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My Journey Round The World » Peru

My Journey Round The World

279 days on the road…



With Gregoire we’ve also visited Chinchero – known as the birthplace of the rainbow, Cusco flag¬†(Ariane you would have love that, you left too early!) a tipical Andean village – sorry no picture I forgot my camera that day! – after Ariane left us.

Cusco is a pretty city and I really enjoyed resting there after this intensive Inka Trail as well as this more than 80 days travel for now… :) I had a lovely backpacker hostel – Pirwa http://www.pirwahostelscusco.com/ – with really¬†friendly staff – compare to the¬†more high class hotel we had for this 2 weeks except in Arequipa – ¬†¬†in the lovely San Blas district. I love the San Blas area with these narrow little streets full of stairs – again! – the huge Plaza de Armas, this so many restaurants where you can test many different food as well as great sweets¬†and the peacefull atmosphere of the city even if it’s pretty touristy!¬†While walking around yesterday, I even met a japanese women and her little girl in traditional japanese dress – funny to see the face of the locals in front of another traditonal clothe, so unusual for them I would guess… ;) I also cross a manifestation on the Plaza de Armas – for clean water if I get it well??… – really interesting to see natives with their local clothes mix with people dressing in a more occidental way! Pity I didn’t have my camera again!

Last lunch in a lovely restaurant with a test of 3 different potatoes – ok over 3 000 different species, it’s not much but still :) before heading to Bolivia – Copacabana tonight :)

Photos Peru



2009-11-15_PEROU_machu picchuWE DID IT!!! I’m so glad :) After such a long and quite difficult trek, we had 2 hours guided tour on the ruins and then free time ;) We could have climb more… But I have to say that after this 4 days walk and the cloudy weather, I didn’t really feel like hiking more than necessary. Our guide recommended us to go to see the Inka bridge… Well, really interesting… wooden bridge… More than 15mn walk announced for a… wooden bridge… Scenic wasn’t as nice as the Machu Pichu site especially because of a factory and electricity pole in the valley but ok, we made it and came back with the rain… again… but we were use to it now :)

I have to say that since this trek – which was a kind of test, as yes, I take that as a physical as well as a mental test, which I wasn’t really¬†expecting before! – I’m feeling pretty good, more quiet – well not when internet isn’t working properly! :( , serene… Somehow mentally free, as someone said to me… I don’t really know if this is because of:

  • the trek,
  • my friends around for 2 weeks,
  • the rest I just had in Cusco,
  • my travel since more than 80 days now…

I guess this is a combination of all and it’s absolutly a¬†pleasant feeling! I’m really happy for choosing this way at this time of my life! The only thing I’m missing a bit is you… Knowing how you are, what’s happening in your life… I’ll be glad to have more news from you¬†:)

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Inka Trail

Machu Pichu- Camino del Inca

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As some people are¬†curious about it, I’ll start to update you on this part ;)

So, I did the most famous trek in South America – The Inca Trail – with my friends Ariane & Gregoire who came to join me for 2 weeks. To give you an idea, this trek was: 45 km long, 6 000 steps, 4 walking days & 3 nights under the tent – and mostly under the rain!!!… I have to say that it was pretty hard & I really wonder the 2nd day after arriving at the camp site absolutly soaked, what I was doing here!!! :(

As they said to us before the trek, during the short info-training session:

  • 1st day is easy – Starting from km 82, everybody is happy to start this famous trek, plus it was sunny at the beginning…
  • 2nd day is a challenge – Indeed!!! 1 000 metres difference in height & a way down really stiff with rain which make it even more slippery! First pass at 4 215 metres – I thought I wouldn’t manage to climb the last steps, lucky me Gregoire¬†stayed behind, always supportive!
  • 3nd day is unforgettable – Well… We didn’t see much… It was really cloudy as well as rainy for the most part of it… But yes, the road seems really beautiful, changing from mountains to jungle. After lunch, it start raining. Gregoire¬†went to the camp site in less than 2 hours – guides normaly plan 4 hours, following the porters pass – who seems to make it in 1 hour! Ariane & I walked 2 hours non-stop with Ben before reaching the terraces where the rain finaly stopped!¬†:)¬†We could enjoy the beautiful view & make pictures¬†with Ben & Andreas before going done to the unbelievable last camp site!
  • 4th day is unique – YES it is!!! 2 hours walk & more steps before reaching Intipunku at 2720m – we did worse -¬†& entering the Machu Pichu by the Sun Gate… Amasing & so rewarding after such a long trek… Lucky us cloud were away for a while :)

We were 11 in the group: 6 Australian girlfriends travelling together for a while, Ben Рan English guy & Andreas Рa German woman, plus 2 guides: Ronal in front & Dorian-Hugo at the back. 10 porters all together carrying: materials & food. It was great to arrive at the camp site for lunch &/or in the evening & have everyhting ready! Little tea-time after each walk, delicious lunch & dinner, wake up with coca tea Рto avoid altitude sickness Рgreat breakfast to give you energy for the day. It was amasing how they could cook in such condition. I enjoyed every pieces!

Arriving at the last camp site was a bit of a shock… All the tents were set around a hard building where you could have beers & hot showers – good after 3 days intensive walk but long queue, so with Ariane we only had a cold shampoo. It was quite unreal to eat with your trek-team there in our dinette plates in such a noisy room. Back to civilisation after¬†a bunch¬†of nature! We even had a fight just in front of us… Too much alcool maybe…

Ok, we did it!!! I’m so glad :) It was hard, cold & wet but worth it!!! :) I felt so happy¬†when reaching Intipunku & discovering the Machu Pichu site via the Sun Gate… Such a reward… You forget – for a while – that you’re still wet since 3 days, you were really cold on the 2nd day – sleeping at more than 3 200 m in your wet sleeping bag full of humidity with your survival cover… The view is so amasing… I have to thank Ariane & Gregoire for being so supportive during this journey!

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They are really cute… I know what I’m talking about, I used to have up to 27 of them when I was a child! However here, this is a regional dish – tasting a bit like rabbit – and Ariane’s favorite!!! ;)

miam miam


You cannot visite a country without trying to test all the traditional and local¬†food it offer… So did we… ;)

On the way to Machu Picchu


Last night before the 4 days trek to discover Machu Pichu… After Arequipa, Colca Canyon trek – which was pretty hard one, I’ll tell you later :) ¬†- Puno with the Uros & Taquile Islands, Cuzco & it’s beautiful region, we are looking forward for the amasing journey! Pictures & comments – I still need to tell you about Costa Rica which was great! – will follow soon… Ariane need to come back to France ;)

Llamas y alpacas


Make your choice! You can also eat it! :)


The sacred valley


After Puno and the Lake Titicaca, we head toward Cusco where we met our next guide – Percy -¬†to visit the Sacred Valley.¬†¬†Following a good night in a nice hotel – Casa de Campo http://www.hotelcasadecampo.com/-¬† surrounding the city, which offer a¬†great view, once you reach the top after several stairs…¬†¬†Good traning for the Inka Trail! We¬†made our way the next morning with Percy and a friendly¬†chauffeur to the famous valley. The Sacred Valley start from Pisac and run alongside the – especially¬†impressive in Aguas Caliente - Urubamba river up to Ollantaytambo.

First stop at Awana Kancha, a project¬†of private initiative¬†associating 14 communities (420 families) of native people, who as made the weaving ancestral process their principal activity and way of life. We could watch the process of weaving with¬†people in their local clothes¬†as well as learn how they get the natural color of the famous alpaga wool. At the end there is of course a shop, pretty expensive but with really high quality products! I’ll come back with more money one day! They also have¬†a lama farm – where we did all those nice pictures :)

Ollantaytambo – 2 800m – was our¬†second stop. We visited the massive fortress dominating the city, which¬†was never achieved due to the Spanish conquest¬†but which still really impressive – especially when you learn how they build it! -¬†offering a wonderfull view! This was one of my favorite site! We quickly visited Pisac market – not as authentic as Awanakancha – before heading toward our hotel Casa de Campo – really charming but totaly lost on the top of Urubamba city – anyway the city is not really nice! We ended up there with the same really loud French group as the night before, waking us up at 5am while leaving for the Machu Pichu…

Next day, we had a quick stop at Maras Salinas, still running for local use Рquite impressive to see that people usually work there barefoot! We made there our stock of bananas chips and grilled maize and beans for the Inka Trail :)

We then went to Moray amphiteater-like terraces where the Inkas are thought to have used them as an agricultural laboratory. Interesting…

Back to Cusco where we of course had a great diner before getting ready for the Inka Trail starting the next day :)