Leah and Amy in Cuzco and Puno
So, as mentioned previously, Leah came to see me at the end of May, and we had a FABULOUS trip! Well I did anyway... :) Here is a brief account of our travels, with pics.
Leah arrived on saturday morning in Lima, so I took the overnight bus down from Huancavelica and met her at the airport. We left right from there to Cuzco, and once there, we immediately got ourselves organized for the trip to Machu Picchu the next day through a local tour company. We spent the rest of the day hanging around Cuzco, and then got up the next day bright and early to take the train to Aguas Calientes, where we stayed the night in order to go to Machu Picchu at sunrise the next morning.
The train ride was really nice--- we paid a bit extra to take the 'vistadome' train, which made it a lot easier to enjoy the views during the trip to Aguas Calientes. Once we got there, we were met by our hotel and took a bit of time to relax and freshen up before poking around the town. We had some problems with our arrangements, and ended up changing hotels that night--- i love cussing people out in spanish. :) That night, we went to an AMAZING restaurant (Indio Feliz, if anyone is interested) and I regained my love of food, after many many months of living in bland Huancavelica. It was sublime.
The next morning, we got up and got the earliest bus (5:30am) up to Machu Picchu. It was quite cloudy and misty when we first got there. We got a guided tour around, and so as the morning progressed the clouds cleared, by the time the tour was over after a few hours, the sky was clear and we enjoyed trekking around and getting some great shots.
We then got a bus back down to Aguas Calientes, and hung out for a while, craft shopping, etc... before catching the train back to Cuzco. We had some issues again that night getting a hotel in Cuzco (BAD tour agency), but we ended up with a nice place in the end, and slept with an Inca wall in our room. Fun fun!
The next morning, we got up early and went to a much more reputable tour company to make the remainder of our arrangements for Puno. Hit a museum in Cuzco and puttered around a bit, and then we flew to Puno that afternoon (well actually to Juliaca, and then you have to drive 45 mins to Puno), and stayed at a great hotel in the center of town. On the drive to Puno, we made arrangements with a tour guy to take a day-long boat tour the next day, and an afternoon trip to Sillustani the next day. We then settled into our hotel, leah gloated over not being at all affected by the altitude, and we had a nice supper and wandered around a bit.
The next morning, we got up early again and got onto a boat to tour through Lake Titicaca, hitting the Uros (Floating) Islands and Taquile Island. The Uros islands are actually man-made, floating reed islands. A bit of a tourist trap, but it was still neat, and felt like walking on a water bed. We then took three hours to get to Taquile, which was beautiful. We had lunch there and then enjoyed a scenic ride back to Puno, appreciating a fabulous sunset over Lake Titicaca on the way back. It was a really nice day trip and I would definately recommend it to anyone going to the area!
Next morning, we got up and explored around Puno ourselves. Went to visit the Yavari, a boat built in the 1800s, donated by England, that took 6 years to come from the coast to Lake Titicaca. It is in a state of restoration, but was neat to see. Also took a bit of time to check out some tourist marets (a waste of time) and we also took a ride in a plastic swan peddle boat (not at ALL a waste of time-- i loved it!) We then met up with our guide to take a tour out to Sillustanti, an old burial site outside the city which houses some pretty impressive tombs. We also got a chance to visit a family home on the way back, and Leah communed with some llamas.
The next morning, our last in Puno, we explored a little more of the city, went to a museum and got to watch a parade through the centre of town celebrating primary education. WAs pretty cute. We then got our plane back to Lima, and went for a ncie dinner and saw a movie in Miraflores. Leah's flight left super early, so I bid her farewell around 4am, and then after sleeping a bit, got myself ready for my bus trip back to Huancavelica, after enjoying a very interesting and enjoyable week!!
My time in Peru is almost up--- will post again when things are a little more firmed up. Hope all is well with everyone, and you enjoy the pics!