Cusco – probably the best-known place during our travels thus also the most visited by people from all over the world. If you haven’t heard of Cusco I’ll only say Machu Picchu and it will ring a bell for most of you. Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire about 500 years ago and therefore you can nowadays still find a lot of evidence of their existence around the city. Ruins are spread in all directions making up one tourist attraction after another demonstrating the skills and knowledge the Incas must have had in their best times to construct such buildings and temples. However, the empire wasn’t meant to last for very long. When the Incas expanded up to Quito, the possible new leader of the Incas was born there. This resulted in internal fights between the Incas based around Cusco and the ones around Quito. Weakened by this “civil war” the Incas then weren’t able to defend their land against the Spaniards that arrived in the 16th century. After the Spanish invasion Cusco had a lot of churches to offer, too, which now characterize the center of the city.Read More »
What a week! Completely stunned by the beauty of Isla del Sol, we made our way up north back to Peru and the other half of the biggest high altitude lake – Titicaca.
Our base camp was again Puno where we stayed at the hostel Ollanta Inn. The owner is a really kind man that knows a lot about the history of the country and he also gave us some recommendations about what to do with the remainder of our time in Peru.
For Titicaca we definitely wanted to see the populated islands not too far away from the shore. So one brisk morning we joined a tour that took us out to the first stop: The Floating Islands of Uros. Read More »
Hello there! Happy Tuesday!
Today I am going to tell you a little bit more about my progress with taking pictures. Read More »
Another funny but also insightful story from Samaipata:
During our time there we met an interesting person from Germany. She was a transgender that has been living in Bolivia for a year and a bit now. She didn’t really have an easy time there. Learning Spanish is not her strength I guess, and immigration’s have been harder than expected. But proud she told us that the energy from El Fuerte would help her out and that’s why she stayed here. Probably also because there are so many travelers all the time. :-)
One thing that she said made me think about a specific topic from a completely different side: I have always had this opinion that being respectful and understandable is a necessity when going to another country, especially when the country was poorer than mine. That it was crucial to adjust to what the locals expect from you. Indeed, this makes all travels easier in any case.
What this woman said however, is in some way also true. Read More »
You probably don’t even have to get out of your home town to meet most of the different kinds of travelers. There are selfie-tourists, the extremely culture-savvy tourists, the “hippies”, the luxury travelers, the nature adventurers. And a lot more. Especially Peru being a big destination for all kinds of people – rich and not so rich – we met a whole bunch of different people, some only spending a week escaping from their busy routines at home and others who are in their third (!) year of traveling the Americas. I think getting to know every single person inspired me and boyfriend so much and meeting new people, like-minded or not, is one of the best parts of traveling.
After all I noticed some conflicts or rather differences of opinion between the groups of travelers. Somehow, each group is looking down on the others in some form.Read More »
When we made our way to Cuevas we stopped a truck by the street that would take us with him to the nature reserve a few kilometers down the road. (Yep, it is like hitchhiking, but they will usually expect some money!) He was really interested in us and asked questions about where we were from, how much money we need for our travels, how much things cost in Europe, what the weather was like, and so on.
He also told us a lot about himself – he drove a truck from Potosí to Santa Cruz and back. It would take him a few days. His wife was back home in Potosí and had a small kiosk, she had to take care of. He said it was not possible for them to live off just of his salary, so she had to find something to do for her. He said people in Bolivia wouldn’t earn a lot of money, only those that went to school and would now sit in an office.Read More »
In Samaipata we were able to help out a Spanish family. I already talked about them before. They had two small but beautiful houses, one they lived in and the other one they were renting out. But their plans are much bigger. They want to build another, bigger house where they wanted to move into and then live off the rent of the other two and eventually from that money travel a little bit in South America. So we were happy to help. At the moment they are working on a small garden hut for their tools and to provide their volunteers a sleeping space upstairs. We helped to render that from the inside and out.Read More »
So much love for Samaipata! We spent their almost three weeks (!) enjoying the nicest climate and the rest of our time helping out a Spanish family with building a small garden shed. It sound like a great time and it was!Read More »
Long-distance buses are essential for traveling South America. They’ll take you anywhere! It will take you a few hours, sometimes more, sometimes less, but you will get there eventually. Since we landed in Lima in the middle of January those buses were the only way we made it from A to B, not always comfortable but reasonably priced and (almost) always there when you need them. When you look at the continent of South America it might seem small because countries are so big and spread out. To take you from Lima to Cusco for example will take you around 22 hours and that being on a good road. So we’ve gotten pretty used to spending good amounts of time on buses and even came to like it. Everything that is under 6 hours actually seems to be a short time of traveling. Darn, that will be a big change coming back to Europe and realizing that everything is so close!Read More »
I always thought the capital of Bolivia is La Paz because they claim to be the highest capital in world. Actually it is only the seat of the government with the official capital being Sucre. This is because the constitution has been signed and still has its place there.Read More »