We took the
Hogwarts Express Perurail train from Machu Picchu back to Cusco, had a short overnight stay and then boarded our standard size bus headed toward Puno and Lake Titicaca.
It was to be a full 8 hour day of traveling broken up with several stops to give us a break, allow us to stretch our legs, grab a snack or a meal, and see a few sites of interest along the way.
The first stop was a visit to Andahuaylillas, aka the “Sistine Chapel of America. Built in 1580, the exterior was simple and in the middle of being renovated. The Baroque interior was stunning and caught us by surprise.
Then on to the small town of Raqchi which is located next to the ruins with the same name. We watched sheep being tended to as we wandered through the marketplace and town square in front of the multi-colored brick church.
The Inca temple of Raqchi and the Temple of Wiracocha
Prior to its destruction by the Spaniards, the temple had what is believed to be the largest single roof in the Incan Empire.
Sitting at an oxygen deprived 4,335 meters (14,222 feet), we stopped to admire the views and be tempted by local woven goods for sale.
The Inca and Aymara Museum was the intended visiting spot at this stop. The Pukara were warriors who would take the heads of the enemy as trophies when winning the battle hoping to gain their power. It is thought that the Pukara are one of the main cultures from which the Inca culture is descended.
After a long scenic day we arrived in Puno which sits on the shore of Lake Titicaca and checked into our hotel. The high elevation was finally taking a toll on me and a migraine forced me to bed early in the evening.
Tim arranged for some soup to be sent to my room and then joined the remainder of our group for dinner in town. By then I just wanted to sleep off my headache and get rested up for the next day. To be continued…
Do you have problems when traveling to high elevations?