After completing company's annual performance, I finally had opportunity to go abroad. When manager spoke to me, he said that he arranged a trip to America for me. "12 days tour" from Peru, my heart is cold again, I don't know what's interesting in Bolivia and Peru? Not at all sure.
I was contacted by a travel company and informed that this trip to South America was organized as a 7 + 1 tourist group, consisting of 7 passengers and 1 guide, that is, a specially designed luxury tour. and in travel itinerary there are "Mirror of sky" and "Superbird Island", very rare sights. I checked it online and it really was a very rare attraction. For this reason, I worried for more than half a month, arranging visas, physicals and vaccinations, packing for this trip and buying a camera with a wide-angle lens, hoping to capture mysterious “mirror sky”.
At pre-departure meeting, I met 7 fellow travelers. Besides me, who was older, rest of group was born in 80s and 90s. The guide was an elderly beauty who spoke Chinese, English and Spanish. Let's get to know each other and smile, isn't it Eight Immortals Crossing Sea? I gladly claimed title of "Zhang Guolao", and "He Xianggu", of course, is an excellent guide.
I don't know why, lately I like to communicate with young people more and more, maybe it's some kind of nostalgia for my youth.
While waiting for a flight at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, guide presented itinerary: with exception of 5 must-see attractions, rest of attractions are determined by vote of 7 members of whole group. right of free travel is granted only to luxury group.
Everyone is very happy to board plane. The trip promises to be enjoyable.
In waiting room, we voted for first time to elect head of group, a handsome young man born in 90s, whose last name is Li "Tieguai Li", he seems to prefer title of "Young Marshal". On plane, I found that group leader and 6 other members are all employees of a large company, systems, they often talk together, so I made an order, so I had to chat with guide from time to time, and take pictures on mobile phone of white clouds outside cabin, to convey loneliness of flying across ocean.
As poet said: "By power of sky we crossed ocean."
39 hours later we arrived in La Paz, administrative capital of Bolivia.
Long-haul flight and transfer, almost all crew members were lethargic and ashamed, but when they arrived at their destination, everyone immediately woke up and could not wait to get off plane and observe world around them.
La Paz is located at an altitude of 3600 meters above sea level and is highest mountain capital in world. La Paz Airport is built on a mountain with a higher altitude, so it is highest civilian airport in world. Due to rarefied air above plateau, airport runway is very long, and indulgently, line of sight is very wide, looking around, city of La Paz is on side of a valley between snow-capped peaks, and houses are being built in stages along mountain, patchwork and clearly defined, like terraced fields.
La Paz is a plateau and it's still very cold here in November. Despite road fatigue and cold weather, everyone at airport took pictures with their mobile phones.
The tour guide tried to persuade everyone: "Let's go!" Sleep in a hotel, get rid of jet lag, and get used to altitude of plateau. We are waiting for a lot of attractions!
The next day we visited city of La Paz. Early in morning, visit San Francisco Square in downtown La Paz.
La Paz is actually a Spanish name meaning "peace". Everywhere in city you can see buildings of Spanish rule: Church of San Francisco - a building in European Baroque style, exaggerated, colorful and elegant.
Before trip, I came up with a strategy: revolutionary idealist Che Guevara died in Bolivia. Che Guevara is a hero I admire and I hope to see some of his memorabilia and experience legend of hero in person. But most revered national hero of Bolivians is Murillo, and squares and museums named after Murillo are everywhere in La Paz.
Walking along Jaén Avenue north of Murillo Square, you can best appreciate history and culture of Bolivia. This street is paved with stone strips, and stone strips are paved with sun-like patterns, which is very beautiful. On both sides of street, there are many simple and elegant folk art museums and museums of gold items. "Worship of money" can be seen all over world, but it seems to be stronger in Bolivia. There are several gold items museums on Jaen Street, where various exquisite gold items are exhibited, dazzling.
Tiawanaku Park, located on outskirts of city, is green grass and blooming flowers. This is one of my favorite places. Here are most famous monuments in world - ruins of ancient city of Inca Empire, Puerta del Sol and stone statues of Indians. Tiahuanaco, which means "Creativity Center" in Indian, was once capital of an Indian tribe in Inca Empire. It is a pity that this place did not become center of world, and Inca Empire died out with disappearance of Inca civilization.
The Inca Empire was very strong in 15th century. Its borders were in territory of modern Peru and Bolivia, reaching Colombia and Ecuador in north, central Chile and northern Argentina in south. Due to civil strife in early 16th century, it fell into disrepair and was destroyed by Spanish colonists in 1532.
Standing on ruins of an ancient city, I can't imagine how sad it is for South America to lose Inca civilization, but China is one of "four ancient civilizations" and proudly stepped onto threshold of world civilization 4200 years ago. Civilization is endless, and it continues through this day, what is proud of.
When you come to Bolivia from afar, be sure to visit Uyuni Salt Lake. After a short stay in Sucre, official capital of Bolivia, we headed straight for Uyuni Salt Lake in south, planning to stay one more day, hoping to see sunrise and sunset over Salt Lake, as well as magical "mirror of sky".
The dry season has just passed and rainy season is coming. This is not peak season for local tourism, but Uyuni has attracted tourists from all over world. We will visit route "Eye of Salt Lake". The blue sky of Uyuni meets endless salt marshes on horizon, and reflection of sunlight from the white grains of salt forms an ethereal state, allowing heaven and earth to merge perfectly together, forming a fantastic "heavenly kingdom".
I have seen such a scene at Chaka Salt Lake, but Uyuni Salt Lake is equivalent to 70 Chaka Salt Lakes. It is more open, cleaner, more beautiful, and more suffocating.
On way, we saw crystal salt heaps, pink flamingos and huge cacti - these landscapes, which can only be seen in South America, quickly occupied memory of our cameras and mobile phones. In evening we returned to hotel, built entirely of salt bricks, lying on bed, through cold window we could still see blue sky and sky strewn with stars ... everything was like in a dream.
Before we knew it, we spent 6 days in Bolivia. On 7th day we returned to La Paz again to prepare for transit to Peru. After dinner, we gathered in lobby of hotel. Tour guide He Xianggu introduced rest of route. Beautiful places were Lima, capital of Peru, and Bird Island off coast. Just as she introduced strange rocks, oceans and reefs of Lima, "capitals without rain" and Bird Island During scene, a team member vomited on spot, his face was pale, and he felt that he was suffering from "hyperreflexia", and there were no symptoms of relief from inhalation of oxygen, he was immediately sent to hospital. All team members moved to hospital to accompany them. Everyone was concerned about condition of player. Around 10 p.m., after player hung up two bottles of sugar water, "high reaction" symptoms relaxed. Since Lima, capital of Peru, is only 100 meters above sea level, everyone agreed to fly to Peru as originally planned.
Lima, capital of Peru, is largest city in Peru with a population of nearly 10 million people. It is located in central coastal zone of Peru, in desert between Pacific Ocean and Andes. Founded in 1535 by Spanish colonist Francisco Pizarro, it is currently second largest desert capital after Cairo, Egypt.
Lima is a beautiful city with lively streets and a rich atmosphere, filled with historical monuments and attractions.
Lima is city with least rainfall in world. It is said that it has not rained for 600 years and it is called "the city without rain". Due to fact that it is close to sea, it is often foggy, there is a heavy fog for half a year, and clothes are wet from fog, fog brings about 15 mm of precipitation per year. Raincoats are not sold in Lima and rain protection is not required to build a house. The civic quarters in city are all adobe houses, and some houses are simply made of cardboard.
The world is truly beautiful, if you don't go you won't know.
In Lima, you can see ruins of ancient Inca civilization, Spanish colonial cathedrals and magnificent palaces. The new city of Lima has wide streets, high-rise buildings, many characteristic buildings, beautiful city squares and various museums.
From Bolivia to Peru, I have visited many of museums in these two countries and feel that they attach great importance to national culture.
The Old Town of Lima is included in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. Walking through Plaza de Armas and San Martin Square in old city of Lima, one can deeply feel great influence of Spanish colonial rule on Peru.
The director contacted local "land guide", who is also Chinese, and found out that there are quite a lot of Chinese in Lima, and Chinese also made a big contribution to development of Lima.
Walk through a strip of low-rise buildings and exit onto San Martin Square in center of old town. Plaza San Martin is one of most representative squares in Lima and is dominated by a bronze equestrian statue of General José de San Martin. San Martín made an outstanding contribution to South American War of Independence and is known as "father of nation" of three republics of Peru, Chile and Argentina.
Going further, you will see wide lawns, beautiful gardens and tall palm trees, surrounded by light yellow and light gray buildings in Baroque, Gothic and Neoclassical styles, on which famous Armory Square is located.
On northeast side of Plaza de Armas is Lima Cathedral, one of Lima's iconic buildings. On both sides of cathedral are Church of Jesus Mary, Church of El Tenof and Church of Society of Jesus. On southwest side of square is famous San Francisco Monastery, with 70,000 bones in its catacombs, known as "Church of Human Bones". The guide said that due to influence of Spanish religion, Peruvians firmly believe that church is a passage to heaven, and they all pray to be buried under this church after death.
Although it doesn't rain in Lima, Andes stand behind it. The snow has melted from Alpine ice, and snow is flowing through city. At same time, there is fog all year round, which promotes growth of plants. The streets in this city are full of trees and parks. The landscapes of this city are truly unforgettable.
On our second day in Peru, we took a bus from Lima and drove for 4 hours along road along west coast of Peru to seaside town of Pisco. . Visit small town of Pisco in afternoon and stay at a local hotel on same day.
Early next morning, we took a cruise ship out to sea to look at Bird Island. Bird Island is called Chincha Islands, which consist of three islands: Upper Chincha Island, Middle Island and Lower Island. The bird island is small, and here millions of different birds, mainly egrets, cormorants, pelicans, gulls and piccolos, fly over mountains and plains, covering sky and covering sky.
Happy moments always seem short. We quickly completed our 12 day trip. This trip completely changed my perception of poverty and underdevelopment of South America. Bolivia and Peru with a deep cultural landscape and a beautiful natural landscape made me feel that trip was worthwhile and I will always remember it in my heart.