Hope all well back home.
We had a welcome day back in Cuzco on July 6th to soothe our aches and pains from the Inca Trail - had probably the best (and most necessary) massage ever! Managed a bit of culture with a visit to the Sun Temple - built by the Incas and originally covered in gold, but the visiting Spaniards put paid to that and removed anything worth nicking. We had a really good guide who showed us all the original Inca stonework (more interesting than it perhaps sounds) - the ´bricks´are perfectly slotted together with no mortar which foxed the Spaniards who thought it must all be held together with gold. Interesting that the Inca remains of the Sun Temple have withstood two earthquakes while most of the colonial additions bit the dust...
That evening we sampled the local delicacy of guinea pig. They bring it out to you deep fried but whole, with a pepper stuffed in its mouth, complete with little paws plaintively outstretched - sorry to any vegetarians. Then once you´ve eaten the meat (quite gamey but ok) they take the skin away to deep fry it and return it to you as guinea pig crackling (which left Roland feeling a bit queasy for days). On balance perhaps guinea pigs are best kept as pets.
In the evening, our lovely tour guide Brendali was singing with a band so we all went along as loyal groupies. She was excellent - no idea where that big voice came from - and we´re trying to persuade her to come and ´tour´ in London next year...
Next day, nursing slight Pisco Sour hangovers, we had a long bus journey (surprisingly comfy) to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. The following morning (8th July) we went on a boat trip to visit a couple of the island communities. One group of floating islands is made up entirely of reeds woven together and continually replaced - it felt surprisingly stable. We also took a turn in a canoe made of reeds too. For lunch we had delicious fresh trout, caught from the lake that morning - really tasty and a definite improvement on deep fried rodent.
Lake Titacaca is vast and beautiful - we saw it at its best in bright sunshine, with the sky and water deep blue (still absolutely freezing in the evenings though - no heatwave for us!) It was a fitting end to our time in Peru, which we really enjoyed. On to Bolivia next...will post an entry for our time in La Paz separately.
love Helene and Roland x