Arequipa, Peru

Arequipa – a gem in the south of Peru

We really liked Arequipa! We had a nice hostal with a lovely garden, WLAN and a lot of sunshine

And we even had a special Hostal Pet, called Pacos!

The historic city centre is very beautiful with colonial houses, painted in bright colours.

We walked through the city centre with its hundreds of taxis and traffic policewomen with nice gloves…

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Colca Canyon, Peru

Back from Colca Canyon – need a laundry NOW!

Don’t worry, we already had a hot shower – and yes, we were really looking forward to it…

Well, I better start from the beginning. We wanted to go to the world’s second deepest canyon (twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the US) and went to one of those tour agencies in Arequipa to inform us, a) what a tour would cost and b) what to do and where to go.
a) Costs: For a 3 day / 2 nights trip – that’s what we wanted to do – they asked for 230 US Dollar each. All inclusive (one night in a hostal, one in a tent, meals and transport included). For 230 US Dollar, I suppose, you can live one month as a king in the canyon…
b) What to do: yeah, we got quite some information

So we decided to go on our own. First challenge was the bus terminal – we are not in Ecuador any more (it’s so easy there, a bus goes any time and anywhere)… We where told that a bus directly to Cabanaconde (the village closest to the deepest part of the canyon – a min. six hours drive from Arequipa) would leave at 8am (=getting up early, missing the hostal breakfast…*smiley winking*. Well, there was no bus at 8am, but there was one at 9am to Chivay (a village at the “beginning” of the canyon). So we got on this one, as we where told, that there are some more buses from Chivay to Cabanaconde. At the terminal we met two approx. 40 year old French people with no English or Spanish skills at all, who were a bit helpless. So had to translate for them.

After a good 4 hours bus ride with quite some impressions we reached the “Kuhdorf” Chivay.

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Stranded in Nazca – what needs to be added

Well, I have to add some comments… (consulting like with bullet points!)

– The flight was nice + it was a nightmare for me… but I didn’t use the bag they provided…
– The reason why we did not do sandboarding on the highest sanddune in the world is – guess – I was afraid ending up as a nurse…
– The cat liked me, yes. But it stayed longer at our table because… see yourself!

Nazca, Peru

Stranded in Nazca

Where is Nazca? And why “stranded”?

Well, first of all Nazca is in the desert – miles and miles of sand, nothing else around!

Second reason, there was no seats in the bus available the day we wanted to continue…and as taking the night bus was not recommended, we decided to stay one day longer in Nazca.

So we ended up in a desert city having a lot more time than planned…

Nazca lines – huge messages from the past

Well, first of all Iris discovered, that Nazca is famous for something else, than the ancient lines in the dessert…guess what?

And after a nice brunch in the sun, we catched our flight over the famous Nazca lines. Some small history lesson: Well, it’s not really known who produced the line and why…just imagine a ancient civilization producing pictures in the sand, they could not even see themselves, unless they knew how to fly – which is more unlikely. However they produced various surprisingly perfect pictures, symbols and lines in the sand, so lets just see their masterpieces…

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Alausi, Ecuador

Die Teufelsnase

Nach dem Motto “besser spät als nie” muss ich nun also noch einmal etwas zu Ecuador nachschieben – jetzt wo wir schon einige Tage in Peru sind *smiley winking*

Geschichtlich gesehen ist es eine Meisterleistung der Ingenieurskunst: Die Trans-Anden-Eisenbahn reichte von Guayaquil (an der Küste Ecuadors) bis nach Quito (mitten in den Anden). Auf dem Weg zwischen den beiden Städten liegen eine Vielzahl der höchsten Berggipfel außerhalb des Himalaya, die umgangen oder überquert werden mussten.

Naja, so viel zur Geschichte – denn mittlerweile ist von dem einstigen Stolz Ecuadors nicht mehr viel übrig geblieben: Verschiedene “El Nino” Jahre haben der Trasse sehr zugesetzt – und im Zeitalter der Straßen sah keiner mehr die Notwendigkeit Instansetzungsmaßnahmen vorzunehmen. Es verbleibt einzig die touristische Nutzung eines Teilstückes zwischen Riobamba und Sibambe.

Laut Reiseführer sollte dieses Stück allerdings ein Highlight sein, schließlich fährt man über die Teufelsnase…und dem Zeitgenossen wollen wir ja alle mal hin und wieder auf der Nase herumtanzen (6)

Riobamba und kein Zug

Auf nach Riobamba zum Startpunkt der Route – auch wenn es vorher schon Gerüchte gab, dass der richtige Zug aktuell nicht fährt. Die Gerüchte reichten von “Strecke zu schlecht für schweren Zug” bis “Touristen auf dem Dach umgekommen”. Wie? Also genauer sollen zwei Japaner zum Fotografieren – für was sonst bei Japanern – aufgestanden und von einer Stromleitung erwischt worden sein…

Wie auch immer: Kein Zug! – Der richtige Zug fährt (warum auch immer) nicht und der Ersatzverkehr (Details was das sein könnte unten) ist ausgebucht *smiley crying*

Dank Iris Charme – der wohl auch bei Frauen wirkte – konnten wir aber Tickets für den Ersatzverkehr ab Alausi bis Sibambe bekommen. Also wenigstens ein bisschen Eisenbahn über die Teufelsnase *smiley smiling*

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Trujillo, Peru

Naked Hot Dogs at Iris Temple

Yes, there is an Iris Temple (Arco Iris, the rainbow temple) with dogs around, hot dogs, naked hot dogs!

First, the Iris Temple….
Chimu Culture built several temples around Trujillo – one of the best preserved is the Arco Iris, the rainbow temple. So we had a look at it…

… and saw the naked hot dogs!!

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Trujillo, Peru

Tombs of a moche king in Lambayeque and Trujillo city center

After a looooooong bus ride to Peru and a stopover for one night in Piura we got off the bus at Lambayeque, a small town with a very good museum, showing excavations of a nearby moche king tomb including all the grave goods. It was discovered in 1987 – undisturbed (i.e. non of the exquisite gold items had been stolen) – a major archaeological sensation at this time. See some impressions of the oversize gold and turquoise earrings, necklaces, pottery, etc. of Senor de Sipan (the moche king):

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