May 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today: much better day.


I was on edge about signing up for a Sillustani tour, as I’m still rather woozy from all of the meds I’m dieting on, but I am so glad that I went.  You know it’s gonna be a good trip when you are the last one to be picked up from your hostel, you get on the bus to a single empty seat, and you have no choice but to sit down next to a man who turns out to be from northern Italy, jumped on a cargo ship to Malaysa, traveled around SE Asia for a few months, and now is making his way up South America before jumping on another cargo ship that will take him from Charleston, SC. back to Italy.  It was so good to spend all afternoon rambling in Italian and German; can you believe it’s the first time I’ve met an Italian here in Peru?!

But, I digress.  Let’s lasso it back in to today’s organized outing: Sillustani!

Sillustani is a pre-Incan burial ground located about 45 minutes (34 km) northwest of Puno, and is definitely worth the trip. And while I normally run in the opposite direction of any sort of ‘tours’, I think that this the only way to get there, it’s really well organized, and it was actually rather entertaining and very informative. Two thumbs up.

The drive to Sillustani is beautiful in itself; endless yellow fields and randomly scattered stone houses and herds of various four-legged animals.

The burial ground is not too extensive, but the views are:


You enter the trek up by a couple of simple houses:


Then pass a church by the lake:


And then take an easy stroll uphill to the Sun Temple and the first chullpa:


Chullpa is the name for the tomb in which the wealthy, fancy people were buried. These ‘baskets’ were then placed inside stone towers:


In other words, a really cool cemetary with a ridiculously breathtaking view:


And a llama lady:


From the top of the hill, you can also see Umayo Lake, with flat Umayo Island sticking out right in the middle of it:


On the way down, we passed a big group of sheep that was being herded from one end of the grounds to the other:


The fun didn’t end after these graves though. On the way back to Puno, we stopped by a traditional house in the middle of the country, where we learned about how they lived and what they do:

I met a very classy alpaca-esque animal (I forget its official name):


And then we all learned about their kitchen palette:


Afterwards, we were offered potatoes with clay mud (I kid you not; apparently, mud is good for the digestive system- we’ll see how that works) and friend bread with a very moist cow cheese (probably the best thing I have eaten in a very, very long time):


Then, with the sun setting behind us, it was time to finish our drive back to Puno:


In short, great and informative outing. I think that the fresh air healed me more than all of the crates of electrolyte liquids that I have been chugging for the past 48 hours.  Thank goodness.


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