Hello Philippe from Sin Rumbo. Welcome to the Atacama Expedition series. Episode 4. Hello again, and thank you for tuning in. So we are now well into Peru. We’re on our way to Arequipa, which is the 2nd largest town in Peru. City I should say. Where we’ll spend a day or two. We’ll see how things go and how we like it. The road here from the border has been nice. I’ve seen a number of gas stations and we haven’t needed gas yet but It doesn’t seem to be a a source of trouble. From my research the diesel in Peru is reliable. It meets European specifications. About 400 kilometers from the border is Arequipa. A Unesco world heritage. It is famous for its gastronomy, architecture, and historical significance. The original structure of the cathedral dates back to the 17th century. The convent is almost a citadel within the city. It occupies a whole block and is guarded by high walls. Hello again. So we just spent the last two days in the beautiful city of Arequipa, Peru. We had parked the truck safely in a parkade. We took a hotel room. And just relaxed from the driving. The historical downtown is beautiful, very interesting. We found lots of … very nice stores, shops, … restaurants, cafes, so … It was a really nice break for us. Today we’re back on the road. We’re driving from Arequipa to Sicuani, and then tomorrow from Sicuani to Cusco. The driving has been crazy because of traffic, because of one way streets, narrow, the drivers, the GPS was … almost as good as useless. It was challenging. Trucks pass each other in, you know, the wrong lane. They don’t care. It’s just ah, just crazy. So we’re happy to be back in nature. So we’re parked by a laguna. You can see pink flamingos down there. Some other birds. And ah … The structures that you can see. The brown enclosures that … you can see on the right side and directly in front of us are small alpaca farms. we’ve seen quite a few herds of alpacas on the way up to here. By the way, we were up to 4800 meters again driving here. We’re slightly lower now, maybe 4700. Located at 3400 meters, Cusco was the historical capital of the Inca empire. Now a Unesco World Heritage site it receives almost two million visitors a year. A visit to the daily market is a must. Here are a few of the more than three thousand varieties of patatoes that you can find in Peru. At least once you have to eat with the locals at the market. The food is tasty, the portions are generous, and the price is very affordable. Of course we also had to try the now world famous Peruvian coffee. And we were not disappointed. On the outskirts of Cusco lies the walled complex of Saksaywaman famous for its dry stone walls. Some of the stones weigh up to 200 tonnes and the precision of fitting doesn’t allow for a single sheet of paper between the joints. There are many theories about the site. But none that are fully convincing. And how do you explain inverted stairways for example? Stretching form Pisac to Ollantaytambo is the fertile Sacred Valley Of The Incas. Here too there are many archeological sites. In Ollantaytambo we board the train to Aguas Calientes. There we have a good meal, and a good night. The next day we’ll get up at 4:30 am to go to Machu Picchu. By 6:00 am we are on a section of the ancient Inca Trail that leads to the now close-off Inca Bridge. We patiently wait for the sky-gods to allow us a view of Machu Picchu. While waiting we get to see a rare Andean bear. Early afternoon we are on the train back to Cusco. Leaving Cusco, we drove through farmlands … high altitude desert … the ugly city of Juliaca … and finally arrive in Puno. From there we went to see the floating islands of lake Titicaca. Hello again. It’s been a while since I spoke to you last. We’ve gone through Peru and Back. We’re back into Chile. Bolivia recently has been going through some civil unrest. They are redoing soon the elections that they had a month ago. There’s been protests, road blocks, ah, closed borders for a couple of days. So we thought better to return through Chile but Chile is not that much better. Yesterday driving here we had to detour around a small town that had road blocks. Another place we got there just after they had cleared the road blocks. There were still burning tires across the road. It was a big mess. But anyways … A little bit by chance because it wasn’t planned we reached this spot here which is an archeological site with geoglyphs that dates back to about a thousand years ago so pre-Inca. Very nice, very interesting. There’s a small family that seems to be looking after the site. And they allowed us to spend the night here, so it’s been very quiet. Very peaceful and ah … really enjoyable. So this morning we took a look at the geoglyphs which are on the hills behind me. and ah and we’re going to be on the road again in about an hour and go back to San Pedro de Atacama just because we know the place. We know there’s a nice campground. We’ll get gas on the way. And then tomorrow we’re hoping if everything goes well, to cross from Chile back into Argentina and basically resume our itinerary from there. So the only place that we will have skipped unfortunately is the Salar de Uyuni. Well, that’s a project for another time now. Watch for episode 5 for more adventures and amazing places. We’re on the way to something very weird, very unusual. We’re stopped for the night. We’ll spend the night here.