La Paz, BoliviaLa Paz, Bolivia

Ugly La Paz

No, we did not like it. It’s the first city we really didn’t like. Why is difficult to describe, it was probably the atmosphere. It’s dirty, there are many very poor people, it’s exhausting (La Paz is on 3600m), the car’s and busses exhaust emission was enormous and really breathtaking…

There are some nice views, however.

La Paz is also a bit obscure, you can buy anything, even dried lama and alpaca fetus in order to bury it in the earth before building a house – sacrisfy to Mother Earth (as important as Christianity)

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Lake Titicaca, BoliviaLake Titicaca, Bolivia

Freezing Lake Titicaca

After the cultural highlights in and around Cuzco (pics are coming soon) we decided to go to Lake Titicaca, almost 4000m high and – freezing, especially at night (it’s winter here).

Our night bus arrived earlier than expected (the first time in South America!!) and we knocked on our hostal door already at 5.15 am. The sleepy but extremly friendly owner opened the door and gave us coffee. At 6.30 am we started with some sightseeing as our room wasn’t ready.

First stop where the so called flooting islands, build of wood and a kind of straw. Very nice to look at, still everything build in the traditional way (= everything build with straw), however, main occupation of the islanders is not fishing anymore but tourism. And they live good with it…

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Lima, PeruLima, Peru


Long overdue – as we are already some 1000 km further south in Bolivia now – we finally managed to put together our experiences in Lima:

How can you characterize a city with over 7 mn inhabitants – right, you can’t, because it’s too different in itself. Through the days we spent there we only saw a snapshot of some of the city, e.g. the district of Miraflores where our hostal was and the city center.

Overall we liked Lima, especially for it’s nice cafes in Miraflores and the especially good food in one of Perus most famous restaurants (Iris might write a special about dining in the most expensive places available… ), but that said, it’s more a place we can imagine to live rather than something for sightseeing/travel as the city is BIG and the sights are well spread across…

Special thanks of this edition goes to Alejandro, who was giving us really good tips for THE locations (and restaurants) to go in Lima *smiley smiling*

Old city – Sightseeing

Lima still contains some really nice collonial houses, especially around the Plaza de Armas (nearly all cities in Latin America have a place called like that, comparable to the German “Hauptstrasse” in every town).

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Arequipa, PeruArequipa, 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, PeruColca 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, PeruNazca, 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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Trujillo, PeruTrujillo, 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, PeruTrujillo, 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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