From Puno at Lake Titikaka we drove to Cusco, where we met up with other overlanders at the Quinta Lala Camping (find it here: http://ioverlander.com/places/163-quinta-lala-camping).
It is a great to meet other overlanders for many reasons:
1. You get to hang out and talk with other people, 2. You can exchange travel tips like great places to go and bad roads and 3. Have a drink together
4. Go out together to taste the local cuisine
We just ordered different dishes and shared them, a great way to taste local delicacies, and at the same time you get to share the experience. From the left, Cuy (Guinea Pig), which is Peru’s national dish, anticucho, which is beef heart on a stick (it can be any type of meat, but beef heart s the most popular) and stir-fried beef with rice (or you can have it with chicken). In the upper left picture you have “aji de pollo”. We loved all the dishes, even the cuy was good this time. We highly recommend the “aji de pollo”.
5. Getting help or borrow tools for fixing thing – meet Sebastian. Sebastian are together with Melanie and they are traveling in a Toyota Landcruiser BJ45 from 1984, check out their Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/the_campulance/?hl=da. Melanie makes the best cinnamon rolls ever! Thank you Melanie.
A little bit more sightseeing in Cusco before getting back on the road. We really wanted to visit the Central Market of San Pedro, but unfortunately it was closed, but look at the building… Founded in 1925, the market was designed by Frenchman Gustav Eiffel (yes, the same Eiffel that designed THE Eiffel tower). Mercado Central de San Pedro de Cusco (“San Pedro Market”) is Cusco’s main market and part of the lifeblood of this city.
We can just recommend you to walk around, because history is all around you
As we left Cusco, we drove towards Ollantaytambo, and stopped on the way at Aqaba llaqta Textile Association in Chinchero. Chinchero means the “birthplace of the rainbow”, which are also reflected in the Chinchero textiles. Chinchero is recognized internationally as a prominent weaving town whose focus on reviving tradition has also revitalized the community itself (Source: http://www.textilescusco.org/index.php/chinchero/).
Today the weavers of Chinchero have recovered natural dying and once more weave their plain-weave section in indigo blue, cochineal red, and ch’ilka green.
They make a demonstration with explation of the process, which was really interesting (yes, it was in English). It is for free, but they ask you to buy a souvenir to support their community.
Here is our souvenir – meet our new mascot “Cenita”, which means “little dinner”, she is a cuy
Back on the road, where Lance wasn’t alone… We met hundreds of Toyota HiAce van, and when they couldn’t drive any longer, they were left at the side of the road. We are glad that Lance is in god shape, and we have not have any big problem. Love you Lance .
“Cenita” is now enjoying life with our moose looking out the front windshield
After the full rock experience, we met up with our friends Camille and Ryan to travel from the mountains to the coast of Peru. Yes, they are driving the other white van. Check out their Instagram: @theretoday (https://www.instagram.com/theretoday/).
On the way we stopped at Reserva National Pampa Galeras, which are working to preserve the vicuñas in this area – this is what we really like about overlanding. You make your own choices and stops during the day.
We are still in Tuk-Tuk country!
Driving through the Peruvian countryside
Finally we are in the dessert, and close to the coast
Enjoying life – enjoying the sunset
Next stop is Nazca – want to know more about the mysterious Nazca lines and the people who created these lines for more than 1000 years ago? Check out the next post.