In Southern Peru, the focus was on the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. We checked out the alien lines in the desert, were woken up by a police officer at our frigid altiplano camp spot, and battled the switchbacks and trucker traffic to get to Cusco. From there we drove through more gorgeous mountain scenery to the Hydroelectric Plant on the opposite side of Machu Picchu so that we could take Hobie with us on the hike to the town below the sacred ruins. As expected, Machu Picchu was spectacular and we spent most of a day hiking up the nearby mountain, wandering through the amazing stonework, and just sitting to take it all in. On the way back towards Cusco we camped overlooking an intricate mosaic of salt ponds, wandered through a maze of artisan markets, and drove down the Sacred Valley, lined with more ancient Incan ruins. We spent our last two nights in Peru in a valley lined with red sandstone cliffs and then on the shore of the massive Lago Titicaca.
Peru is a land of wonders – natural, cultural, and historical. We spent a month exploring this fantastic and huge country, marveling at the colorful desert landscapes, wide-open beaches with perfect rolling waves, snowcapped peaks, herds of llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, ancient ruins, and bustling municipal markets filled with myriad colors and scents. We roamed back and forth between the beach and the mountains – surfing great little breaks and free camping with a herd of other VW vans one week, and the next climbing in one of the most spectacular regions we’ve ever seen high in the thin air of the Andes. We also spent a month battling crappy roads and the very aggressive Peruvian drivers, but that’s all part of the adventure, and Chimera continues to perform like a champ. Here is a selection of the hundreds of photos we took and many adventures we had in roughly the northern half of the country.