Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photos from Peru

Machu Picchu, Cusco, and Lima

The 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu happened in July 2011. I did this short trip with friends. We packed a lot of activities into a short period of time but did get to see many ruins and sites in addition to the famous site.

Atop Apu Picchu, looking down on Machu Picchu

The Cusco region is high altitude and can be difficult to adjust to if you are a person who lives most of the year at sea level. One of the drinks the locals give you is coca tea to help acclimate. While we didn't do the 4 day trek to Machu Picchu, we saw some of the salt flats, and surrounding area ruins. One thing I did notice is that I did not keep as rigourous of journal on this trip and I kind of wish I did. 


The weather is beautiful in the Cusco region and heavily overcast in the Lima area during the summer. It was quite cold as well, since they were in the winter season. I'm told by the lodge owner in Urubama that 70% of glaciers have disappeared since 1970. In the frequently trod Cusco Tourist path, the roads are super clean even in rural areas. and on the streets even in the poorer districts. However this is definitely not the case outside the 'nice' areas and also in Lima.

Salt Flats

Some Brief Economic observations: 

In Cusco, a t-shirt store owner, said KFC opened in the plaza del armas a few weeks ago, there was a line around the block with local people who wanted to try it but never had. they have it in Lima. Also the Mcdonald's opened in 2010 in plaza del armas. The Peruvian sole is pegged to the US Dollar at approximately 2.7 Sole to the 1 USD. US and Foreign banks are everywhere, including HSBC, Citibank and Nova Scotia bank.

Some Llamas in Urubama

In Cusco, "The meeting place" is a church run volunteer cafe. The owner there told me that Alberto Fujimori's economic policies did the right thing for job creation, lifting people out of poverty. they are seriously concerned about the newly elect president because he may impose socialist and nationalistic policies on Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) which will shut down a lot of local businesses. There are also many people concerned about government policies that may turn the place into bolivia, where commerce and DFI are not welcome.  The cafe has a map where visitors can pin their home location. The majority of the pins are from USA and from Europe. 

No comments: