From Puno, was my intention to see the Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca, but as was now becoming apparent.. the south Americans will strike over anything, and at anytime. As was my luck, I picked the day to do the islands when the islanders were striking against the government and so but a blockade of boats on the lake to stop any tourists going out to see the floating Islands (also known as Reed Islands).. however, the cheeky gits actually got us on the boat and attempted to go… which made for amusements, as they all had guns, and so the police had to be called out to clear the blockade, after some standoff the police told us to come back to land.
So they took us to some ruins instead, not what I was hoping for but was still quite good.. especially one of the ruins which were a temple of falic shaped objects, that all the girls on the tour seemed to enjoy…. Will have so send a picture or two out to show what I mean. Left Puno, and headed to Cusco – the town of two tales, firstly its home to Machu Picchu and some other ancient Inca Ruins, and then on the other side it’s the most lively place in South America, on a par with Buenos and Rio. The main reason for me to get to Cusco was to witness what would be one of the all time classic Champs League Finals.. what a day - 4hrs behind, so had to be in the pub by noon. Tears of pain at half time, with tears of joy at the end. Don’t like to say it, but I told you Liverpool would win a while back in one of my journals.. I was on the table dancing when that last penalty was saved, and all sorts of people who I didn’t know taking pictures of me, very amusing! As a result of that night, most of the gringos in Cusco knew me for that week.. so socializing was easy! Couldn’t actually book the Classic Inca Trail, as its booked months in advance during peek season, so did it the cheaper and easier way.. by train. I think the pictures speak for themselves, so wont go in too detail.. apart from the high shot of the ruins, involved a torturous 45 minute trek.. harder than some of the full day ones I had done earlier on my trip. Cusco, headed to Arequipa, to visit the Canyon del Colca (which was only recently opened to tourists after the locals were on strike too).. and just my luck, my camera battery dies so not many pictures that day… The canyon is famous for seeing 2m wing spanned Condors, quite amazing and they it feels like they are about 5 feet from you when the sour.
Arequipa to Nazca, to see some weird lines that have been carved in the deserts around Nazca, best to see them in a rickety 4 seat plane, so that’s we did.. and literally after we did the flight, we headed off to Hucachina , so pardon the pun, but it was a flying visit to Nazca! In Hucachina, they have some the biggest sand dumes, which are best to be experienced in a buggy, and then to sand board down.. to my horror I discovered that sand boarding is nothing like snow boarding, especially as I told all my friends that I was really good at it, made me look silly.. Hucachina is smaller than my home district in Northampton, in fact probably smaller than Weston Favell Shopping Centre, but still managed to spend 3 days there sand boarding… Left here, to head to Quito to start the Galapagos.