Saturday, 13 October 2012

Blogging on the move isn´t so easy.........

Buenas dias de Chivay en el cañon de Colca en el sur de Peru. Este lugar es muy bonito y estamos a 3,600metros de altitud. Fuimos ahora a Macchu Picchu y la selva y Cuzco. Esperamos que vamos a quedar aca una semana para descansar y caminar y mirar los condores. Despues vamos a lago Titicaca y despues Bolivia. Acqui es muy alta y la gente comen mucha cane de Alpaca. Disculpe no es possible con photos pero el internet es muy despacio!! Felicidades Norma y Chris

APLOGIES.......NO PHOTOS INTERNET STEAM DRIVEN and bit dark to see the keys so apologies for typos too!!

Okay folks, sorry for the gap with the blog and this will have to be an abbreviated version as we have been on the move for nearly two weeks and getting some time to write this has not been easy. Left Lima for Cuzco and so different a wonderful old colonial centre set in the Andes. We had four days getting used to the altitude and saw a few of the city sights and the Sacred Valley.

We then set off for Machu Picchu (MP) on our mini Inca trail. ( the normal ones is 4 days and roughing it in tents!!) We left Cuzco at 4.50 AM for a 2 hour drive to the train at Ottantytambo. We had the vista train with windows above to. The valley is beautiful. We got off the train at KM 104......a stop but no platform so we had to jump down. It was then a 7 hour slog up to MP, 3 hours continuous uphill in beautiful scenery and beautiful sunshine.........bit too hot for walking. We then got to Winya Wayna-a beautiful Inca site and I thought the uphill bit was over but there were 200 steps up the terraces!! After 5 hours we arrived at the 50 "Gringo steps" -which is almost vertical and you have to go up on all fours. But at the top is the Sun gate and there below bathed in beautiful sunshine was MP. It looked amazing-if a little small.

We then walked down to the site and got the bus down to Agua Calientes -which has to be the biggest rip off in Peru is outrageously expensive. We had booked an all in package which included dinner bed and breakfast but our hotel was $140 for a room the size of a rabbit hutch. Complete with feather pillows and duvet which set Chris`allergy off.........and there was us worrying about his knee!!

We visited the site the next day and had a 3 hour tour from our guide Marcellino. We stayed about another hour and then went back into town. The train back was 4 hours and tortuous but we got back to Cuzco tired and glad we had done the trek. The train was $104 return !!We had one day more in Cuzco but Chris was still ill so we moved to a feather free hostel and then set off for the jungle.

What a great time we had, 5 days and four nights. We flew to Puerto Maldonando and spent a night at the Tarantula hostel.........thankfully it didn´t come with spiders-just a friendly macaw called Pepe. One hour by road and then one hour by boat and we arrived at Inotawa lodge on the Tambopata river. The lodge was beautiful and we had a room with open balcony , high ceilings and only a curtain. The only electricity was from 6pm to 10 pm and only for the kitchen and bar area. Everywhere else was little by candles and tilly lamps. We had our own resident Betty the Bat too-she flew around at night usually when we were in our mosquito nets.

We had three full days seeing wildlife and it was lovely, fabulous bird life, tiny monkeys, Howler monkey and fabulous butterflies and even some pretty insects including a tarantula. The food was out of this world, beautiful freshly prepared juices, vegetables etc. On the first night we were alone in the lodge and then next day felt quite affronted when 2 more groups arrived. One was a group of 12 German tourists......and apologies to my lovely German friends Marlene and uwe........ they were an absolute embarrassment. Food was buffet style for all of the group together and they just ploughed in like a herd of locusts . Sometimes they were on their second plateful before other people had take their first serving. Luckily they only stayed 2 nights. They got up at 5 am to go and see the parrot clay lick and everyone was awake!!  It was lovely peaceful time with no phone, Internet or power. The days were tiring, it was like walking in a sauna most of the time. I wore one set of clothes the whole time , for outside activietes as there was no point in getting everything wet!! We were quite sad to leave and then had another night in Puerto Maldonando before returning again to Cuzco. We had booked a room at the hostel we left and when we got there they had forgotten.........I knew the system with a little pen mark on the calendar was doomed to failure!! So we had to go off and find a room.....not difficult but we didn´want the hassle. Found a nice place on plaza san francisco. We had out last meal in the lovely vegetarian restaurant and packed up ready for the next stage.

We flew from Cusco to Arequipa and got a taxi straight across a very busy, noisy and dusty city to get the bus to the Colca Canyon. It was a local bus, four hours of twisitng and climbing in the altiplano until we arrived in Chivay. We are now even higher than Cuzco and the same height as La Paz in Bolovia. Our hostel is lovely-the best yet and we plan to say about a week. It is very clean and comforable, lovelyy shower, breakfast was well organised this morning and a lovely lady called Marina who is so helpful.

So far I have not been impressed with the organisational skills of the Peruvians, how much does it take to get a cup, saucer, plate, spoon and knife onto a table????? Apprently a lot in some of the hsotels we have stayed in. We are hoping to stay a week here. It feels like real Peru, the local people have beautiful traditional dress and everyone has a smile on theri faces. I think places like Cuzco are traveller -weary.

 We hope to visit some of the valley, get a motor bike , use the local buses and do some gentle walking. Although this is only 300 m higher than Cuzco yesterday we were quite breathless. We had a lazy morning just wandereing in the main square, then ate in the market for lunch.......a local delicacy spicy red peppers stuffed with vegetables and baby alpaca with potaotes and fresh juice. We bought some fruit in the market today as we are back to the meat and carbs scenario. Tomorrow we hope to go to Yanque , to visit a pre-Inca site and partake in the local hot springs. Hoping to do this on the local collectivo.

Well that is it for to follow in about a week...once we get to Puno!!!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds fantastic you are doing so much, hope you see plenty of condors.