I am writing this post at a time when we have visited the other 6 South American countries that we will visit on this trip and while there have been other highlights, as a country – Peru has been our favourite in South America.
We spent a month travelling this wonderful country and both seen and experienced so many various things. We started in the sleepy beachside town of Mancora where we enjoyed some of the best food of our trip; we were treated to stunning vistas and sore muscles over a week of hiking through the Cordillera Blanca mountains in Huaraz; Lima provided a taste of our life at home for a brief reminder and through the severe heat we returned to our western lifestyles; riding in a sand buggy, sandboarding down sand dunes and visiting and sleeping in a desert oasis in Huacachina provided a lot of firsts for us to tick off our bucket list; the pretty town of Arequipa filled the storage on my phone with so many stunning photo opportunities and the Colca Canyon blew us away and also provided me with the lowest of expectations and ability to adapt to basic conditions going forward on the trip!! We were feeling fit by the time we eventually reached Cusco and excited to experience the iconic Machu Picchu in real life. There is so much more to this amazing site than an famous iconic photo, we spent the whole day and those following it in absolute awe of its setting and beauty. Our luck was in when we got to see the spectacle that is Rainbow Mountain behind its blanket of clouds and the feeling of luck continued, matched by a sense of pride to be Irish and a first time celebrating our national holiday outside of our country for St Patricks Day in Cusco! Finally, right up until the point we crossed the border in Bolivia, we continued to be amazing by what this unreal country was offering us, the floating islands in Puno are definitely a bit commercialised but that doesn’t take from how fascinating the lives of the people of the islands is. We left with memories to last a lifetime and a love for a country that we had no expectations for except to tick Machu Picchu off our bucket list – we had no idea it had so much more to offer but feeling lucky that we got to figure that out!