Peru Numero 1
Trip Start Oct 19, 2010
17Trip End Apr 15, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Sol de Ora Hospedaje
Claire and I arrived in Lima last Friday and met up with George, Jenni and Amy after a very hairy cab ride to the hostel. The following morning (surprisingly little jet lag, I think my body is used to chopping and changing time zones!)we headed off to explore the centre of Lima. I had quite low expectations as everything we saw on the cab ride looked pretty run down and industrial, so was pleasantly surprised with the lovely town square, and then we picked up a tour guide (who seemed really pleased to have five Gringo girls to himself for a couple of hours!) who took us around the main sites including the cathedral, catacombs and the convent
The next day was the first of our bus journeys (a mere 5.5 hours) south to Ica and then on to Huacachina which is a small town built around a natural oasis in the middle of a massive desert. We arrived after dark so were pretty surprised to get up the next morning surrounded by massive sand dunes!! While I’m on the subject of the bus journeys, the food is HILARIOUS. We have been picking the veggie options to try to avoid Peru-tummy, and so far we’ve had plain rice and mushrooms, accompanied by a chicken salad (not your usual vegetarian option!) and the next trip we got something that we couldn’t decide was chicken or egg (not two things that you would usually confuse!). Anyway, it’s causing much amusement on the bus journeys so I’m quite looking forward to the next one to see what we’ll get.
On Monday we had an absolutely awesome day, starting with a 6am bus back north to Paracas where we did a boat tour of the Islas Ballestas, and saw thousands of sealions, as well as lots of birds and penguins. Nick and Allan – I managed to avoid getting pooed on this time which was a bonus!
We were all pretty shattered after the busy day so managed to get quite a bit of sleep on the overnight bus from Ica to Arequipa, which is where I am now. Waking up on a bus with 50 other people wasn’t how I usually start my birthday, but the bus attendant wished me a happy birthday over the loud speaker in the morning, we had a fun game of bingo (good Spanish practise) and randomly there was cake for breakfast so I at least got a birthday cake! Arequipa (known as la Ciudad Blanca – the White City) is lovely, with another pretty main square, big cathedral and loads of nice shops and restaurants. So I had a really good birthday lunch (alpaca steaks, which were very nice, and a far cry from the guinea pig that Jenni and George tried. I don’t think any of us will be ordering them again, they were kind of like crispy guinea-pig shaped pillows containing all the organs, all the bones and not a lot of actual meat!) and we all had our first Pisco sour – about time! Had to get a very early night ahead of a 2am alarm the next morning at which point we were all herded on to another bus for a day trip to the Colca Canyon, but only after we’d been sent back to the hostel to change into appropriate footwear and clothing (apparently flip flops and shorts weren’t adequate against the overnight temperatures in the Peruvian mountains, which couldn’t have been more true)
Understandably, after getting up at 2am we were all in need of another early night (it’s not been a very rock and roll trip so far, but I think our next stop in Cusco might remedy that!) and we’ve spent today wandering around Arequipa, and also visited a local museum where the 'Ice Maiden’ Juanita is displayed
The Peruvian people are absolutely lovely – so friendly and so keen to have a laugh and joke around with the ‘Gringos’. All of our taxi drivers chat and joke with us despite us clearly not understanding a word they’re saying! We get loads of attention in the street and everyone is always so smiley – George is calling it ‘spreading the Gringo sunshine’ as people’s faces just light up when they see foreigners! I can’t work out if they find us amusing or just intriguing but it’s quite good fun and all seems very good natured!
Next stage of the trip takes us on another overnight bus up to Cusco to get acclimatised before the start of the Inca trail on Monday. Pretty scared about the whole thing, especially since my issues with the altitude yesterday, but everyone we’ve met has said great things about Cusco, and some of the people that the other girls met in Brazil will be there at the same time so I’m sure it will be really fun!! I’m going to try to attach some photos and also a video of the sandboarding but I’m not getting my hopes up as the internet connection leaves something to be desired (much like my attempts at Spanish!) Sorry that this has ended up being so long, will try harder to be brief next time!!
Lots of love, Kay xxx
Ps Skype ID is specialkay0211
Pps This will get posted to Facebook but if you want to get the email to your inbox let me know
Ppps I predicted that I would miss out on at least one engagement while I was away, and it happened 2 days in! Congratulations Chris and Alice!! Any other news from home anyone?