November 11th, 2008
When I wrote my last articles, I already was back in Germany for some time. I just didn’t find the time to finish, but now I’m glad to finish it with this post!
After Bolivia I was on a long bus drive to Arequipa, which is a popular city in Peru. Nice mountains and valleys offer great opportunities to hike and trek. I stopped their to meet up with a friend I met in Lima, when I arrived there from Panama. We always tried meet up during our journeys but always missed another.
October 2nd, 2008
Excited I left Puno at 7:30am to make my way to Bolivia the first time. Another border crossing procedure, new stamps in my passport and then a new culture of people. About the latter one I was wondering if the people would be so different from the people in Peru.
The bus was nice and brought us to the border within three hours. At the border, before entering Copacabana, you first have to go to the police office to receive a stamp and then you can go to the Peruvian immigration office to get another stamp. A hundred meters further you find the Bolivian immigration office where you get more stamps and where you have to hand in the immigration form (that you get there or already in the bus).
September 19th, 2008
I spent some time in a new cafe, that just opend a few days ago, to wait for my nightbus to Puno. The owner of this place was very talkative and was very interested in the history and culture of his country. Later I also gave him some tips about how to make his place more attractive for the people, which he took seriously by taking notes.
September 17th, 2008
Long I was looking for a trek to Choquequirao, which is a site similar to Machu Picchu, but way less tourists, since there’s also no bus service and you can only reach it by foot.
A group was all I wanted to join, which was more difficult, because not so many people are interested in that site. So I couldn’t find a group for every day, which restricted me a bit. Without a group of at least three people no agency wants to do this trip. For a higher price it’s possible of course but this would have been to private for me, too.
September 15th, 2008
After visiting several agencies I finally booked a trip to the famous Machu Picchu for $140. It is not a trek where I will spend several days walking, like on the overrun Inkatrail. I decided to do just a two day trip, the cheapest way possible. My first idea was to do it all on my own without using the expensive train (roundtrip from Cuzco: $96, from Olyantambo: $32) for that you need to buy a ticket in advance. But the buses seem to be very few to Santa Teresa, from where you can take a collectivo (mini bus) to the Hidroelectrica, where another train to Machu Picchu departs($8). But you can also walk the way which should take around 2h.
September 14th, 2008
My bus to Cuzco was supposed to leave at 7am. With all my luggage I went to the bus company Celtour, from where the bus departed. When I arrived there I could only see a little local bus, in which I could survive up to two hours but not any longer. I asked for the big bus and I was told that this one would depart in the evening. What? No one said anything about that! Moreover I was assigned a seat number for a big tour bus. I refused to enter this bus, although they tried again and again to push me into that little vehicle.
September 9th, 2008
Slowly I wanted to make my way to Cuzco, but since it’s more than 30h by bus from Huaraz, I wanted to do some stops inbetween. I looked at the map of Peru and picked two locations that seemed to be good according to the distances and the hours that I would spend in the bus. But in Peru a straight line isn’t always the fastest way …
My destination was Ayacucho, which is in the south-east of Lima, a third of the distance to Cuzco. Only nine hours from Lima (you get used to those time spans!), but first I had to go to Lima, which were another nine hours from Huaraz.
September 7th, 2008
Leaving Trujillo and its pollution behind, the Linea bus approached into the night. I payed 50 soles for the second class. There also was a bus for only 35 soles, however I didn’t want to renounce the snack and more comfortable seats, especially not at night.
Ten hours later the bus climbed up to an altitude of 3000m. I was in Huaraz, immediately stunned by the beautiful landscape that surrounded the city within a valley. The mountains looked like paintings in the golden light of a new day.
September 6th, 2008
It was time to leave Lima after spending almost a week there … where did the time go? My destination was Huaraz, however there weren’t any free seats for the bus at Cruz del Sur, the bus company. Since there’s no central bus terminal in Lima, it would be a bit more difficult and time consuming to find another bus. I checked the nearby surrounding and found around four other bus companies at least, however no one with Huaraz as a destination.
September 5th, 2008
The day finally came that I would leave Central America and head for South America, which was my original plan from the beginning. But now there isn’t so much time anymore, around six weeks, which is enough for one or two countries. I decided to go to Peru, since this country always fascinated me. I could even find a Couchsurfer who would host me for a few days and so I left my hostel in Panama City for an eventful day.