Peru. More than just good looks…

It felt just like back home. A delightful city environment. And after two weeks in Cuba, supermarkets actually full of stock. This is popular Mierflores in Lima, Peru. Offering a vast choice of restaurants to enjoy what Peru is famous for… food. Plus lovely parks, surrounds, and beach foreshore parks. Then there’s the city centre with its grand colonial buildings. But the city of ten million is not all pristine. Step outside the popular tourist destinations and you find the slums where seventy percent of the city lives. In fact cross over the bridge from the bustling tourist centric city centre where we were told it is not advised to go. Not quite like home. But within the tourist areas, what a lovely city.

Next destination Machu Pichu. Fortunately there’s Peru Hop On Off bus. A great service set up by a couple Irish guys a few years ago. Instead of flying, the hop on bus takes you to some great destinations south of Peru. All a bit touristy. But then again I’m not Christopher Columbus! Typically a six day trip… stop off for a few hours, or stay a few days at each place… you decide. Takes in some fantastic sites like Ballestas Islands, the young cousin of Galapagos Islands with sea lions and bountiful numbers of bird life (and a fertilizer side industry from all the bird poop); my favourite the sand buggy & sand boarding tour with their crazy drivers in the picturesque desert oasis town of Huacachinero; the Chincha secret slave tunnels; the mysterious Nazca lines; Colca Canyon… twice as deep as the Grand Canyon; and Lake Titicaca the world’s highest navigable lake with man made floating islands.

But one of the highlights of travel are the ones that go beyond the iconic tourist destinations of mountains and grand buildings. If you were having a family fiesta similar to a wedding and a bunch of five vagabond foreigners were peering through the gated door curious about the local culture going on inside, would you invite them in? Well in Puno on Lake Titicaca in Peru, that’s what they did. The Bulgarian, the Cypress couple, the Scot and me the Aussie. Treated to whisky, beer, dancing. What a welcoming treat of Peruvian hospitality. Unfortunately we couldn’t party through the night till 7am as our welcoming host had suggested, as we had to leave to catch our overnight bus. Thank you Puno for one of those special golden moments of travel.

Huacachinero, an Oasis in the desert

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I’m not sure I could have survived the all night Peruvian hospitality we received in Puno!

 

 

Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world with its floating islands.

 

 

Crazy drivers in the Peru Desert at Huacachinero… or crazy passengers?

 

 

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