Trip Start Feb 11, 2008
Trip End Mar 22, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, March 19, 2009

Well I came on a tour cos it was cheap: All included and I just sit there so it is pretty cruisy. Prices for the tours are fairly arbitary and people seem to have paid from 120s to 45s. Me being the cheapskate paid 45 and most seem to have paid around 70. They picked me up in the bus at 8.30 and after a few more stops we were on our way to Canyon country. We passed through a national park called Pampas de Tocra. It is a national park cos they have vicunas there, one of the lama family. We stopped for morning tea and of course there were the old ladies with the overpriced souvineers. I had my first Mate de Coca. (I´ll come back to that) The guy running the place bought out a baby alpaca so everybody could have a photo and there were too many people so I went around the back and had a photo by myself. At that point I was 4000mtr above sea level. I also got a pic of an old lady spinning wool by hand for¨dos soles¨.
Next stop was the highest point at Pata Pampa 4910mtr above sea level. When I got of the bus I was light headed and after a while my eyes were like a welding flash. Breathing was really laboured and I wasnt feeling flash. We saw some chinchilla´s hopping around in the rocks but too far away for a photo. Just after this we stopped to see some more vincunas and a local kid had a baby that was born today. Wait till you see the photo´s...sooo cute. so was the alpaca. Most of the road here was bitumen with about a third, of the 5 hours, being dirt.
Chivay is a small town, when everybody is home there are 6000 here. Its only here cos of the canyon country and it is a great stopover. You know you are on a tourist route when you have to stop at the edge of town to buy Boleto Touristico (tourist ticket). Lunch wasnt included in the price so the bus stopped at the most expensive place in town. A buffet was 18s so I walked down the road and got Chaufa pollo (pollo is chicken and it looked like fried rice) and mate de coca for 5s.
Mate de coca is tea made from the leaves of the coca plant. The same leaves they make cocain from. You can even buy the leaves and chew them but you need a catalist ( comes with it) to get the chemical reaction. So they say. Its unbelievable you can go into any cafe and buy cocain tea. No sneaking around grubby hotels in freak street in Kathmandu, or searching the back lanes of Varanassi for the bhang shop here oooo no just go into a cafe and order it.
Luckily for me the other guy on the tour paid extra to stay in a better hotel so I got a room by myself. Everyone else complaining they have 2 beds and wanted a double and I´ve got 3 beds in my room. The first net cafe I went into was full of gamers so they told me to rack off. This one is sooo slow and a few of the keys are missing the letters so forgive any of the typo´s I havn´t corrected. I spied some markets on the way here so Im off to check out the produce then is off to bed early cos we got 5am start tomorrow. Being at this altitude takes it out of you. Chivay is m 3600.
I cant put the pics on yet will do asap and have another couple to go on previous posts.
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llew1957 on

Tea or Altitude ?
Is it the Tea or the Altitude making you lightheaded ? Sounds like your enjoying your trip - stay safe. Im off to townsville (Sat) to see the kids so we'll send you messages from there.

Happy Trails

Llew + Julie

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