Will be remembered as the place where we lost a lot of things: wedding ring, phone, flip flops, money, hats, towels, dignity..
We are up early and have a massive day on the truck. We cross the border into Peru and it takes a LONG time (2 hours) for us to get through. Me and the other boys play down ball barefoot on the super hot concrete in the car park as we wait for our driver Jono to sort out getting the truck through the border crossing. Have a super dodgy meal for lunch. We arrive at the Loki Hostel in Mancora to see the last 20 minutes of the Germany V Brazil game. The hostel is massive. Big party. The rest of the night includes beer pong, drenga, shots, lots of drinks. I throw up and am sure the dodgy lunch is the culprit, not the game of beer pong and multiple other drinks I’ve had. Decent chunder. After I take a photo and sit down for half an hour I’m good to start drinking again. YOLOC. Bar closes at 1 and some of us head to beach to party with locals one has an accordion and is playing music. Hang out with Ninka our Tour Leader and chat up an American girl from Boston. Nek minnit it’s 5am and I’ve lost my thongs, my back up thongs I leant to Perry and my boston hat.
The next day after 3 hours sleep we are up and in the pool for volleyball and breakfast, lots of hangovers and I lie by the pool most of the day. Buy new thongs. Beach ain’t that great. We watch the Netherlands V Argentina game. That night we get messy again with Drenga, beer pong, shots etc. Me and Ryan are kicking ass at beer pong until he thinks it’s a good idea to pour mayo into our beer cups. This leads to Perry vomiting after losing and drinking our leftover cups.
Our final day in Mancora and Everyone is hating life. Again spent sitting on the beach, by the pool, at the bar. We play some beach volleyball in the afternoon. Drink some delicious fresh fruit slushies. We go out for a nice dinner at night at a local restaurant. Have delicious tuna steak with mango sauce.
That night we settle our bar tabs (mines $164 Soles) then we head to our horrible dorm rooms to pack and try to sleep. It’s Karaoke down stairs and the awful sound of that mixed with the nightclubs along with other people In the dorm means we hardly get any sleep. We all hate Loki Hostel!
Will be remembered for the Chan Chan ruins and watching the World Cup final. Otherwise I would not recommend a visit for anyone else.
Bangarang wakes us all up at 6.30 to leave. Luckily we arrange to pick up a takeaway breakfast from a restaurant down the road before we board the truck. A huge stack of pancakes, hashbrown and fresh juice make the early wake up bearable. We leave Loki Hostel Mancora and don’t arrive till our next campsite until after 7pm. A long, sleepy day on the truck. We stop off for a lunch break however. We arrive at out campsite and it’s already dark so we quickly put up our tents and then head out for a group dinner which takes far too long to be served as we all are just so tired we want to head to bed. Also it’s a vegetarian restaurant which is disappointing.
After the dorm rooms at Loki hostel we are all very happy to be camping tonight.
Birds and trucks wake me up about 6.30am the next day but I’ve had a decent sleep which is good. In the morning most of us head out on a tour to see a local historic site called Chan Chan.
The landscape reminds me of Egypt a lot. Sandy dusty and dirty. Just not as hot. The ruins are fairly impressive. Massive pyramid/palace structures, up to 7 stories high, and up to a kilometre wide. The crazy thing is they were only discovered in the 1980’s so still fairly new. Only small parts have been excavated so far. Out guide tells us all about the human sacrifices the local villages at the time used to do. We wander through a few different sites during the morning. They would be perfect for a game of paintball.
We get back to our hostel for lunch then most of us head to the local mall to do food shopping for the next two days. The shop is like Costco and we have limited time so it’s hectic running around trying to find things. Get back to the campsite and have a few drinks. I manage to breifly skype with Jess in America and mum and dad in Australia. We have pork chops and veggies for dinner and sit around a fire that night. Things get a bit rowdy and I’m one of the last few awake when I head to bed at 2am.
World Cup Final day! Up at 6am due to birds and shit. Slow morning for everyone after breakfast but most of us head for a walk along the beach and check out the shops. Haunchaco is a dirty boring beachside town. If it wasn’t for the World Cup final on this afternoon we would have nothing to do. The beach is dirty sand and trash everywhere. Sandbags as well due to tsunami risks. Lots of stray dogs which has become common everywhere we have been. After wandering around aimlessly for a while 4 of us boys find ourselves playing soccer with some local teens. On a concrete court I am barefoot (only other option is flip flops) and the goalie. The first ball I stop with my foot hurts and I’ve been limping since. Pretty sure just bruised it. The boys we are playing are cheating and making up their own rules but we ultimately beat them. Head back to the campsite for lunch then head to a restaurant around the corner with a big tv to watch the World Cup final. Beer is needed to make it interesting. Lucky there is also wifi so I snapchat throughout the game. There’s a German guy on our tour who doesn’t really care Germany wins. Was fun to watch but glad I don’t really have to watch soccer again for a long time hopefully. Fuck it’s boring. Once the game is over we head back to the campsite and it’s my groups turn to cook dinner. We make a guacamole, mango salsa and tomato and red onion salsa. We grill up chicken and capsicum and serve it all with tortillas. We also make some fruit cocktails to go with the meal. Turns out we have more than enough good and save some for lunch the next day. After dinner we sit around The fire and some other guests play guitar and sing some songs for us. I’m in bed by 9.30 super tired.
Hauraz will be remembered for hiking to Lake 69 and for constant talks about our poops. How many we have had how solid they are, whose pooped themselves etc etc. (Quite a few other people on my tour have been sick and had the shots).
We leave Haunachaco early. Everyone seems happy to leave as the place was a shithole and not much to do. Long truck drive as we climb into the mountains. Awesome views of the snow capped Andes mountains. We stop on the side of the road for lunch along the way.
We reach Hauraz and are all pleasantly suprised our “dorm rooms” are all twin or triple share rooms. So good to have a bed and hot shower. We all go out for dinner that night and I have a Thai green curry which is alright for a change. Also a big shot of Pisco cause i said “bus” instead of truck.
Next day I wake up to what sounds like a fisherman throwing buckets of fish guts into the ocean, but it’s just Julz on the toilet. The morning is spent wondering the streets hitting up ATM’s, shops, then a group of us catch a cab to a local “hot springs”. The lesson today was to research better. While we were all expecting natural rock pools with nice colors and heated water, we were shocked to find 2 swimming pools with water that can best be described as looking like “bum-wee”. One was hot one was cooler. We were all quite horrified but jumped in anyways making sure to not get any water in our mouths or on our heads. If it wasn’t for the “fat splashy Peruvian kids” our heads would have stayed dry. After a few hours and when more of our group arrived we headed back to the hostel to scrub the dirty water off us. By the time we get back my skin was peeling as was a few others. (Could have been due to sunburn).
We then all decide to walk to a local brewery Dan has read about in Lonely Planet. After about 25 minutes walk we arrive to find the brewery no longer operates as a restaurant/bar which is horrifying to those of us who are Starving! (See lesson for the day above)
The owner is there and must take pity on us as he gives us all a free beer to try which is super nice. We buy a few slabs for the truck bar too.
After catching a taxi back to the hostel we then walk to the main part of town and spend the next few hours eating, drinking, fusball, drenga, drinking, eating and a bit more drinking for good luck.
Last day in Hauraz we are up at 6am as we are heading out to hike to “Laguna 69”. It takes about 2.5 hour bus ride, with a stop on the way for some Coca leave tea (same leaves they make cocaine from!). We eventually make it to our start location ready for our 3 hour hike to the lake. The altitude affects us all very quickly. The air is thin and it’s super hard to breathe. So the hike is a slow walk with many stops for some water or photos. The scenery is stunning. Snow capped mountains that giant around us. I don’t think I’ve ever seen snow covered mountains like this ever before let alone be so close. With a blue sky backdrop they look like postcards. The hike is slow and hard but views are incredible. I wear shorts because I know you warm up hiking and cause that’s how I roll. Few people say I’m stupid but when the sun isn’t behind a cloud it’s really warm an I don’t regret my shorts decision. (I even joked about wearing flip flops the night before). When we finally reach the lake it is worth the walk. The color blue of the water is pretty incredible, surrounded by huge rockfaces and snow capped mountains. It’s windy and it’s at this point I think maybe shorts weren’t the best decision. We witness 2 other hikers jump in the lake- fuck that! We eat lunch by the lake and take photos before starting the journey back down the way we came. Downhill is much easier and quicker with no breathing difficulties. I think the lake was at 4800m above sea level so quite high to get used to the thin air.
The hike down we are chasing the sun and it gets cold once it hides behind mountains. We are back on the truck and leaving at 4.45pm and it’s a long bus ride back to our hostel back around 7.15. I decide not to go out for dinner instead pack up all my shit and have a shower and climb into bed. Have the best nights sleep I’ve had in about a week.
We depart Hauraz early heading to Lima where we have a few days to ourselves before 16 new people join our tour.
We arrive late arvo in Lima. We have a proper hotel. Hot shower, beds and tv. Well good. We turn on CNN and it’s the first we hear about the Malaysia plane and the Palestine/gaza war. That night Ninka takes most of us out to a pretty trendy bar. We enjoy taking photos in a room full of colored bottles. I am one of the last few out and taxi back to our hotel about 2am.
Next day we explore the city. We visit the catacombs which are under a church and full of 25,000 human bones. Actually really freaky seeing so many piles of bones and skulls everywhere. We wander around the streets and have some food. That night we go to the Water Fountain Park which has laser light shows. Only cost about $1.50 to get in and it was cool taking photos. Our taxis drop us off at different entrances and it takes us about an hour to find each other.
Everyone comes back to our room for beers and snacks and we stay up late watching tv.
Last day in Lima there is some kind of street parade/festival happening and we walk down and have a look. We then check out a crappy ‘inquisition museum’ breifly before jumping in taxis to Miraflores. This suburb is on the beach and has a giant mall built into the cliffs. Really high class and nice shops. There’s also Paragliders flying around everywhere jumping off the cliffs. We eat some good Chinese food from the food court and then head back to our hotel. Me Ryan perry and Dan spontaneously decide to try and get tickets to a local soccer game and the national stadium. We line up for about an hour and get to the front and ask for cheap tickets. Locals tell us it’s a dangerous idea to stand in that part of the stadium and recommend we pay twice as much for a seat. We decide maybe it’s not a safe idea to go to the game and we should save our money.
We head back to the hotel and finish off our leftover beers. There’s a group dinner with the new people but us 4 boys decide to go out or drinks on our own and meet up with the others later. We end up hitting a few happy hours and drinking pisco sours and get pretty tipsy pretty quickly. We end up at a nicer restaurant and order dominos pizza from 3 doors down and have it delivered to us which we think is hilarious. We wander round the streets with beers, each buy an inflatable balloon an tie to our waist. Dan loses his balloon after a few minutes so we make him but another. We stumble across some street performers. Get more drinks that taste like shit. By the time we decide to meet up with the others they have just left the restaurant about 5 mins before we arrive.
So we go get more drinks. We eventually decide we should probly go back to the hotel and Ryan steals a bottle of “wine” off a table and we run away back to the hotel. Carrying a beer, 1.5ltr coca cola, inflatable balloon and wearing thongs I fall behind but find my way back to the hotel. Were rowdy and drunk when we get back to the hotel. I end up power spewing all over the bathroom. Combination of pisco drinks, rum, beers and running ends badly. Also turns out the “wine” Ryan stole is just colored water. Hilarious night!
Haucachina. A crazy 18 hours we had!
We have a long day on the truck before arriving at haucachina. We fuck around for a while and grab our sleeping bags alcohol and minimal supplies before climbing into 11 person dune buggies. These were awesome fun! Like being on a roller coaster! We drive around up and over the dunes and stop off a few times for photos and to go sand boarding down the dunes. I don’t wanna risk stacking and hurting myself by standing on the board (as I’ve never snowboarded before) so I only lie down on the board. It’s still fast and scary an end up with a mouth full of sand!
We take a break to watch the sunset and then get back in the buggies for some more crazy driving before we arrive in the middles of the dunes, where we will spend the night. Literally just sand nothing else there our drivers cook us a BBQ and we get free pisco sour (thank god I bought beers and rum).
We sit around a fire talking shit and listening to music then literally fall asleep in the sand (in our sleeping bags).
We wake up around 6.30 freezing cold. Everyone is covered in sand, hungover, cold and everything’s a bit damp. It’s super foggy which is weird. Once we pack everything up we get back into the buggies and drive back to our truck. It’s a struggle for most people today.
Nasca. Will be remembered for the Nasca Lines. (Surprisingly not everyone on the trip has heard of them.)
We stop off at the supermarket on the way to Nasca.
We arrive around 1.30pm to a very nice hotel in the middle of nowhere. Most people upgrade to a room instead of camping. Me and Jules get a room and Perry and Ryan end up crashing on the floor that nice. There’s a nice big clean pool we swim and sit by and enjoy a few drinks during the afternoon.
Have a camping dinner, sit around for a few drinks while half the group goes off to a planetarium. Back in our room by about 9pm to enjoy a bed and bathroom and warm dry room.
The next day 14 of us are going on a flight over the Nasca Lines. We get picked up at 8am and are at the airport by 8.15.
Then we wait for fucking ages in a shitty little cold airport. Waiting mostly for the cloud to clear. We split into 2 groups and the group of 6 goes on their flight about 11am. The group of 8 I am in doesn’t end up flying until 12.15ish. The sky has cleared up but we have still sat around waiting for about 4 hours which we are not pleased about.
The flight itself is on a small 10 person plane and I am seated right behind the pilot. A few people feel queasy but I’m alright. The plane circles around about 15 different Nasca symbols, once on the right side of the plane then circles back again on the left side. Some of the symbols are hard to make out and others are clear. It’s an interesting way to see the landscape and the lines. Overall the flight was good, quick, but nothing fantastic and a bit overpriced. We don’t get back to the campsite till about 2pm and everyone else is sitting waiting for us. We get straight on the truck and eat rolls people have pre made for us.
Peurto Inka. Will be remembered for the crazy dress up party we had.
We arrive at our campsite, in a bay next to the ocean, with about an hour left of sunlight. We have planned a ‘wear something you would never wear back home’ party. The place is cold an windy and knowing we need a bathroom to get ready for the party, we upgrade and plan to let the other boys crash on the floor again an split the cost.
We build a fire and sit around for an hour starting drinks, while cooking group is getting ready. We end up going to put our outfits on before dinner as it’s taking a while to cook. Myself, Dan, Perry, Ryan and Julz all bout a women’s lingerie/skimpy costume from a sex shop in Lima for 40 Soles each with a free g string thrown in.
We all look ridiculous. My g string is see through, as is the skimpy dress I’m wearing. We all have our balls out on show (which we shaved or trimmed in advance). Jono the truck driver is dressed similar and the 6 of us make our entrance to lots of laughs and photos. It’s well cold. Hilarious. Half the group have gone to a good effort with their costumes and the other half kinda copped out. Joe looks good with a chopper read mustache and Mexican poncho. Donnas wearing a cool onesie overall thing. Caitlin Mary and Dee are wearing Fluro 80’s aerobics style outfits. Most people are shocked with what Julz is wearing as he has been well behaved so far on the trip. He ends up getting his dick out a lot during the night. I put some jocks on fairly early in the night and then go back for jeans and a jacket as it’s cold when not near the fire. Lots of drinking and dancing during the night. By the end of the night Back in our room Julz and Perry share one bed and I’ve ended up spooning with Jess and Stef in a single bed. Not much room to move but better then camping!
Arequipa. Will be remembered for Jono and Deanna’s bdays. Nothing else worth visiting here.
After a long day on the truck we arrive at our hotel/campsite for the night. It’s right next to a highway so super noisy. It’s Jono our truck drivers birthday when we arrive. After we set up our campsite an shower we head out for dinner for Jonos bday. We go out for a nice dinner and I try an alpaca cordon bleu. The rest of the night we hit up happy hours 4 x Cuba Libre’s for $15 Soles / $5. Very strong. We all order 4 each at a time. People end up dancing on the bar. Lots of Sean Paul requested. Me and Perry make up a Cropdusting Dance. We leave to go to a club for a bit but then end up at the cheap bar again. I drag Perry and Liz home at 4am ish.
Next day up early due to traffic and sun warming up the tent. Next day is spent hungover going to supermarket, lying in the sun, really a lazy day. Quiet night not much drinking.
Final day in Arequipa is Deanna’s birthday. After breakfast me and the boys head to supermarket to get dinner supplies. Then we all meet up in the plaza and all head out to Zig Zag restaurant for lunch. Have a really nice set menu meal. All very full after. Wander the streets for a bit then head back to hotel. Pack up tents an shower then my group is on dinner duty. Deanne asked for spag Bol and garlic bread for dinner so that’s what me dan and Caitlin cook. After dinner we play party games including pass the parcel, musical chairs, chocolate sixes and a treasure hunt. All very full and exhausted after the day. Head to bed before a 5.20 wake up tomorrow to head to Cuzco.
Cuzco. Will be remembered for Machu Picchu, the Amazon, and the nice city square. Also Julian’s bday celebrations.
Longest day yet on the truck. We leave the campsite at 6am. Half the group went off on a colca canyon excursion and we pick them up at breakfast at 8.30am. Rest of the day is spent on the truck. Ninka does a pub quiz in the arvo. Most of us try to sleep. We arrive in Cuzco about 6.30pm. And then need to transfer onto smaller buses for a 20 min ride to our hostel. Real nice hostel. We shower and shit (update everyone is no longer sick but still stinky poos. Lots of crop dusting on the truck or anywhere in public).
We go for a quick tour around the city and then me perry Ryan dee Ninka joe and Donna go to Paddys Irish bar. We take advantage of happy hour and use Dees birthday the day before as a good excuse to drink also it’s Saturday night. The rest of the night is spent at Paddys pub, an English pub with real beer, then back to Paddys and then Ryan is wasted so we need to take him home and we stop via maccas and end up stumbling into our hostel and wake up Julz about 2am. Good night!
Amazon jungle: Puerto Maldonado.
We are picked up from our hotel at 8am and I’m a bit hungover. We get a van to the airport and wait for our flight into the jungle. Flight is less than an hour then we catch a bus to a boat and take a large canoe boat about 1.5 hours down the river to our lodge/resort. It’s a huge place with maybe 40 bungalows all open windowed but with fly screen to protect from bugs. Me julZ Nathan and James are sharing a room. We check in after a buffet lunch and enjoy a drink or two. In the afternoon we go on a short hike through the jungle to a swamp with Caiman (small crocodiles) in it. We see them floating around but they don’t come out of the water. The hike is ok but the best part about it is the small howler monkey Miguel who joins us. He is a pet from the lodge and sits on James And Julian’s neck the whole walk. He is hilarious. Also hilarious when he gets a boner while sitting on Julians shoulder!
After we get back to the lodge we play with Miguel some more and he jumps on me and climbs into the hood in my jumper. After hearing my best mate Jess Atkins got bit my a monkey in Mexico a few weeks back, I am paranoid Miguel might bite me. Luckily he doesn’t. We sit around drinking and at 7 most of us go on a 45 min boat ride up the river in the dark to spot caiman and other wildlife. We don’t see much but our guide Dave is fucking hilarious. He looks and sounds like he has been smoking weed And jokes to us about white sugar (cocaine). He is really entertaining and makes what would have been a boring ride, really fun! We only end up seeing 1 small caiman in the water. We head back to the lodge for dinner. The place we are staying in reminds us of a school camp. The power cuts out at 10pm so after dinner and a few drinks we head to bed to get a good nights sleep.
The next day we are up at 5am for breakfast and then meet Dave our guide at 6am for a mornings adventure. We get on a boat and travel about 10 minutes down the river. We start with a 5km hike through the jungle and along the way Dave shows us Tarantulas, points out birds and we even eat some sort of wormy thing. We arrive at a lagoon and go on a 30 minute paddle around seeing caiman and birds. We then walk back to a large viewing platform that is about 30 metres high and from which we can look over the canopy of the jungle. It’s scary to climb up but I do it for the photos. We then hike another Km and then jump in a big canoe where we paddle for 3km through the jungle. We see a few caiman, birds and a breifly see a turtle before it jumps into the water and we see a snake behind it in the water too. Most likely an anaconda I only see the body breifly move in the water. We think the turtle was eaten.
The sun comes out while we are paddling which is good. We have another Km of hiking after the canoe trip to get back to the main river. Along the way back we see lots of turtles and caiman lying in the sun on logs and rocks along the river bank. When we get back we have lunch and then after lunch we go to Monkey Island. Lots of monkeys everywhere climbing in the trees and our guide feeds them bananas and they fight and go crazy. We spend about an hour with about 50-60 monkeys, mostly small ones all around us. Walking back to the boat from monkey island, we jump in the caiman, turtle, penis fish and possibly anaconda infested river for a swim with our guide David. Afterwards we get back and shower and have a buffet dinner to finish off a long day. We play some fusball and darts and have a few drinks before going to bed.
We are up at 6am the next day for breakfast before saying goodbye to David and then taking a 1.5 hour boat ride down the river to then catch a bus 15 minutes to the airport. Luckily our plane is on time and our flight is only 35 minutes to Cusco. We arrive back at our hotel about 12.30 and we head out to buy snacks for the inca trail, get lunch, postcards etc. Have a beer in a bar overlooking the main plaza in Cusco.
Back to our hotel about 5pm to shower and be ready for our Inca Trail briefing. We meet our guide and he hands us a small duffle bag which we can fill up to 5kgs. After the meeting we head across the road to buy a cheap ass burger and go back into our hotel room and pack for he inca trail.
Day 1 we are up at 5.30 ready to be picked up at 6pm. We have a bus ride for about 2 hours and stop at a small town for breakfast and to buy ponchos. Then we drive another 20 minutes up the road and pull all our shit out and get ready to start hiking. We take a group photo and then have to show our passports and get them stamped. Day one we start hiking about 11am an it’s super hot in the sun. We do about 14km and it’s all pretty flat. We stop for lunch on the way. There’s 19 of us hiking, 3 guides, 1 cook and 20 porters carrying everything.
We get to out campsite about 4pm. Mong about. Have dinner. It rains that night. Me Perry and Ryan are squashed in a tent. We don’t get much sleep. But are warm, probly due to all our farting.
Day two we are woken up at 6am buy a porter offering us a cup of tea in bed. Today is suppose to be the hardest day we hike 9km total, 6 uphill, 1200metres then last 3 downhill. The path is all rock and cobblestone and we use our walking sticks which come in very handy. We get to the highest point, Dead woman’s Pass, about 11am. It’s 4200m high. The last hour is hard to breathe and walk. But satisfying when we reach the pass. It then takes about an hour to walk downhill to our campsite. We get there about 1.45 and hang out till lunch at 2.15. Lunch was shit. Pasta was good. The rest was shit. Don’t even know what one thing was but it looked like testicles. After lunch we lay in bed till dinner cause there’s jack shit all to do. We eventually get out for dinner and are pretty much straight back into bed. It rains that night and it’s uncomfortable, but warm.
Day 3 up early for the longest day, 16kms. Start going straight up in the morning and it’s tough to start with. We have about 4 kms up hill followed by 2 downhill before we get to our lunch stop. There’s lots of ruins along the way today we stop at and out guide Reuben tells us about the history of the ruins which is really interesting. Before lunch we stop on the highest pass, where along with other hiking groups we have a short ceremony by the guides who tell us that today (1st august) is Mother Earth day and all of August the Peruvians will be thanking Mother Earth. We are each given 3 coca leaves and told to leave them somewhere, one as an offering to Mother Earth, one to Machu Picchu and make a wish for the last one. After lunch we have 10kms to our campsite and we hike most on flat cobble stone high on the mountain ridge so we have good views. After taking photos and trying at the final ruins of the day we get to our campsite about 4pm. After dinner all the porters come in and we thank them and hand over some tips. Then we are straight into bed.
Final day we are woken up at 3.30am and quickly pack up our shit and have a quick breakfast. Our porters have to hike 2 kms to catch a 5.30am train so everything is packed up early. It’s pitch black when our porters take us to see some nearby ruins before the gate to Machu Picchu opens at 5.30am.
We line up and show our passports and it’s about an hours hike up to the “sun gate” which overlooks Machu Picchu. It’s light by the time we start walking but the sun is still hidden behind the mountains. There’s 500 people a day aloud on the inca trail (about 100-150 are tourists and the rest are guides, porters and cooks). We overtake a lot of slow people on the way up to the sungate and arrive before the sun rises. Lots of photos and after about an hour we hike down to the Machu Picchu ruins. They are way bigger than any of the other ruins we have seen so far and pretty impressive. We meet up with the other people from our tour and Reuben tells us the history of The ruins. He then takes us on an hour an a half tour around the ruins. All very impressive. The 4 day walk is worth seeing one of the natural wonders of the world. We take lots of photos group and selfies.
Around lunch time a group of us catch a bus down to the local town where a have some beer and pizza and enjoy monging out on soft couches. We walk to some hot springs to wash off the dirt and sweat from the last 4 days. They are cleaner than the last hot springs we went to thank god. At 2.55 we board a train which will take us for an hour back to a village where we then catch a bus for 1.5 hours back to our hotel. All very tired and sore and exhausted. Once back at the hotel we all shower. Have a kebab for dinner and in bed by about 8pm.
Inca Trail thoughts: wasn’t as hard as I was expecting hiking wise. I think everyone talks it up more to kind of scare tourists. The altitude did affect people differently- some people got headaches, felt nauseous, etc but I was fine. It was colder at night than I was expecting, lucky I had a good sleeping bag. I would definitely recommend the Inca Trail to people!
We have one full day in Cusco left. Spend the morning shaving, showering, get some breakfast with the boys. Then we head to the plaza for a beer at lunch time. We walk into ‘The Crown’ and the first song that comes on is Dilemma by Nelly which is a sign we should stay there. Then We play pool upstairs and have a few drinks. We then hunt down a Shisha bar where we literally spend the rest of the day. Starting with 6 of us at 2pm by about 6pm the whole group is pretty much there. It’s Julian’s bday the next day so we decide to celebrate today. The Cuba Libre’s keep flowing all afternoon. We have a few different Shisha’s and there’s some Jenga to play with too. The Barman takes our song requests and things get pretty messy. We take lots of photos.
Now at some point in the evening I am escorted back to the hotel. The boys come back to the room and find me passed out in the bathroom with no pants on and lying on the floor with my head in the shower.
Apparently Jono our truck driver picked me up and put me to bed where the boys took some funny photos while I was passed out. I wake up the next day still with no pants on, and my bed is covered in Pringles crumbs. A good night judging by all the photos I took!
Lake Titicaca. Will be remembered for the crazy floating islands and our homestay with Mama Norma.
We arrive in Puno, the port to Lake Titicaca about 4.30pm.
We check into a pretty nice hotel. We head to the local market to buy toys and fruit for our homestay family in lake Titicaca. We see cow heads and other dodgy meats. The floors wet and in flip flops I step in god knows what liquid. It’s Julian’s bday so we head out for a nice meal and a drink. I get bad stomach pains after so head to bed to watch Big Bang theory and fall asleep.
Wake up the next morning and we catch tuk tuk / bike things to the port. 2 people per bike with a Peruvian driver. We all race about 10 minutes to the port. Dodging cars and buses and other bikes it’s pretty hilarious. Perry pretends to throw bananas at other bikes like in Mario Kart. We arrive at the port and hop on a small boat/ferry. It’s super slow because it has a car engine.
We drive about 30-40 minutes to Uros and the “floating islands”. There are 87 man made islands each with a few families living on them. The islands are all built from reeds that grow in the lake. There’s about a metre of the reed roots which is like cork that they tie together as the base of the Island (about 10m x 10m) then they place a metre of the reeds laid across. It’s weird to walk on. All the houses and structures on the Island are built with the same reeds. There’s big dragon boat looking things built from the same materials too.
We stop off on one island for about 30 mins to take photos. The local ladies show us inside their house too.
We then get back on our ferry and take about a 2 hour ride to Amanti Island where we are spending the night.
Me James Ryan Perry and Nathan are introduced to our Mama for the next 24 hours, Norma. None of us (including Norma) speak very good Spanish. We hike up the hill to her house where she shows us our rooms. We have lunch in her tiny kitchen which is tasty quinoa soup, rice, vegetables and fried houlami cheese. We then spend the afternoon sitting at the football pitch watching some people play soccer, enjoying the sun and drinking beer. It gets cold real fast once the sun goes down. We head back to Norma’s for dinner- more rice, pasta and vegetables. She then gives us all a Poncho to wear as we head to the community centre for a dance. There’s lots more people doing a homestay in the village, so there probably about 200 people in the hall. The girls are all dressed up in colorful skirts. There’s some local guys playing music and everyone dances around in a circle/conga line. We stay for just over an hour and then hike back in the below zero temperature to Norma’s house.
We go to bed wearing all our clothes as it’s cold but am fairly warm in bed.
The beds are uncomfortable and I have a terrible nights sleep. Along with stomach pains again.
Norma wakes us up at 7am for breakfast. We have hot tea and a pancake. She then walks us down to the jetty where we meet everyone else and say goodbye to Norma. We then hop on the boat and we take a 30 minute ride to Tequile Island. There’s lots of tourists here. We spend the morning walking around the Island. We are all pretty tired and sore at the point. Some people have lunch (I don’t) before we get back on the boat for a 3 hour ride back to Puno.
We get back to our hotel about 3.30 and it’s so good to shower, take a shit and lie on a comfortable bed.
We head out for snacks and lie in our room watching Big Bang Theory.
We head out for Chinese Takeaway and bring it back to the room an watch tv in bed and fall asleep (my stomachs still sore and I’m super tired). There’s some sort of festival in the town so can hear music playing till about 1am.
Highlights of Peru were definitely Machu Picchu and The Amazon. We have seen many different landscapes from beaches, to deserts, to jungle, to Inca Ruins. Overall Peru has been much more dirtier and 3rd world then we were all expecting.
We have had quite a few drunk party nights, lots of laughs, but all ready to get to Bolivia.