I am currently sitting in Lima that is to be my last stop on this journey through South America before boarding my flight to Rio de Janeiro later tonight. When looking at my bag and all that it has taken me though I cannot be other than joyful. Since I landed in Argentina almost four months ago I could not imagine what I would see, do and experience. I can only thank my luck, my friends that I traveled with and everyone that I have met and spoken to on the way near and far for making this journey such a success. The reason I call this the end of my journey is because Brazil and Rio is not longer a new destination for me, but even more exciting since this will be my home for the months to come and I will be concentrating on work and broaden my professional experience in a new country.
Peru was a interesting place not only because of the magical Machu Picchu but also because of its difference compared to the othered countries seen and experienced in South America. It all started of in Puno, a small place that we reached in just three hours from leaving Copacabana in Bolivia. The boarder crossing was very smooth and the journey to this rather small and not particulary touristicly popular destination. There was not much to see in the city itself and me and Thomas that was the only one traveling together since our other friend Gabriel had taken a different route to the Bolivian Amazonas and was to catch us later on the way, had decided to just relax before heading for Cusco and later on Machu Picchu.
Cusco on the other hand was quite spectacular due to its rich food culture even though the city itself at least in the center was quite internationalized because of the heaps of tourists that all came to prepare for their journey to MP. After returning to Cusco again after Machu Picchu we headed for Arequipa that was quite far south far from Cusco. We reached our distination almost three hours later than promised and happily settled went for dinner not dearing to try their local specialty though (all over Peru) the ginnmy pig (In Spanish Cuy and Swedish Marsvin)! In Arequipa we again met Gabriel and another mutual friend that was heading for Cusco as we were heading in the other direction. After advises well shared we again said bye for now to next time meet in Rio. Arequipa that is second largest city in Peru had much to offer in what came to Culture and food and it was a beautiful city even though not spectacular in any particular way.
This was the last city traveling together with someone as Thomas set his course back to La Paz to catch a flight to Santiago, and myself headed of for Lima to catch my flight to Rio. Realizing that we had had an amazing journey together and will be sharing memories for life we said ciao for now and set of. Happily in Lima 17 hours by bus later I did my last check in for the journey. My last full day was spent in excellent company when I met up with Malin from Sweden and Luis from Lima that I both had worked with. It was so much fun to meet again after a long time and to be able to share so many memories and stories from the time at ships. Malin and Luis were both working on a hotel in Asia a small tourist attraction built in the middle of the Peruvian desert almost 100 kilometers from the capital. Excellent time spent together with their friends and co-workers I believe this a fantastic ending to a successful journey through South America.
By this time I can honestly say I am ready to unpack my bag for the first time in months and settle down in one place for a while. Due to this tiredness Peru apart from Machu Picchu was a final destination where I ended up concentrating more on relaxation and enjoying of food and tranquility. Peru is an amazing country with loads of richness in food and culture. People are very friendly when you ask them for something and will not hesitate to help you, but they will also let you be and will not harass you and be as interested in you as they might in for example Chile. Peru is also cheap to visit as what comes to accommodation, food and travel and I can warmly recommend everyone to visit this beautiful country and to get to know the beautiful people within.
When I my last full day spent hours on a local bus trying to reach Asia though sandy villages on roads consisting of more holes than road I realized it will take time for me to realize what I just have experienced. I need to take my time to get some distance to this all to be able to see what I really have learnt about cultures, people, places and not least myself. The experience and travel through this gigantic continent has been close to owerwhelming and I would do it again any time. Or telling the truth anytime after I am rested in Rio or where ever I will be hanging my hat over the next months to come. Where this will be and what will happen will appear on this blog with pictures within as far as my working hours will allow.