Santiago/Chile 17.11.2017
Peter had a relatively good night's sleep. The hotel was situated directly on a main street so it was not very quiet and thank goodness we always carry ear plugs with us. Before going to bed we organized an airport shuttle and wake up call. 

Our flight left on time. The ever changing currency is starting to get complicated. A few days ago we were in Brazil, then Argentine, yesterday Chile and today Peru. We have to keep asking the prices in USD so that we know what we are spending. It is not a problem for the people but we have to always have some local money in our pockets as not everyone will accept dollars.
You must pay for local buses and shuttle bus services in local money. We are now on Chilean pesos. Last night I had to pay for my sandwich in Chilean money which I had to change from dollars in the hotel. Most people in hotels and airports speak English, where not, you just have to remember to keep smiling and use you hands and feet to explain what you want.

There is a two hours time difference between Chile and Peru so this has made our journey a little longer. We did not realise this until we got to Lima where we had to change flights. This time at the airport gave me the chance to buy some literature on Cusco and Machu Picchu to prepare us for this tour. I had already read up some beforehand and also watched a BBC documentary film about the Incas and this area. We are excited at visiting this Lost Inca city and I have been planing this specific visit for over one year. What a fantastic experience - another one of those dreams coming true!
This is truly another terrific tour to the other side of the world and to learn about all these difference cultures of today and years gone by. Our thanks of course should go out to Hiram Bingham who came across Machu Picchu in 1911 quite by chance. The lost Inca city that had been tucked away in the mountainous jungle for over 400 years.

I had booked a collection at the airport in Cusco so we will not have to find our hotel - they will find us! 

The flight into Cuzco was fantastic and sunny.  The aerial view of the city of Cuzco surrounded by mountains and itself being at a height of over 3200 meters was really exciting.  We only had to wait a few minutes before our hotel collection arrived. 
The car journey to our hotel in the middle of Cuzco took about 30 minutes - at a price of 8 Euro for the two of us. What a great surprise we had to arrive at our gorgeous hotel. Not 5 star modern hotel or anything like that but in typical Spanish colonial style built on the ruins of an Inca palace. It has a beautiful courtyard which you get into from a large entrance but also in a pedestrian area in 5 minutes' walk away from the main Plaza. 
The Hotel is so authentic that we feel so comfortable here and everyone is determined to make us feel welcome. First impressions - the people of Peru are very kind, helpful and generous. 
The hotel has typical Inca/Peruvian decorations but not overdone.
We had something to eat and Peter decided to turn in for an early night as we need to get him well again for Machu Picchu.
I decided to check emails sitting down in the courtyard, drinking a cup of Cuzco coffee and enjoying the atmosphere of some artists singing and playing various musical  instruments. Then suddenly it started to thunder and rain heavily. I decided to check on Peter and get an early night too. We were later to find out how quickly the weather and temperatures can change here in Cuzco!




Our hotel in Cusco


Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the center of Chile's largest and the most densely populated region. The city is entirely located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of 520 m (1,706 ft) above sea level.


Founded in 1541, Santiago has been the capital city of Chile since colonial times. The city has a downtown core of 19th-century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles. Santiago's cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Paraque Forestal. The Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the city. These mountains contribute to a considerable smog problem, particularly during winter. The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards and Santiago is within a few hours of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.


Santiago is the cultural, political and financial center of Chile and is home to the regional headquarters of many multinational corporations. The Chilean executive and judiciary are located in Santiago, but Congress meets mostly in nearby Valparaiso. Santiago is named after the biblical figure St. James. Santiago will host the 2023 Pan American Games. 



Having been sent from Peru and having made the long journey from Cuzco, conquistador Pedro de Valdivia reached the valley of the Mapocho on 13 December 1540. The hosts of Valdivia camped by the river in the slopes of the Tupahue hill and slowly began to interact with the picunches natives who inhabited the area. Valdivia later summoned the chiefs of the area to a parliament, where he explained his intention to found a city on behalf of the king Carlos I of Spain, which would be the capital of his governorship. The natives accepted and even recommended the foundation of the town on a small island between two branches of the river next to a small hill called Huelen. On 12th February 1541, Valdivia officially founded the city of  Santiago.

Santiago de Chile, offiziell und kurz Santiago, ist die Hauptstadt von Chile. Hier leben  ca. 7,314,176 Menschen. Die Stadt ist das unbestrittene politische Zentrum Chiles, auch wenn das chilenische Parlament in Valparaiso tagt. Die bedeutendsten Unternehmen Chiles haben ihren Sitz in Santiago, ebenso viele ausländische Dependancen. Die Hauptstadt ist auch das Medienzentrum des Landes.

Santiago liegt in einem Talkessel am Fluss Rio Mapocho. Der Río Mapocho entspringt nordöstlich von Santiago in den Anden. Nach rund 50 Kilometer fließt der Fluss durch die Hauptstadt Chiles. Innerhalb Santiagos nimmt die Wasserqualität stark ab.


Charakteristisch für die Großregion ist der starke Vulkanismus. Noch heute sind zahlreiche tätige Vulkane vorhanden. Der Aconcagua, mit 6962 Meter Höhe der höchste Gipfel der Anden, ist allerdings kein Vulkan, obwohl er ebenso wie der Mount Everest aufgrund der häufigen Wolkenfahnen an seinem Gipfel lange für einen solchen gehalten wurde.

In der Hauptstadtregion herrscht ein dem Mittelmeerraum vergleichbares Klima. Es wird stark durch den Humboldt-Meeresstrom  entlang der Küste des Landes beeinflusst. Dieser fließt von Süden nach Norden und transportiert kaltes Meereswasser aus der Antarktis. Während zum Vergleich Nordeuropa vom warmen Golfstrom profitiert, liegen die Wassertemperaturen in Chile bei analogem Breitengrad (Nord-/Südkoordinate) deutlich niedriger.


Der Humboldtstrom ist eine kalte Meeresströmung an der Westküste Südamerikas, benannt nach dem deutschen Naturforscher Alexander von Humboldt. Er fließt von der Antarktis parallel zu den Anden nach Norden. Südlich des Äquators (Galapagos-Inseln) vor Ecuador schwenkt er nach Westen und geht, sich dabei erwärmend, in den Südäquatorialstrom über.

Die niedrigen Temperaturen der antarktischen Ursprungsgewässer führen dazu, dass die durchschnittliche Wassertemperatur an der Westküste Südamerikas um 7 bis 8 °C niedriger liegt als die Temperatur im freien Ozean auf gleicher geografischer Breite.


Am 13. Dezember 1540 erreichte der spanische Konquistador Pedro de Valdivia mit 170 Soldaten, davon die meisten zu Pferde, über den Inka-Pfad, wo heute die Straßen Independencia und Bandera liegen, den Rio Mapocho und das inkaische Verwaltungszentrum „Tambo Grande“, das an der Stelle der heutigen Plaza de Armas erbaut war. Nach einer kurzen Überquerung des Mapocho wurden die Verwaltungsgebäude besetzt, um die Kontrolle über die Gegend zu erhalten.