Doug & Janice's World Tour - Peru Journal

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    Puno Roadblock
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    Peru market
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    Inca designs
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    A great life!

    May 9, 2011 Welcome to Peru!
    Here we are in our last country – and no bikes…feels strange. We arrived in Cusco early this morning after a terrible overnight bus ride. We had been so lucky with the great buses in Argentina and Chile – but this was different. It was small, cold and very noisy. And just to top it off – I was sick all night. YUCK – glad we’re finally here!
    And we are still too happy!

    May 16, 2011
    Hola and greetings from Cusco.
    Back in Cusco after a great journey to Machu Picchu. So, let me get you up to date. We had a bad first day in Cusco – we were both suffering with altitude sickness. This was the first time this happened – normally we are so slow on the bikes…what takes one day on the bus would have been many days of uphill bike riding! We went from sea level to 11,000 feet in 24 hours – and our bodies felt it.
    After a rest day we wondered around the very touristy town of Cusco. Great food and lots of people to meet! We then took a shared taxi to Ollantaytambo. Our other passenger was Priscilla – from Kansas City – and she has a very interesting job – she’s a “storyteller”. She is here in Peru for work – telling stories to children in Lima. We spent the night here – another great hotel for ‘cheap’. The next morning it was up early and the tourist train to Aguas Calientes followed by the bus to Machu Picchu. What a beautiful site. This is one of those places that you can not photograph. Amazing Inca ruins sitting in the ‘saddle’ between two mountains that go straight to the sky. These are not your basic ‘rolling hills’!
    So next it was back here to Cusco and now planning to go to Amazonia!
    Hope you’re all as happy as we are!
    Janice and Doug

    June 30, 2011
    CRAZY – that's all I can say…CRAZY!
    We had a great trip to Amazonia. We took another night bus, this time going from 11,000 feet down to 800ft! I just wish they ran this bus during the day – beautiful mountains! We arrived in Puerto Maldonado – and of course we had no plans. Found a great hotel and then started talking to travel agents to find a trip down the Amazon. Lots of places – but pretty pricey. We finally found a great deal through a local hostel. We decided to take the “upgrade” – and for a small upcharge we were able to stay in a 4 star river resort! There were 7 of us in the group and it was a great couple days, boat rides to see flora and fauna and some hikes in the middle of the day. They have some of the largest bugs I have ever seen! How about a beetle that is the size of my fist!!!!!! And finished it off on a zip-line through the forest.
    Next it was back to Cusco to plan the journey back to Uruguay.
    We decided to go first to Puno and Lake Titicaca. We caught another bus and spent the day as tourist stopping at Andahuaylillas, La Raya, and more. Then into Puno in the evening. Little did we know, the city is closed…due to a miner’s strike. The tourist bus just dropped us at the beginning of town. We had no idea what was happening and of course – we didn’t have hotel reservations or anything…so now what? Lucky, a group was trying to leave and they had their taxi driver take us to the hotel they just left. At this point, we still don’t know what’s going on.
    The next morning we awoke in a beautiful hotel, with a balcony that overlooked the street and town square. And there below us were thousands of protestors. The front of our hotel and all the businesses around, were boarded up. This is when I started to get nervous…We did leave the hotel and walk around – no one seemed to care about us. But nothing was open and no one was running tours on the lake.
    That night the protestors must have been up singing and dancing until dawn! Doug got very sick so I was on my own trying to find a way out of this city. By now we realized we would not do a trip on Lake Titicaca and we had to get moving so we could get back to Uruguay for our flight home.
    After multiple days of me leaving the hotel through a back entrance, staying on side roads and taking to every westerner or travel agent – I was a wreck. Finally the hotel manager arranged for us to get a ride in the middle of the night to Juliaca, the next town.
    So, we sneak out at 5am while to protestors sleep. Interesting how they block the roads, they pile rocks on them. Too many to go over or around! I guess people move them after dark. We arrived in Juliaca in the morning and head right to the bus terminal. We find a bus but while sitting on it we hear that they are going through Puno! NO WAY! We know that we’d get stuck again! So off the bus and find a different route. We did find a bus to Areaquie and then next night to Tacna and cross the border to Chile.
    I know this sounds crazy…all the way to Lake Titicaca and we could only look from the shore line! And buses and protestors…Peru is crazy! Nice to be back in Chile. Well – another great adventure and still lovin’ life!
    Janice and Doug

    Forgot another crazy Puno item... As we arrived on the evening bus in Puno the place was wild - lots of people trying to figure out why we were being dropped at the edge of the city and where to find their tourist guides...meanwhile I wait while Doug grabs our packs as they are removed from the luggage area. Suddenly a blonde womean picks up my pack and starts to walk away with it. Doug grabs the pack, she turns and says (in American English), "no thanks, I can handel this", thinking Doug was a porter. My bag he says and she just says 'sorry' and runs back to her tour group.
    Lesson; when traveling in developing countries watch those &%$% American tourists !