The Blake family of Lake Wylie found a timeless adventure in Peru.
“The experience was amazing,” Bob Blake said. “It’s an ancient culture where the people still dress in native clothing, eat only what is locally available and live without the many amenities of western life.”
The Blakes began their tour in Cusco, the majestic mountain capital of the Incas where narrow cobblestone streets, breathtaking Colonial architecture and Inca ruins abound. The heart of the city is the Plaza de Armas, which is graced with two commanding cathedrals and beautiful Spanish-built stone arches.
“During one of our free evenings, we rounded a corner of the city and saw a Quechua woman in a brilliantly colored skirt and stovepipe hat leading a llama,” said Blake, who traveled with wife Teresa and daughter Taylor. “It made us question which century we were in.”
No trip to Peru would be complete without a trek to magnificent Machu Picchu, the mist-cloaked lost city of the Incas built on a mountain flanked by sheer drops to the Urubamba River racing below.
“I have to believe this ancient city has some of the most stunning views on Earth,” he said. “We were completely awed by the temples, palaces, fountains, stonework and, of course, the captivating vistas this city boasts.”
The Blakes final destination was Puno, a city situated beside Lake Titicaca. At 12,500 feet, it’s the world’s highest navigable lake and home to the charming Uros people. Here native residents rely on totora reeds to make the floating islands, thatched reed huts, boats and many of the handicrafts they sell. In fact, the islands are made entirely by layering the totora reeds atop totora root clods.
“One of the best experiences in Puno was just watching the sun rise from our hotel room, which faced the lake,” Blake said. “I admit a bit of jealously knowing that the Uros islanders get to experience this every day.”
Wendy Dimitri of Lake Wylie is a freelancer writer. Email neighbors column ideas to email@example.com.