Before entering Peru we had already seen lots of pics of the incredible Laguna Parón. To get there we took the route through the Cañon del Pato which is a real adventure. It's one of those exciting Andean passes where you honk at every turn to forwarn oncoming vehicles. Passing them leaves only inches between you and the abyss. The Cañon del Pato gets even more adventurous as you go through more than 20 tunnels. There's only one lane so either you or the oncoming vehicle goes backwards till the next pullout.
At the Laguna Parón my drivers hiked up to 4.800 meters and were rewarded with spectacular views. Do you know the "Paramount" logo? They saw its model up there.
Animalwise we got a real treat. Vicuñas (see the baby!!), condors (flying and sleeping) and ...dolphins. We drove along the coast south of Lima and wondered about the weird movement of that surfers
Sunrisewise it wasn't too bad either. The sunrise at Tres Cruces is spectacular. Watching down from 3600m to the below Amazon Rainforest of Parque Nacional
Manu at 600m is phenomenal.
We saw so many other cool things like the salineras, the Nazca lines or the market in Caraz. So Peru definitely wasn't sparing of great attractions.
Before starting our trip Machu Picchu has of course been one of the great destinations along the route. But it has also been connected to something we would do in the last third of our trip. So it felt a bit weird when we were finally there because it meant that our trip's end isn't that far away anymore.
Sadly I couldn't get close to the ruins. They're only reachable by train or foot.
My drivers had to either invest a lot of money for a train and a bus ticket or time and muscles. They chose the second way.
From the pics and what they told me it's really impressive - even despite all the donsides of mass-tourism. It's unbelievable they managed to build all this up there in the mountains so many years ago. The location with Mt Huayna Picchu in the back and the valley-views made it so unique for my drivers.
We were lucky enough to be in Cusco for the Inti Raymi. It was a crazy party all over the city...
"The 'Inti Raymi'rata (Quechua for "sun festival") is a religious ceremony of the Inca Empire in honor of the god Inti(Quechua for "sun"), the most venerated deity in Inca religion. It was the celebration of the winter solstice [...] In territories south of the equator the gregorian months of June and July are winter months. It is held on June 24."
For those who want to know more about this amazing happening: read the whole Wikipedia article or check out the pics!
And even more from Peru... Lovely camping spots, lunch sites with a view on Lago Titicaca and a delicious Pisco Sour in the evening.
At the rainbow mountain we reached our highest point so far. 5.200 meters!
The huge plant is called puya raimondii. If you're lucky you see one blossoming over and over which they only do once in their lifetime. Sadly we didn't see it but at least we got to see some juicy arrangements.
Reaching Lago Titicaca, adventures awaiting you in Bolivia can already be spotted on the other shore as the borderline goes through the lake. We've heard locals making fun about which one of the two countries is to get the "Titi" and which one the "Caca" ;-)