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‘IN THE SHADOW OF THE CONDOR':


TRAVELS IN PERU AND BOLIVIA 1988











In the autumn of 1988 I was faced with a choice: should I return to Nepal, and join a trek in the remote Ganesh Himal, or should I look to fresh areas and visit the Andes of South America. The decision was not an easy one, but eventually I decided (after advice: 'It will improve your photography, My Boy') to aim for pastures new and visit Peru and Bolivia.


Our small party visited the colourful markets of Carhuaz and Huaraz and travelled into the high valleys of the Cordillera Blanca. We visited Cuzco, the capital of the old Inca Empire, and Machu Picchu, the 'Lost City' deep in the jungles of the Amazon headwaters. Machu Picchu at dawn, with mists swirling around the ruins was, for me, the high point of our journey. Returning to Cuzco we took the 'Andean Express', which featured in the TV series 'Great Railway Journeys of the World', crossing the high altiplano to Lake Titicaca. Here we visited the Uros people, who live on floating reed 'islands', before moving on to La Paz in Bolivia for the last few days of our tour.


'In The Shadow Of The Condor...' is the story of a memorable holiday but Peru was, at that time, a very sad country with raging inflation, and in the midst of a vicious guerrilla war being waged by the Maoist 'Sendero Luminoso' ('Shining Path'). For several years after 1988 it was not safe to visit the country, and even today travel in Peru should, perhaps, be undertaken with some degree of caution. Despite these problems Peru is a beautiful country, with very photogenic people.