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Back from Peru

Old 10-31-04, 01:10 PM
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Back from Peru

Hey everybody!

Added more pics to the start of page 3 if interested

I've been in Peru the past two weeks on vacation. We backpacked the Inca Trail (4 days) to Machu Picchu. What a breath taking place. We spent a couple days down in the amazon basin, and a couple more at Lake Titicaca at an elevation of over 13,000 ft. Whew! I'm exhausted. Just wanted to say "hi" and let y'all know I was still alive. Here's a pic, more to follow.

Susan

Last edited by suziq999; 11-02-04 at 11:03 AM.
Old 10-31-04, 01:15 PM
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More pics:



Old 10-31-04, 01:18 PM
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Where are the pics of you in some Peruvian tree?
Old 10-31-04, 01:22 PM
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That is a pic of me!! (The middle one) Just not in a tree. The backpack weighed enough just slogging it around, let alone any recreational climbing.
Old 10-31-04, 01:24 PM
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Nice pictures!
Old 10-31-04, 01:36 PM
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Wow... Peru. How totally cool! Great pics!

Heh, she said "titicaca"

Glad you're back in the states okay. I hope you post more pics!
Old 10-31-04, 02:06 PM
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One of about 10 monkeys we saw on monkey island:


Peruvian girl on the floating Urus islands:
Old 10-31-04, 02:07 PM
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suziq999, and I mean this with no disdain whatsoever, but I HATE, HATE, HATE you!

Old 10-31-04, 02:08 PM
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awesome pics! I just got back from Florence. Did enough walking to last me till next trip.
Old 10-31-04, 02:08 PM
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This is my favorite:



These people live on man-made islands out of reeds 6 km from the shore... so they float. Yet, they have a place for you to make an international phone call? Very strange indeed.
Old 10-31-04, 02:14 PM
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float? the pictures with the girl has mountains in the background. are they on the mainland?

what are the floating islands made out of? that is really cool.


is the first picture Machu Picchu? that is really cool. i want to go there some time
Old 10-31-04, 02:15 PM
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View at the top of "dead woman's pass" at around 14,000 ft.

and what I saw about 15 meters from the top:
Old 10-31-04, 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by Venusian
float? the pictures with the girl has mountains in the background. are they on the mainland?

what are the floating islands made out of? that is really cool.


is the first picture Machu Picchu? that is really cool. i want to go there some time

Nope, they're out on Lake Titicaca which is a reaaaaally big lake. The islands are made out of reeds. They use the reed's root system as a floation device and then layer cut reeds on top of them. Some of the "islands" are like 20 m thick. Every month they add a new layer. Its a really strange culture. Evidentally they moved out there to get away to keep their blood pure. Those mountains in the background are a very long way away and very big. It was a about half hour by slowboat to get out to the islands. They do everything with those reeds: live on them, build boats out of them, and eat them! And I suppose make phone booths out of them!

The first 3 pics are all at Machu Picchu. I have more if you wanna see em, like 150 more. The Inca trail hike is really awesome because you see a bunch of ruins along the trail and after 4 days you finally reach Machu Picchu, which is of course the most spectacular ruins left by the Incas.
Old 10-31-04, 02:27 PM
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How about a close-up of you? Please.
Old 10-31-04, 02:28 PM
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Lake Titicaca. *smirk* *snicker* *snicker* *smirk*
Old 10-31-04, 02:36 PM
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whoa suz! i had no idea you were going there! i did the exact same machu pichu hike and looooved it! which company did you go with? i went with SAS and it was by far, the best one, imho. most people recommended it even though it was a little more expensive than the others. the food was sooooo damn good--i thik i gained weight despite walking like crazy! dead woman's pass almost kicked my butt--i had no problem with any other part of the trail--in fact, we usually had to slow down to wait for the rest of the group. but that damn_part killed me!!! i was the last one in my group up it

did you guys go out in cuzco? i vaguely remember a couch up on a balcony/stilts type thing that was fun. cool town and yummy food! it si soo weird to see almost the exact same pictures from you that i have. kinda twilight zone-ish!

uros is damn cool--we didnt have enough time to go see it and i realllly wanted to. was it too "touristy" for you? that was the only reason we picked arequipa over uros. well, that and there was more to do in arequipa. any other places you guys went?

and the alpaca--arent they just the cutest damn things?!?! we almost got bowled over by racing alpacas when we reached the city (in machu pichu) and were wandering around. turns out the female was in heat and the male was chasing her. about 2 minutes after they whizzed by, we heard loud cheers. turned and they were going at it--it was hysterical!
Old 10-31-04, 02:48 PM
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Hey Kristine! I know what you mean about the pictures being the same!

Yea, I went with SAS also. They were amazing. I kept telling myself I was roughing it and then eating 4 course meals! SHH!! Actually, we carried our own packs as opposed to hiring porters so we were VERY tired every night as you well know there's not many hills like those around here to practice on. My pack was only like 25 pounds but it felt like 250 at the top of the pass. Yea, we spent probably 3 days in and around cusco - great city. A little touristy but it was nice and we felt safe just running around at night doing whatever we pleased. We liked the Sacred Valley a lot, of course.

We also had to pick either Colca Canyon/Arequipa or Puno and the lake. Urus/Uros was very touristy but it was so wierd and strange that I didn't really mind that much. Also, whatever they sold on the islands is split amongst them as a group to buy supplies for the community. I got my niece a little toy boat made out of reeds. We also went out to the Taquila island and that was really interesting also - its where the men knit and the women don't! And they wear different colored hats and belts and everything means something - like a red hat means the guy's married and a white one means he's single. Pretty neat.

Hmm I saw dogs mating in Lima but no alpaca nookey. They were cute but they freaked me out a little!
Old 10-31-04, 03:04 PM
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yeah, i wanted to visit puno when i crossed from bolivia into peru but it was damn_cold (right in their winter season) and i DONT do cold weather so i skipped it. cuzco was a little annoying with people coming up to you every 5 minutes but we wre so damn tired it was nice not to have to think or walk around to find a good price
Old 10-31-04, 03:40 PM
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susiq & krkuhl, when you mention SAS are you talking about this company? http://www.sastravelperu.com/index.html.

They have so many different packages on their website, which ones did you end up picking?

I've been eyeing Peru for 2005 for quite some time, hope to get a group of four to go, I've heard SAS mentioned amongst others so it's good to hear from people who have actually used them.
Old 10-31-04, 03:42 PM
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Re: Back from Peru

Originally posted by suziq999


Susan




Old 10-31-04, 03:43 PM
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Wow, that sure brings back memories! I did that same Inca trail, Machu Pichu, lake Titicaca trip 20 years ago.

I have some pics that look almost identical! That 2nd pic of you on the trail cracked me up because I remember the exact same conditions when we reached the highest point on the trail about 4,000 meters up. At that point I took my South American handbook out and it read: "From this point you have the most fantastic view of...". Except we coudn't see a damn thing because the fog was so thick.

What are the prices like these days? At the time I went, I could live on $50 a week and get a crappy hotel room for $2.00 a night.
Old 10-31-04, 03:59 PM
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eX-
Our group was zooming down the trail and we got to the Sun Gate so I was stopping and people were like "why are you stopping?" and I was explaining that even though we couldn't see anything (just like you said, fog so thick you can't see 10 feet in front of you) I was still going to check out the Sun Gate. They started arguing with me that it wasn't the sun gate because they couldn't see anything! . Oh well. The fog burned off at about 11 and actually, the fog is part of what makes it so damn cool. The next day we went back up and hiked up the Huayna Picchu (or however you spell it) and we had the amazing views down onto the ruins when the fog had burned off.
I think the cheapest you could probably get by in Cusco is around $25 a day. Puno is cheaper. Lima is more expensive. Most hostels are around around 12-15 bucks a night. Meals can still be had for a couple dollars or less, depending or how sketchy of place you're willing to eat. We ate alpaca and guinea pig and drank the chicha and pisco sours.

Monkey - yes that is them. They were great, and their price is maybe $45 more expensive than you can possibly find it. They treat the porters well, the guides are good, etc. I'd recommend them for sure. The trip I took was the main Inca Trail trip (first button on the right on the SAS page) that takes 4 days and 3 nights. Also, I'd suggest that you check out www.virtualtourist.com for web blogs about trips to Peru and there is also a forum there you can scout. Of course, I'd be happy to answer any questions if you're serious about heading down there.
Old 10-31-04, 04:45 PM
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Thanks for the info, headed over to virtualtourist right now.
Old 10-31-04, 05:17 PM
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i dont see prices on there. can you give a rough estimate on how much the trail costs to do? thanks
Old 10-31-04, 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by suziq999
We ate alpaca and guinea pig
Okay, I'll bite...what were they like? (notice how I didn't ask if they tasted like chicken? )


ps - everytime I see an alpaca, it reminds me of David Spade from The Emperor's New Groove

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