Adventuring across Peru


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South America » Peru
April 4th 2009
Published: August 16th 2009
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Peru: 22nd March - 13th April 2009

Introduction

We had three weeks to explore Peru in all its glory. We travelled from the coastal deserts, through the spectacular Andes, and out to the Amazon Jungle. We experienced unique cultures, ate local foods and met many beautiful (and not so beautiful) people along the way. Peru was truly incredible - the highlight of our trip through South America.


22nd March 2009 - Rio to Lima

We were very impressed with our LAN flight from Rio, Brazil to Lima, Peru. The all new in-flight digital systems kept us amused until we touched down in Lima at around midnight. We were collected by a driver for our tour company ‘Intrepid’ and taken to a very basic hostel called ‘Hostel Pukara’ in Mira Flores. Exhausted, we collapsed into bed at about 2.30am.


23rd March - Lima

We slept in until 10am, and craving a good hearty breakfast we marched downstairs to see what was available. Unfortunately budget hostel offered a similar standard of breakfast - only hard bread rolls, jam and ripe bananas! We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon buying some last minute
The spectacular scenery just outside LimaThe spectacular scenery just outside LimaThe spectacular scenery just outside Lima

Local houses against the backdrop of the snowcapped Andes mountains
necessities for our tour. That afternoon, we met the rest of our tour group - the people we were to spend the next 3 weeks with. There were 8 other people on our tour:

Mel and Heidi - 2 friends from Picton, Sydney
Amy and John - a couple from Perth
Rob and Emma - newly weds on their honeymoon, from Melbourne
Scott - a lone traveller, from Melbourne
Maria - a Swedish girl, who was also travelling on her own

Our entire group was made up of Australians, except for Maria. Holger (pronounced kind of like “old hair” and who we all just simply called ‘Olli’) was our primary tour guide; however throughout the trip we would also meet other local tour guides.

After our briefing of the tour/itinerary and handing over our local payments for the trip, we all went out for dinner in Mira Flores and started to get to know one another. The group were all in their 20’s and 30’s and seemed energetic and outgoing.


24th March - Lima to Pisco

Today started with 2 hour orientation walk of Lima. Amongst other places, we visited Plaza Mayor; the monastery
Our GuidesOur GuidesOur Guides

Holger (Olli) is in the middle
of San Francisco, including the catacombs; and the Museum of the Inquisition (torture museum). Following the walking tour, we took a local bus to Pisco (3 ½ - 4 hours).

When we arrived in Pisco, we were quite taken aback by the state that the town was in. After an earthquake in August 2007, which killed 519 and injured 1366, the town is in the process of reconstruction and trying to get it’s lively spirit back. However the destruction brought with it desperation, and in turn, high levels of crime. It was not safe for us to be on the streets. So we only saw the town from the safety of the bus.

We were quite impressed with the ‘Hotel Posada Hispana’, where we were to stay the night. Our room had a high ceiling and mezzanine level. It also had a roof-top common area. As Olli had informed us that Pisco is not a very safe town, we all ate dinner together at the hotel, before we sat in the reception area drinking ‘Pisco Sours’, Peru’s famed national drink.


25th March - Pisco to Nazca

Today we visited the Ballestas Islands, sometimes called the ‘Galapagos of Peru’. The islands are a haven for wildlife and hundreds of pelicans, red-footed boobies, flamingo’s, penguins and sea lions.

These islands are reached by a speed boat. The boat took us around the islands, whilst the tour guide pointed out the different species. Whilst becoming dizzy from the toxic smell of animal faeces, we were fascinated by the thousands of birds and delighted by hundreds of baby sea lions (all only a month or two old) trying to swim in the sizable shore break.

Following this tour, we continued on towards Nazca, stopping on route at the oasis of Huacachina, in the Ica region. Here, the sand dunes are at their most dramatic! We were able to go on an exhilarating dune buggy ride which was quite scary at times. Often we came up the side of huge dunes and were catapulted down the other side at break neck speed. This was a definite highlight of our trip! During our time out on the dunes, we were also given the opportunity to go sand boarding. Stacy had us all a little concerned, when we heard an audible crack of his pelvis on the board! Not pretty!

After seeing the amazing Huacachina Oasis, a natural lake in the dessert, we went swimming in the local outdoor pool (which helped wash all the sand off us). It was then back onto a bus and onwards to Nazca. On the way, we were given the opportunity to climb a watch tower and view some of the Nazca lines, one of the world’s most mysterious archaeological sites.

The entire dessert area was once home to the ancient Nazca and Paracas cultures which preceded the Incas by over 500 years. The enormous Nazca lines have been etched into the ground by scraping away the dark rocks to reveal paler ones underneath. Animals, insects and birds are depicted and some of the simpler line formations are up to 10km in length. Who drew them, how and why, can only be guessed at, but theories range from alien invaders to complex Nazca calendars.

That night we ate dinner at a local restaurant before having an early night in preparation for another big day.


26th March - Nazca to Arequipa

Our day started with a visit to Chauchilla Cemetery, which is a pre-inca site. This cemetery in the desert is where the Nazca people were buried with colourful textiles and ceramics. The arid climate has naturally mummified the bodies for over 1,500 years. To our surprise, the mummies were displayed in their shallow graves with a simple shade cloth covering each site.

Following our visit to the cemetery, we were given the option of taking a flight over the Nazca lines. Everyone in our tour group decided to pay approx US $60, board a Cesna 160 and see just what these mysterious Nazca lines were all about. There were 4 of us on our flight, including the pilot. We sat in the back seat, whilst Mel sat up front with the pilot. Erin was fighting back her nerves about being in such a small plane, when 3 of our group returned from their flight reporting that one of them had thrown up. We were also informed that the planes were extremely hot which left some people feeling faint. A couple of deep breaths and some self-talk to calm the nerves, and we were off! The flight was surprisingly smooth, however the plane was hot and the small fresh air inlet did little to cool us down. The
Our tour groupOur tour groupOur tour group

L to R: John, Scott, Amy, Heidi, Maria, Erin, Brenda-Lee, Olli (top), Rob (top), ?tour guide?, Emma & Mel
lines were intriguing and whilst the pilot banked left and right in order to give us a clear view of the formations, taking photos of them proved quite difficult. After about 30 minutes, the 3 of us began to feel nauseous and later admitted that we had struggled not to throw up. Upon landing, we quickly piled out of the plane and took deep breaths of fresh air. It was probably about 15 minutes before we started to feel human again.

That afternoon we had free time to do our own thing. We took the time to make a couple of quick phone calls home, use the internet café and wander around the town of Nazca. We met up with the rest of the group at 8pm for dinner before boarding an overnight bus to Arequipa. The bus was quite comfortable, with seats which reclined to a 45 degree angle. We managed to get some sleep during the night, however some people felt free to fart continuously throughout the night in the small confines of the bus with no windows. Lets just say that the air was not particularly ‘fresh’.


27th March - Arequipa

After arriving in Arequipa at 9am the next day, we went straight to ‘Hostel Su Majestad’ to have a shower and arrange for our clothes to be washed. Today we were free to explore the small, well kept and attractive city. Arequipa was built out of pale volcanic rock called sillar, giving the city its nickname the ‘White City’.

A group of us spent the morning wandering around the town and relaxing in the sun in the main plaza. We met up with everyone else at lunchtime and Olli took us to a traditional restaurant. Guinea pig was on the menu; however Emma was the only one who dared to order it. We were all very intrigued when the entire guinea pig was served up to her on a plate, complete with eyes and teeth!

In the afternoon, Olli took us to the ‘black markets’, which turned out to be fairly standard markets where you can purchase most electrical goods, amongst other things. In the evening we bought food from the local supermarket and ate chicken rolls and salad for dinner, in the hostel’s communal dining area.


28th March - Arequipa to Chivay

A 5 hour bus ride was on the menu first up. It took us through some amazing parts of the Andes on our way to Chivay. We stopped to take photos of Vicunas, Llamas and Alpacas. Half way through the trip we stopped for our first coca tea. The taste was rather average! And no one really noticed much effect.

Our next stop was at the highest point of our entire trip - 4825 meters - a place called Patpampa. It is a tradition to make a small rock stack and make a wish. We proceeded back down through the twisty roads to a beautiful small town called Chivay. For lunch we tried Llama - and it was pretty tasty!

That afternoon we trekked down the road to the thermal baths. We bathed whilst Erin drank Piscoe Sours and Stacy drank beer. It was at this point that Stacy discovered that you need to take care when opening carbonated drinks at 4200 meters above sea level!


29th March - Chivay to Colca Canyon to Sibayo

It was a very early start to get out to the Colca Canyon to witness the Canyons famous Condors in full flight. We saw
SandboardingSandboardingSandboarding

There were some spectacular crashes!
3 of them, and some of them flew right over us! The canyons walls are over 1500m high, making it one of the deepest canyons in the world - it was truly spectacular.

For lunch we made our way back to Chivay. We bought some fruit as a gift for the host family that we would be staying with that night. Whilst shopping though, we had a bit of an incident…..Stacy handed over 100 soles, but got nothing back! The woman in the shop flatly denied ever receiving it! Unfortunately for her there were three of us that saw Stacy hand over the money! So we got serious and said we wanted to talk to the Police. After 2 hours of arguments and a trip to the Police station, the shopkeeper said she would give us back 50 soles! So we settled, thinking that something is better than nothing!

We ended up leaving for the small village of Sibayo a little late due to the incident, but still arrived by late afternoon. Our family only spoke Spanish and their local language, ‘Quechua’; so communicating was very hard work! The Mothers name was Bonita, and the daughters name was Patricia. We got to the house and Bonita gave us some traditional clothing to wear. We took a walk through the village and down to the river to meet up the rest of our group, who were also traditionally dressed.

That night Erin helped the girls cook the locally grown and harvested produce, whilst Stacy watched the soccer (Peru v Chile) with the Father and son.


30th March - Sibayo to Puno

We got up at a reasonable hour to walk out through the valley to see a perfectly preserved pre-Inca mummy. The mummy just sat under a rock ledge - not ocvered, not protected….and it has been like that for hundreds of years. By 10am we were on the road again. It ended up being a very slow trip, travelling on a bumpy dirt road for over 5 hours! We amused ourselves by playing silly games and singing songs. We arrived in Puno at 7pm, very tired and ready for some rest! After having a quick pizza dinner, we headed back to the hotel to prepare for our journey across Lake Titicaca and our next ‘home stay’ the following day.


31st March - Puno to ‘Uros Islands’ to Llachon

We woke early and enjoyed our first decent breakfast since Brazil! Following breakfast, we all took tricycle rides down to the port of Puno (on Lake Titicaca) and boarded a slow motor boat which was to take us to Llachon Community via the Uros Islands.

Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3820m (12,562ft) above sea level. The Uros Islands are floating islands. The Uros built the islands from many layers of Totora reeds to isolate themselves from rival tribes. As the reeds closest to the water begin to rot, more layers are added on top. These reeds are used for making everything on the islands, including the boats which can last up to 1 year.

We were fortunate to visit one of the islands, meet the locals and hear about how the islands are built. On this island, they do not have their own toilet. Therefore they need to travel to the next closest island, when nature calls! It was all very fascinating!! The homes consist of small single rooms which house the entire family. There is very little protection from the sun; therefore the children appeared to have burnt cheeks which had subsequently started to scab. We then took a reed boat to one of the neighbouring islands where we had the opportunity to buy crafts that they had made.

Our final destination was the Llachlon Community, which is a small village on a peninsular of Lake Titicaca. We all met up with our host families and spent the afternoon helping them dig and pick potatoes (we slogged away in the sun and ended up with a massive haul!) and put out the fishing nets which then get collected the following day.

We spent the late afternoon/early evening with the rest of our group and their families. Stacy played volleyball with a bunch of the locals, whilst Erin and 3 of the girls hiked up to the highest point (4050m) with one of the tour guides. We watched the sunset and returned to our ‘homes’ to get dressed in more traditional clothes before re-joining for a group dinner.


1st April - Llachlon to Isla Taquile to Puno

We were up at 7am for an early breakfast of dry pastry fritters (we later learnt that some of our group were served a more gourmet dinner than we were!). At 8.30am we farewelled our host family and boarded the boat to Isla Taquile. We walked for 45 minutes up to the town square where we were given free time to explore. On Taquile Island, knitting is strictly a male domain and women do the spinning. It is a great place to pick up high quality, locally knitted goods.

The group then met up for another wonderful lunch in an idyllic location, overlooking the Islands cliffs and Lake Titicaca. After a descent down the side of the Island of approx 500 steps (which Stacy, Erin and Scott thought would be a good idea to run down…?) it was time to take the 3 hour boat trip back to Puno.

That evening, we went out to dinner in Puno and watched some traditional Peruvian dancers - by far the best we had seen! We then went for a drink at a local bar, with Ollie, Scott, Mel and Heidi.


2nd April - Puno to Cuzco

Due to a teachers and nurses strike, we were unable to leave Puno at the scheduled time of 10am. Unbelievably these professionals
become so aggressive, throwing stones at cars and buses that it is unsafe to travel during the strike. So we had a day free in Puno. Stacy chose to relax and watch TV, whilst Erin caught a tuk tuk to the markets with Heidi and Mel.

We eventually departed Puno on a 3.30pm local bus. The trip to Cuzco was 6-7 hours. Driving out of Puno, we saw tons of stones and broken glass on the road from the strike. Thank goodness our tour guide made the call to remain in Puno for an extra day! On the other hand, perhaps we would have been safer on an earlier bus as we had a crazy driver and the trip was rather scary. Poor John and Amy, who scored the front seat, probably required an underwear change upon arrival! We arrived in Cuzco a 10pm and headed straight to our hotel.


3rd April - Cuzco

Today we had a ‘free’ day prior to commencing the Inca trek. We spent the morning on a 2 hour walking tour around town and explored the local markets. These markets were by far the best we had seen and the freshly squeezed juices were amazing! Most of our group decided to have lunch at ‘Trotamundos’ a café overlooking the plaza and cathedral, recommended by the Lonely Planet.

In the afternoon, we went to the Inca Museum with Amy, John, Maria, Heidi and Mel. As we were leaving the museum, a massive storm rolled in which we decided to watch from the balcony of a pub overlooking the main square. After waiting out the storm, we headed back to the hotel for our Inca trek briefing. We were each given small duffle bags and were firmly informed that it must not weigh more than 6kg as the porters would be carrying them for us. This created chaos later that night as we packed our bags and continuously weighed them to make sure we did not go over our allocated limit.

For dinner we went to ‘Yanapay’ restaurant, which uses all its profits to support children in Cuzco through social projects.


4th April - Inca Trail (Day 1)

The four day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu can be very demanding at times, however it is also incredibly rewarding. Early in the morning we caught a bus (2.5 hours) to the 82km marker where we were joined by a crew of local porters, cook and guide.

The trail is part of a series of Incan highways that linked the Empire all the way from Quito in Ecuador, to Santiago in Chile. On the trek we would hike from high plateau to dense forest, passing ruins of ancient villages, temples and inns. We experienced both high and low temperatures, and both wet and dry conditions along the way.

Day 1 of the trek brought a 12km leg, 6km of which was fairly flat and the remainding 6km which was all uphill. A decent challenge to get things started! Along the way we saw the ruins of Llactapata, burnt to the ground by the last Inca Emperor to discourage Spanish pursuit down the trail.

Today was quite warm, so by lunch time we were eager to take off our socks and shoes and relax in the shade. Lunch was the first meal that the chefs would cook for us on the trek. We could not believe the gourmet feast that they cooked up! The food just kept coming and we were unable to finish it. This resulted in us feeling fat and happy and lacking motivation to get back up and keep hiking!

Fortunately our group were all quite fit. We arrived at our first campsite 2 hours earlier than expected - we even had to wait ½ hour for our guide to catch up with us!!! This is a pattern which would continue throughout the trek.

Our first nights campsite was at Yuncachchimpa.


5th April - Inca Trail (Day 2)

We were told that Day 2 of the trek would be the most challenging. Woken at 5.30am with a cup of hot coca tea provided with yet another gourmet meal, we started trekking at 6.45am. Coca leaves, whether chewed, brewed or eaten in a biscuit or lolly, assisted us with breathing at high altitude. We took advantage of this as consuming these leaves is illegal in Australia.

Almost immediately, we began our 9km trek uphill (and it was steep…the whole way!). The higher we climbed the more difficult it was to breathe. We eventually reached the peak at ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ at a height of 4200m. Totally drained and elated at having achieved he toughest part of the trek, we took some time to recover and welcome the other trekkers as they arrived (we also found that once again we were waiting for our guide at the top). The view from here was unforgettable. From the top of the pass, we looked back over the clear valley that we had just conquered, and then we looked down the other side, only to be greeted with thick, rain dense cloud.

When we were no longer able to bear the chilly temperatures, we made our decent down the mountain via hundreds of steps. Once again we arrived 2 hours early for lunch. The chefs had not yet had the chance to prepare our food, so we passed the time lazing around on a picnic rug. After lunch we set off again, only to be deluged by heavy rain and cold weather which continued throughout the afternoon. The second leg was another steep 3km uphill battle to Runkuracay Pass and Inca ruins. This leg of the trek was also great for seeing wildlife - we saw a deer and its calf, along with a magnificent hummingbird with a beak at least 10cm long.

Sayacmarca Inca site was approx 500m from our campsite that night. Just as we arrived at this site, the rain stopped allowing us to take photos and explore the ruins. This site was built on a razor sharp ridge with 30m high cliffs on each side. We forced our weary legs to carefully climb the steps up to the site!

That night we camped on a cliff edge facing west across snow capped mountains - we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect view. In the late afternoon were treated to a stunning sunset which lasted about 30 minutes. That night we huddled in the communal tent, trying to keep warm by drinking hot tea and playing ‘Uno’, which, thanks to John, became a traditional night activity.


6th April - Inca Trail (Day 3)

On day three we continued on over the third pass and reached the beautiful ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the ‘Town above the Clouds’. This site showed us for the first time, how well the Incas channelled clean water from the mountain tops and springs in their villages. The porters still use these water channels to gather water for the 200 hikers that walk the trail each day. We then descended real Inca steps for approx 2 hours, to reach our final night’s camp by the Winay Wayna or ‘Forever Young’ ruins, which boasted panoramic views of the valley below. At this campsite, you could pay for a shower (however the water was reportedly not hot so we stuck to having one of our ‘baby wipe’ showers in the tent) and purchase beverages from a ‘bar’. Most of us headed to the bar for a well earned drink. We bought beer for the porters and thanked them for all that they had done for us.


7th April - Inca Trail (Day 4)

Today started at 3.50am so that we could arrive at Machu Picchu as early as possible (preferably before the bus loads of tourists arrive). We woke to the sound of heavy rain on the tent and disappointment set in. We hurriedly packed up in the rain and with wet weather gear on; we set off to line up at a checkpoint with the 500 other hikers. Tensions were high as the tracks were narrow and there were many slow hikers in front of us. There seemed to be a real race to get to Machu Picchu first! Whilst we remained with most of our group who were patiently walking with the crowds, a few people in our group rudely (and embarrassingly) charged on. Unfortunately this did somewhat detract from the overall experience.

Luckily the rain stopped and it wasn’t long before we arrived at the ‘Sun Gate’ high on the mountain above Machu Picchu. It revealed the old Inca city, through the clouds which were slowly dissipating as the sun came up.

Whilst it is thought that Machu Picchu was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence that this has been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory.

Upon arriving at Machu Picchu, we were given a 2 hour guided tour of the site. We then had free time to explore on our own. We wandered around taking multiple photos before lying in the grass, reflecting on the hike and taking the atmosphere in.

After leaving the site, we took a bus down to Aguas Calientes (25 mins) where we met our group for lunch, before taking a train back to Ollantaytambo (90 mins). We then had to take a bus back to Cuzco (2 hours).

That night we went out for dinner and then to a bar/club to celebrate our achievements. Erin, Mel, Heidi and Amy entertained the club patrons by dancing on the bar, Coyote Ugly style. Exhausted, we left the club at 1am and headed back to our hotel. Unfortunately Scott decided to walk off on his own, despite Olli warning him not to. Stacy and Olli went looking for Scott, however were unable to find him. The next day we discovered that Scott had been mugged by 2 guys. They had approached him from behind and grabbed him around the neck, stealing his wallet and expensive watch. Scott and Olli spent that day at the Police Station.


8th April - Cuzco

After a much needed sleep in, we eventually got up at 11am. We had breakfast with Maria at Jack’s Café - a great little place run by Aussies and recommended by the Lonely Planet (we later returned here for dinner as the food was so good!). We then went to an internet café and called home to let our family know that we had survived the trek and were still in one piece!

As masseurs are plentiful in Cuzco, we spent our afternoon indulging in a massage before having a quiet night. The next day we would be off to the Amazon!!!!


9th April - Cuzco to the Amazon

This morning we took a domestic flight from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado (airport). We left our big packs at a local lodge as we were only able to take small day packs into the Amazon. After packing the essentials (mosquito repellent and Malaria tablets!!), we took a 45 minute bus trip to the boat which would then take us another 90 minutes upriver, to our lodge. For lunch onboard the boat, we were given fried rice wrapped in big banana leaves, which we could then throw overboard. It was the end of the rainy season, so the river was up 5 metres (it has been known to rise 10m). It can rise 3m in 3 hours if it rains in the Andes.

Our local guide for the next 2 days was Aldo. The lodge we stayed at was called ‘Refugio Amazonas’. On the way to our lodge, we saw Macaw birds feeding on clay
Dancing in ChivayDancing in ChivayDancing in Chivay

Nice dress Erin!
and side necked turtles on logs with butterflies on their nose (aww).

The lodge rooms were open to the great outdoors - there was no glass in the windows and the door into the room and bathroom was simply a curtain. The walls were made of bamboo sticks, and the floors were spaced timber slats. We were assured that no creatures would visit us during the night; however we were required to sleep under mosquito nets. There was no hot water or electricity. We were given gas lamps and candles for light. Overall the lodge was lovely and somewhat romantic. It was brilliantly unique architecture; it was designed perfectly in harmony with its surrounding environment.

After settling into our rooms, we went for a walk to an extremely high lookout tower. Due to loads of mud, we were made to wear gumboots and encouraged to walk carefully. Whilst at the top of the tower overlooking the river and jungle, we saw Bat Falcons, Cobult Winged Parakeets and a Yellow Headed Vulture. On the walk back, as dusk settled, we dodged multiple mosquitos and saw a Poison Dark Frog. Back at the lodge, we saw Red Howling Monkeys and a very large (and hairy) Tarantula.


10th April - Amazon

Today we had a very early start. We took a boat upriver at 5am to an oxbow lake (1km long and 500m wide). We boarded a paddle catamaran and set off to find as many species as possible. We saw plenty of birds, including: Hoatzin (stinky bird/pheasant); pigeons; Pheasant Tiger Herron; Blue Birds; Blue/Grey Tanager and a couple of Toucans in the distance.

We were all very excited to fish for Piranhas - Heidi caught the biggest Piranha, whilst John also caught two sardines (ha ha!). Unfortunately when we were out in the middle of the lake, it absolutely poured with rain - jungle style. With no cover on the boat, we huddled under our pretty crappy ponchos, getting absolutely drenched! Unfortunately Heidi and Mel didn’t have ponchos, and were both wearing white shirts…they got saturated!

Fortunately we were extremely lucky to see a family of 5 Otters, which is an endangered species. We quietly watched them fish until they noticed our presence. The mother and children became very distressed when they realised they had been separated from the father. The otters made pitiful noises until they were reunited and we had moved on.

That afternoon, we visited a ‘Sharmen’ (plant Doctor specialising in natural medicines). We were taken on a tour and learnt about plants that can assist with issues such as sexual dysfunction, kidney/liver problems, lethargy and dental problems. We each tried a shot of three of the Sharmen’s medicines (they tasted terrible!).

After dinner we went on quite a daunting night tour. Rather than sticking to a walking track, we held torches in our hands whilst negotiating our way through the jungle (including crawling under a big tree log). On this one hour tour, we saw plenty of evil looking spiders. Erin discovered a spider dangling from a tree that we had all marched past and was informed by the guide that it is 7 times more deadly than a Black Widow Spider (she was more than ready to head back to the lodge at this point!). We also saw frogs, praying mantis and a centipede.

After our night tour, it was time to say our formal goodbyes and thank you to Olli as he would be leaving us the following day.


11th April - Amazon to Lima

Today we had yet another early start; however Aldo slept through his alarm and forgot to wake us. Therefore it was a mad rush to scoff breakfast, pack our bags and make the short hike to our boat. We were on-route to the airport to board a plane which would take us back to Lima.

After a boat trip, bus ride, 2 flights and another bus ride, we arrived back at the initial hostel that we stayed in, in Lima. We were greeted by another Intrepid guide, Cynthia who presented us with cake and wine to help celebrate John’s 34th birthday.

That afternoon, we went to the local supermarket and bought meat and salad for the farewell BBQ we planned to have that night. Following our BBQ, we went out in Lima to a Salsa Club and bar. We returned to the hostel at 2am and said goodbye to those in our group who were leaving early the next morning.


12th April - Lima

After a long sleep in, we ate lunch with John and Amy in a nearby park. We then walked to Larco Mar (beach) where unfortunately the smog and sea mist obliterated the view of Lima’s coastline. The ocean is extremely polluted due to a rubbish tip which is on the shorefront a few kilometres south of Lima. It was absolutely disgusting to see the 1000’s of tonnes of rubbish being bulldozed directly into the ocean to create new coastal landfill. We returned to our hostel for a quiet afternoon and met up with Amy, John, Mel and Heidi for our final dinner together. They all left late that night to get their planes. Sadly, our tour was over…..


13th April - Lima to Buenos Aires

After a rather rushed morning, we caught a cab to the airport. We were leaving Peru and bound for Argentina!!!

We had an absolutely incredible time in Peru!!! We both love the country and the experiences that we had. Intrepid proved to be a highly professional and organised tour company. Olli was a wonderful guide and most of the local guides we met were also very informative and made a positive contribution to the trip. We highly recommended this tour! Our fave experiences included - sand boarding, dune buggies, home stays, the Inca Trek and the Amazon. We had a wonderful tour group and wish to thank them for helping make our tour the ‘amazing’ and ‘sensational’ experience that it was!!!




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The girls on the top of the worldThe girls on the top of the world
The girls on the top of the world

the highest point of Llachlon - 4050m
Cheers ears!Cheers ears!
Cheers ears!

Stacy & John


28th August 2009

Great read and great photos! See you soon guys JK
10th August 2010

just read your diary
What interesting reading , I could'nt stop until I got to the end , sounds like you had a great time . all the best Yvonne , Sydney Australia
22nd September 2010

Great set of images
Hi, I was looking for information on PreColumbian mummies and stumbled across your blog. I really enjoyed reading about your travels and your photographs are brilliant.

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