Finally i have time to update the blog after a fun filled ten days in Peru. So we left Buenos Aires on the 1st March. We nearly missed our flight as we were sitting at the wrong gate in the wrong terminal whoooops. Plus we were delayed an hour due to a very nice big thunder and lightening storm. After running our little hearts out to get to the correct gate we boarded the bus to our plane while the rain was still chucking it down outside. I think that flight has to be the worse one I have even been on. Ended up delayed an hour sitting on the full plane due to the weather and to top it all off I had a screaming 1 year old sitting next to me for over 6 hours and he only slept for maybe 2 hours max!!!!! Thank god for my Ipod! The plane was one that you would get on from Glasgow to London no leg room at all. We arrived over 2hours late into Lima and the poor driver picking us up had been waiting a while for us. It was now 2.30am Peru time. The taxi driver was so nice and he told us all about the city and what local food we should try. Eventually we arrived at the hostel and we were very glad to get to bed for a sleep.
We only had one day to explore Lima but as we were staying in a suburb of the city so we just decided to look around Miraflores. The owner of the hostel suggested a restaurant to try local foods so we headed there. To start with we tried Ceivche which is raw seafood mixed with lemon juice, corriander and chilli. Very nice except Claire nearly had death by chilli as it was hiding under some fish and she was nearly in tears. I got a bit too and my tongue went numb. Next we had Lomo Saltos which is meat cooked with onions, peppers and tomatoes. Again very good but it was served with rice and chips. As most things are in Peru.
The next morning we were up early again and off to the airport at 4am to catch our flight to Cusco. Cusco is about 3330 metres above sea level and people had warned us about altitude sickness. The first day we spent most of the day sleeping and I think that’s why we didn’t get altitude sickness but we both felt the lack of oxygen when we woke up the next day. Strange feeling and you do get out of breath really easy.
We took a day trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu, again another early start to catch a train to Machu Picchu. 4 hours on the backpacker train (the cheapest option) never again, very uncomfy as you sitting facing people so bumping knees with people. Arrived at 11am and we had already purchased our entry tickets in Cusco to beat the queue as there were about 200 people on the train and I guess they all needed to buy tickets. You need to take a bus up to the ruins along a very bumpy windy road for 20 mins. Machu Picchu was amazing and just like the pictures you see. Climbing up to get the good photos was a breath taking experience and I mean literally because of the altitude you huff and puff up hills. Or you stop to admire the view more than normal. It was very busy with tourists and pretty humid and hot up there so we only managed about 2 hours walking around before we got too hungry and tired and we had to go back down to the town.
The next day we were up early again to catch a bus to Puno, it was a tourist bus which stopped at a few places of interest along the way including more Inca Ruins and craft market and a beautiful church. Included was a nice lunch buffet where we got to try some Alpaca (yum) this was just after the last stop where Claire had been feeding some baby Alpacas!
Puno is located even higher above sea level and got very cold at night. The main reason to visit here was to take a day trip to the floating reed islands of the Uros people and also visit the Taquile Island. There must be hundreds of small reed islands that the Uros people live on. The chief of the island we visited showed us how the reeds islands are made and also showed us around their houses. I won a tiny reed boat for being the closes guess as to how deep the lake is …19metre. About 4-5 families live on each island. The had flamingos and guinea pigs (dinner?) on there island. We then took a traditional reed boat across to another island. About an hour away was the island of Taquile, the local people mainly all wear traditional dress and the men wear hats which represent whether they are single, married or a chief of the island. The men do the knitting the women weave by hand, not on big looms like we did at university. We had a lovely lunch overlooking the bay, cooked by a local family. To get back to our boat we had to walk down 500 steps….. not great in the heat.
Unfortunately I didn’t try guinea pig in Peru as there served you the whole thing and it just didn’t look appetizing but I do like Alpaca.
We are having trouble finding fast internet so photos may not get uploaded anytime soon. Back to Buenos Aires tonight and then we start our second GapAdeventure trip on Friday which takes us to Uruguay and up through Brazil to Rio.