18 february Arequipa (PERU')

In twenty minutes walk we reach the Mirador de Hyanahuara. From here you can enjoy a sublime view of  "El Misti" volcano, 5822 meters, similar to Mount Fuji, it is really impressive, and it dominates the whole background!

Monastery of Santa Catalina. A huge and old monastery of the Dominican Sisters. They are cloistered nuns, but, to cope with the huge cost of maintenance of the monastery, they have decided to open an area of it to the public!
Our guide tells us numerous anecdotes and stories of the past, we are very exciting; back then the second born females of noble families were sent to these places of seclusion accompanied by a servant and a rich dowry; having a daughter in the convent was a symbol of great pride for the family.

Museo Andino. It tells the story of the ancient Inca and their traditions through the discovery of several bodies of children, donated to the gods.

The most famous, because best preserved, is Juanita, a girl who was sacrificed in 1450 and whose body was found in 1995 by a team of US researchers.

Nearby there is the Mercado de San Camilo: everything is sold, even huge bags of coca leaves!

We continue to wander among the Iglesia de la Compania, Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral, all day long but it's time to go home, tomorrow we expect a wake up call at 3:30!

"When you live in a place for a long time, you become blind because they do not look anything. I travel not to go blind."

- Josef Koudelka -

19 february Chivay (PERU')

[Stefy]: "We start at dawn directed to Chivay! Around five am we watch the dawn while crossing the Patapampa Pass (4910 meters). Along the way we see many alpaca by sweet smile and hair that looks so soft cotton.

In the morning we enter the Colca Reserve after various adventures with our buses, more than once we get stuck on the hard dirt of the Reserve.

We do a 40 minutes trekking during which we see beautiful landscapes. Numerous miradores where the gaze plunged in the various canyons and ravines...
Here the first signs of altitude sickness: headache, nausea...
Arriving at Cruz del Condor the wait begins! The sun is very strong, it is very hot, and after two hours we can not see even one, moreover, the nature is unpredictable and can not be commanded.

We depart again and after a couple of hours we reach our destination: Chivay!
We leave the backpacks in the hotel and we go directly to the thermal water; outside it is quite windy, the air is cool but in the sulphurous waters it’s so great!

In the square of the village, carnival proceeds while large groups of women are dancing around three trees and playing and singing joyful songs; in an adjacent street, women with long braids and wide skirts, cooked and sold small white flowers like chamomile."

20 february Puno (PERU')

[Stefy]: "Today we cross again Patapampa Pass, once at the top we stop for a few photos. Every little movement must be done calmly, even a little effort can hurt.
The landscapes we see are beautiful and enchant us!

In the early afternoon we arrive in the festive and colourful Puno.
Here too, the carnival is strongly felt, women with big skirts and bowler hat on their heads are sitting in front of the Cathedral, watching the square outside and soon we understand the reason... here is a marching band and a parade of couples in local costumes dancing very animatedly.

We walk along Calle Lima, the main road, between guys in masks and wars of shaving foam to reach the central market and buy some supplies to give to families that will host us in the coming days in the islands of Lake Titicaca."

21 february Isla Amantani (PERU')

We embark on a boat on the wonderful Peruvian Lake Titicaca.
It’s huge and majestic and it often gives the impression of navigating on a blue sea, there is almost no pollution.

At first we stop at island Uros. It's a set of floating islands artificially created; the village chief explains us how they are made, as life unfolds and maintenance they require.

Three hours later we get to Amantani, the largest island, where we will spend this night! At the pier we meet the representatives of Colquecachi community, Irma and Silvestre will host us and welcome us with a nice lunch with local vegetable soup, a plate of fried cheese and rice and a mate of an unidentified spice.

[Stefy]: "In the afternoon, in the main square, perhaps the only one, we meet Fiorenzo, our guide, and our travel mates! We are ready to reach the top of the Pachamama and enjoy this wonderful sunset over Lake Titicaca and the surrounding islands.

The evening has been very nice and intimate; Cinzia and I have helped Irma preparing our dinner... but this moment of serenity does not last long because Irma invites us to dress in traditional clothes. We  wear at first a skirt, then another, then squeezes it all with a narrow belt, then she gives us a white shirt with colorful designs on the collar and to complete the work: a long black shawl!

Men: just a simple poncho!

We meet again in the same square and we go to dance and have fun all together in great harmony... but not too much, we are still at 4000 meters high after all!

On the way back we stopped to look at the stars, we are speechless, the sky seemed to approach us slowly and it shows all its beauty! Good night."



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