Monday, June 26, 2006

Adios Peru

I passed the frontier by foot on the Lake Titicaca the 25th of June, 2006.

It was a strange feeling, by myself, on foot, stamped twice, and in the middle of nowhere, I crossed the border to go to the other side, yet alike. People talk with the same slooooooooooow motion and try to ask some money, no matter what. They are dress up with zillion layer of clothes, and try to compete to the one who can have the most colour in the samll amount of space.

The road from Puno (Peru) to the Copacabana (Bolivia) is an amazing timeless journey, offering you some wonderfull colour and always surprising light, something between the yellow and the red pale. I will love to do it again, unfortunatly you have to spend probably 78 hours of bus before doing so :)

I know, you are going to ask me what are the things that you will remember of Peru (what you are not asking me this question, anyway , I will answer it, because it is my blog, and I kind do what I want on this blog, only in this blog, so please bare with me, just pretend you asked me this question, and I will be happy)


The fisrt thing that come to my mind when thinking of Peru is the Machu Picchu of course. What a site ! There is nothing on earth that I have seen that can come close to this place. It is very difficult to describe in some words, and I think you have to see it by yourself to put your own words on it. I have been thinking about how to describe the best way, and the only thing that come to my mind is this song that everybody is singing all the time in tjhis country, Latin Amercia es un enigma. Could not find something better than that, maybe I am speachless in front such a spectacle and I just have to mute myself.

Peru is sometime called the Little Tibet. And this is true, there is no other place in the world that could offer such a spectacular scenery. And in the middle of the mountain you have something large and flat that goes on for kilometers and hours. The Altiplano is usually a flat piece of land at 4000 meters above sea level that join the different 6000+ mountains. On this land you can sometime spot there a Llama, there a Campesino, or there a house. People live there and use it as way to move from one valley to another. I now quite understand what Borges said about the Patagonia, The Horizontal Vertigo.

The thing about Peru is, it is a hash country to live in. Desert on the shore coast, the second highest mountains in the world after Tibet, Cordilliere de los Andes, and the ever growing Amazonia. But no matter where you are going, you will find someone living near by. I was always amazed by the fact that even on the Altiplano, in the middle of a 4K meters above sea level flat space, the bus stopped after a rock and there you go, you can see 3 people carrying their gigantics bags. The Peruvian impressed me by how they are fighting all the time in their land yet like it and wont move away from it. Worse they respect it so much that they offer thing to it (to her, I should say). They have a nickname, that resume probably everything I am saying. They call her PachaMama. The other picture I have from the Peruvian people and their strenght, is the time when I was almost dying climbing this vertical Inka Trail at 3 AM in Colca de Canon (Arequipa), and this old lady carrying bag on her back bigger than her, doubled me with a smile. I was vey upset during 1.2 second and they I just stopped and looked at her and was happy to see what strengh means.


  • Dead man walking. You can only walk on one foot, because the other one is already in your tomb. Cars have NO respect for anything outside their box. If you don´t watch you can really end up in a bad situation, like blocked between 2 buses and a taxi.

  • Before I left I read quickly the climatic condition of Peru, and put on top my winter jacket. Well what I did not envision at the time was the fact that I spent almost a month between 3500 m. and 4500 m. high. At this altitude you breath fast, on one lung, with 5 layers of clothes. Everything you doing take you twice the amount of strenght to do it at sea level. Breathing is an effort, moving is an effort, and even eating sometime is an effort. One thing, bring your extra lung, and some warm clothes, because at 4.5 K is freking cold. In the last 2 weeks I ask every morning when I woke up in my freezing room (yes, my bottle of water were frozen in the morning) , what I was doing here! Probably why I will change my plans soon :)

  • I have not heard the silent once in the last month. I don´t know what it is to be in a quiet place. Silence is probably the luxury of the western societies. It starts at 6 AM when in stade of the glamourous and typical wake up cock, you have alike TNT fireworks instead. The first time I was ready to pack my stuff and stopped by the earthquake safety sign that you see everywhere. Then I got use to, and juust move an eyelush. But then after it is the music all the time, and bad suave music. Then the bus, then taxi, then people start their day to day activities, and then you day is gone. I thing the best way to see the difference is when you take a local chicken bus and a tourist bus. I will probably describe it later, but this is the best exemple of the Silence.

Words of the day

From an Argentinian: If you look for a wife, and you find a girl that knows how to cook, and love fooball, marry her on the spot !