Do I have a reason? Well yes, I have too many. First and foremost, you could blame me for having a traveler’s heart, curious mind and itching feet. For other reasons, you might want to scroll below.
I am keen to talk about PERU because this year I am curiously reading, visiting and looking forward to places that stand above the crowd. The ones that are touted as ultimate travel destinations and also those places which do not cease to mesmerise just with their mere mentions. Now that I have visited MAURITIUS last month, JOHANNESBURG this month and CAPE TOWN this weekend, I am absolutely fascinated with Peru. So its like going from one continent to another. A friend has just returned from Peru and was blown away by its beauty. She says… Everything was incredible.
If you are thinking that Machu Picchu has always been one of the major highlights of the trip to South America, why has Peru caught my attention now, I would say I like their new President. (Just kidding) But yes, since I love to keep a tab on world news, I will definitely share this bit for the uninitiated. ‘Mr. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, known as PPK, 77-year-old former investment banker has sworn in as Peru’s new president.’ Wishing the country peace and lots of progress, my article will talk about Peru beyond Machu Picchu.
I wanna go there to see the Totora or Reed boats that sail on Lake Titicaca.
Totora boats are beautiful in design and craft. They are iconic native boats, known to be the oldest known boats types in the world. Reeds grow naturally on the Peruvian coasts and they have been used to make these hand-crafted boats for generations now. Titicaca is not only a cute name but is also believed to be the birthplace of the sun. I was absolutely surprised to learn that Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable water body in the world.
How about flying over and looking at those mysterious Nazca Lines in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru?
Straight lines, trapezoidal zones, strange symbols, pictures of birds and animals have never fascinated me so much as these ever since I have learnt about them. These biomorphs and geoglyphs make mysterious attraction of Peru. Lot of studies have been going around them. From being called “the largest astronomy book in the world” to “convenient space for landing of ships”, there are many theories to these lines that occupy a patch of 37 miles long and 1-mile wide in the Peruvian desert. Flying over Nazca Lines leave all the tourists spellbound as they glare at the perfect shapes of a spider, a lizard, different kinds of birds like humming birds, sea birds, a monkey, a whale and even spot the design of powerful Andean Condor.
Do you know Colca and Cotahuasi Canyons are the deepest canyons in the world!
So if you are a Grand Canyon fan, you will be disappointed to know that my Cotahuasi and Colca Canyons in Peru are one of the world’s deepest canyons. They make the best walks too. They are nothing less than hidden gems. Colca canyon is 11,000 ft ( over 3400 m) deep and has Incan and pre-Incan history connect while Cotahuasi stretches down below 3500m. Arequipa is a beautiful city in Southern Peru from where one can take a trip to these canyons.
Time to go fishing for piranhas and bass in Peru’s Amazon River
So while Nile is the longest river, it is Amazon which carries the greater volume of water. And this one runs through Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru. There are lot of adventure cruises to do but one must find for the Piranhas too. Voracious and notorious piranhas are one of the scariest freshwater animals. They have teeth as sharp as serrated knife. This means one must not put their hands in the water while rowing through an oxbow lake in Peru. Oxbow isn’t a name but distinctive curvy shape body of water.
3 of Peru’s restaurants make it to the list of 50 Best Restaurants in the World
Am I writing about the new gastronomical capital of the world? Chance are quite high because Peruvian cuisine has caught the interest of the global foodies. Central Restaurant. Maido and Astrid y Gastón are the three restaurants that are being talked about everywhere for their culinary grandness and for taking us on a culinary expedition right from Amazon till the Pacific Coast. They have been listed in Top 50 by British magazine Restaurant. Astrid y Gastón expresses its perfection through 16 courses for its visitors. No less, Peru has won the title of Worlds Leading Culinary Destination four times (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) in the World Travel Awards (WTA). Some of their famous dishes are Lomo Saltado,Ceviche Mixto, Butifarra, Empanadas, Tiradito.
Handicrafts and Quechua culture.
Handicrafts is absolutely important to Peru’s culture and livelihood. I wish to go to a traditional weaving village in Peru to learn about its art and craft. Rumira Sondormayo, Chaullaqocha and Chupani are some of the weaving communities that thrive there. It is said that you have not seen Peru if you have not seen the woven work of Quechua women. Weaving is definitely one the oldest things known to the world but it is also forms the core of the Quechua culture. Peru became the first country which accepted Quechua as one of their official language in seventies. It is believed to be the language of the Inca Empire 600 years ago.
So now that I have learnt so much about Peru, I might want to be there, this year itself! What say? Fingers crossed. Until then keep following my updates from Johannesburg where I am going to stay for exactly 10 more days. Look for the hashtag #ChaloSouthAfrica.