Since the Peruvian Customs went through all the trouble to inform us that we didn’t have much time left in their country, we continued south.
We were quite keen on seeing Rainbow Mountain but didn’t feel the calling to trek for over 5 hours in an altitude between 4’200 (13’780 ft) and 5’200 m (17’060 ft). Since we had heard from a shorter access route, we were willing to try it. The turn-off from the main road didn’t look promising. Some friendly walkers on the way confirmed that we were on the right track. As far as the quality of the track went, we would never have guessed the amount of taxis, small buses and large buses we found at the end of it.
It was cold enough that we gladly wore our riding pants. We did exchange the boots for our sneakers, strapping boots and jackets to the bike.
The hike really was shorter. We needed about two hours to get to the overlook. Most of the pedestrian and horse traffic was in the opposite direction – back to the parking lot. I had underestimated the warmth and the weight of my riding pants quite a bit 😀But we made it to the viewpoint, at something over 5’000 m (16’400 ft). While we were still admiring the colors of the mountains, clouds started to move in. Our way back was a lot faster. Even though it was all downhill, we didn’t manage to escape all the snowflakes. Luckily, it was only one cloud, as always.
The Burial Towers of Sillustani are situated a couple of kilometers (or miles) from the main road to Bolivia – idyllically situated on hills at a lakeshore.
Sadly, they have all been plundered a long time ago, like most of their kind. The mummies, the relicts, everything gone.
These towers were quite widely used in some of the Andean cultures and known as Chullpas.
We still had some days left before we were obliged to cross the border, confirmed by another friendly mail from Customs. So, we decided on a short excursion on Lake Titicaca. We visited the floating islands of Uros. These are anchored at the bottom of the lake in order not to float to Bolivia with the current. The reed, with which the islands are built, has to be cut and added continuously. The houses on the islands, made from the same material, hold for 6 months. Drinking water can be accessed through a small hole in the island that serves as a fishing hole, too. It was a strange spongy, springy feeling to walk on the reed. Ages ago it might have been different, but today it’s an extremely touristy experience. Of course, there had to be souvenir sellers as well.After this extremely touristy experience it was time to bid Peru Farewell.