After a three months summer break in Turkey, we came back to a dusty truck that had been patiently waiting for us in Lima. Our friends Claudia and Mathew had provided a nice parking spot inside their building.
Before any new travels we had to work on reinstating our car permit. This meant patiently waiting in front of the Aduana. Since we didn’t know how to do the reverse bureaucratic process, we were hoping to get some help. Erdem managed to speak such nice bad Spanish that the customs office volunteered to write the necessary letter to themselves! We had the car papers back in less than two days.
If, for some inexplicable reasons, you may want to know more about the bureaucratic rat race, here is the whole process.
We spent some time in Lima to get our truck serviced, install a heater, and put some upholstery in the back to sleep on when it’s cold. Renzo, from Autolac was kind enough to allow us some space in his garage to work on the heater.
Gino took us out for great Peruvian food in the meantime, like causa (mashed potato around chicken or tuna cream mixtures) and ceviche (fish and seafood “cooked” in lemon juice).
It took three weeks in Lima to get ready for the road again. We spent them in a little apartment near the airport, rented out by Ronaldo’s family.
On our first day back on the road, we had the great privilege to meet our dear friend Tiffany Coates in Nazca . Tiffany is an avid solo motorcycle traveler, although she was leading a Globebusters tour this time around.
Having breakfast with Tiffany started the journey well.
Since we couldn’t get enough of her, we also had dinner together in Puerto Inca, lunch on the road, and cocktails in Arequipa.
Puerto Inca is exactly what the name indicates: a former Incan port, now a hotel/camping surrounded by interesting ruins.
By far the warmest place in our home since installing the heater, is the place where our (hot dog) dog sleeps. Tara doesn’t prefer sharing her bed, but occasionally permits some pre-bed-warm-up-cuddles.
The road to Arquipa was beautifully winding along the coast, but covered in sand at times, until it wound up to the touristic colonial town, on about 2300m above sea level.
Tiffany joined us right on time for a lunch break along the road.
In Arequipa we had to spend several days to acclimatise to the high altitude ahead of us (and deal with replacing a cracked windshield).
We visited the local market, and also an interesting mummy museum which displayed a frozen girl (Juanita), found in the mountains intact with skin and hair. No photos were allowed.
There was a lunar eclipse while we were in Arequipa, but Tara was only mildly impressed.
Driving further up into the altiplanos around Lake Titicaca, brought us through the crazy town of Juliaca to Puno.
On almost 4000m we were happy to seriously test our heater. Sleeping in a tent while it’s snowing outside, we were glad to have had enough foresight to make the purchase.
We visited the floating islands of Lake Titicaca from the port of Puno.
The islands are a touristic spectacle by now. It didn’t seem like anyone was actually still living this way. Nevertheless, it was an interesting sensation to step on these man-made reed islands, and the visit was very affordable and enjoyable even with a tour organised at the port.
Lake Titicaca marked the end of our journey through Peru.
On the way towards Bolivia we encountered some strange iconography on political billboards and statues alike. It feels like there is a gothic darkness in the visual culture dominating this little part of the world.