Back home.. More tired than should be from a holiday, happy , sun burnt and dizzy from one of the most exciting rides ever. South America is a beautiful continent.
It seemed easy enough to plan a vacation with information available on the net. We thought we had done our research, but when we got there we unearthed so many little gems tucked away, we heard tales from other travellers who we ran into and we left convinced that this was one place we would have to return ..
We landed in Lima, hurried across to Arequipa - stunningly beautiful , and intriguing, Before we knew it it was time to take the road to Cusco the cultural capital of Peru. Everywhere in Cusco we saw the imprints of Spanish colonisation, and the tenacity of the Inca civilization lingering on - Beautiful Churches, town centers and markets. Cusco played host as we acclimatised ourselves for the 4 day Inca Trail. From Cusco we took the road to Machu Pichu, along the way stopping along loads of Inca Ruins and listening to the history of how the mighty Inca empire was colonised by the relatively smaller numbered Spanish colonists.Four day arduous trek, sun burnt and blistered it was a surreal moment standing in front of Machu Pichu.With Machu Pichu done we headed to the sleepy town of Puno , Visited the reed islands before crossing the border into Bolivia. La Paz is a gorgeous city. The highest capital in the world is a pleasure to visit . Uyuni came next , A bumpy bus ride and we arrived at something that looked like the sets of a wild west movie. Glad we didn't stay on. The Salar De Uyuni was otherworldly.. Back to La Paz. A day in Lima the urban capital of Peru so different in character from her other Peruvian counterparts..And it was time to fly home.
Everywhere we went we met super friendly people. We did manage to confuse a few cause we could pass as Peruvians :), but their discerning eyes told them otherwise. So they would stop and enquire about the nature of our origins and when we said India their eyes lit up.. It was super sweet. From the co -passenger on the plane who insisted on dropping us off in our hotel, to random conversations with people sitting over crowded coffee tables (some of whom we discovered were Human Rights lawyers defending victims of dictatorships), to numerous people who invited us to Dinner and Lunch the next time we were around, the hospitality of the people here never ceased to amaze us. This should probably emphasise the fact that no matter what history says the Human race has a resilient kindness that cannot be annihilated by perpetuating stupid labels and stereotypes.
We shall return and I did feel like Ulysses when he said...
"How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. "