The two weeks we spent in Peru after leaving Cusco were laid back, very relaxing and pretty uneventful. After treating ourselves to a fancy night bus to Lima (not as fancy as an Argentinian bus, but pretty good nonetheless), we arrived in the Peruvian capital and took a taxi to Miraflores. Lima has a reputation for being a city full of scam artists and thieves, but the area where we stayed was actually quite nice and had a great vibe on the streets for Halloween night. The Limians really put a big effort into Halloween, and the parks in Miraflores were full of kids in fancy dress and old people waltzing to a live band and choir. There was supposed to be a party in the Flying Dog hostel where we stayed, but the bar was empty when we went in so we went back to the common area and played cards with some of the other folks staying there (and learned how to play Whist from an Irish lad in the process). The next day was spent strolling around a fancy shopping center built into a cliff at the seafront and watching the paragliders trying to take off – paragliding is one of the big attractions in Lima but the wind wasn´t up to it when we were there. At one stage we were outside a cinema looking at the listings when what felt like a bomb going off sent everybody legging it in every direction – it turned out to be a small earthquake 43 kms away that registered 4.5 on the Richter scale, but apparently these are fairly common in Peru! Later in the evening, we stocked up on fancy goods in a place very like Donnybrook Fair and had our tea in the hostel. The Flying Dog was nice (and has a good DVD collection!) but very expensive at 75 soles a night for the two of us (nearly 20 euro!). The following day we took a bus to Trujillo, a small city eight hours north and headed straight to Huanchaco, a beach town about 20 minutes further.
Archive for the ‘Peru’ Category
We´d decided that we were too lazy to do the five day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu that we´d been considering before, especially given the miserable weather (it had been cold and rainy around Cusco and the Sacred Valley area since we´d arrived and snowing up on the trail we were considering) so we booked two nights accommodation in Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of the ruins, and took the train.
Our bus from Puno to Cusco left at 8.30am and by 1pm we were sitting outside it in a place called Sicuani (two hours south of Cusco) playing cards and waiting, along with hundreds of other tourists and locals. We were stuck behind a long line of buses and motorcycles which were all prevented from moving by a blockade which consisted of about thirty young men, armed with stones in their hands, apparently ready to take aim at anyone who tried to get past them. The idea of being held up by a road block was exciting for about five minutes but as time went on, it just became very boring.
While we were in San Pedro de Atacama, we decided that we had enough of being inland and wanted to boot it on up to the coast. A big part of our motivation for this trip had been to improve our surfing somewhere nice and warm and we were both itching to get diving again. So we decided to skip Bolivia, leg it up to Cusco in Peru, see Machu Picchu and then fly on up to the beaches of North Peru, continuing slowly up to Ecuador. We had relaxed plenty in Chile and Argentina so we felt well-rested and in the mood for a bit of speed travelling again. Funny what happens to the best made plans… just when we decided to speed things up, fate intervened.