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Archive for January, 2006

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Puno (Uros, Amantani & Taquile islands)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Uros Islands

The Uros islands in Lake Titicaca are manmade. They consist of tortora reeds. People live on them, give tours and sell trinkets. The bottom layer of reeds rots, so the residents must continously add layers of reeds to the top.

Amantani Island

Amantani island is a natural island on Lake Titicaca. This is the temple of Pachamama (mother earth), on top of the highest hill on the island. Nowadays the people attend Catholic church every Sunday, but they also worship Pachamama once a year, on June 21, their winter solstice.

dancing fool

On Amantani island, we stayed with a family: Eugenio, Wilma, Kevin, Kelly and Jocelyn. In the evening, Wilma dressed us up, and Eugenio took us to a dance with all the other dressed up foreigners.

boy knitting

The traditional activity for men and boys on Taquile Island is knitting. (The women are weavers.) Here’s a boy knitting a hat with 5 needles. I tried chatting with several knitting men, but they didn’t seem too impressed that I knit, too.

Lake Titicaca boat

This boat was brought in pieces to Lake Titicaca via mule train from Arica, Chile, in the late 19th century! It took 6 years for the boat to get there from England, where the it was manufactured. It has been restored and is now a museum in Puno.

We’re heading to Copacabana, Bolivia tomorrow.


Saturday, January 28th, 2006

Arequipa’s cathedral is made of white volcanic stone called sillar.

Arequipa cathedral

Our hotel’s terrace has a view of the cathedral and main plaza. We checked it out in the evening with our friend, Christos.

traveling trio in Arequipa

A special gastronomic treat in Peru is cuy, or guinea pig. We didn’t have any, but we saw some of the critters destined for someone’s tabletop.


As Christos and his ex-girlfriend would say as their mouths water, “Schmuckelputz!” (Yum in German.)

Chivay to Cabanaconde

Saturday, January 28th, 2006
Here I am at Cruz del Condor, a scenic overlook between Chivay and Cabanaconde, waiting for condors to show up. waiting for condors One finally appeared. condor Irene and Luz had been selling handicrafts at the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Saturday, January 28th, 2006
Cuzco is the gateway to Machu Picchu and therefore a huge number of travelers pass through there. The central plaza is full of backpackers and touts pushing restaurants, tours, shoe shines, even finger puppets.

gringolandia[Continue reading this entry]


Saturday, January 28th, 2006
The drive from Ayacucho to Andahuaylas was another bone-jarring 10 hours on rocky roads with incredible scenery. Not a lot of other traffic, but we did pass a combi van carrying human passengers within and canine ones above, safely ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, January 18th, 2006
We successfully made it to the highest driveable pass IN THE WORLD on our way from Huancavelica to Ayacucho. Ayacucho is a nice enough city, but when you read about it, it is usually referred to as the stronghold ... [Continue reading this entry]


Tuesday, January 17th, 2006
The other day we began our journey from the shore of Peru, zero sea level, to the highest drivable pass at over 5,000 meters. That is about three times the altitude of Denver; serious altitude sickness territory. The ... [Continue reading this entry]

Huancavelica- Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

Monday, January 16th, 2006


Some people might say I have issues, and they are probably right. For example, when I saw on the map of Peru that there is a place in the Andes noted as the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Reunited and it feels so good

Saturday, January 14th, 2006
We got the car back! Yay! It only took 5 days of signing, waiting, stamping, waiting, taking taxis and collectivos to and from warehouses, offices and customs, and waiting. Did I mention the waiting involved? More to come...


Thursday, January 12th, 2006
Manana is the day we are supposed to collect our vehicle. I must say that the representative from GRUPO ULTRAMAR, Luis, has been doing a wonderful job. Do not try something like this without professional help, or ... [Continue reading this entry]