Saturday, January 24, 2009

Highlights from Peru

Here is my last email before leaving Peru.

February 5, 2005

until I am in Portland. We are in Arequipa right now, trying to avoid further water balloon and shaving cream assaults... it is carnival here right now, and we are easy targets. Well, my trip is drawing to a close.... only 5 more hours until I am on a plane, and about 24 hours until I am back in Portland. We just finished lunch at Govinda, our favorite vegetarian Hare Krishna chain restaurant in Peru. Before that, we treated ourselves to luxurious 1 hour massages (also at Govinda, go figure) for $8 each. Gotta love it. We are trying to figure out what to do with our last few hours and our last few Soles (Peruvian money).

Here are some highlights from my trip:

1. Peruvian taxi drivers
2. Surfing in Huanchaco
3. The Santa Catalina Convent in Arequipa
4. The food in Cusco!
5. Hostal Amaru in Cusco
6. Machu Picchu, obviously
7. Isla del Sol, in Lake Titicaca
8. The parades in Copacabana, Bolivia during the festival
9. The Floating Islands (Los Uros) made of reeds in Lake Titicaca
10. The fact that the most expensive hostel we stayed at in Bolivia cost us each $2.50

All in all, the trip was amazing. Our 3 days in Bolivia were so much fun; the town of Copacabana is pretty cute, and the Isla del Sol is absolutely breathtaking. We took a boat for 2 hours to get there, and it felt almost like we were in the middle of the ocean. We hiked along the ridge on the top of the island from one end to the other (it took less than 3 hours) and the views were some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Blue-green clear water, lots of little islands, snow-capped mountains in the distance, and flowers everywhere. We stayed at a hostel with incredible views from its 2 decks (and from our room). The entire Isla del Sol experience, including hotel and dinner for two (freshly caught trout from the lake, dessert, bottle of wine) was about $20. The floating islands were pretty neat as well. They are a group of islands near Puno, Peru that people make from tortora reeds and stake into the ground so they don´t float away. The people who live there make their houses, boats, and just about everything else from the reeds. Pretty amazing.

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