A Road Trip

We booked the long journey from Cuzco to Puno with Inka Express because they were the recommended company with the best buses. Little did we know that an English speaking guide would be on board and the stops would all be at places of interest en route. Nor that a 3 course buffet lunch was included in the price as well as on board snacks!
First 2 stops were at small towns, Andahuaylillas and Huaro, both with painted churches, full of gold, built and still owned by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The Jesuits have an interesting history in South America. Their rule in the early years of the conquest was so harsh that they were banned by the Pope in 1767 and only allowed to return 50 years later. Nevertheless their churches are full of treasures – the one in Andahuaylillas is said to be guarded 24 hours by the residents and contain great wealth in locked vaults – in stark contrast to the apparent impoverishment of the local population. No photos allowed inside, presumably to further discourage theft?
From there to Raqchi, a small village adjacent to a well preserved Inca village and temple, once one of the most sacred places for the Incas.
Lunch and then on to La Raya, the high point of the journey at 4335 metres for a photo stop. Then on to Pukara where a small museum with numerous pre Inca objects gives an interesting insight into how similar the earlier civilisations were to European society in medieval times. Unfortunately the museum is small and we were competing with a number of tour groups.
And so after an enjoyable 8 hour trip we arrived in Puno on Lake Titikaka just after 5pm. The highest lake in the world at 3800 metres.
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Sorry I can’t work out how to delete the duplicated photo!

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