By staying in Vilcabamba much longer than we had planned, we had to skip a few places on our agenda to get to Bogota, Colombia in order not to miss our flight to London,UK. Of course, the crazy idea of not catching that plane and stay in South America came to mind several times but unfortunately that wasn’t feasible for us at the time as we had another flight to catch from London to start our adventures in a new continent, Asia, the week after.
We all gave each other a victorious smile when we got off at our final destination after dark, after two exhausting days on the road. Having decided that we would check in the eco-lodge 2km outside the town the next day, we checked in a hostel in the center of the town for the night.
“Yes, we need celebratory drinks and good food!” we all cheered when the lady at the reception recommended a family run pizzeria whose owner is a jolly 89 year old Italian lady. That night, we laughed with our new friends, told more stories about our lives and listened to the secrets of a long healthy life from Mama Silvia.
After being drawn inland to the city of Chachapoyas by the mighty fortress of Kuelap we thought it would be more of an adventure crossing the border from Peru into Ecuador via the mountain road through La Balsa rather than go all the way back to Chiclayo and catch a bus up the coastal highway via Piura (the easy way).
Fortunately for us, during our two days in Chachapoyas we met up and became friendly with 3 Germans; Lisa, Marius and Jorn and Cassandra, an American girl, who were planning on heading up into Ecuador the same way we were too. They had been on the same tours with us in and around Chachapoyas and it turned out that the Germans were in fact staying right next door in the same hostel as us! So the decision to travel together was rather easy as we could share taxis and split the costs easier with 6 of us rather than going at it alone. The night we were set to leave we asked our hostel owner if they could organise for us a collectivo that could take the 6 of us to Jaen, the first leg of the 2 day journey. They put us contact with a Senor Sanchez and we made a plan to meet at 8am the following morning…
With just over a month left on our South American adventure and still lots of ground to cover and places to see, we knew we would have to do some speedy traveling to catch our flight in Bogota on time and still get to see all the wonders that Northern Peru, Ecuador and Colombia had to offer. This meant we’d have to keep moving no matter what and after a couple days spent relaxing and recharging in Lima we were ready! So we left the big city life behind, caught an overnight bus to Trujillo up the coast and arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning…
Driving through central Lima in a cab felt like driving through a wormhole and into the future compared with all the small colonial towns and old city centers we had been staying in for the previous couple months.
Perched high above the Urubamba river, nestled between two mountain peaks, Machu Picchu welcomes its visitors from dawn to dusk everyday of the year except during the month of February. It is one of the most famous archaeological ruins in the world and probably on most people’s bucket list and I can tell you, it’s rightly so.
Since its discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911, there have been countless theories of how this site was built and why it was abandoned almost 500 hundred years ago. Yet, it still raises more questions than answers. It’s hard to imagine how this massive structure was built along the ridge of a mountain, the surrounding agricultural terraces were carved and most importantly how they carried huge stones and soil to an area with such limited accessibility in an age where no heavy machinery existed and without the use of any writing materials, architectural equipment. Hence, it continues to be an enigma.
I strongly believe that everyone who comes to visit will have a different feeling and understanding of this mysterious place. Read on for how we felt during our visit…
As a little introduction to Peru and the Incas we thought it’d be a good idea to book a tourist bus from Puno to Cusco which, as the guide explains, goes through a chronological journey starting from Pre-Inca times through the glory of the Inca civilisation and ending with the colonial influence of the Spanish as we neared our final stop in Cusco.