100 South America Trip report

Well, that was Peru

Well, that was Peru. Had to wake up at 04:00 this morning, to get ready for an 08:37 flight to Santiago. All went well with the transfer from the hotel, and the check-in at the airport, although there was a good deal more standing around, waiting, than expected. I’m currently sitting in the second last row of flight LA531, with a spare seat between me and Cath, after it’s occupant moved to another row before takeoff. The flight time is nearly three hours, and we lose two more thanks to the time difference between Peru and Chile, so we expect to arrive a little before two this afternoon, local time. So I have some time to write, at last. What has been going on?

We definitely enjoyed the Amazon and Sacred Valley tours, but the highlight so far was definitely the week at Lake Titicaca. We haven’t really done group tours before, and found the pace a little heavy-going. That was less of a problem on the Delfin-II, because we had our cabin for the week: we were moving, but there was no need to keep packing and unpacking, and marshalling luggage the way there was on the Sacred Valley tour. As a consequence, it was a much simpler proposition to “blow off” a particular expedition or talk, if more siesta was required. Siestas were definitely required on the Amazon. It was tropical-hot of course, and we were on a boat, so that was a strong inducement to sleep. Additionally, the heat in the middle of the day meant that the morning excursions were usually 6:30 or 7:00 starts, which meant 5:30 or 6:00 wake-up calls.

Titilaka had some early-ish starts too, but there was usually some flexibility around that, and also a great deal more flexibility with the scheduling of activities: we were often on our own with our guide and driver, or with only another two or three guests. When we first arrived at altitude and were getting used to it, it was also very easy and pleasant to do nothing at all: just resting in the room or on one of the day-beds on the balconies, or in the lounge were a fine way to adjust. The hotel staff were unfailingly friendly and helpful. It was simply a delightful week.

The Sacred Valley tour was more trying, although I can’t really think how to improve it, because the interesting places were really far enough apart that all of the bus/van journeys and hotel changes were really essential. The guides certainly did impart interesting and useful information during these trips too, but it was often repetitive, and one suspects that they were talking to fill in the time, as much as anything.

So, what did we get up to in detail? I’ll make that the subject of successive posts, so that this one doesn’t become a victim of TL;DR (too long, didn’t read).