Ciao Peru

Trip Start Sep 15, 2008
Trip End Jan 01, 2009

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Peru - what a place!  The surf, the miles of sand, the history, and Machu Picchu.  All in all Peru was great.  Much more touristy than Colombia and even Ecuador, there are some real reasons why. 

We caught an overnight bus from Cuzco to Copacabana, Bolivia.  At 3am our bus stopped - another protest.  To date this was our 4th protest since arriving in South America.  This time it was big.  We even saw one taxi driver who tried to drive through the road block pulled out of his car and spanked!  Pretty hilarious.

  After some debate we decided we were going to try and make it to Copacabana on our own with a group of travellers and locals also stuck on the bus.  After walking through one blockade, we had to catch 4 different mini-buses through backroads around Lake Titicaca before reaching the boarder.  A very helpful young couple from Cuzco, who were also headed to Copacabana, helped with bartering and organzing rides out of Peru.  With very little effort we completed our paperwork and walked into Bolivia. 

Pretty ironic, our experience leaving Peru was in complete contrast to our experience entering Peru.  When entering we were gouged for cab fare, harrased by money changers, and called cheap for giving a 50cent tip for 2 mins of effort.  When leaving Peru the locals helped us by pass half a dozen road blocks and barter with the taxi drivers to get to our destiation (the bus driver even refunded some of our fare due to the strike).  In the end, we arrived in Bolivia only 2 hours later than planned.

Arik´s top 3 of Peru
1) Salkanty and Machu Picchu: Amazing natural and man made sites packaged in a 5 day trek.
2) Cerro Blanco: The largest sand dune in the world, us, and our sandboards.
3) Mancora: Great wave, delicious mexican food, and 300 days of sunshine a year.

Chari´s top 3 of Peru
1) Machu Picchu - Wow!
2) Salkanty Trek - The challenge was great but the rewards were spectacular
3) Hitting the Pool in Nazca - While backpacking is great, sneaking into the luxury travel world for a day was worth the $5.
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