In January, 2008 Don and I went on a vacation to Peru and Bolivia. We chose South America as we wanted to meet up with Steve and Julia once more before they returned home (we met them in Spain in June 2007).
We landed in Lima and stayed for a few days before flying to Iquitos – the heart of the Amazon Jungle.
The interesting thing about Iquitos is that it is the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road; you either fly in or take a boat up the Amazon. In the city the main mode of transport are very noisy moto-taxis. From Iquitos we went to an Explorama Resort 1 hour by boat up the Amazon. We spent our days going out to various excursions with our guide, Adner.
After returning to Lima for a few more days we flew to Puno on Lake Titicaca. From there we took a bus to La Paz, Bolivia where we met up with Steve and Julia. La Paz is the highest capital city in the world at 12,000 ft (3660 metres). Altitude sickness is a real problem.
In La Paz the four of us did the world famous death ride. The tour company took our group (approximately 12 people) up the mountain to 4600 metres. They outfit you with bikes, jackets, helmets, etc. The rest of the day is spent riding down the side of the mountain on a road that was built by prisoners of war in the 1920’s. The road is washed out in places and is no longer navigable by vehicle.
The whole time we were in the area Carnival was going on. One evening a parade went on from 5 pm well into the night (5 or 6 hours). An annoying habit of the young people was spraying everyone with cans of foam. Also they liked to throw water balloons.
After returning to Puno we went to Cusco – a very beautiful city. Cusco is the jumping off point for Machu Pichu. Machu Pichu is incredibly intact as it was never found by the Spanish Conquistadors. It is a world site not to be missed.