A Travellerspoint blog

Bolivia

Week 5

Lake Titicaca
Wednesday 3rd
Got the night bus to Copacabana. Slept a bit, decided to go straight to Isla del Sol. Laura and Jessie who we met in Cusco were on the same boat. Isla del Sol was incredible, amazing views over the water to snow capped mountains on the other side. We stayed on the South side the first night and had a great breakfast with incredible views.

Thursday 4th
We got up early to walk to the North side. A beautiful walk, passing the puma rock and temple ruins. I swam in the lake, freezing! Stewart left for La Paz and I stayed another night on the island with the girls as I was enjoying the beach and in no rush to get to a big city! After lunch we went to Sirens beach to track down a Shaman called Tulasi who Jessie had met. He was a fascinating man, originally from London who lives in a shack on the beach and makes jewellery, we bought lots of earrings. We went into a cave and he sang mantras and told us about Ayuwaska, we declined the offer of a ceremony. Stayed in a local´s back room that Tulasi knew. They didn´t have a toilet or at least wouldn´t let us use it if they had.

Friday 5th
I made sand castles with some local kids then we got a boat back to Copacabana where we got a bus straight to La Paz.
Arrived in La Paz and the taxi drivers didn´t want to take us to the hostel because they didn´t know it (even though we had the address!) Finally we pursuaded a taxi driver called Walter that we would be able to find it from the address and he took us. The hostel is called Wild Rover and turned out to be piss up central and a good anti drugs and alcohol advertisement. That night we had difficulty finding somewhere to eat, the first restaurant said they didn´t serve food. hmm. Ended up with meat, egg, chips and rice.

Saturday 6th
Did my xmas shopping. Party at the hostel, we dressed up. Me and the girls went to 3 clubs, one latin, one jazz and one full of tourists who were all pretty out of it. Preferred the night life in Cusco.

Sunday 7th
Wondered around the markets again, had an early night.

Monday 8th
Organizing a jungle trip to Rurrenebaque.

Posted by BethanyS 08:31 Comments (0)

Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

Week 4

Wednesday 26th
Collected from our hotel at 4.45am. Slept on the bus. The first day walking was quite tough, about 8 hours, lots of uphills where i found it difficult to breath because of the altitude.

Thursday 27th
An incredible day where we walked up to a mountain pass, highest point 6,264. The views were amazing. After lunch we descended to 4,000 where it was hot jungle. From here on the mosquitos started to attack.

Friday 28th
A nice morning walking along the flat, saw banana trees, orchids, butterflies etc. Arrived in Santa Teresa.

Saturday 29th
Met a monkey called Panchito in Santa Teresa.
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Sunday 30th
Got up early and started climbing the mountain at 4am. Steep stairs all the way up for about an hour and I half. I found it pretty difficult, especially on an empty stomach. Bit overcast when we arrived but it´s an amazing, spiritual place.IMG_1084_1_.octet-stream

Monday 31st
Went to a place called Tipon to eat guinea pig.
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Posted by BethanyS 17:02 Comments (0)

Arequipa, Colca Canyon and Cusco

Week 3

sunny 28 °C

Tuesday 18th
Saw Juanita, the frozen Inca mummy who climbed a mountain just to be bashed on the head as a sacrifice to the Gods.

Wednesday 19th
Arrived at Cabanaconde, a beautiful mountain village. Suffering from altitude sickness and dehydration after the hot 6 hour bus journey with only one toilet stop.
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Thursday 20th
Got up early to go down Colca canyon. 2 hours of steep downhill descent and some pretty wobbly legs later we arrived at paradise. Swam in the pool, did some painting, got ripped off for water and met a llama. Unfortunately there were lots of nasty biting insects in paradise. The climb back up was incredibly knackering -3.5 hours continual steep ascent.

Friday 21st
Another early start to go to the Cruz del Condor. Waited 2.5 hours and were just thinking it would be a no show when about 4 condors wheeled overhead. When we arrived in Chivay both Paula and Stu were feeling pretty ropey so I left them to sleep and went to some hot springs. Got a taxi back (normal sized car) with 3 in the boot, 3 in the back seat and myself, an old woman and a dog in the front seat!

Saturday 22nd
Woke up with a dodgy belly, took the bus back to Arequipa anyway. Felt better after a snooze and ready to get the night bus to Cusco.

Sunday 23rd
The night bus was pretty bad, the seats didn´t recline much and it was full of school students. They started playing music at 5am. Arrived in Cusco, paid too much for a taxi to Loki hostel which was full anyway, went to a Pirwa which had been recommended too. Nice hostel with a big tv, watched a couple of films whilst we waited for the beds to be ready.

Monday 24th
Went to the Inca museum.
Went out in the evening with a group from the hostel, had an amazing night dancing and drinking cocktails.

Tuesday 25th
Paid for the Salkantay trek. Had a siesta

Posted by BethanyS 13:33 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Heading South

Week 2

sunny 28 °C

Monday 10th
Arrived in Pisco. The town was destroyed last year by an earthquake and still resembles a building site. My stomach felt better by the evening and I managed a quick salsa dance and some pisco before bed.

Tuesday 11th
Went on a boat trip round Las Islas Ballestas from Paracas. It was incredible, as soon as we were in the bay loads of dolphins swam round the boat.
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Saw loads of birds, pelicans, penguins, seals and sea lions.
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In the afternoon we went to Huacachina. It's a beautiful oasis in the desert. Stayed at a hotel with a pool. We decided to do the buggy and sandboarding trip that night.
The sand buggy was amazing, like a rollercoaster but you don't know what will be on the other side of the sand dune. beth_buggy.jpg
I wasn´t wholly successful at sandboarding but really enjoyed going down on my belly -much more fun!
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We then drove to a high dune to watch the sun set.
An amazing day.

Wednesday 12th
Met some nice people at Huacachina and decided to stay another night. Drank rum by the pool.

Thursday 13th
Decided to stay another day and chilled out by the pool and rowed around the lake. Went to Casa de Arena for a barbeque. Got drunk on free pisco sours, danced salsa with anyone I could persuade onto the dancefloor and ended the night attempting to play pool with South American rules (a completely different game).

Friday 14th
After some more pool time we made it into Ica to get bus to Nasca. Found a nice hostel called Walk On In.

Saturday 15th
Got up early to fly over the lines. The plane was tiny, just big enough for the three of us and the pilot.

Got the night bus to Arequipa. Was pleasantly surprised by how far the seats reclined and fell asleep quickly. Woke up at 1.30 am with someone reaching over me trying to steal my purse. I was very lucky I woke up. Felt too freaked out to sleep properly after that. In the moring I talked to an indigenous hippy guy who cleansed my chakras or something and explained that the nasca lines blob with hands (sometimes called the frog) represented a women kneeling, praying to the Gods for fertility. Her 9 fingers represent the 9 months of pregnancy. Had a dodgy stomach again.

Sunday 16th
Found a great hostel in Arequipa with a roof terrace with hammocks. Felt tired and ill so slept most of the afternoon. In the evening went with Stu and a couple of girls from our dorm to a nice restaurant where we tried alpaca (like a tasty steak) which, along with more pisco sours seemed to sort out my stomach!

Monday 17th
Went around the Santa Catarina convent. Really beautiful and peaceful. Walked around the town and sat in the central plaza. Had a stupidly cheap menu for 2.50 in the evening, about 50p for 2 courses and a drink! Finished it off with an incredible ice cream. The climate here is perfect, with an average rainfall of 5 days a year and sunshine all year round.

Posted by BethanyS 21:05 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Lima

Week 1

overcast 22 °C

Friday 31st Nov
Left Bristol at 22.30. Absolutely freezing.

Saturday 1st Nov
Arrived in Gatwick about 1am. Slept for a few hours. Take off 8.15.
Arrived in Atlanta at about 14.30 local time.
My first experience of the states
I felt very foreign in America! Even though i knew to expect extra friendly service, it really freaked me out.

Arrived in Lima at 23.00. Was feeling tired and aprehensive so spent a ridiculous amount on an official, safe taxi. What a waste of money! Saw loads of casinos on the way into Lima. The driving is mad, they dont indicate or pay attention to lanes. However, they make up for the lack of indicating with near constant use of the horn. Honk to say hello, if you see another vehical, pedestrian or animal, or just because you can. I talked to the taxista about la comida peruviana.

Arrived at Jossy's house in Miraflores. Its a flat in an impressive block with views over the ocean. She had told me that she wouldnt be back till Sunday and so I was to collect her key from the desk. However, the porter seemed to know nothing about the key. I was so desperate for a bed because it was past midnight, and 5am according my bodyclock. I was just looking in my guidebook for a hotel when he found an envelope with my name on it and the key inside. I was so incredibly relieved.

Sunday 2nd Nov
The clouds in the morning are incredibly thick so I couldn´t see much from the window. I slept until quite late then ventured down to Larcomar shopping centre and up Av. Larco. A few men asked me the time, a ploy to start a conversation with a gringa. One guy latched on to me and I ignored him and went into a shop. Having read about so many scams etc. I didnt want to talk to anyone! Found crossing the road quite difficult at first as they ignore crossings and there often aren't many traffic lights.

Monday 3rd Nov
Braved the public buses and had an interesting journey into the centre, saw quite a few old colonial houses. The buses are mad and you can get on and off wherever you like. They are also very cheap, 1sol 50, about 30p for an hours journey into the centre. I was so paranoid about my bag that I think a guy put his hand on my leg, and I only realised when he got up. After that I tried to sit on the side with single seats! I arrived in the plaza de armas just in time to see the changing of the guards.
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I looked around the cathedral and saw Pizarro's tomb. Saw a beautiful sunset which I painted from Larcomar.

Tuesday 4th Nov
Went to the Monestario de San Francisco. It has really beautiful baroque architecture and a library with huge hand written books. You can also go down to the catacombs and see lots of bones.

Wednesday 5th Nov
Met a guy called Brendon who was teaching for a couple of months in Lima. He took me and another girl to an orphanage in San Martin where a Swedish girl was volunteering.
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Started talking to more Peruvians and became less suspicious of everyone. OK, they may want to sell you things but they also just want to talk and are generally nice and friendly.

Thursday 6th Nov
Went to Huaca Pucllana, had a guide just for myself. I found it really interesting. It's a pre-Inca settlement where they worshipped the moon and sea and sacrificed young women. It was built with adobe bricks in a way which would withstand earthquakes. I met Brendon in the park in the afternoon and watched the paragliders over the sea. Talked to a Peruvian guy who thought Obama would start the third world war and signified the beginning of the end (according to Nostradamus). Indeed, apparently he predicted 'Great power given to the dark one from slaves come,
The Aryana will not be satisfied thereby.' (http://www.dailysquib.co.uk/?c=117&a=1300)

Friday 7th Nov
Went to the orphanage again. It was a clear sunny afternoon with a rainbow in the sky. Moved into Friend's Hotel. Had a dormitory all to myself. Met a couple from Bristol.
Went out in the evening with the volunteers and some peruvians. We went to a casino called Fiesta where they had a salsa show which was amazing. I danced with one of the performers -incredible! Went on to a club in Barranco where I continued to dance salsa and drank mojitos! A fantastic night which ended with a walk over the puente de suspiros, you hold your breath and make a wish while you cross it. On the other side was an amazing view over the ocean.

Saturday 8th Nov
Went to the suburbs with Brendon, Jarmy and Ines. Had a strange day, the highlight of which was going to the University where we saw students rehearsing a traditional Inca dance with sticks. Had ceviche for lunch, a traditional dish with raw fish which i was to regret in a big way.
Stu arrived in the evening.

Sunday 9th Nov
Woke up with a very dodgy stomach. Ventured out for a drink, tried eating some rice, unsuccessfully. Dragged myself back to the hotel and slept all afternoon.

Monday 10th Nov
Finally left Lima, got a bus to Pisco

Posted by BethanyS 10:23 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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