The last few weeks were completely dominated by the motion and this in the footsteps of the Incas .
From the chaotic city, La Paz, we made our way to the Choro Trail . A taxi took us early in the morning to the trailhead. A fierce but short climb took us to the over 4900 m asl high ball. This was followed by the long descent. We said goodbye to the barren Andean landscape and gradually worked our way in 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 way along from individual, isolated houses, friendly locals waving 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 arrived at the crossroads, 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 way 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 large as our Bodensee! We wanted to avoid the tourist influx and already got out to 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 ruins Chikana with the sacred stone, where the history of the 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 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 around the island and owned by a French pharmaceutical company, serving the water plants (!). The other residents of up to 200 meters high island must carry water to their homes 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 straight 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 tried to converse with 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 contrary launched our next hike in the Colca Canyon .
The bus took us to, Chivay ', a village where we especially loved the market. We verpflegten with Fasnachtschüechli-like pastries, Chinese noodles and alpaca skewers, so we are then 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 see the rising over the edge of the canyon, condors wonderful. We saw the animals already in Patagonia, but they are always impressive: If 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 further to the actual starting point of the hike. This was followed by a steep descent into the canyon, 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. Happily, we arrived at our destination: The oasis Sangalle. Located 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 presented 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 'away.
It was our first ride at night in Peru, so we let us carefully about the bus companies and gladly pay a higher price, to love the security. Security was also written really gross, even if they wanted to convey a partly exaggerated: We were filmed individually prior to boarding, and even had to leave 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 hotel and enjoyed then the best (though 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 matched. 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 the world-famous Inca Trail . This would take four days would be organized, would cost 500 USD and the most negative for us: You'd have him booked 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 his own and decided 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, we also cook and always with the task of towing the mules we also own. By taxi we headed to, Mollepata '. There we stayed with an elderly couple who cared for us very. She proudly showed us their living meat 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 asl 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 the tents and groups and were always glad to decide what we want to do now where. By the 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 easily people live here part. 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 feeling and gifted us before leaving with passion fruit from our own "production". After 1.5 hours hike, we continued by bus to Santa Teresa ', then take a taxi to, Hidroeléctrica' and from there in about two hours to walk along the railway tracks to Aguas Calientes'. On the train we did not realize that there is practically him only for tourists and therefore the prices are overpriced.
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 ascent. There was a huge "Run", all rushed up the hill from the base, because only the first 400 people to the nearby mountain "Huayna Picchu" must climb. The training of the previous hikes has paid off and we grabbed the necessary stamp. Even before the dawn we saw the vast, terraced city, 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 the "cairn" make sense. At 10.00 clock then stood before the ascent of Huayna Picchu. The design of some pretty criminal path stunned us once more. 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 liked any better. We still followed the hype, to get permission to climb. A Swiss couple, which we have encountered, even stood at 2.30 clock on at night, so they made it by bus still in the top 400, hard to believe. We enjoyed the view, adopted us on the afternoon of impressive place and made our return trip to Cusco.
From there followed up 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 high-spirited driver, one could be so bad already. Karin but has also eaten something bad and therefore suffered from stomach problems ... details we will spare you. The rate was only slightly reduced, as a disgruntled passenger wildly banged against the driver's door and so asked around reducing the speed. An hour before the finish shot the driver the bird, in our case in the form of a taxi, from. The small accident happened right before the eyes of the police and so our projection 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 altogether for recreation. It was not until the fourth day was again characterized by a little activity. We visited the nearby oasis and one 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 this region and of course is "Pisco" produced. Everything still old school: The grapes are pressed during the harvest in the night from five to ten people. Made foot, so to speak. The guide was very personal and even included tasting of various products. Supplies include alcoholic beverages also jams and the superfine Tejas (a sweet, which has in its interior pecans or figs and a kind of caramel cream (Majarblanco) and is enveloped by frosting or chocolate, mhmmmm!).
Ica 'is still marked by the devastating earthquake in 2007 (7.9 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 arouses the upcoming presidential election. We were on the first evening to witness first hand the election campaign in Ica: The one candidate, Ollanta, namely to visit and was held in the main square a speech. For us, quite unusual scenes took place: loud slogans and crowds of people marched through the streets. In the square the whole was more like an open air. There were concerts and the people celebrated. Besides 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 in a different location (for example due to work), they have to travel on election day at 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 look forward all the more that we "couch surfing" and can be safely quickly familiar with the island.
Meanwhile, we wish you a great time, enjoying the warm weather! Kindest regards from the empire of the Incas !!!
Here is the picture for the last few days:
As usual, the distance traveled: