Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mel and Grand-daughter Jordyn in Peru and Bolivia - 2010

Lima, Peru - A very nice city! A month long trip to Peru and Bolivia!

Main plaza in Lima!

Plaza in Cuzco!

Cuzco is a beautiful city. Very comfortable for walking around. 10,900'
Sacred Valley Tour - Inca ruins not far from Cuzco!
We loved this original Inca wall in our hotel.
We had lots of chances to shop.
Lunch stop on the way to Ollantaytambo!


The rock cutting/ fitting "boggles the mind".

Ollantaytambo - Fun taxi to our hotel!
We could see the ruins from our hotel and it was only a one block walk to the Inca Rail train to Machu Pichu.
Beautiful train ride to Aguas Calientes! A narrow canyon with high snow covered peaks above!
Machu Pichu! Up, up, up on lots of switchbacks from Aguas Calientes! Jordyn and I climbed an Inca Trail to the peak in the background (Old Machu Pichu Peak).
Machu Pichu! It's on my "Top Ten Wonders of the World" list.
We hiked this Inca Trail to the "Inca Bridge". The rock work is impressive! Now closed at the bridge, the trail continues across the cliffs in the picture.
Inca Bridge!

We climbed around 1,500 feet to reach "Old Machu Pichu Peak".

The train runs through the middle of Aguas Calientes.
I had to try the popular dish, Cuy (guinea pig). I can't say I'd recommend it.

Uros "Floating Islands"!
Lake Titicaca! We stayed in Puno by the lake at 12,500 feet elevation.
We walked a quarter mile to cross into Bolivia.
Immigration office!
Cool! Dirt-bike at your desk!
Bus on a ferry and we went on a "home-made" boat!
We took a bus to La Paz, Bolivia. We walked some cool streets to this fun restaurant. La Paz sits at 12,200 feet Elevation.
Staying at the "Milton Hotel" - $20 for two including breakfast!

We grabbed a flight to Sucre, Bolivia where we had signed up for a week of "immersion" Spanish (four hours per day in class and staying with a local family. We spent ten days in this beautiful city. We walked and took local buses everywhere.  $125 for one week in school and $12/ day for room with two meals - per person.

Our "family"! - We loved staying with them.

Note the hole in the bus floor. Nice for checking engine status!

My teacher! Jordyn and I loved the teaching quality at our school.

"Skeleton Band" - This was one cool show. I should have in on my YouTube videos soon.

We rented ATV's in the plaza in front of our school. I rode by myself but this "helper" got a free date with Jordyn.

From Sucre we took a bus to Potosi (biggest silver mining area in the Americas). This was our favorite town of the trip. Silver mountain in background. We were breathing easy in Sucre at 9,200 feet but in Potosi at 13,500 feet we were feeling the altitude.

The bus ride to Uyuni was hours of vibrating "washboard" roads. Our rest stop included this restroom.

Uyuni - 12,200 feet! We came for the Southwest Circuit Tour. A three day trip across the world's biggest salt flats and much more. A surreal desert surrounded by 20,000 foot volcano's.

Train junkyard! Leftovers from a huge silver mine.
Lot's of locals make their living doing this.
"Salt Hotel" in San Juan - 13,900 feet! Made using blocks of salt!
"Salt Hotel" - 13,900 feet!
Rough country! We went 500 miles over very bumpy terrain. A tribute to the toughness of the Toyota Land Cruiser.
Three species of flamingos!
"Red Lagoon"!
"Roughin' It" hotel!
Six in one room - no heat - 20 degrees outside - 13,900 feet - long night!
Frozen radiator? No problemo! Put a Gas soaked burning rag behind the grille next to the radiator and light the cook stove under it.
We spent three fun days with two couples.
These hot springs felt great.
20,000 foot mountain!
Our friends crossed into Chile here.
Warning! We saw another one of these with a sign on it - "Beware robbers".

Main Plaza - La Paz, Bolivia - We flew out of La Paz to Lima, Peru and home.
Bought this new hat while Jordyn and shopped for gifts.
We booked a Mtn. Bike ride down Bolivia's "Death Road" ("The Most Dangerous Road in the World") but a strike by the Coca leaf growers had the road blocked. We then booked a trip to Tiwanaku (featured on History channel (mystery on how they were able to do the intricate rock cutting/ drilling). We had a fun day there.

Here's a perspective on where Peru and Bolivia sit.
A street vendor used a cardboard box for a playpen.
"A wonderful trip - Thanks Jordyn, for going with your Papa"