Barcelona - Sagrada Familia, still not finished
flying over Brazil, the Amazon River
Started with short deja-vu of Barcelona and 2 days later via Madrid and Lima to Cuzco, in southern part of Peru.
flight Lima - Cuzco, short prior landing
street market in Cuzco
cat from Cuzco
the roofs of Cuzco
Cuzco is a tourist magnet, because of nearby Macchu Pichu site. The city is heavily infested with commercial tourism and prices are inflated. Anywhere else we have been afterwards was cheaper. If you ask me - give Cuzco a day and carry on.
one of the churches on the main square - Plaza de Armas
scene from Cuzco market
Next station was Lake Titicaca. We got there by nice 5 hours long bus ride. Landscape around the route is nice, road climbs over 4350m high pass... Close prior Puno the bus passes through Juliaca - definitely one of the ugliest and dirtiest citiest i have ever seen (easily surpasses most of chinese industrial holes).
bus ride from Cuzco to Puno
bus climbed over pass at 4357m
one of the ugliest cities in the world - Juliaca
arrival to Puno
Puno, city on peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, was bit rough by appearance, but a good spot to spend few days and enjoy the lake and it's islands. The floating Uros Islands are a "must see", but again expect the tourism industry to have the wheels rolling over there.
street scene from Puno
in front of the cathedral
Puno boats on the Lake Titicaca
on the way to Uros Islands
We also hopped to Bolivia for few days and visited Copacabana and Isla del Sol. Nice spot for a full day tour. There are few sandy beaches over there and one can take a short swim in the lake (water is not that cold as one would expect at 3830m).
on the border between Peru and Bolivia
Copacabana, sunset above Lake Titicaca
on the way to Isla del Sol
Lake Titicaca beach a la Caribbean
crystal clear water and white sand beach at 3830m a.s.l
Lake Titicaca, that's it
entering Peru again
back in Puno, local market fishseller
It took 6 hours by bus from Puno to Arequipa, second largest city in the country. Without any tour agency, guide or whatsoever we scaled two major mountains in the area - first one was a perfect conical shapped volcano El Misti (5825m) and second a more distant and rugged Nevado Chachani (6076m).
nice Cathedral in Arequipa
trailhead of climb to El Misti
High Camp on El Misti at almost 4700m
wake up at 1:30AM, enlightened Arequipa beneath
finally sign of sunrise behind Pichu Pichu (5571m)
at 5600m, summit finally at sight
crater on the top
together at the summit of El Misti- 5825m
quick descent on volcanic ash slope
on the way to our second summit - Chachani (6076m)
Both climbs were awesome, not challenging technically, but in terms of altitude. I enjoyed El Misti a bit more than Chachani.
view towards El Misti from 4800m
Nevado Chachani BC at 5180m
nearby peaks - Nocarani (5784m) and La Horqueta (5484m)
view towards northwest, on the right Ampato (6288m), Sabancaya (5976m) and Hualca Hualca (6025m)
finally, summit of Chachani
view from the top to El Misti (5825m)
rests of snow at the summit
small summit cross at the top (altimeter shows few meters above actual height)
at the summit (6076m)
descent to the Base Camp
We left all our mountain gear in Arequipa and just with light backpacks we continued further south to the desert country. First leg was 6 hours long ride to Tacna - city and the very southern tip of Peru.
heading south thru the desert to Tacna
shared taxi from Tacna, Peru to Arica, Chile
Following day we took shared taxi and crossed the border to Chile. Right after one crosses the border, it's clearly visible, that Chile is much more advance and rich than Peru.
Bienvenido a Chile!
vast and dry is the Atacama Desert
arrival to Iquique
historical wooden houses
We took a bus from Arica and after 5 hours long ride thru the Atacama Desert we got to Iquique on the coast of Pacific Ocean. Really liked the port atmosphere and historical wooden houses.
Pacific Coast - Cavancha Beach
back in Arequipa, last sunset...
After Chile we returned back to Peru, to Arequipa and spent rest of the stay there. At Arequipa airport we were thoroughly checked by Peruvian police, claiming they are looking for cocain. While unpacking everything from our backpacks i asked, why don't they have a dog to save this circus. Answer i got was more than surprising: "Our dog was arrested." :-)
Good Bye, Peru!
stopover at Lima Airport
Final dot of the whole trip was a nice one day stopover in Madrid.