Peru: About Coca, Inkas and (delicious) Alpakas

How does Alpaka taste? How much is a grilled guinea pig? What’s the cheapest way to Machu Picchu? At what time did the Inkas found this magical city? And what the hell to wear for a hike at 5.100m altitude?

Peru – for me challenging and surprising. Read about our journey to Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain.

Peru - Machu Pichu, Alpakas and colorful patterns
Peru – Machu Pichu, Alpakas and colorful patterns

LIMA

Nice weather despite the rainy season, relaxed atmosphere in Barranco (the area of our hostel), modern business areas in Miraflores – we really loved Lima with its culinary explosions, dancing Peruvians on the streets, delicious Pisco Sour drinks and some of the most amazing sunsets in my life.

If was pretty surprised to find a city like this in Peru – actually a city to live in and feel home – exactly what we needed after a 35 hours night bus ride from Ecuador.

Amazing sunset in Lima
Amazing sunset in Lima
Enjoying the time in Lima - loved the original Pisco Sour
Enjoying the time in Lima – also loved the original Pisco Sour with egg white
Artsy paintings - spotted at the free walking tour
Artsy very detailed paintings – spotted at the free walking tour

CUSCO

Lima to Cusco – shall we travel again by 20 hours night bus or go on a 2.5 hours flight for just 30€ more? Pretty straight forward decision…We were flying. While waiting at the luggage belt we could hardly breathe and our heads are hurting like hell. Obviously its not that healthy to go from sea level up to 3,400 meters altitude. Great that Alex is prepared and we are chewing our first coca leafs still waiting for our luggage. The first ones really help immediately.

While Lima felt more like summer in Ibiza, Cusco feels like German autumn. It’s freaking cold, getting dark early, raining cats and dogs and on top of that cars are horning at every single corner. Only solution – head to bed quickly and hope the new day will be better.

Roasted guinea pig - looks a bit creepy
Roasted guinea pig – looks a bit creepy

At the walking tour the next day the city actually reveals itself as a real beauty from colonial times dressed up nicely for the international tourist crowd.

At every corner menus are presenting grilled guinea pig for 60 Soles – almost 20 Euros for a small animal – bit too much for our backpacker budget. (We actually tried it somewhere else for 5€)

 

MACCHU PICHU

Peru is Machu Picchu – every wants to go there – we as well. After 1.5 days of intense research we even figured out a way not to get too much ripped off.

After 7 hours minibus ride to Hydroelectrica – a water craft station in the middle of the Peruvian jungle we were walking for three more hours inbetween the beautiful Andes mountain range along the train treks to Aguas Calientes – also called Machu Picchu village Arriving in Macchu Pichu village I feel like a pilgrim arriving at his final destination.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu – trek to the village, and arrived at over 3,000 m altitude

The next day we are starting at 4 in the morning – 1.5 hours steep unequal steps to get to the ruins and 1.5 hours more to the viewpoint Machu Picchu Mountain – quite exhausting but worth the pain.

Back at the ruins we are deciding not to hurry, enjoying the warm mountain sunshine and chilling with an amazing panoramic view. Afterwards we are discovering the huge area of Machu Picchu which was constructed around 1.400 BC. For some reason I though they were are bit more ancient.

RAINBOW MOUNTAIN AND RED VALLEY

Panaoramic view to red valley
Panaoramic view to red valley

Being back in Cusco I am repacking my gloves from my trip to Alaska as we are heading to Rainbow Mountain – a 5.100 m high colorful peak about 3 hours bus ride away.

Rainbow mountain
Rainbow mountain

After the 3 previous days of hiking, I actually felt pretty unwilling to walk again and decided to rent a horse. At the peak lots of freezing Chilean and Argentinian hikers exhausted from the enormous altitude were welcoming us. And as well a pretty colorful peak – the so called Rainbow Mountain which is open to the public just for half a year.

 
After a few nice pics we are heading back towards red valley – a pretty special trek which can only be done by the booking via the agency „Destiny Peru“ in Cusco. Out of the 400 visitors every day just us seven are allowed to take this path down.

Beautiful countryside with delicious wild Alpakas
Beautiful countryside with delicious wild Alpakas

We are passing lush green meadows, small locals farms and wild Alpakas (Alpaka meat actually is very delicious – tastes a bit like lamb). Three hours of hiking downwards made me move like a roboter afterwards. But I made it – actually this hike was one of the most beautiful things on my whole trip.

Now we are heading further south towards Lago Titicaca – the highest lake in the world where ships are operating on. Let’s see if we go hiking again.

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