We decided to take a little break from the Cuzco cold this weekend and headed to the beach...we love the beach! Took an overnight bus to Arequipa which took 12 hours rather than 9 ½ as the bus kept breaking down in the middle of the desert and the driver kept having to get out and fix it. Also they showed the film about being kidnapped abroad again. From Arequipa we got another bus for 2 hours through the desert to Mollendo.
Mollendo is one of the strangest place we've been to so far. It's surrounded by mountains of sand and has a railway through it like a mining town. It also has giant dogs the size of horses, birds that looked like penguins and a giant pelican on the beach. We got stared at a lot...presumably because we were the only non-latinos there but we tried to sort this out by spending our time on the beach, trying to improve our tans. The beach was nice and the sea had massive waves, though on Sunday two people swam out too far and had to be rescued by lifeguards which was really scary. Not sure what happened to them but it was really amazing how quickly the lifeguards realised they were in trouble, and it was so lucky because there were loads of rocks in the sea.
So we spent our time sunbathing, reading, drinking beer on the beach and we also ate lots of strange food. We had ceviche (traditional Peruvian food made of raw fish and squid that we tried in Ecuador too) on the beach though it almost got washed away by a big wave! Was super spicy. We also found this cool restaurant which served mainly meat so we ate lots of meat there (including pig heart!!) as usually we wouldn't cook it ourselves and played cards...was really nice and chilled out.
We got a bus back to Arequipa in the afternoon and had a look at the Plaza de Armas before going for some coffee and the local dessert of cheese ice cream which was really good. For the bus back to Cuzco we made a bit of an error by choosing one of the cheaper buses (was only 2 pounds cheaper than the fancy bus we got on the way)...it was pretty squished and someone had brought a cat onto the bus in a bag and it cried the whole way to Cuzco, especially when the nasty Peruvian owner kept hitting it on the head. Hev kneed him in the back for the rest of the journey in silent revenge. There were also a couple of screaming babies so we didn't have much of a chance of getting any sleep on the bus. Arrived into Cuzco pretty much on time though, got an hour's sleep then went into school for the first day of our project working with children...they are all so cute, have so much energy and are completely exhausting! Looking forward to the rest of the project.
We also dressed up as superheros for Abis (Jills sister) 21st Birthday! We got stared at by a group of teenage peruvian boys, but it was so worth it. Lots of fun.