Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Got back from Peru last monday. It was quite a trip.
Peru is one of the few countries where you can experience almost every climate: jungle, mountian, beach, desert.
Our first leg was going to Machu Picchu. Our first stop was in Cuzco (10,000 feet), where we got some mate de coca or coca tea, a local remedy for high altitude sickness. The active ingredient in these leaves is the same stuff found in cocaine. When we got to Machu Picchu I no longer felt the effects of the high altitude. Not sure if its because is at a lower elevation, it wasn't so bad. Next to Machu Picchu is a mountain overlooking it called Wyna Picchu. We climbed the steep mountain for an hour to get this view:
Next we went to Cuzco, Puno, Lake Titikaka, and then to Arequipa, which I liked the most. Arequipa is home to the Santa Catalina Monastery. Its one of the most photogenic places I've seen. The colors are bold and vibrant. Indigo blue, terra cotta orange, and Spanish red are the only colors used on the walls.
After that we flew back to Lima, did the city tour. The next day we had a day trip to see the Nazca Lines before flying back home. I do have to say that the AeroCondor tour that we took was incredibly disorganized, and for $700 bucks (for 2) is not really worth it.

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