Chris’ journey in South America
A client testimonial by Chris Drieberg on his tailor made trip through South America.
Day 7, the 15th, was a day of relaxation with the beauties, women and men alike in their skimpy bathers on the Copacabana Beach. The day would not have been complete without a swim in this famous beach in Rio de Janeiro. To our luck and amazement late that afternoon we witnessed the colourful Gay Mardi Gras.
On Day 8, the 16th, we flew to Lima, the Colonial ‘City of Kings’. Lima is the capital and the largest city in Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillon, Rimac and Lurin rivers and was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
We spent some time touring Lima on Day 9, the 17th, visiting a number of well-known sites including the Cathedral, the residential Palace, the Plaza de Armas, and the Catacombs located beneath the San Francisco Convent. This was where we appreciated Lima’s magnificent colonial architecture as well as vignettes of its pre-Colombian past.
The scenic beauty of Puno in this southern part of Peru is astonishing. The main attraction is the Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, to which the legend attributes the origin of the Inca civilization. Travelling by semi-speed vessel on Day 11, the 19th, we stopped at Taquile Island, a place where time appeared to have stood still. A round 350 Quechua-speaking families live here, operating a collective agricultural system dating from the 14th Century and renowned for their textiles – beautifully woven chumpis (belts), chullos (caps) and ojotas (sandals).
The view of the snow capped mountains of Bolivia too from this island was breath taking. We enjoyed a sumptuous South American style hangi here with one of the local families, where the food was cooked underground buried in hot rocks. We then went on to visiting the floating island of Uros, where again the friendly locals continue to practice their traditional way of life, living by fishing. Situated about four kilometres from Puno, the original inhabitants of these floating islands are said to descend from one of the most ancient peoples of the Americas.