Reed Island people with a reed boat in the background
Buildings on a Reed Island
Locals beginning to congregate to get their instructions
Locals were colouful -many wore bowler hats
See the sand dunes behind the oasis
The candelabra viewed on the way to the Paracus's
Some Paracus rocks
The noise from these sea lions was deafening
My pictures do not do justice to Machu Pichu
This was a wonderful holiday. Although the whole holiday was full of interest the highlights were
Transit Management will be able to advise you how to travel to Peru
We drove from South from Lima to a small air strip. As the Nazca lines can only be seen from the air we caught a six seater light aircraft to view them. I can't say I enjoyed the experience as the tight turns the turns made by the aircraft to enable a good view made me feel queasy. Nevertheless it was a good experience.
We then visited for lunch a hotel beside an oasis. The lake was serene and it was surrounded by enormous sand dunes. We then travelled to XXX Hotel passing on the way a fishing village which had a large fish market and a fish processing factory (pugh!). The next morning we took a speed boat to the Paracus Islands passing the Candelabra which is etched into the mountainside on the way. The Paracus islands used to be under 30 feet of Guana but this is all mined for fertilizer now. There were thousands of birds in the air and on the cliffs. In addition we saw thousands of sea-lions and a few penguins on the rocks and the beaches. A real wildlife experience.
The main purpose of stopping at Arapiqa was a stage in becoming used to the heights. Nevertheless it was a worthwhile stop being a pleasant fertile area. The main feature of interest was the St Caterina Monastry. We were amused to learn that the Nuns, who came from wealthy families, brought their servants and smuggled in their boyfriends.
I enjoyed the flight to Puno as it was in a Boeing 727 which flew through the valley below the tops of the mountains affording some great views. Puno is town much polluted by exhaust fumes which all the vehicles seem to expel in huge quantities.
Lake Titicaca is 10,000 feet above sea level and is the highest navigable lake in the world. If you moved fast the lungs would warn you iof the height! We took a boat trip on the Lake to the floating Islands. these are islands are built by the Indians from reeds. In fact the reeds are important to the Indians as they are used to build houses, fences, boats and can be eaten. We then went onto XXX Island which has a very old culture. Whilst there the elders of the village announced the result of their meeting which decided what the villagers would do for the next month.
The Sacred Valley
The whole stay here is beautiful. You arrive by train which travel along the powerful uuuu river. At the destination station you then take a short walk through market stalls to a long stream of awaiting buses which take you up a switch back of a road to just below the Machu Pitchu site. Here you can look down through the clouds and see the most amazing scenery.
You then walk into the main site. The guides are very good and informative and hold your interest. Eventually you stop and look around and the whole site is just magical. A must see. The Inca Trail must be well worth doing but there are some steep hills to be climbed.
We were wary about where we went in Lima as apparently some parts are a bit lawless. We drove all over in a taxi to get an idea of the city and stopped at all the best points.
We went to several museums including the Gold museum but the museum that I enjoyed most was the anthropology museum. The Incas left no writing but a great deal about them has been learned from the pots which were beautiful. These come in many shapes and sizes, sometimes in shape of animals, people or fertility symbols. The experts could tell the area they were from and the age. Another interesting fact were discovered was that the Incas did brain surgery before anesthetic and skulls could be seen showing examples.
The Indian Market
This market is in Lima and is the place to buy souvenirs. The range of goods was comprehensive and the prices charged were as good as we found in local markets but without the bartering
The locals were friendly but petty crime was prevalent. Prices were cheap. The guides were excellent and all the tourist services that we booked worked perfectly. A brilliant holiday.
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