So we didn’t take the Inca trail. Met many people along the way who advised against it because it was overpriced and touristy. Instead it was recommended that we get into Cusco and find ourselves a local guide for a better experience – advice which we immediately found compatible with our cheapness and lack of pre-planning. Sure enough, the Classic Inca Trail was completely booked out by the time we reached Cusco.
We spent an amazing two days on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca – the highest navigable lake in the world. For 70 soles we took a tour from Puno which included one night on Isla Amantani with a local family. Known best for its floating islands (numbering approx 50), the lake is a truly breathtaking sight.
This is probably the most beautiful place on earth. We started out a little before 6am and took a combi from Huaraz (Peru) to Yungay (1hr, 5 soles) before switching to a shared taxi to Cebolla Pampa (2hrs, 15 soles).
So I didn’t get mugged. Lay did. My habit of speaking with “we” has got me believing I can claim some part in the whole experience. Two seconds from our hostel, in the main tourist district of Quito, four guys pounced (I use this verb loosely) Lay and wrestled her phone from her hands. And that was our first day in Ecuador.
Amazingly scenic train ride, noted as one of the most difficult engineering feats in the world because of the ascend it makes. Passengers used to be allowed to ride on the rooftop of the train, however this all changed since the accidental death of two Japanese tourists in 2007.
Leaving Sao Paulo after challenging ourselves to yet another buffet (note: Brazil has a fantastic buffet scene and this wonderful concept of pay-by-weight-self-service), we flew into Bogota, capital of Colombia, swapping our newly accustomed phrases like “obrigada” and “nao falo portugues” to the new essentials like “por favor, donde esta la biblioteca?”
Approx 4hrs from Rio, Paraty is a super attractive, fun little town with beautiful colonial buildings and a lot of acai.
Trindade is a beautiful little fishing village in Rio de Janiero, about a 40 minute bumpy bus ride from Paraty. Besides having extremely beautiful beaches and a famously picturesque natural pool (Piscina Natural do Cachadaço), it has quite a hippy reputation and there’s a great deal of love for Bob Marley in the souvenir shops.