2019-05-27 Aranwa Boutique Hotel, Cusco to Casa Adina Premium Hotel, Puno, Peru

This morning we make an early departure from Cusco with our guide and driver for the long journey to the city of Puno which is situated near the south east border by Lake Titicaca
We follow the Urubamba River and pass many large lagoons such as Laguna Huacarpay
Our first stop on the way is to visit a church in the town of
Andahuaylillas. It is called Saint Peter the Apostle of Andahuaylillas and is regarded as the Sistine Chapel of the Andes

San Pedro Apóstol was built by the Jesuits in the late 16th Century and has a magnificent ornate interior with gold statues and mural paintings ….. unfortunately photos were forbidden
A coffee and gift shop is situated by the lovely church garden
We continue our journey passing through small Peruvian villages in the valleys and high mountains south east of Cusco
As we travelled further south we were heading towards the highest elevations in Peru
We next visit the town of Racqchi and are greeted by the locals at their stalls with their colourful handmade items
Fine pottery and clay made items are crafted in this small town community of 150 families
Near the town square is the entrance to the famous Raqchi Arqueologico site
Entering the sight in the distance a row of ancient stone walls stand prominently in the fields
The Archaeological Park “Wiraqocha” was named after the well respected Inca who ordered the construction however it was completed much later in the late 1400’s
One of the elderly citizens of the ancient town which dates back 1000’s of years
Ric and our guide, Christina in front of some of the ancient buildings at the Racqchi site
156 Colcas which were circular and made of volcanic rock and mud and had straw conical rooftops remain on the site. These were used to store food and produce such as freeze-dried potatoes, corn, dried fish and meats etc
Once we finished our visit to the archeological site we returned to the main square and checked out the pottery stalls
The San Miguel Chapel in the main square is approximately 350 years old and was built by the local people who were also good stonemasons. It houses 2 statues of virgins and 1 saint and there are numerous religious celebrations held here during the year
New earrings always come in handy !!!
Back in our van we continue our journey through the wonderful Peruvian mountain plateaus
Agriculture and farming are the main industries in these highlands
Thousands and thousands of Alpacas and Llamas can be seen on the plateaus of the areas we drove through
We arrive at La Raya which is the highest point between Cusco and Andahuaylillas at 4335 m
The temperature was quite chilly at around 8 degrees C …. there were plenty of blankets, jumpers and hats for sale here
The scenery was absolutely amazing from this wonderful lookout
I had to have one of these beautiful brightly coloured light rugs
This petite lady with her pet alpaca is happy to pose for a photo ….. for a coin of course!!
A railway line passes through this highland area and a train goes several times a week. Unfortunately the day (today) we required to do the journey from Cusco to Puna, the train was going in the opposite direction!!
A couple of the local guides keen to be on a photo ….. no coins needed
Back on the road continuing our long journey to Puno
Dry stone fences which date back many centuries house the livestock safely overnight …… often during the day the animals roam freely on the plateaus and at dusk are herded into these pens
Small farmhouses are scattered along the flat plains of the highlands
The scenery here is outstanding
We arrive in Pucara which is well known for its pottery
Our comfortable transport for our long journey from Cusco
We make a small stop to pick up some refreshments
Another large busy town we pass through is Juliaca
After almost 8 hours of travelling we finally see the famous Lake Titicaca which over the past years has dropped significantly. In the past apparently the water came all the way to the railway line in the foreground of the photo

We were pleased to finally arrive at our accommodation in Puno after an enjoyable and interesting journey across the mountain plateaus of the Andes in Peru
A nice sweet surprise in our room on our arrival
We even have a partial water view of Lake Titicaca from our room
Dinner tonight at the restaurant in the hotel called Alma
A light vegetarian dish for each of us tonight at Alma’s
An interesting and delicious dessert for Ric
Bright lights of Puna on Lake Titicaca from our hotel

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