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Old 3rd July 2013, 17:45   #46
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

Deky, You are taking us for a virtual tour over Peru.

Nice photos, The Cuy picture scares me .
The bone dry barren mountains look like Leh.
Keep them comin.

And yes, Life comes to a standstill allover South America whenever a good football match goes up, no surprise the match which is going on in that TV is the UEFA cup final showdown between Bayern & Dortmand.
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Old 4th July 2013, 01:40   #47
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

What a trip Deky! One that I've been thinking of forever - but hopefully one that will happen as soon as our toddler is just a little older. I'm sure i will reference this travelogue fairly often - thank you!
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Old 4th July 2013, 02:44   #48
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

Loved the way you covered the food part.
Awesome.
Will read through the whole thread when I get time.
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Old 4th July 2013, 16:57   #49
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Default 27/05/2013 – Flight Of the Condor and Colca Region

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
Deky, You are taking us for a virtual tour over Peru.

Nice photos, The Cuy picture scares me .
The bone dry barren mountains look like Leh.
Keep them comin.

And yes, Life comes to a standstill allover South America whenever a good football match goes up, no surprise the match which is going on in that TV is the UEFA cup final showdown between Bayern & Dortmand.
Yeah as soon as the Cuy was served I lost all my appetite but still I managed to eat some of it. Never happened with food before to me

Quote:
Originally Posted by amip View Post
What a trip Deky! One that I've been thinking of forever - but hopefully one that will happen as soon as our toddler is just a little older. I'm sure i will reference this travelogue fairly often - thank you!
Yup you should. And now that I see your location as Canada, you will find some cheap flights to Peru. You may try Taca Airlines

Quote:
Originally Posted by download2live View Post
Loved the way you covered the food part.
Awesome.
Will read through the whole thread when I get time.
Thanks buddy!!

27/05/2013 – Flight Of the Condor and Colca Region

I was really looking forward to today as today we would be going to see the Andean Condors in their flight.

Condors are the 3rd largest birds and have a wingspan of about 10 feet. They are from the vulture family and are scavengers and feed on carrion/ carcass. What is really special to see them in flight is the ease with which they glide on the hot currents rising from the canyon base without flapping their huge wings even once. Because they use the hot currents to fly, usually the best time to see the Condor’s is in the morning between 0800 hrs and 1000hrs. Though its not guaranteed that the condors will fly that day so you need to be lucky as well, Mirador, la Cruz Del Condor is a view point that offers amazing view of the canyon. From here if lucky, tourists can also see the condors in flight.

The Mirador is about 35 kms from Yanque. Because the route is not paved we had to be ready by 0700 hrs to reach there by 0800hrs. Today we had booked a half day tour from our lodge that included a visit to the Mirador and a few stops in the various villages in Colca on the way back and services of an English speaking guide

The van came to pick us up from the hotel at 0715hrs and we were on our way. The guide kept on telling us about Colca region and the Canyon. Yanque is nestled in the Colca Valley and because of River Colca that flows through the valley and all the fertile soil due to the volcanoes around, it see a lot of agriculture. As you start moving towards Cabanaconde, the valley starts to shrink and huge cliffs start to rise up from the river base. This is the start of the Colca Canyon. Colca Canyon is probably the world’s deepest canyon and it’s more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon at a depth of 4160mtrs.
Slowly we made our way towards the Mirador. The sights of the valley on the way were to behold and since it was just the two of us and another French gentleman in the 11 seater van we had the luxury of stopping the van at wherever we wanted. The guide also did not seem to be in too much of a hurry as he said that it being winters, the Condors would most probably start flying by 0900 hrs and how right he was.

We reached the Mirador at 0850 hrs and though the place was over crowded with tourists but it was all quiet on Condor front. No condors had taken off yet. But in a matter of 10 minutes, the scenario had completely changed and one by one we could see the condors emerging from the Canyon and flying over us. Sometimes even flying so close to us that if any closer we could have touched them. Some people are not lucky to see even one Condor, but today at one point I counted atleast 14 condors in the sky. It was a lucky day indeed for us.

At 1000hrs when the activity subsided we started our journey back to Yanque. On our way back we stopped at couple of villages and also at the valley view point to take pictures. By noon we were at Yanque.

Couple of hours of rest and a quick bite and by 1500 hrs we were ready for a small trek organized by our lodge.

Pics so far


Early morning at the lodge
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Continental breakfast is the norm in all the budget hotels, some hotels do serve eggs as well.
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A local lady with her Falcon at the Plaza
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On our way to the Mirador
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Bright clear blue skies and almost full moon
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The fertile Colca Valley
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The depth of the Canyon. It was around 2500meters in depth here
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The Condor show starts with a single condor
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Then comes a couple more
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Some come very close to us
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Rising on the thermals from the canyon
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The depth of the canyon
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Mirador, The Canyon and The Condors. Can you count how many condors in the frame?
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Two condors perch right in front of us
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Then another couple joins them
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The Condor kiss
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And the Condor nuzzle
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The place was crowded with tourists
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Time to pose after the Condor show
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One parting shot
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A view of the Colca Valley on our return
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On the right is the valley and the left the canyon starts
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The valley getting narrower
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A few more panoramas
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A brief stop at a village to buy handicrafts
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Next : Trek to the Uyo Uyo Ruins
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Old 5th July 2013, 10:41   #50
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

This is the most complete travelog I've read in a while .. a sweet rendition of a love story between u and peru replete with minute details. Awesome!
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Old 5th July 2013, 13:56   #51
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

Wonderful going Deky.

Saw this horrible news in BBC today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23173628
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Old 6th July 2013, 12:39   #52
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

This is a really good travelogue indeed. So much so that I think it can be used as a reference for planning a trip to Peru. I have read your Tibet travelogue and that's pretty good too! I think you have a nice way to put it up. Thanks for sharing and voted. And lastly - if you don't mind , an XLS with cost break-up will be the icing on the cake!
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Old 8th July 2013, 15:20   #53
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

Hey deky,

No surprises that you won the tickets. The way you have presented this log is a testimony to that. It is simple, straight forward yet has the elements in it to keep the readers hooked . Thank you for taking us through Peru. Especially loved the part where you had covered each and every aspects of preparations to be made including bookings. Very detailed indeed. Waiting for more.

Last edited by narsi_6989 : 8th July 2013 at 15:21.
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Old 13th July 2013, 13:02   #54
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneil_79 View Post
This is the most complete travelog I've read in a while .. a sweet rendition of a love story between u and peru replete with minute details. Awesome!
Thank you for the kind words. Yes it is indeed a love story as we did enjoy Peru a lot!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajesh1868 View Post
Wonderful going Deky.

Saw this horrible news in BBC today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23173628
Sad indeed. History going down the drain to make a quick buck is really sad!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TechNomad View Post
This is a really good travelogue indeed. So much so that I think it can be used as a reference for planning a trip to Peru. I have read your Tibet travelogue and that's pretty good too! I think you have a nice way to put it up. Thanks for sharing and voted. And lastly - if you don't mind , an XLS with cost break-up will be the icing on the cake!
Thank you. Will cover the cost part a bit later, but I am not in a habit of making excessive cost analysis in a holiday so it will be like how much I took and how much was left equals to how much we spent types

Quote:
Originally Posted by narsi_6989 View Post
Hey deky,

No surprises that you won the tickets. The way you have presented this log is a testimony to that. It is simple, straight forward yet has the elements in it to keep the readers hooked . Thank you for taking us through Peru. Especially loved the part where you had covered each and every aspects of preparations to be made including bookings. Very detailed indeed. Waiting for more.
Thank you and I enjoyed the preparation part as much as I enjoyed the journey or maybe the preparation was good hence we enjoyed the journey!!

27/05/2013 – Trek to Uyo Uyo Ruins

Next on agenda was a 7km long, circular trek to Uyo Uyo, the Pre-Inca ruins. This trek is included in the hotel stay and the services of a guide are provided. The guide usually is a school going kid from Yanque village who does this as well after school hours to earn some pocket money. Hence this trek is always scheduled after 1500hrs. Though the service of the guide is free but you are expected to give some tips. Also the young guide may not always speak English.

Uyo Uyo was a pre Inca village mostly of farmers. Then when Inca took over they introduced latest methods of farming and some of these steps are still farmed by the locals there. But in the colonial rule the village was destroyed by the Spanish and all that stands are just remains of the Uyo Uyo village

Some details about the trek

Name: Uyo Uyo Ruins
Activity type: off-trail walking
Description: -
Total distance: 6.73 km (4.2 mi)
Total time: 3:13:05
Moving time: 2:24:22
Average speed: 2.09 km/h (1.3 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 2.80 km/h (1.7 mi/h)
Max speed: 5.06 km/h (3.1 mi/h)
Max elevation: 3538 m (11609 ft)
Min elevation: 3380 m (11090 ft)
Recorded: 27/05/2013 15:03

After lunch we relaxed for a bit as our guide was to come at 1500 hrs. Parul was a little hesitant to do this trek as she has never done any treks in her life before and especially at this altitude (3500 mtrs +), I knew walking could get difficult. So the plan was to walk as much as we could and return back from where we thought we have had enough. This trek would anyway help us for the upcoming hike at Machu Pichu at Hyuana Pichu mountain, which though at a lesser height but is considered very tough.

Our guide, a young local boy of around 15 yrs age, arrived 5 minutes before 1500 hrs and we were off on our trek. Unluckily the boy did not speak any English but that did not cause any problems. He was full of enthusiasm and kept on explaining things to us in Spanish and repeated things again and again till we actually understood him or pretended to understand him. He had lots of local knowledge and kept us telling about the farming, the crops they grown, the history, the soil, the minerals in the soil, the medicinal value of some plants and about everything that was around us.

The 3 km trek to the ruins took us about an hour. The path crosses the River Colca and winds along the farmlands and goes up to a mountain side where the ruins are situated. This walk gives amazing views of the nearby mountains and volcanoes.

Once we were at the ruins we wandered around and since with the sun setting it was getting cold we decided to return back. Parul seemed fine so far so we decided to complete the circular route and return to Yanque from the other side. Returning from the other side had an added advantage as we could see the hot springs from there. There are private hot springs, owned by a hotel and public hot springs at the other end of River Colca. The route initially was a gradual descend but from the river basin it was an uphill hike of about a kilometer to Yanque. The last kilometer, after having already walked for 6 kms, I accept was a killer.

By the time we reached our lodge it was about 1900hrs and both of us were dead tired. I think it was the height and the trek that was affecting us. So we tipped our guide and went straight to bed and called it a day.

You can click here to check the route we took.

Pics so far

Starting our trek with our guide
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Beautifull views of the Colca Valley
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Crossing the bride on River Colca
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The old Inca terraces, also known as the ‘Amphitheatre De Colca’
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River Colca forming a canyon
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Some structures below the bridge. (I have no idea what these are)
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Our Guide explained us about what all is cultivated
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Showing us Maze
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Broad Beans or Lima Beans
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Barley
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Quinoa
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Quinoa Seeds : Very Rich in Protein
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Old Inca steps that is still cultivated
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At The Uyo Uyo ruins
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Llama and Alpaca in front of a storage house
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Guide explaining the set up of the village that used to be
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Uyo Uyo ruins
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On our way back
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Tuna – the cactus fruit
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Its very sweet and juicy
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A very high end resort on the banks of Colca River
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With private Thermal Baths
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A private bridge at the resort to go across
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Another old bridge on the river
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But the oldest of the bridges that we took to go across
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The public thermal baths
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A Google Earth screen shot of the path that we took
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Next : Smoking Volcano and Chivay to Puno
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Old 25th September 2013, 12:31   #55
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28/05/2013: SMOKING VOLCANO AND CHIVAY TO PUNO

Today was our last day at the Colca Valley as at 1330 hrs we had to catch a tour bus from Chivay to Puno. Puno is the biggest city by the banks of Lake Titicaca on Peruvian side. Lake Titicaca, at a height of 3811 mtrs is considered the highest Navigable lake in the world and borders Peru and Bolivia.

We had nothing much to do in the morning so after a lazy breakfast and doing our packing, we decided to walk around our lodge in Yanque. While enjoying the scenery around we noticed that one of the mountains at a distance was smoking. Initially we dismissed it as clouds but later on we realized that it was actually smoke coming out of the mountain.

We spoke to a few locals and were informed that the mountain was a volcano named Sabancaya. This we were told was an active Volcano and the most dangerous of the Volcanoes in Peru. We were also informed that some activity had been seen lately from the Volcano and today was one of the days where it was smoking but not smoking as heavily as it was a few days back. This got us a bit excited and we rushed back to our lodge as I wanted to change my camera lens to 70-300mm to get a closer view.

Soon it was time to check out of the lodge at Yanque and to proceed to Chivay to catch our 1330hrs bus to Puno. The lodge had already arranged a taxi for us and in 15 minutes we reached the bus stop at Chivay. We were to catch the ‘4M Express Bus’ to Puno.

4M Express Bus is name of a company that organizes tours in Peru and one of the routes is between Chivay & Puno. This distance of around 260kms is done in about 5.5 hrs with some stops in between. It also has a guide service and the ticket also includes a snack and some beverages. We already had our tickets done for this bus so as soon as we reached Chivay we got our luggage checked in and went around Plaza De Armas at Chivay for a walk.

For some reason the departure of the bus was delayed and we only started by 1400 hrs. Since we were in a valley so initially we had to climb a bit higher till we crossed the Patapampa pass at 4910mtrs and then gradually descended to the Altiplano (high altitude plateau). We crossed a lot of small and big lakes and lots of marsh lands where one could see a lot of wildlife, especially llamas, Alpacas and ducks. Slowly the whole area became barren and lots of rock formations could be seen due to wind erosion on the plateau.

One of the biggest lakes that we crossed just before sunset was the Laguna Lagunillas. We had a brief stop there. It was not brief because we were in a hurry but it was brief because of the extreme cold and the high winds blowing that made it even colder. So after quick photographs we went inside the warmth of the bus.

After sunset it was not much that we could see outside so we just waited for Puno to arrive. Puno was cold and the temperature showed around 2 degrees Celsius. Luckily we were aware of this so we had kept ample warm clothing’s outside. We were supposed to be picked up by our hotel at the bus stop but our complimentary pick up never arrived. So after waiting for 15 minutes we decided to take our own taxi to the hotel. But to the credit of the hotel, they did refund our taxi money that we had spent.

After settling in the hotel we decided to go out for dinner. The temperature by now had gone below freezing but atleast the wind had subsided so it was quite bearable. We had a quick bite and came back to the hotel and slept

Pics of the Day

During our walk we saw a mountain smoking at a distance. This is Volcano Sabancaya
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A closer look
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Walking in the streets of Chivay
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Plaza De Armas, Chivay
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4M Express bus, ready for departure for Puno
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Our guide in the bus
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At the highest point ‘Patapampa’
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Marshlands at a snack stop
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Caught in the act
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The road at Altiplano
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Rock formations due to wind erosion at the plateau
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At Laguna Lagunillas, it was freezing cold and very windy
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Two Panoramas of the lake

Made from pics clicked from Sony DSLR and stitched with Hugin software
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Made from Samsung S3
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Sunset over the lake
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Next : Lake Titicaca and floating Islands
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Old 25th September 2013, 13:56   #56
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

Ah! there you are.
Was wondering where you went keeping us waiting
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Old 26th September 2013, 00:57   #57
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
PROLOGUE

Hence Peru it was.
Finally another TL from Deky Sir! Even before I've finished going through the first day of your TraveLouge, I'm already in Peru! You truly have a gift when it comes to penning down your travails !!
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Old 26th September 2013, 11:12   #58
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

I don't know how I missed such a wonderful travelogue for so long.

Just skimmed through the TL looking for one thing, please oblige - 'The Nazca Lines'.

Will go back and read this in detail now.
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Old 27th September 2013, 09:41   #59
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Originally Posted by deky View Post
28/05/2013: SMOKING VOLCANO AND CHIVAY TO PUNO
@deky , Nice to see one of your travelogue ( Brilliant as always ) again.

It gives me immense to joy to quote here that, I joined T-Bhp because of your travelogues , (Especially the Mt.Kailash). Cheers to the travel bug that bit you.
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Old 27th September 2013, 12:20   #60
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Default Re: To the Lost City of Incas - Peru on a Budget!

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Ah! there you are.
Was wondering where you went keeping us waiting
Sorry buddy, got occupied with some work. Thanks for the patience!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by parassoni View Post
Finally another TL from Deky Sir! Even before I've finished going through the first day of your TraveLouge, I'm already in Peru! You truly have a gift when it comes to penning down your travails !!
Thanks!! I am glad you are enjoying and hope you continue to enjoy the journey through Peru!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yosbert View Post
I don't know how I missed such a wonderful travelogue for so long.

Just skimmed through the TL looking for one thing, please oblige - 'The Nazca Lines'.

Will go back and read this in detail now.
Thanks, and when you read the details you will find a chapter on The Nazca Lines with lots of photographs from the Nazca Flight as well. Lemme know if you liked them!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHkrish View Post
@deky , Nice to see one of your travelogue ( Brilliant as always ) again.

It gives me immense to joy to quote here that, I joined T-Bhp because of your travelogues , (Especially the Mt.Kailash). Cheers to the travel bug that bit you.
Thanks, your words mean a lot to me. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra was and will always remain very special to me. But I am glad you are enjoying this travelogues as well

CONTD...

29/05/2013 – Floating Islands Of Uros, Lake Titicaca

It was indeed a very cold night at Puno. The temperatures must have gone down to atleast -5 degrees during the night and to make matters worse the heater provided by the hotel also stopped working sometime during the night.

Our sole agenda at Puno today was to make a half day visit to the floating Islands of Uros. These are islands about 5 kms or about 30 mnts boat ride away from Puno. What makes these islands interesting is that they are man made islands made out of Tortora Reeds. These reeds are plants that grow in the lake itself and the inhabitants use these reeds to make islands, also houses and also boats from them. Each island has anywhere from 2 to 10 families staying on them depending on the size. These families have been making these islands from Pre-Inca times and used to only come to the mainland to barter their stuff for other essential items. At present time there are around 50 such islands housing about 2000 people. As maintaining these islands is very difficult, lot of these families are moving to the mainland and only a few are left that cater to the tourists.

We were offered a tour from the hotel to Uros Islands, but we decided to do it on our own. Tourists have an option of a half day tour that will only take you to Uros and back and also a full day tour that takes you to Uros and then further ahead to either Taquile or Amantani Islands (not floating). In this tourists can also spend a night with Islanders as a home stay package.

Since we were only doing Uros we decided to go to Puno Jetty on our own and look for a boat leaving for Uros. Luckily with the sun out and no wind it was not very cold. We had been forewarned about the harshness of the sun at high altitudes so were were well prepared with caps and lots of sun screen. Our hotel was not very far from the Pier and we reached in about 5 minutes. There was a boat ready to leave for Uros and after buying our ticket and paying Uros entry tax (price different for foreigners, Peruvians and Uros inhabitants) we set sail for Uros.

It’s a well rehearsed drill for the boats going to Uros. The captain of the boat will take you to one of the floating islands where the inhabitants will greet you and make you comfortable on a bench made out of reed. Then they will give a lesson as to how the islands and the houses are made. Then the tourists get some time to visit the houses and also buy some souvenirs from the locals that are also made out of reed. Then you get to have a boat ride on a boat made out of Tortora Reed (on extra payment) that takes you to a restaurant on other island. From there your original boat picks you up and takes you back to Puno.

We had an awesome day and thought that the time spent on Uros was totally worth it as it was something very different.

Pics from Uros islands

Waiting to board the boat at the Jetty
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Sail away from Puno towards Uros
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A floating Check post as you enter Uros
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The island that we went to
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Getting a lesson on how the islands are made

1. First step is to collect the thick roots of the tortora reeds. This supports the island
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2. Then reeds are scattered on the roots
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3. Then houses are built on the islands again from reed
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4. This is how the island after completion looks. Also once complete the Island is anchored so it does not float away!!
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5. If there is a fight within families staying on the islands, the island is cut in two by a saw
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A reed boat
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View of other floating islands at Uros
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We took a ride on the Reed boat
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I even tried to row, but it was really tough
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Approaching a floating restaurant
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Some ducks at the lake
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A small reed boat that I bought
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Reed that is used for making these islands. Also the lake is home to lots of birds
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Puno as we return from Uros
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29/05/2013 - Contd..
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