Wrapping up Peru and Heading to Bolivia!

After my Inca Trail, I needed a little rest so I kicked around in Cuzco for a couple days. It´s a beautiful city, and easily walkable around the main plaza.

One of the churches in the main plaza!

One of the churches in the main plaza!

My favourite place to eat was Cafe Morena where they serve food with vegetables, unlike most places here that serve classic meat, rice and french fries. It was a little expensive in comparison to Peru prices, but I couldn´t complain when I worked out the math to realize i was still only paying 6 or 7 dollars for incredible food. To top it off, the food was beautiful – literally with flowers on top of my sandwich…. see for yourself!

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My hostel was pretty cool since it was built around a courtyard.

View from the courtyard of my hostel.


The crazy part was that I was lounging in a bean bag chair one day, and this young guy walks over and says ¨hey, did you used to work for Katimavik in BC?¨…. turns out it was an old katima-kid from when I was a Project Support Leader in Prince George, BC back in 2012. Such a small world!! We took a photo and sent it to his PL and PC.
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Another exciting event is that I went to Starbucks for the first time in 2 months!!! It was very exciting, and I actually had scored a coupon earlier in the trip for a free drink. I didn´t know how to order my usual in spanish, so I stuck with a Chai Latte.
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On my city tour we stopped in to see this guy who builds instruments… he was incredible! He had guitars made from armadillo shells and in the picture here, you can see me holding some kind of jaw (horse, maybe?) with teeth still attached… he uses it as a shaker!
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I was getting itchy to move on so I booked a bus with Bolivia Hop (sister to Peru Hop) so that the border crossing would be smooth and hassle free. It also stopped at a couple places along the way… It was a LONG day – almost 24 hours on a bus, but the stops on the way broke up the day.
Our first stop was in Puno, on the Peru side of Lake Titicaca (haha). It´s the highest navigable lake in the world and home to the Uro people who make their homes on floating reed islands. We took a quick boat ride to check it out.

[caption id="attachment_427" align="alignnone" width="470"]Coming up to the floating islands made of reeds... Coming up to the floating islands made of reeds…

We got a little lesson on how the islands are constructed. Take the reeds (still attached to the soil) and tie is closely to another so that the roots eventually intertwine. One secure, lay down layers and layers of cut reeds. Next build up a playform for the one room house. Build house! Re-lay reeds 2 or 3 times a month as necessary,

We got a little lesson on how the islands are constructed. Take the reeds (still attached to the soil) and tie is closely to another so that the roots eventually intertwine. One secure, lay down layers and layers of cut reeds. Next build up a playform for the one room house. Build house! Re-lay reeds 2 or 3 times a month as necessary,

The lookout tower... they claim not to have phones, but they yell across to their neighbours.... I´m not inclined to believe this because I saw solar panels and one hut had a TV in it... nice try though!

The lookout tower… they claim not to have phones, but they yell across to their neighbours…. I´m not inclined to believe this because I saw solar panels and one hut had a TV in it… nice try though!

Next we were on our way to the border. It wasn´t complicated at all, but the line was LOOOOONG. We had to wait 3 hours, more or less, for everyone to get their stamps.

Just waiting in the hot sun for the line to move...

Just waiting in the hot sun for the line to move…

Once we were on our way we stopped next at Copacabana and took another boat on Lake Titicaca (now the Bolivian side) to see the Isla del Sol, which was in my opinion a little overrated. We didn´t have much time to explore since the border crossing took so long.

A nice sunny day! But see those clouds in the background? Those made from pretty great lightening storms for the last part of our trip to La Paz... it was a great show!

A nice sunny day! But see those clouds in the background? Those made from pretty great lightening storms for the last part of our trip to La Paz… it was a great show!

At long last I made it to La Paz and had a great sleep. The next day I met up with a friend from PeruHop and we did the walking city tour – probably the best one I´ve been on yet! Here are some highlights…

Plaza San Francisco... some kind of celebration (complete with terrible magic show) was going on!

Plaza San Francisco… some kind of celebration (complete with terrible magic show) was going on!

View of hte houses as we went up the Teleferico (cable car) to El Alto.

View of hte houses as we went up the Teleferico (cable car) to El Alto.

CHeck out the cable car! The mountain in the background seems much bigger in real life.

CHeck out the cable car! The mountain in the background seems much bigger in real life.

Some kind of magical potion in the Witches Market

Some kind of magical potion in the Witches Market

Some ¨potions¨in the witches market.... wonder what they do!

Some ¨potions¨in the witches market…. wonder what they do!

Before the actual death road, we got to warm up on a highway. Good lord. You bet that I had the brakes on the whole way!

Before the actual death road, we got to warm up on a highway. Good lord. You bet that I had the brakes on the whole way!

About to start the actual death road. It was 3 hours of dirt road with a mountain on my right and cliffs on my left. YIKES. But I made it!

About to start the actual death road. It was 3 hours of dirt road with a mountain on my right and cliffs on my left. YIKES. But I made it!

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yep. baby llamas and llama fetuses. Gross, right? Apparently it is good luck to bury one under any new construction as a sacrifice to Pachamama (mother earth).

yep. baby llamas and llama fetuses. Gross, right? Apparently it is good luck to bury one under any new construction as a sacrifice to Pachamama (mother earth).

Getting ready to bike the death road!!! Yikes!

Getting ready to bike the death road!!! Yikes!

There is a street for everything in La Paz. This was Stuffed Animal Avenue.

There is a street for everything in La Paz. This was Stuffed Animal Avenue.

In the political square, they have changed this clock to be backwards... if only to make a statement that they aren´t going to succumb to Western norms. Great message, but really - a backwards clock??

In the political square, they have changed this clock to be backwards… if only to make a statement that they aren´t going to succumb to Western norms. Great message, but really – a backwards clock??

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There is a street for everything in La Paz. This was Stuffed Animal Avenue.

There is a street for everything in La Paz. This was Stuffed Animal Avenue.

In the political square, they have changed this clock to be backwards... if only to make a statement that they aren´t going to succumb to Western norms. Great message, but really - a backwards clock??

In the political square, they have changed this clock to be backwards… if only to make a statement that they aren´t going to succumb to Western norms. Great message, but really – a backwards clock??

Some ¨potions¨in the witches market.... wonder what they do!

Some ¨potions¨in the witches market…. wonder what they do!

yep. baby llamas and llama fetuses. Gross, right? Apparently it is good luck to bury one under any new construction as a sacrifice to Pachamama (mother earth).

yep. baby llamas and llama fetuses. Gross, right? Apparently it is good luck to bury one under any new construction as a sacrifice to Pachamama (mother earth).

View of the houses as we went up the Teleferico (cable car) to El Alto.

View of the houses as we went up the Teleferico (cable car) to El Alto.

On the way up the Teleferico, we saw rows on rows on rows of these monumets in the cemetery.

On the way up the Teleferico, we saw rows on rows on rows of these monuments in the cemetery.

CHeck out the cable car (aka Teleferico)! The mountain in the background seems much bigger in real life.

You cn see the cable car in this one. The mountain in the background seems much bigger in real life.

The next day was an exciting one — biking the infamous death road and then finally getting to see the monkeys at the animal sanctuary!! But I´ll save that for next time!!

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