Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Darkest Peru

Tastes like Vimto

Peru: it's really big. Not just across, but up-and-down, and then-and-now. You can visit islands where wars were fought over who got to own the birdshit:

You can drive across arid desert for hours, were no rain has fallen in a thousand years to wash away the giant prehistoric graffiti,

or go up (and up and up) and inside an hour switch from blistering heat to glacier country.

 You can visit islands made of reeds, floating on a chilly lake on the roof of the world,

and then drop back down again into Amazonian rain forest that is just indescribably hot and muggy. And heaving with bugs.

And Peru is full of Stuff. Lots of this Stuff is actually left over from the ancient Incans, who - as well as inventing yellow cola - were famous for their astonishing stonework. They littered the place with fabulous citadels like this:

This wall, still standing despite 500 years of earthquakes, was carved without iron tools and laid without mortar. Every one of those huge stone fits the next to within a milimeter.

That much focus is only possible if you are on coca - which is still perfectly legal there. We drank a lot of coca tea to combat altitude sickness. Well, that was our excuse.

Tastes just like green tea

This is me sandboarding on my belly down a desert dune. That was SO much fun! Yet another failure to act my age...

Tastes like grit

And of course, here I am at Machu Picchu - yes, I had to get the classic photo. See that sheer hill behind the ruins?

 I climbed that! :-)


Jo said...

All very cool.

Except the bugs. Shudder.

Janine Ashbless said...

Um ... you may wish to avoid one of my posts next week...

Jo said...

I may indeed. Warnings, please!

Emerald said...

Those pictures are so cool. For some reason, I was particularly struck by the island made of reeds one and the final one with you in it. :) Gorgeous.

Thanks for sharing! And welcome back!