So we reached Machu Picchu and did the short (2 hour) internal hike to Huyana Picchu to get this amazing view you often can see on pictures. We were kinda lucky cause in the morning everything was very cloudy and it was just clearing up when we reached the top. As you only get a ticket for a specific timeslot some other groups that went before us where pretty unlucky though. Also Mark0 a swedish guy who has been making the 4 day hike with us was very unlucky as he chose to climb the other bigger mountain called Machu Picchu Mountain, which took him some more ours but left him up in the clouds with no view at all…
All together Machu Picchu was a great experience, really crowded but this was no surprise. We even met our „Bundespräsident“ in the old Inka City.
From there we went back to Cusco by train, spent 2 or 3 more days in Cusco before we took the overland bus to Puno at the Lake Titicaca. The 6 hour bus ride was ok, we had much more unpleasant trips. Arriving at Puno we were a little shocked we had booked three nights in advance – but there is nothing – there is one very small square in the center and one street with restaurant that basically serve two things: chicken or pizza. Our Hotel was a bit outside and you could only get there by taxi, which was ok because it was really cheap. At this point we were still not sure how to continue – being at Lake Titicaca, Bolivia was so close, but also an exhausting trip with changing bus and so on also we most likely would have taken the same way back we made the hard decision to leave Bolivia for the next time.
Not speaking Spanish at all it was not so easy to find out how to explore the Lake itself. There are small trips to this little floating islands with some local people and there are combi trips where you do the islands first and than go further out. There seem to be no trips where you can just skip the islands. So we decided for the longer trip to get a better view of the lake.
We were on the lake for maybe 30 minutes when our boat gave up, so the longer trip became even longer. Somehow they got us to the islands and later got another boat for the rest of the trip. The floating islands were just as promised – a touristical disaster!
However the other real island much more out in the lake was really nice and we had some awesome views over the lake, thanks to the really good conditions we could see all the way to Bolivia. We got some ok food before we took of again for another long boat ride. Back in Puno we decided to go to Arequipa. Again we took the bus and the hotel sent a taxi to pick us up at the bus station.
Arequipa, the white city of peru
Arequipa is just beautiful, much different to Cusco and only on 2000m. It again had a big choice of restaurants and a lot of really nice buildings. As Arequipa’s buildings are mostly white sandstone it is also called the white city – so after being in Hobbiton we also made it to Minas Tirith ;). We again took it slowly and spend more than a week in Arequipa, plus a 3 day trip to the Colca Canyon.
Since I had still some problems with my knee we did not made the big hike down the the Colca Canyon, instead we made a small one stayed two nights at the canyon and took some horses for exploring the canyon. But the main reason to come here was not the canyon itself, the Colca Canyon is the habitat of some condor families.
Arequipa was pretty much the last station in Peru, we flew back to Lima from here where we only spend on night before we took just another flight back to the US.