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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Adventures in Peru: Titicaca & Colca Canyon

(I meant to post this photo last time. We are on top of Machu Picchu, and you can see the city of Machu Picchu over Spencer’s shoulder. Most of these photos are Kate’s–I took fewer and fewer pictures as the trip went on, because everybody else’s cameras were taking much better photos.)

Everything that came after Machu Picchu was…well, not nearly as exciting (which is probably why it’s taken me so long to post this). From Puno we went on a day trip to an island made of reeds on Titicaca, which was a little bit like walking around on a giant waterbed. There was a fish-shaped lookout tower made entirely of reeds too.

We were invited into the islanders’ homes, which was slightly awkward because we quickly realized they were expecting us to buy their (albeit lovely) needlework. Kate strongly suspected they changed out of their colorful skirts and embroidered jackets back into jeans and t-shirts as soon as the tourists had left for the day.

Our second stop on Titicaca was the Yavari, a steamship built in England in the 1860s and carried in pieces on a mule train over the Andes. Elliot was (as they say) like a kid in a candy store while we were in the engine room, but I started to feel like a bored and sulky teenager by the end of it.

There were a couple more highlights in the Sacred Valley (basing ourselves in Chivay) before we took the overnight bus back to Lima. We split off from our Colca Canyon mini-bus tour to enjoy this rather isolated walk on our own:

(Those two specks in the middle are Spencer and me.)

Towards the end of that afternoon walk we crossed a bridge over a ravine and walked up the stairs on the far side. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I didn’t get hurt so I guess it doesn’t matter. (Hi, Ma!) After this walk we took a taxi to the thermal baths at Chivay, and they were ahhhhhsome.

Back on the mini-bus the next day, we spotted some vicuñas along the road:

Being cousins of the alpaca, vicuñas have even softer fleece but aren’t domesticated, so professional shearers capture them long enough to harvest the fleeces. (Yes, I had a knitting geek-out.)

And here are our last two photographs: a condor over Colca Canyon (hoo-wee, were there a load of tourists there, but the food on offer is really good; we split some sort of spicy rice dish with avocado); and we stopped at several villages on the way back to Arequipa for picture-taking in churches, snacks, and shopping at the outdoor markets. Here Jill and Spencer sample the prickly pear juice:

And that’s all I got (but you can click here for the full photo gallery, and here for all Peru entries).

Stay tuned for August ’11, when it’s EGYPT OR BUST!

1 Comment to Adventures in Peru: Titicaca & Colca Canyon

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    January 9, 2011 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    I like that description–walking on a water bed.
    What a great trip!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.