2002 - Peru
Friday 9th August
Stopped at old church in village on way and arrived in Puno early evening. Did not look very attractive although our hotel on an peninsula was pleasant enough and had a group of lamas in the grounds. We ate there that evening -Etienne having booked a couple of tables for JLA and then we went with Jenny, Graham, Lynne and Miki to have one of the local drinks - grape brandy, egg white, sugar and cinamon called Picosower (!)
Saturday 10th August
We had checked out the next morning fairly early to catch the 8.00 a.m. train from Puno to Cuzco.
We went through miles and miles of fairly samey scenery over the altiplano but then things changed as we came into the mountains. We stopped on the summit and got out - there were many local sellers as usual - then off again finally arriving at Cuzco Station at about 6.00 p.m. We were lucky as the train was on time - Etienne told us on arrival that on one occasion he and his group had not got in until 4.30 a.m.!!
We were met by our transport and watched the porters struggling with sometimes as many as four suitcases each. We drove through Cuzco to reach our hotel which was a 17th century colonial house that had been enlarged. We had a brief look around the town but Adie began to feel slightly unwell and so we went back to the hotel and ordered some omelettes from the restaurant. Adie did not eat all of his.
That night Adie was repeatedly sick and Jill was awake all night feeling ill.
Sunday 11th August
We were tempted not to go on the all day tour of local Inca sites but made ourselves do so and felt somewhat better by the end of the day. Glenda was so ill that she opted out.
Monday 12th August
Tuesday 13th August
Breakfast 4.30 a.m. 6.00 a.m. Train from Cuzco to Macchu Picchu - distant views of mountains with snow. Zigzag switchback out of Cuzco. Arrived at Macchu Picchu in time to reach the ruined city by 10.00. Lunch in restaurant there ($20!) In the afternoon Adie felt sick again so we went to the hotel. Walk around grounds. 12 hours sleep!
Wednesday 14th August
Had to check out by 9.00 a.m. Breakfast over by 9.30 and then walked through the village to the hot springs. Sat there typing diary. Left 12.00 noon and wandered through the traders' stalls while Jill secured more bargains. Then back to the hotel and on to the train for a very interesting journey back through the mountain valleys. This time we were entertained by the train staff modelling Alpaca wear, to the increasing cheers of the passengers. This was a new arrangement and the young male staff member seemed somewhat ill at ease but the girl played to the crowd in return.
Once back we went out with Lynn and Micky to buy a cd rom of the area and the odd further bargain before a pizza meal with them and Norman and Julie.
Thursday 15th August
9.00 a.m. departure for Lima which with delay in the flight meant arriving about 2.30. At 3.30 a number of us took taxis to the centre and Etienne took us on a walking tour of principal sights (not many!) having told us so much that was negative it would have been difficult to be very expectant.
In the evening we went as an entire group to a rather attractive restaurant and spent a happy evening, Robert and Glenda playing the comb and silver foil and foil and kitchen sieve borrowed from the kitchen. Then fond farewells before all returning in taxis and us leaving at 3.50am the next morning for Miami.