Peru, Bolivia · 30 Days · 43 Moments · December 2016

Where is Kate

26 January 2017

Another day another mountain and after a 3am start the mountain pony taxi looked very tempting🐴 The Peruvian lady farmers certainly put us all to shame proving you really can look stylish whilst on a windy wet mountain side!
Ticking off the bucket list...extreme mountain top picnicking, thanks to Paddington for the idea, sorry we couldn't find any marmalade, jam sandwiches and tea had to do, so terribly British🇬🇧✔️

21 January 2017

Just chilling on top of a volcano, standard Saturday night in Bolivia..😬
Day 2 road tripping lakes to the desert along the Chilean border, land of volcanos and flamingos
Those pesky flamingos, invading lakes, demanding wifi..

20 January 2017

Classic backpacker horizon picture time😊 Crossed the length of the flats in the afternoon, a relentless if stunning 3 hour drive where the mountain destination looks so near but never ever seems to get any closer in typical desert style! Reached the slipway just in time as the 'tide' was reaching the top of the tyres and my fellow travellers were starting to look decidedly nervous 😂
Day 1 4WD tour at the salt flat lake, where whole villages are built from salt bricks, you can freeze to death whilst catching sunburn, and most importantly, everyone is obsessed about the Dakar!
Arrived a little early (5am!) in Uyami on the night bus but after a little hunting around found a cafe selling actual scrambled eggs, wifi and most shockingly had a rare working plug socket, much needed shelter from the desert freeze! Spent the rest of the morning clambering around the towns awesome adult play park, a steam train graveyard abandoned after WW2 before the heat turned it to a furnace🚂🚂🚂

19 January 2017

La Paz transport has a pretty amazing view! Cable car to the flea market, 5km of solid street market at 4000, thankfully finally got used to the altitude!

17 January 2017

When your transport and all your minimal possessions are floating across a lake on some bits of wood with a guy bailing out water and a scooter engine that took a few to many attempts to start for comfort...😬
Isla de Sol on Lake Titikaka. One of the highest altitude lakes in the world, as boat trip and hike around the island sounds like a fantastic idea until you combine altitude sickness, sea sickness, hangovers, 150 Inka steps and an uncharacteristically roasting day, safe to say took us twice as long and nearly missed the boat back!
In for the long wait at the Bolivian border😬

15 January 2017

Amusement of the day..a Peruvian mountain takeaway🐹, and two information signs that should never have been on the same board...
Second day on the trek started at 4am in the dark with a 3 hour hike back out the canyon. Dodging rockslides, crazy mules and a path littered with exhausted swearing tourists we made it in pretty good time and greeted with coffee and a fried egg for breakfast, possibly the best thing ever after 3 weeks of jam and bread! After breakfast we were picked up in a minibus with another a tour group, some of which being the lazy Americans we scowled at being carted by the long suffering mules this morning😬 We skipped the organised fun of the hot springs (had been warned they were rather cold) and overpriced all you could eat tour lunch (probably for the American audience) but were rewarded with stumbling on an actual coffee shop, oh the joys, before driving the crazy 4900m alt road back to Arequipe.

14 January 2017

First day trekking the Cola Canyon, supposedly longer, wider and deeper than the Grand Canyon, though that might just be the tourist patter, and home to the giant condors. Tour started very early a 3.30am from the hostel, leaving the bar party revellers still going strong. A few hours later we reached the highest point of the canyon, sadly the fog was down so no condors flying, sensibly tucked up in their caves. A few hours decent to the bottom luckily cleared the sky's and we got great views of terrifying birds soaring menacingly above over our head! Lunch, a few hilarious/ terrifying river crossings and a gruelling climb up got us to the top of the opposite side of the canyon where you realise the very lovely named 'oasis village' our bed for the night was back down 400m, just made it before the rains came in😀

12 January 2017

Arequipa Moving on up into the mountains and Peru's second largest city Arequipa. Surrounded by a few to many volcanos for my liking, luckily the regularity of the raining season fog prevents one seeing the apparent smoke currently visible from the most active/angry of the local inka mountain gods 😱 Had a lazy day to explore so we went to join a free walking tour round the city which tend to be pretty entertaining if not always massively educational! Kicking off with a visit to a coffee/ chocolate museum for some much needed caffeine (surprisingly hard to come by in Peru!) was a great start and we had lucked out with a great guide who I'm not sure took a breath for the entire 3 hours of churches, museums and even a Llama and alpaca farm museum, finishing in the all important Pisco bar owned by the guides mate for free cocktails:-)

11 January 2017

Joyous to be seeing the back of Huacachina, lesson of the day when trip advisor says a hostel only has a 5/10, avoid like the plague! Spent the day and night road tripping on the beautiful desert road to Arequipe, stopped at a Peruvian winery proudly creating some of the worst wine on the planet, and the awesome Nazca Lines, not done justice on an iPhone!

10 January 2017

Gutted to have missed the Dakar stage by a few days so thought it was prime time to head to Huacachina, the town of the dune buggy and an endless landscape of crazy skyscraper sized sandy mountains. When the driver says will go 'extremo' for tip, there is obviously only one answer, the result was truly terrifying, I'd post the video but it would give mother a coronary...😆
Morning spent breakfasting on the beach and exploring more of the the Paracas National Reserve

9 January 2017

Lesson of the day, always make friends with the hostel owner, they might just happen to own a speed boat...🛥🛥
Boat trip round the Ballestas Islands and Candelabra of the Andes this morning. Pretty sad not to see any dolphins but lots of sea lions, pelicans, penguins and some pretty strange looking vultures. Also the millions of of birds nesting there, the byproduct of which being the awful smell and tons of bird poo..apparently Peru's number one export in the 19th a good useless fact/every day's a school day..

8 January 2017

Beachside! Great view from the room and happy hour cocktails at the bar😍
First day on the hopster bus, road trip along the desert coast road stopping at Chinca Slave tunnels on route to Paracas

7 January 2017

What a difference an hour flight makes, no waterproofs needed here! Chill day wandering the coast in the sunshine☀️☀️

6 January 2017

Being greeted by your Uber driver at arrivals to carry your bags, backpacking 2016 style..

5 January 2017

Travel time..🚅 to Ollyumtambo🚌 to Cusco ✈️ to Lima, hoping all on schedule and will be on the beach by 10am tomorrow
3 course meal for £5, don't mind if I do. Hiding from the rain waiting for ridiculously late train back to Cusco
Tackling Machu Picchu mountain, 2000 steps, 2000 feet, not for those with a fear of heights... Got one of only 200 tickets for the mountain trek, terrifying 1 hour of endless steps but the view was worth every second, took nearly 2 hours down, had time for another wander with the sun out finally, followed by another hour of steps back down from Machu Picchu, next time maybe take the bus🙄
Machu Picchu 🏔
Machu Picchu time🏔 3.30am start and got to the gate only 20th in the line ready and waiting for the gate to open. Ahead was a solid 390m of steps to reach the entrance having decided that a bus was a cop out on the adventure aspect of the day. The gate opened at 5am and we were through, the climb was not easy at that time in he morning with all of us on achy trekking legs! Have managed to avoid the dreaded blisters but suffering from a sock shortage so today's were purple pug socks highly inappropriate for the task at hand, what's more also yesterday's socks still wet and muddy, oh the joys of trekking😩 After a massive effort from all we got there at 6 and abandoned our guide to make a run to the famous 'picture spot' to try to get the all important picture before the crowds arrived, unfortunately all we found was clouds and 3 metre visibility! Couldn't see a single stone of the wonder of the world! We decided to wait it out and very very gradually the clouds started to thin out.

4 January 2017

Last supper with happy hour Pisco Sours, only having one with a 3am start tomorrow!
Passing the time with yet another purrito at PeruRail station waiting for our luggage to arrive🎒🎒
Day 4 - Santa Teresa To Aguas Calientes Trekking distance: 14.3km Altitude: 1972m.a.s.l. to 1680m.a.s.l. Walking time: 4 to 6 hours

3 January 2017

Jungle coffee shop, lunch surrounded by giant avocado and coffee trees😍
Gotta love a taxidermy wild cat😬 Rival standard to the famous Dorset taxidermy bat..
Plastic bags all round today, jungles aren't the best place for drying soggy boots
Day 3 - Chaullay to Santa Teresa Wake up to a welcome sense of relief to be free from the altitude grogginess after the huge descent yesterday, first clear head since Cusco! All change from yesterday's hypothermia risk, head out into the jungle fully sun/mosquito protected. Sunny stroll to our lunch spot stopping to steal bananas and pomegranates growing along the route. Trekking distance: 13.8km Altitude: 2860m.a.s.l. to 1972m.a.s.l.

1 January 2017

Humanitay Lake- Take a stroll to a nice lake pre lunch they said, turned out to be a 300 meter terror climb, still so worth it for the view. Tried to circumnavigate the lake to see where the streams go underground on the far side but even the best mountain goating skills couldn't get us there, retreated due to bad weather back for what was by then a very late lunch
Day 1 - Cusco To Soraypampa Trekking distance: 21.3 km Altitude: 3360m.a.s.l. to 4050m.a.s.l. 1 hours sleep, New Year's Day, starting 2017 with an adventure! Trek started with a typically terrifying mountain road drive to Mollepata where we stopped for breakfast then first trek to Soraypampa to set up camp.

29 December 2016

Observing the bizarre can can ceremony that is the Changing of the Guard at Plaza de Mayor complete with frilly uniforms and marching band

28 December 2016

Came to Peru, found Paddinton, job done🐻 Exploring Miraflores for the day, main achievement managing to acquire a metrobus ticket ( thanks goes to google translate..) and discovering the Choco Museum providing ample supply of bus ticket hunting sustenance.
Distraction selfie..First Peruvian taxi ride, utterly terrifying!