Since 2012 was slowly coming to an end and I had yet to take my vacation, I decided it was a good idea to add some adventure in my life. So, three friends and I decided to take an impromptu trip to South America, where our country of choice was Peru. The beautiful geography (Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu, Pacific Ocean, the Incan ruins to the highest navigable lake in the world-- Lake Titicaca) combined with the vibrant nightlife of Peru’s Southern cities, Lima, Cusco and Puno made it an easy choice!
From driving our tiny rental car in the Andes Mountains around 10-15,000 feet and avoiding accidents with the livestock, pedestrians and avoiding 6 ft. potholes to staying in hostels to a home stay—we definitely experienced our share of adventure!
I thought I was in fairly good shape participating in our weekly Spinning® classes at Mad Dogg Athletics Headquarters and running a few times week. Nothing could have prepared me for the 15,000 ft. increase in altitude on the Uros “Floating Islands” and the island of Amanti both on Lake Titicaca. In order to view Amanti’s gorgeous panoramic vistas, I was confronted with many steps and hills along the way. In the meantime, every day the hard-working women would carry all of their alpaca hand-made crafts on their backs; in hopes to sell a few of their trinkets. In contrast, our group could barely walk 20 steps before we needed to stop and regain our breath (the cervezas didn’t help). Once we made it to the top of the Amanti ruins and saw the 360 degree view of Lake Titicaca and the Bolivian border at sunset, we were breathless and were in complete awe of the beauty that surrounded us. If you have a chance to visit Southern Peru, the people, lifestyle, history and geography make it so worthwhile—with only a few hiccups, I definitely recommend a ROAD TRIP!