 minutes because the water on the island would be so scarce. So far there is only one water pump on the whole island and is owned by a French pharmaceutical company and is used to water plants (!). The remaining residents of up to 200 meters high island must carry to their homes water canisters. So it would be clear potential for improvement exists. After a restful night followed by Zmorge in the sun with views of the lake we headed back to Copacabana. From there we went right on in our next trip in Peru.
We had a very good first impression of the country: Once in Puno we were treated kindly, the people were trying to talk to us in English. This happened almost never in Bolivia. The road led us further into the city of Arequipa, which we liked very much with its colonial buildings, the Salta-like Plaza and the fine food. The city is not only surrounded by three giant volcanoes but is also close to the Cotahuasi Canyon and the Colca Canyon, the canyons with up to 3000 meters height difference among the deepest in the world (By comparison, the Grand Canyon is "only" 1200 meters deep). This we wanted to leave, and therefore does not preclude started our next hike in the Colca Canyon.
The bus took us to, Chivay ', a village at which we especially loved the market. We verpflegten with Fasnachtschüechli-like pastries, Chinese noodles and alpaca skewers, so that we are then also strengthened for the next few days. Early in the morning at 6.00 clock we drove together with Udo, our temporary Reisegspändli from Austria, by bus to the "Cruz del Condor". From here we could observe the ascending above the rim of the canyon condors wonderful. We saw the animals already in Patagonia, but they are always impressive: up to 70 years old, have a wingspan of up to three meters and can weigh up to 11 kg. Hard to believe that they can still fly! The bus took us on to the actual trailhead. It was followed by a steep descent into the Canon, in which we were accompanied by two other condors. The view was gorgeous! On the way we strengthened ourselves with homemade pasta salad and fresh figs, which we received as a gift on the way. Lucky we arrived at our destination: The oasis Sangalle. Located next to the pool, we set up our tent, bought us a beer and bounced unceremoniously into the pool. The owner of the land joined us later and told us that they will soon have electricity and he wonders how he could use the. He asked us for our opinion. We discussed and put to him the next day, our approach to wellness oasis before. He was enthusiastic and we looked forward even by so much innovation - something that we missed in Bolivia. The subsequent rise was tough with over 1,000 meters, but good exercise! Back in, Chivay 'we rewarded ourselves with a walk in the nearby hot springs and then hunger in the market: It was good! We recovered and continued the next day, the journey via, Arequipa 'after, Cusco' continued.
It was our first ride at night in Peru, so we let us carefully about the bus companies and gladly paid a higher price, to love the security. Security was also written really big, even if they wanted to convey a partly exaggerated: We were individually filmed before boarding and even had to leave a fingerprint! A smile we could not verkneiffen us naturally. Without incidents we arrived in healing, Cusco ', capital of the Inca Empire at. We were "lured" into a nice place to stay and then enjoyed the best (though until now first) Pizza in Peru. Subsequently rejoiced especially David: We enjoyed a very tasty coffee, directly from the region. There was a short photo tour through the old town. We were able to admire the walls created by the Incas. Unbelievable how the stones are perfectly adapted. The visit of the town is pleasant in the evening, as it is during the day addressed continually: Massages, guides, tours, equipment, food ... The tourism is in full swing and this of course because of the nearby ruins of the Incas: Machu Picchu. This was then our next destination.
Machu Picchu may enweder be reached by train or on foot. However, we decided against the official and the world-famous Inca Trail. This would take four days would be organized, would cost USD 500 and the most negative for us: You'd have him make reservations in advance very early (2-3 months), as a maximum number of 500 hiking per day are allowed by the government. We wanted to go out on my own and decided to Machu Picchu via the alternative Salkantay trek to reach. We do not need a guide, as David was by long search GPS tracks on the Internet, cook, we have also always there and the task of hauling the mules we also own. By taxi we went on after, Mollepata '. There we stayed with an elderly couple who cared for us very. She proudly showed us their living flesh stock: The Meersäuli in the next room! So it's not just a rumor, they really end up as a specialty on the plate.
Early in the morning at 6.00 clock brought us the taxi, Soraypampa ', from where we took the rise in attack. At 4700 meters above sea level we enjoyed a breathtaking view of the mountain "Salkantay", which appeared through the clouds only partially. From the pass, the descent followed. We wandered past tent sites and groups and were always glad to decide what we want to do now where. By groups on the trail automatically follow many mules and horses, which the equipment and luggage hauling. This one sees then also the way in which we found a bit of a shame. Powered by the enticing warmer temperatures, the deeper we go, it was a long day. We could set up the tent with a family in the "Garden". It is always amazing how simple people live partly here. No running water, the house itself built of wood and one room for the whole family, no electricity and the toilet of course accordingly. However, they made us a satisfied impression and gifted us before departure with passion fruit from our own "production". After 1.5 hours walking, we continued by bus to Santa Teresa ', then take a taxi to, Hidroeléctrica' and from there in about two hours on foot along the railway tracks after Aguas Calientes'. On the train we did not realize, since there is virtually him only for the tourists and therefore the prices are overpriced.
We checked into our hotel, which we did not use long. At 4:00 clock was Tagwacht, we cooked noodles on our kettle in the hotel room, so we were strengthened for our project: ascent to Machu Picchu. At 5:00 clock we started the 500-meter climb. It was a huge "Run", all rushed up the hill from the reason that only the first 400 people to nearby mountain "Huayna Picchu" may climb. The training of the previous hikes has paid off and we grabbed the necessary stamp. Even before the sunrise we saw the overwhelming, terraced town, which at that time emitting a wohltuhende rest. We shuddered briefly in this mystical vision, beautifully! We took along with four other people a guide, so the "Cairn" make sense. At 10.00 clock then stood before the ascent of Huayna Picchu. The construction of partially pretty criminal path stunned us once again. Steepest stairs led us finally to the summit. It was nice to look down into the valley, but the sight of the mountain from the bottom we liked any better. Nevertheless, we followed the hype to get permission to climb. A Swiss couple who we met, was even at 2.30 clock on at night, so they made it to the bus still in the top 400, hard to believe. We enjoyed the view, took leave in the afternoon by the impressive site and made our return trip to Cusco.
From there came the far (especially for Karin) worst bus ride: After Ica. The track is very twisty, yes, it consists only of curves (16 hours), combining it with a bit more spirited driver, one could be so bad already. Karin has also eaten but still something bad and therefore suffered from stomach problems ... details we spare you. The rate was only slightly reduced, as a disgruntled passenger frantically banged against the driver's door and killed so reducing the speed requested. An hour before the target shot the driver the bird, in our case, in the form of taxis from. The little accident happened right in front of the eyes of the police and so our advantage was compensated for by the (too) fast driving with the completion of paperwork. Exhausted and happy to be still alive, we arrived in Ica. We checked into a nice hotel room and prescribed the next day totally recreation. Only the fourth day was marked again by a little activity. We visited the nearby and only oasis of South America: Huacachina.
The sight of the surrounded by high sand dunes tourist attraction was nice. But we left it at with a short trip without daring sandboarding down the steep hill. This was followed by a visit to the Bodega "El Catador". Here the famous sweet wine of this region and of course is "Pisco" produced. Everything still old school: The grapes are pressed during the harvest in the night of five to ten people. Made foot, so to speak. The guide was very personal and even including tasting of the various products. Are produced in addition to alcoholic beverages and jams and the superfine Tejas (a candy that has in its interior pecans or figs and a kind of caramel cream (Majarblanco) and wrapped is of frosting or chocolate, mhmmmm!).
, Ica 'is still marked by the devastating earthquake in 2007 (7.9 magnitude on the Richter scale). The government has not invested to date in the reconstruction. It follows that, after four years, sadly, people still have to live in tents. Of course there are no insurance. Hope awakens the upcoming presidential election. We were on the first night to witness first hand the election campaign in Ica: one candidate, Ollanta was namely to visit and gave a speech on the main square. For us, very unusual scenes took place: Loud slogans and crowds that roamed the streets. In the square the whole was more like an open air. There were held concerts and the people celebrated. Besides Ollanta Keiko is (a woman) is also available. As we learned on the way, it is to be selected here mandatory. Who is not selected punished by a fine of 180 Soles (about 60 CHF). And this is viiiel money. Selection can be made where it is registered in writing. Since many Peruvians reside at a different location (for example, because of work), they have to travel on election day at the "hometown". Election Day is June 5th 2011, A Day at the buses are often fully booked and overpriced. But this is fortunately not an issue for us, namely, we have other plans ...
Our anticipation is great: In a few days we can walk on the Easter Island set! We look forward all the more that we are "couch surfing" and can be safely quickly become familiar with the island.
Meanwhile, we wish you a good time, enjoying the warm temperatures! Kindest regards from the Empire of the Incas !!!
Here finds the pictures for the last few days:
As usual, the distance traveled: