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Peru -
Arequipa & Titicaca lake  

Journal of Pollux & Titus

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June 2005



Arequipa (2500m) :
At least we let back the Pan-American to go up in the cordillera. We start our ascent in altitude. We will not go
down before Chile and spend several weeks above 3000 meters.
the cathedral and the plaza des armas in the center of Arequipa. Wonderful city with a colonial style.

The convent of Santa Catalina in the center of Arequipa is a city in the city. It has been created by rich family who
had to send one of their daughters in a convent. It is not the Club Mediterranee, but nearly..



              private kitchen                              wheel in the common kitchen
each nun has her own lodge with domestics                  church
              impregnable view on the cordillera

In front of the convent, there is the Alliance Française, that we can find in every city of South America.
Usually in a beautiful location, we make a break for a nice meal and to read the french newspapers.
              To get used to the altitude, we have to go up in stages and not exceed 300 meters between
              two nights. This one is at 2900 meters.
The day after, foresee a pass at 4500 meters before doing down to 3200 meters for the night. Just in the ascent,
I hear a big crack and a metallic sound... the clean water tank of 400 liters just unhooks and lag behind the truck.
The time is 13h00 and we are at 4400 meters high, it is really too high. Two hours to repair temporary the tank
and to hang it with ropes. U-turn and go back to Arequipa. Unfortunately, I cannot empty the tank which falls down
again 8 kilometers further. The night is not very far and the temperature begins to fall, but the altitude that is
still at 4300m. Another hour of work and we can reach Arequipa with the night to repair... more fear than bad !!!

                During the reparations of the tank, the ground begins
to quiver, then to shake and finally to move frankly...first experience of earthquake of a magnitude 6 of
the Richter scale... Very impressive !!! The dogs begin to bark even before the ground moves, people rush in the
middle of the streets... their last earthquake was in 2001 when the city has been very damaged... the psychosis is
still there.

Lunch break at 4500 meters among the alpagas
There are mainly 3 kinds of "lamas" : the Vicunas (very wild, they are impossible to approach), the Lamas (they are
used to carry around twenty kilos) and the alpagas (they are breed for the wool).
              With the australian koala, they are the nicest and the sweetest animal.

Again, a plateau as far as the eye can see at 4500 meters.

in the middle of the plateaux and summits, the laguna Lagunillas

Titicaca Lake(3820m) :

From Puno on the shore of the lake, we visit the floating islands of Uros...very very touristic, but incredible.

The villages are built with reed. The island itself, the houses, the boats...

              They live only for tourism                   making of bread




                                                           Only school for all the islands. The pupils come by boat

Titicaca lake from Puno, Peru.
The area asks its autonomy from years. It expresses it by blocking the roads. The next one are planned for the next
night. We have to leave rapidly to reach Bolivia, at the other side of the lake.
Life in the villages on the shore



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