The last few weeks were completely dominated by the 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 fierce but short climb took us to over 4900 m above sea level high ball. This was followed by the long descent. We said goodbye to the barren Andean landscape 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 stone this way: It must have lasted an eternity! We enjoyed the walk along by individual, isolated houses, friendly waving locals and of course the Lama droves.
The second day was hard and long, but the scenery and especially the variety motivated us go again and again and the more we enjoyed the well-earned beer after work. On the third day we took the last part of the total of 3700 meters of descent in attack. Thanks to recent car stop we saved us a taxi and ended up at the road junction from where we in the minibus back to back, La Paz were 'brought.
We said goodbye, La Paz 'we were on our way to Copacabana on Lake Titicaca . On the trip we were able to take a last look at the city: Spectacular nestled in a valley, the highest capital was once again the best. Copacabana was then a disappointment, not a tourist trap same: Overpriced, pushy and crowded. We started the next day on the Isla del Sol , the sun island in Lake Titicaca. We enjoyed the ferry ride on the lake, which is 13 times as big as our Lake Constance! We wanted to avoid the flow of tourists and already got out to the south of the island, counter-cyclical behavior has until now always worth it :) So we could start walking in peace. 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 Inca mythology is said to have run its course. From there, the path led us back to the south, where we moved into a nice hotel room. When asked after a warm shower replied 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 a single water pump on the whole island and owned by a French pharmaceutical company and is used to water plants (). The remaining residents of up to 200 meters high island must carry water to their homes canister example. So it would 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 directly on to our next trip in Peru.
We had a very good first impression of the country: Arriving in Puno we were treated kindly, the people tried to talk to us in English. This happened almost never in Bolivia. The path led us further into the city of Arequipa, which we liked very much with its colonial buildings, the Salta-like Plaza and fine food. The city is not only surrounded by three giant volcanoes but is also near the Cotahuasi Canyon and the Colca Canyon, the gorges of up to 3000 meters altitude difference among the deepest in the world (By comparison, the Grand Canyon is "only" 1200 meters deep). This we wanted to leave and therefore not prevent started our next hike in the Colca Canyon .
The bus took us to, Chivay ', a village in which we especially loved the market. We verpflegten with Fasnachtschüechli-like pastries, Chinese noodles and alpaca skewers, so that we are then strengthened for the next few days. Early in the morning at 6:00 clock we went together with Udo, our temporary Reisegspändli from Austria, by bus to the "Cruz del Condor". From here we were able to observe the rising over the edge of the canyon, condors wonderful. We saw the animals already in Patagonia, but they are always impressive: Will 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 starting point of the hike. It was followed by a steep descent in the Canon, in which we were accompanied by two other condors. The view was gorgeous! Along the way we strengthened ourselves with homemade pasta salad and fresh figs, which we received as a gift on the way. Happily, we arrived at our destination: the oasis Sangalle. Next to the pool we set up our tent, we ordered a beer and jumped 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 that. He asked us for our opinion. We discussed and put to him the next day our approach to wellness oasis before. He was excited and we were also so much innovation - something that we missed in Bolivia. The subsequent rise was tough with over 1000 meters, but good workout! Back in, Chivay 'we rewarded ourselves with a walk in the nearby hot springs and subsequent hunger breastfeeding on the market: It was good! We recovered and continued the next day the journey via, Arequipa 'to' Cusco 'continued.
It was our first ride at night in Peru, so we let us carefully about the bus companies like to pay a higher price to love the safety. Security was also written really gross, even if they wanted to convey a partly exaggerated: We were individually filmed before boarding and had even left a fingerprint! A smile we could not verkneiffen us of course. Without incident, we arrived safe in Cusco ' , the capital of the Inca Empire, at. We were "lured" into a beautiful property and enjoyed then the best (albeit far first) Pizza in Peru. Then rejoiced especially David: We enjoyed a very tasty coffee, directly from the region. There was a brief photo tour of the old town. We were able to admire the walls created by the Incas. Unbelievable how the stones are perfectly adapted. The tour of the city is pleasant in the evening, as it is during the day approached constantly massages, guides, tours, equipment, food ... Tourism is in full swing and this of course because of the nearby ruined city of the Incas: Machu Picchu . So this was our next destination.
Machu Picchu can enweder be reached by train or on foot. However, we decided against the official and world-famous Inca Trail . This would take four days would be, well organized, would cost 500 USD and the most negative for us: You would have to book in advance it 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 his own and decided to Machu Picchu via the alternative Salkantay Trek to achieve. We do not need a guide as David found through long search GPS tracks on the Internet, we also cook always there and the task of towing the mules we also own a taxi, we made our way, Mollepata '. There we stayed with an older 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 m 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 walked past the tents 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 can be seen then 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 easy people live part 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 walking along the railway tracks after, Aguas Calientes'. On the train we did not realize, because there is practically him only for tourists and accordingly the prices too high.
We moved into our accommodation, which we did not use it long. At 4:00 clock was Tagwacht, we cooked noodles on our stove in the hotel room, so we were strengthened for our project: Climb to Machu Picchu. At 5:00 clock we started the 500-meter climb. There was a huge "Run", all rushed up the hill for the reason because only the first 400 people to the nearby mountain "Huayna Picchu" may climb. The training of the previous hikes has paid off and we brought the necessary stamp. Even before the sunrise we saw the vast, terraced town, which at that time still radiating a wohltuhende rest. We shuddered briefly at this mystic sight, beautiful! We took along with four other people a guide so that the "heap of stones" make sense. At 10.00 clock then stood before the ascent of Huayna Picchu. The design of some 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 below we liked any better. Nevertheless, we followed the hype to get permission to climb. A Swiss couple that we met, even stood at 2.30 clock on at night so they made it to the bus even in the top 400, hard to believe. We enjoyed the view, adopted us on the afternoon of impressive place and began the journey back to Cusco.
From there followed until now (especially for Karin) worst bus ride: After Ica. The track is very twisty, yes, it is actually ONLY from curves (16 hours), combining this with a slightly more spirited driver, one could be so bad already. Karin has but additionally eaten something bad and therefore suffered from stomach problems ... we will spare you details. The speed was only slightly reduced when a disgruntled passenger frantically banged against the driver's door and so lost reducing the speed bat. An hour before the finish shot the driver the bird, in our case in the form of a taxi from. The little accident happened right in front of the police and so our lead was compensated by the (too) fast driving with the completion of the paperwork. Exhausted and happy to still be alive, we arrived in Ica. We moved into a nice hotel room and prescribed the next few days entirely of recovery. It was not until 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 area surrounded by high sand dunes tourist attraction was nice. But we left it at at a short visit without daring sandboarding down the steep hill. This was followed by a visit to the Bodega "El Catador". Here the famous sweet wine of the region and of course is "Pisco" produced. Everything still old school: The grapes are pressed during the harvest at night from five to ten people. Made foot so to speak. The guide was very personal and even included tasting of the various products. Supplies include alcoholic beverages and jams and the superfine Tejas (a sweetness that has in its interior, pecans and figs, as well as a kind of caramel cream (Majarblanco) and is enveloped by icing or chocolate, mhmmmm).
, Ica 'is still marked by the devastating earthquake in 2007 (7.9 on the Richter scale). The government has not invested today 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 evening to witness first hand the election campaign in Ica: The one candidate, Ollanta, was in fact to visit and held on the main square a speech. For us, quite unusual scenes took place: loud slogans and crowds that marched through the streets. In the square the whole looked more like an open air. There were concerts and the people celebrated. In addition to Keiko Ollanta is (a woman) is also available. As we learned on the way, it is mandatory to choose here. Who is not selected punished with a fine of 180 soles (about 60 CHF). And this is muuuch money. One can choose where you are registered in writing. Since many Peruvians reside at a different location (eg, because of work), they have to travel on election day to the "hometown". Election Day is June 5, 2011, a day on which the buses are often full and overpriced. But this is fortunately not a problem for us, that we have other plans ...
Our anticipation is huge: In a few days we can walk on the Easter Island set! We are all the more happy 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 weather! Kindest regards from the empire of the Incas!
Here here is the pictures of the last days:
As usual, the distance: