May be time to give a little update, since there is only one month left in our journey!
We are about to leave Bolivia, with Cuzco in our sights. Yesterday was our first encounter with an Inca monument, on the Isla del Sol of lake Titicaca. The first of several sites that will undoubtedly prove both interesting and emotional, given the years of hearing of this ancient culture.
Our time in South America has been an absolute feast for the eyes, with a concentration of landscapes I may not have suspected at first. Snow capped volcanoes, endless distances of pampa, astounding formations in multi-coloured canyons, immense salt flats, coloured lagoons… Chile, Argentina and Bolivia have given us weeks of natural wonders to admire.
Culturally speaking, although Chile and Argentina are close to a European lifestyle, we have learned much of the dramatic impact the Europeans have had on indigenous populations, namely a near-complete wipeout to provide settlements to immigrants. The story may not be as well known as that of the Indians of the United States and Canada, but it’s essentially the same. The sad result being that only one main culture remains outside the mix of descendants from European settlers: that of the Mapuche. And we have been lucky enough to stay with one of them in Pucon, Chile. Agustin and his family have been one of the most endearing and interesting encounter of our time here, and we are ever thankful for his warm welcome and perspectives.
Bolivia is the first country where we definitely feel a cultural difference, although the exchange with the locals is not always easy.
Anyway, just to say it’s been great so far, we will try and write more, and we have a lot of photos to upload, but the Internet is not what it is back home so it’s taking even more time than usual!
Hope everyone’s well and we’ll keep you posted asap!