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Inca Trail reflections

all seasons in one day 20 °C

One of the most charming creatures we met in the Huaraz area...

I just love Peru. I don't want to leave! It's the most amazing country ever.

Nevertheless, we're heading off for Chile tomorrow, in order to get as much time as possible for hiking in Patagonia. Man, I'm looking forward to that so much!!! Our new plan is to skip Bolivia for now, do Patagonia in December and January so that we will be able to get to Rio in time for the Carnival! In that way, we can go to Bolivia after that, before flying back home from Rio in April. Might not be the shortest nor cheapest way to travel, but after all we came here to spend our money... :) And I mean, The Carnival - you can't really be in South America during the Carnival and not go to Rio, can you?

Beetle in Cajamarca

We just returned from four interesting days on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu - South Americas number one tourist attraction. The trekk was defenitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, jam-packed with astonishing Inca-sites, bewildering cloud forest passages and breathtaking views, and Machu Picchu itself is probably one of the most impressive places on Earth.

Porters at Dead Woman's Pass

What I didn't like was the concept of the Inca Trail as a tourist industry. Reflection of the day: forteen slave-driven porters to supply the eleven tourists with far too much luxury. I mean, we were trekking! I wouldn't mind carrying my own food, and I certainly don't need chairs, table cloths, four course meals and silver sugar bowls when I'm out hiking. And apparently there is an opportunity to just hire a guide and carry your own gear - but that's not something the agencies tell you about...

Second day of the trail

Having said that, it was undoubtedly a very entertaining and enjoyable experience, and I don't regret I did it. It was defenitely one of the highlights of the trip, so far! Hopefully, more highlights are coming up...

Machu Picchu and I!

Lots of love

Posted by snatterand 09:15 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (4)

Not again...

- robbery attempt in Trujillo

sunny 20 °C

No, this time we didn't loose the bag. I took it back! - but it was a close call. Quite a dramatic story, listen:

Joakim and I were walking towards Huenca Esmeralda, a pre-Inca ruin outside Trujillo, Peru, resembling the larger Chan Chan ruins we had just visited. It was a great day, the sun was shining, and Jhoselín, a charming 10-year old Peruvian girl, had kept us company all day long, chatting constantely (good Spanish practise!). Though, we had just sent her by bus back home to Huanchaco, since all the walking had worn her out, while we wanted to do some more.

Detail of the Chan Chan ruins

Anyway, we kept walking along the main road, not listening to all the taxi drivers passing us. Some even said it was dangerous to walk, but they always say that, right?!? So we walked.

Made a right turn at the church, and continued down a quieter road. I was examining a restaurant sign (what on earth is a "Picantería"?) when it happened. A man came from behind, jumped onto Joakim's back and pulled him down to the ground. Another man, in a checkered shirt, grabbed the small backpack he was wearing (with our camera, wallet and travel journals in it) and started running. They both looked pretty old, 40 or something, and it all happened in a split second.

From that moment, I don't remember anything. I have no idea what happened after that! But somehow, don't ask me how, I managed to take it back!!! I think I kicked towards his balls, but unfortunately I missed... Next thing I know, I am standing in front of the 2 men, holding the backpack, furious!!! Joakim - on his feet again - is screaming like crazy at them.

And then... 2 other men come running from a taxi nearby. The 4 of them started shouting at each other, and eventually they all dissappear. It is not until now we notice that a lot of people are watching from the picantería. The owner asks us in, takes care of us, gives us water to drink and calls the police. I'm just so relieved: we still have all our stuff, and nobody was hurt...!

But. We still don't know whether the 2 men from the taxi came to help us - or if they came to help the robbers, but were interrupted by the restaurant people... So what would have happened if the restaurant weren't there?!

And. I don't know how I managed to react that fast. I wasn't even thinking! Maybe because I've already lost one backpack - I was determined not to let it happen again...

THIS IS NOT THE SORT OF STUFF I WANT TO WRITE IN MY TRAVEL BLOG!!! I want to write about awesome adventures, stunning nature and cool people!!! Which we, of course, encounter as well. But, these things happen, sadly enough. I just hope that we won't have any problems like these for a while now (preferably not at all).

Apart from this (and me being ill from seafood for 2 days in Cajamarca) Peru has treated us well, so far. Right now we are in Huaraz, breathing the mountain air and admiring the snowcapped peaks around us. Planning for a couple of days hiking to start with.

Inca Cola - don't miss it if going to Peru!

We have also been to Máncora, that didn't have any surf at all, and Huanchaco, that had better waves than expected (awesome surfing but freezing cold!), and Cajamarca, which is my favourite town in South America, so far. Joakim still haven't tried the local dish "Picante de cuy" - guinnea pig in hot sauce (I think I don't have to since I'm a vegetarian ;)) - but the Cevishe (raw fish marinated in lemon) is delicious!

Moreover, we have been the subject of people's curiousity here more than anywhere else... Especially Joakim seems to be very popular among 16-year old school girl - they all want to have their photo taken together with him, or they sneak up and take a picture in secret, hoping we won't notice! I find it quite charming, and very entertaining, though Joakim isn't that flattered... :)

That's all for now, folks! More photos in my gallery...

Posted by snatterand 10:28 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Parque Nacional Cajas

- I promised you pictures and here they are...

semi-overcast 22 °C

...at least a few of them. It really took a while to upload photos here, but I really want you guys to see a few - this might be the most beautiful place I've ever been to.

Lago Fondo Cocha, altitude 4100 meters

Me, overlooking Parque Nacional Cajas from Lago Toreador

Another awesome lake-view - first morning in Parque Nacional Cajas

Not much to add. We're leaving Ecuador in a couple of hours, are in Lojas right now waiting for the night bus that will take us over the boarder to Peru... It's so exciting, a new country! Wish us good luck!


Posted by snatterand 12:59 Archived in Ecuador Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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