How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #12: Mirador Lagunillas – Reserva Nacional de Salinas y Aguada Blanca – Chinitos Patahuasi – Tocra swamps – Mirador de los Andes – Chivay – Yanque
Shortly after we exit the busy streets of Juliaca, we see again the landscape we got so accustomed few days before, along the Route of the Sun.
The bushes become dwindling bundles; the grass turns into thistle clusters. Hundreds of shades of brown mixed with shades of grey. When we see a green patch of land, we know a little spring or a pond is trying to give some life to these parched lands at 4,000+ m altitude. Otherwise, most land looks arid, and dreary. The barren land looks dried and frail, sad in its majesty, generous in its magnificence.
According to an Inca legend, Manco Capac -the creator of Inca Empire- and Mama Occllo emerged from the waters of Titicaca Lake carrying a golden staff instructed by the sun god Inti to create a temple in the spot where the staff sank into the earth. Another legend says that Wiracocha itself emerged from the Titicaca waters, heading to Sacred Valley to establish Inca Empire. While the legends can continue, Uros people are real. It is not certain where they came from (maybe from the Amazon), but they moved on the waters of Titicaca since they were oppressed by the local population, and not able to get some land of their own. Originally, they built these islands near the middle of the lake, but due a major storm in 1986, they rebuilt them closer to the shore.
While I was trying to social distance myself earlier this month, I have visited our country side of the province. In these rough times, when the whole world is boiling in tension (due to COVID-19), rural people in Ontario are still following their traditions to harvest and boil their own sap, in order to make maple syrup.
The winter in Canada lasts between 3 and 5 months, in general. In most of the country, the winter is marked by snow, ice, blizzards, and winds. Lots of winds. But when the sun shines, everybody is out. So we were these past amazing few weekends, as we’ve been so fortunate to have in February, in Southern Ontario.
The region of Halton is about 1 hours Northwest of Toronto and has a big variety of parks one can enjoy in the winter, not only in the summer, or other seasons. We I decided to go to Hilton Falls, as I am in love with frozen falls. I will let you decide if I am right or not.
Important seaport for trade on Caribbean Sea, Tulum is known to have flourished in the 13th century. Facing the Eastern side of Yucatan peninsula, Tulum still stands up with its fortified walls and mysterious history witness through so many years. One of the last cities built and occupied by Mayan, Tulum ruins is the most visited site in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.
How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #9: Museo de Arte Precolombino – Twelve angled stone – Museo Kusicancha – Qurikancha Temple – Sacsayhuaman Fortress
At a high altitude of 3400 metres, Cusco is located at the west end of Huatanay Valley. Well protected by the surrounding mountains, the conquistadores destroyed the Inca buildings, and used the strong foundations for their colonial structures. But the solid streets and pathways remain unchanged, legacy of a strong civilization. Had they cars, maybe they would have built them wider, but they will remain in the same state for many years from now, even in this century when the city expanded so much, and the traffic in many areas looks impossible. The cobbled streets will stay famous for generations to come, and even though the Spanish maybe wished to destroy a culture, they couldn’t destroy the roots of it.
I’ve always wondered why these names got stuck in my head since my elementary school. Like Machu Picchu, Titicaca, Popocatépetl, or Vesuvius. Maybe for the way my geography teacher pronounced them, or the way they resonated in my brain? They dwelt in my head for years, feeding my imagination and desire to see what is outside of my little box, making me dream of this beautiful world. And one day, the dream became true..