I have been wanting to make this South America trip since years....one thing and another, one more excuse and this, it took me years but eventually I took the jump. Twelve hours flight with BA into noisy Lima. I am traveling with my friend Valerie from Paris who worked with Claudia years ago on a cruisehip. We are meeting up with her, share lunch at her place and they talked about old times. In the evening we walked towards the Malecon, seaside and stop by the park where there is many couple spending time and taking photos of what reminds me of Park Guell in Spain.

A visit to chocolate museum of course we sampled some cacao tea and different chocolates

Many couples and tourists come here to enjoy the park and take photos


Flight : Lima-Cusco, such a beautiful flight above snowing cap mountains, view over big city of Cusco.

From Cusco collectivo (small local bus) to Urubamba Valley. Splash of colours in Urubamba market.

Beautiful lady surrounded by bags of potatoes bathing in morning sunshine. Peru country where they produce so many different type of potatoes, over 500 specimens!

Colorful stack of vegetables, indoors market, yuca, peppers, delicious avocados...

Sorry a bit blur photo but aren’t they cute with their hats selling I believe chamomile plants, garlic, potatoes.

Healer who was preparing different combo of herbs, roots, flowers for certain ailments. Thought it was so beautiful. I took discreetly a photo as I was asking her what it was, she didn’t look happy to talk

Outdoors the market continue with plants.

So beautiful, one of favorite photo

Couldn’t get enough of the colors, hats, and bags....

A funny looking hat which sometimes was empty, other times with flowers surely has a meaning but we didn’t find out!

From the back!

Local fruits

Piles of potatoes i am not talking about the ladies

Love her hat

Fried bananas and sweets in corn leaves

More colours

Urubamba indoors market


Day 3 : we bought a bilette touristico for 2 days 70 soles. Private taxi organized by the lovely man from where we slept in Urubamba, took us to Moray in the morning and the Salinas afterwards. Slightly dryer than the photos I have seen of this place, no green grass for us in Moray!

Like I said super dry, it hasn’t rained for months

The story behind was crop trial

Each level was meant to be a different crop to see how it will grow

Beautiful view over different field with on the horizon snow peak

Las Salinas, such a big area where they built up pools to collect salt

We were only allowed to walk on little path

Which felt crunchy, crack noise and strange to walk onto

A stream comes down from the hill and they have built all those pools to collect the salt from it

It reminded me of tanning area in Morocco

Very strong winds

Such a stunning beautiful place

Day 4 : Ollantaytambo little pretty village where we climb and had view over the village.

Then back to pick our backpack at the lodge and then Pisac where we leave our bags at a taxi driver office, get a lift up to the entrance which saved us 2 hours walk up so then we can enjoy the big site for 2 hours.

Door which as you can see I had to squeeze underneath

A quick blurry selfie before the group close to us do theirs

Details I cannot remember but thought it was moon temple

The guardian

View over village and other site on the other flank

A beauty

Type of aloe Vera grass

View over the whole site we explore, climbed up to the temple, and more on the right hand side with a lovely calming sound of river flowing


Our tiny lunch, boiled corn with cow cheese. We have been looking for goat cheese everywhere with no luck....only cow cheese in Peru nowadays!

Built up roof to protect mud walls

Quite well preserved site

A little climb up the oppposite hill, a bird of prey flying above us, strong wind, met a Brazilian lovely couple up there who kindly hooded my cap as I was struggling to keep it on with the wind. They absolutely loved Peru, so sweet people.

Closed up on the muddy, straw, stones wall

Map of Pisac

View site of Pisac

Day 1 : \240It’s 3.20am the alarm goes on, what! Oh yea bus is coming to pick us up we are going on a 5 days Salkantay trek. \240And they are here 3.50am! 10 min earlier Valerie is rushing. We pick the others, 3 hours drive to reach our destination Challacancha 3651m. We chew our coca leaves with a black paste that our guide offer us, I love it, it taste like licorice. Walk, rain, camp, lunch, hike up to Lake Humantay, happy hour snacks and hot drinks, dinner, look at deep blue sky full of stars, sleep or try to as too bloody cold.

Day 2 : Tough decision! but no climb for me as not feeling great aka no sleep so horse up to Salkantay pass & 3 others from the group are joining me. So so cold and hard to breath, my legs aches from squeezing that poor horse so afraid of falling. While on the horse I wished I was walking so steep felt highly uncomfortable. Very misty cloudy at the pass so not so much of a view. Stone offering to Mother Earth and climb down we go.

View from glass dome

Our first lunch together, looking up at the hill to climb

Explanation of what we are going to do after lunch

Too much food and so delicious Albert can’t wait😆

Up the hill which doesn’t look like much but it is 4221m high

So beautiful view, still more to climb

Valerie and Rojelio

Here it is Lake Humantay, a jellewery, stunning paradise in the mountain

Such a beauty, I could not get over it, so worth the climbing effort

Still climbing up past the lake...

To see the beautiful mountains range and valley on the other side

We are not alone

A sense of feeling so tiny in front of such beauty

Just can’t stop looking at it and taking photo of it, breathtaking

I’m on the top of the world....euh, not really!!! But closer 4200m

The group : German, Spanish, French, British

Glass dome and view of Salkantay

Breath taking view over Salkantay which when we arrive at the camp earlier was behind clouds

Horse ride

Salkantay playing hide and seek with clouds

My mad horse well carrying a mad woman what a pair! This is the reason why they put a scarf around his ears because he is a wild horse perfect for me

Isn’t it beautiful

A caterpillar undisturbed

4600m high, keep breathing.....the oxygen mask will fall down in 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 min.....

Happy crowd

Offering to Mother Earth Mama matka

Now we are walking down

And down the hill we go hihehiho! One of the British girl in red and our main guide in front with blue bagpack

Our itinerary

Ticket for Salkantay

My Machu Picchu stamp

Day 4 : The jungle, no Tarzan, no Jane! It’s humid and we had some rain so even more humid and hot. While the afternoon was sunshine and super hot!

Very green all around, gorgeous view, song of green parrots flying down in the valley. We will see them from closer when we will be walking along the rail train.

So much moss, it could be a good setting for Hallloween

We are now joining the Inca trail and this is the first Inca site we encounter

Here it is the first sight of Machu Picchu mountain

So exciting

Our half group, some have left as they are doing only 4 days

Found those flowers beautiful in colours, called lobster claws

Saw many as we were walking along Mach Picchu rail train

Machu Picchu

Day 9 : THE DAY - The Machu Picchu day - wake up 3.30am a classic, no breakfast, walk down from Aguascalientes, queue till 5 am, 2000 steps in less than an hour to get the main gate, view waou, it’s in front of me waou!

Machu Picchu train back to Ollantaytambo, nuts and Chocolat plus drink, 5 days trek over, been to Machu Picchu 😃

It’s just behind us

Are you sure it is there!?!

Any comments

Any comments....

I love this mist hiding part of Machu Picchu

Stones used for construction of temple

Botanical garden

8 am climb up departure to Machu Picchu mountain another 2600 steps going up

Going higher

Feel like closer to the clouds

So tiny

The crazy steep steps so high felt vertigo or may be low on battery...

Beautiful green color of stones

Inca bridge

Unfortunately I wasn’t alone

Definitely not alone

One last pick before leaving

The Machu Picchu train

Roof window

Machu Picchu train back to Ollatabamtab, nuts and Chocolat plus drink, 5 days trek over, been to Machu Picchu 😃

Google map, incredible to see the distance we walked, the little blue mark under Salkantay mountain being Lake Humantay we did the 1st day and finished on the 5 th by climbing Machu Picchu mountain👊🏻

Lake Titicaca

Boat to Amenti island biggest and further away island

Bus to Puno beautiful landscape, photo taken from the bus

Amenti Island going in exploration


Who are those monkeys 🐒

We climbed mama matka, Mother Earth hill and mama parka, Father earth

Really really windy up there, little pile of stones are the offering to either mother or father earth

It is time to go home

The little harbour where we departed from

As we were waiting with an Ozi girl who stayed over with us, we did few yoga stretches was beautiful setting for it

Disney world! no sorry Uros island

Well all made up for tourists so sad

Straw which forms the island, has to be redone every 20 years. Feels strange to walk on it

There is 90 islands and each tourist boat will visit one in turn. Big yellow boat for tourists to go for a little paddle around, as we were mainly french in this group, not many went on board, we had to pay extra for it

Lake Titicaca

Journey back after our sleep on the island of Amani

Two generations Oscar from Lima and a 16 years old girl from Amani

Yes my muse

Look at her belt



Boliva, Copacabana mosaic beautiful church

Las Olas, an expensive hotel where rooms have a shell shape, it was fully booked nevertheless we decide to go there for an afternoon tea. They were actually closed in afternoon but luckily we met the German owner and were allowed to have ice cream, tea and to feed the lamas, munch munch

View from top of hill where we climbed for the sunset

Locals come up here and drink over a fire, a lovely spot but everything is burned and lots of rubbish

On the bottom of the hill, locals were doing some sort of offering and burning part of the hill. Burning land seems quite common unfortunately.

Clouds are getting darker, it was actually thunder in the evening

We were expecting to see the full moon but ended up so cloudy

Such a stunning sky was worth the wait in the cold blowing wind

Isla del Sol

Isla del Sol, Bolivia

We stayed at some local lady house, lovely garden, huge poppy flowers

We find her asking around where we could sleep at a local house and we were told this lady had room for us

We found her at the school yard with other men and women digging holes not sure why


We walk around the island and tried to follow path somewhere very unsure I think only lamas and donkeys used them anyhow we managed to get on the top of the hill and reached the other side of the island

Here are the beaches well keep the sun cream in your bag they are not those pretty beaches with white sand, mind I didn’t check closely too much of a hike back up

Beautiful donkey Valerie loves donkey so she has been in heaven as we have seen so many

We are climbing up for the sunset, he is not coming with us

Snowy mountain range

View over the village and other islands

Gorgeous donkey at the harbour

Most important things in life : Food and drink

A place called Hatunpa, in Arequipa speciality of potatoes

Flags with all the different name for potatoes

3 different potatoes served with alpaca meat and vegetables

Valerie’s Crepe filled with quinoa and scoop of ice cream, delicious

Urubamba, Eco lodge the owner cooked a banana pancake with honey huge( we thought it was to share) and homemade bread with local fruits jam, was amazing.

Urubamba indoors Market where we bought some fruits, avocados, coffee, chocolate, dried fruits & nuts for the trek

Kampu restaurant, menu on a black board on the wall, chef explained every dishes, mixed of Asian and Peruvian food.

Chicha morada, Red corn juice with spices was really nice and Valerie is having veggie dumplings

I was worried of being hungry....could barely finish my plate, stir fried of vegetables with ginger & steak \240served with rice sesame seeds, delicious

And we tried a chocolate cake with Lucuma ice cream, lovely too

Pisac our only lunch food boiled corn with cow cheese, was ok because I was hungry but tried better in Mexico

Lunches during the trek usually started with a soup : veg, quinoa, rice, pumpkin...followed by 7 different dishes meat or fish and different vegetables so yummy

They also did vegetarian option and gluten free for me

Cusco an organic restaurant where they grew their vegetables, herbs and plants. This is alpaca meat with pumpkin mash and quinoa with eatable flower, delicious

Puno, La casa del Corregidor terra-cotta pot of tea, muna which is local mint tea, found many bushes in Isla del Sol in Bolivia, smell lovely

Paracas, Pisco local drink served with salted grilled corn

Paracas, Pukasonco restaurant, an artist who also cook, best fish soup I had so tasty a pure delight

Barranco, our last night in Peru Pisco maracuya, passion fruits with finger food filled with cheese, guacamole sauce and chilli one

Cusco, organic restaurant, manzanilla tea chamomile, with fresh flowers

We left Arequipa at 2.30 am took a bus to different stop on the way to Cabaconde start of our 3 days Colca canyon on our own. Tough super tough! On the way we saw some condors which you will only spot tiny ( aka not powerful lens on my camera ) on the photo but we could see them so big and majestic, we saw several so I know they are protected and not an endangered species

The man built up oasis, sorry blurred photo but I am climbing up a mountain 3 hours up to the summit🤪

I found the sky stunning everywhere we went

Are we going to see any condors?!?

Such amazing clouds in the sky

Yes, and if I had a big zoom camera you could stop it better but I don’t care as I saw few condors flying in this canyon

And yes another one flying like a free bird

Cabaconde church beginning of our 3 days in Colca Caynon

Beginning of the 4 and an half hours of walking down in what felt to me like 40 degree & it is 10 am. And obviously no wind, no shade. Yes absolutely my brain is saying “Get me out of here!” They won’t be any photos of the trek down as I just wanted to be somewherelse by the sea or a pool, in a hammoc but certainly not there. Yes you guessed it I didn’t not enjoy that bit!

End of the 4.30 hr of painful trek down, we finally reached our bungalow and the good thing is they had a hot natural pool, my legs were happy again!

Day 2 : Can you spot the bus....

Yes, that’s the one we took for one hour of crazy cliff road drive, up and up we went with a worried Valerie on board, too close to the cliff for her liking.

The highest village Tapay

Pretty walk down, following river and so much greeness, many chamomile bushes in flower, fruit trees such as figue, avocado, papaya

Baby cactus grow from stone😳

Cactus were pretty dry very few looked good and this one had lovely flowers

Dryness versus greeness

The reason why the vegetation is growing is because of small water fall

Here it is water bringing life in this dry canyon

And in the oasis they fill the pools with the waterfall water

Stunning colours

Night time barely any lights around so beautiful sky full of stars

The path we took down to the oasis

Around 6am sun rise we started the climb at 5.20 am so we wouldn’t too hot and the mountain as I found out climbing is mostly in the shade apart from top but better with an early start!

The man built up oasis, sorry blurred photo but I am climbing up a mountain 3 hours up tohe summit🤪

Cabaconde bulls fight ring

Our entrance ticket to Colca caynon

Google world map pretty impressive viewing like that. That sort of explains how difficult it was!


Beautiful Arequipa

Free tour with a local guide who brought us in this pretty side of Arequipa where the stone used, white as you can see, is from the volcano

Seen few beetles couldn’t help it, saw many colours so that was my excuse😜

So so hot it’s 10 am but as our guide mentioned it, each time we stop we all look for the shade

Very Spanish inspired little alley

Here is the volcano a constant danger for anyone who leave in Arequipa. They have dig a big hole just before the city but what help is it going to be!?! Unsure

Just before the bridge where we could see the 3 volcanos

Main plaza, so pretty, I did love this city, lovely, with a great choice of restaurants and shops, clean, hot and sunny and always something going on in that main plaza

El chachani summit 6000 m

El Misti

Departure of our free tour started there with a lovely cup of cacao tea

We came back later in the day and oh another beetle red this time

I had a delicious chocolate cake while valerie enjoyed her hot Chocolat

They also do some cacao class

Another blue beetle on the way to picanteria, they are outside main center of Arequipa. Typical food pastel de papa, layers of sliced potatoes with cheese which we thought we try on the street but it was pasta and cheese. Another dish is rocotos rellenos is stuffed peppers, cut which I didn’t try

Picanteria, la mundial, typical Peruvian food, a Sunday so very busy with family, huge portion served. I had a mutton soup with potatoes, yam, rice and corn so big that i couldn’t finish it. Saw locals having takeaway of what they cannot finish

And one more for the road a silver one😉

Muse of Pisco, We went to the one in Cusco this according to Rojelio our guide during the Salkantay trek, this one was opening in December. We took a photo to send to him

Main plaza such a lively place, locals dancers

Ica noisy and polluted but nice lovely people

Unreal I guess result of earthquake

Oh one thing so many taxis in some city like Arequipa I believe it was pretty much only taxis on the road and so many.

Oasis, Huacachina, for the Peruvian elite, place of holidays and for backpackers coming for sand dunes fun time

Man made oasis

I like to travel incognito no I just protect my sinuses😜

That is my turn to pose, strike the pose🎶🎵🎶

The buggy was so much fun

Yes you can spot it plastic and there is a lot around Peru, we asked our taxi driver this is not their priority.


Paracas where we took a boat to Ballestas island, a brilliant happy guide who spoke really good English and French. Unfortunately an overcast morning but still very impressed by the clusters of life from birds to seals.

El candelabra, a mystery, similar to Nazca lines, geologist analyse the soil and didn’t find anything. Purpose, how it was made, only speculation, made by 👽 no ones know. The direction of wind is opposite so very little erosion, it is well preserved

Many birds, we saw lots of Peruvian booby, Inca tern, penguin, neotropic cormorant

On the way to the islands we observe a cluster of birds diving into the sea I believe a group of fishes were close to the surface, was crazy to see

Humbolt penguin

The chick is hiding among the stones on the top, a brown feather little bowl

Peruvian booby

Sea lions resting or sleeping or posing

The 3 Graces

Or just cannot be bothered to do anything!

Many seals, the water is full of fishes even so we spot a sea lion with a bird. Our guide commented since last year they have noticed the sea lions eating birds, change of behavior which they do not understand as there plenty of fish in this area.

The bird poo is an excellent fertilizer therefore very pricey and of course the island is protected.

Guanay cormorant

We saw a fishermen boat with a pump giving oxygen to divers for shells fish they need a permit to fish in this area

Back in Paracas some pelicans leave here

The reason is a clever man thought it could be a business to fed the pelicans ask tourists who take photo of them for some money

You can see the bucket on the side, I was cleverer walk passed him pretend to take boats photos

Got you

I do not want to be in your photo 😂


So many birds tiny dots are birds


Back to Lima, we spend the evening with a Claudia in Barranco

Lovely and a softy Inca at lighthouse B&B

Cake or churros🤔


Barranco main plaza at night

Lovely little restaurant with view over the sea

Very colonial

Train transformed into a restaurant, the queue of people is actually for the bus not for the restaurant

Bridge with down bellow massive wood sculpture of an ant

I am actually trying to pose as the famous local singer which I of course forgot her name, she has her sculpture close to the bridge, her song his about the bridge

Famous bridge, Puente de los suspiros (bridge of sight) where you need to cross it without breathing so you can make a wish. I’ve done it and seen tourists with red faces trying to do it too

Huge amazing pub so many rooms, loved it

Outdoor balcony with mural fresque

One bar, love the chandelier

Second bar

Look at all those bottles

Stack of newspaper and very old chair in the corner, a barber chair unsure

Pisco passion fruit with nibles

Celebration of a physical trip

And yes I feel like a Queen

Barranco District

Last day before flying I came back to Barracanco where we came the night before with Claudia for a drink.

Many graffitis

Pretty colors

Blu, homemade ice cream

Muna which mint and chocolate and lemon was delicious 😋

Main plaza

My favorite

So many vultures most of them on top of church which is half way covered being restored may be

Lovely little shop with so many interesting frames

Love it

Is you favorite movie in there?

Saw so many things with El principito, the Little Prince and also Frida

S. Dali high in colours, magnificent

View over the Malecon

Bar where we went to celebrate our trip and it’s end, love the chandelier

This bar had so many rooms

Tchin tchin Pisco for everyone

Yes I feel like a Queen

A lot of people have been asking me since I have been back so how was it? And my answer has been intense! This has been the most physical challenging trip. And many things have to be taken into account this is not only about trekking up a hill or a mountain, or down, and that is tough enough, long hours of walking. My mojo has been One foot after another... It is also about waking up early 4.30 am during trek and some time as early as 2.30am. Then there is the transport in between places long night buses, night sleep in freezing cold room, catching a sinus/cold and still moving on. And to finish it with, it was a month of noise like I remember while traveling in Mexico, they like things loud in Peru too. Unfortunately for us it was a political month of campaign with megaphone on top of cars, podium with super loud music and speech, group of people looking like on strike but pacifist 😜. I have videos to prove all this unfortunately they don’t seen to download on that web!

Nevertheless when I look back at all what we have done in that month, I am impressed, happy and grateful.

It has been a challenging month, a personal choice of choosing this trek instead of Inca trail, and for me it was beautiful, stunning landscape, nature all over so worth it!

So yes I enjoyed it, so different from previous trip, so different country compare to Asia also price wise.

I come back thinking I will need to sleep for days, and I had a long 1st night, a day off and back to work. I feel good, healthy in a good physical form. A month of rice and potatoes 😉👊🏻.

I am now thinking of another trip🤔 and yes I know the destination but I won’t tell you yet😜

Life is ahead of us, keep breathing, enjoy the moment.