A Travellerspoint blog

Peru

Peru - ONE MORE TIME....you know like the song...anyway

Chillin Arequipa - Party Lima - Lobitos Lefts

sunny

We were all on our way back up to Lima through northern Chile and now southern Peru. At 2300m above sea level beautiful Arequipa is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, although we couldn’t see any of this at first as we arrived in the dark and settled for an ok room that slept all 4 of us. Next day we wondered around the white city - many of Arequipa’s buildings are made of sillar, a light coloured volcanic rock abundant in the area.
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We all had plans to travel to the nearby Canyon del Colca, famous for being the deepest, or 2nd deepest, in the world depending on who you talk to. Instead we were absorbed by Arequipa’s religious buildings, museums, cafes, pubs and colonial houses. ‘Relax’ is what Arequipa whispered to us…..
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After a few days Julie and Genine packed up and headed for Nazca lines and a visit to Pisco. Jess and I hung around in Arequipa a little while longer and we’d all meet up in Lima. But before we left it was time to venture out into Arequipa’s pubs - this ended up in a drunken wrestle at about 1am over who was going to cook the 2 minute noodles, and then at about 4am Steve hurled all over the bed in his sleep.
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Back into Lima after an all night bus and straight to hostel El Reducto where Steve left his boards nearly a month ago…..THEY’RE HERE!!!! We settle back into our hostel Inkawasi - now feeling more like a home as we keep coming back and continue to do so for the rest of our time in Peru. We plan another surf trip north while we wait for our Brazilian visas to be processed. NOTE: we were advised by several sources that you absolutely need to submit your passports to a Brazilian embassy for visa application prior to arriving to the border - well if you are crossing the border at Iguazu falls they do it on the spot. They also give out FREE yellow fever vaccinations here - we paid $120 each for these at home, and we were never checked for immunisation throughout all the border crossings which you apparently absolutely need this or you will not be let into the country.

Mum and Genine arrived all bright eyed and bushy tailed after their little side excursion which apparently included a night in some exotic resort…..Ok....But before we could blink they were gone again, after 7 wks of travelling together Jess and I stuffed them into a taxi headed for the airport - see you when we get home!!! The next day passports were signed, stamped and back in hands and we had a HUGE night out with the owners of Hostel Inkawasi in the typical shed club. The girls dominated on the dance floor, the guys dominated the beer guzzling. But the girls must have had a few beers? We had to postpone our trip north the next day because Jess immobilised herself to the couch all day with what she later described as ’nothings going to beat that hangover back in Peru…'.
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Time to go north. Depart Lima 5pm - connect through Talara 7am - Lobitos 8am WOOHOOO back at Lobitos!! Steve was frothing for more desert lefts. Jess was just happy to be back in the sun, this time actually in the sun and not in bed day after day with a stomach parasite.
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We stay at Jose Antonio’s surf shack and meet a bunch a cool lads from all over the world. Esteban and Juan from Argentina, Edu from Spain, and Greg from the states. All keen as for waves we were getting up at dark and coming in at dark. Jose runs a pretty tight ship and comes highly recommended and he was totally booked out for the 4th and final night. We said our goodbyes to the boys as everyone was going there seperate ways and moved directly across the road to the coolest bamboo bungalows which had an impressive top deck where you could eat the locally made cuisine.
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After 4 days of surfing and exploring this isolated and desolate part of the coast we take an overnight bus south for our 2nd visit to Pacasmayo. Arriving 4am we wait an hr or so then knock on Hostel El Duke’s door - Senor Otto answers OLAH OLAH yes we are back! He invites us in and we settle into one of the many rooms this awsome surf hostel has to offer. But before Jess could fall back to sleep Steve had his wetsuit on and was tearing out the door on his way to El Faro for some leg burning lefts.

Our water proof camera became not so water proof this very day and from here to Chile we have no photographic enhancements for our stories. Pacasmayo got to about 5ft and Steve road the longest wave of his life to date, several times apparently. We bumped into a fellow Ausie, Max, who shared with us some of our final sunny moments in Peru. Our adventures in Peru were closing to an end. Adios Senor Otto, and this time we weren’t coming back. And while we waited on the main street for our bus to Lima Mr Fabio (Inkawasi) and family pulled up - aw what a shock! We were coming back to Lima for one last hooray with those guys, another big night out! But we had to say our goodbyes there and then as they were finally taking some time out of their busy lives for a holiday in Pacasmayo.

Back in Lima, and yep back to our home Hostel Inkawasi. We bump into Greg who we met up north. We followed him to another Hostel - Hitchhikers, as Inkawasi wasn’t the same without Fabio taking us surfing and out to night clubs. But nonetheless it was Independence Day in Peru, so the three of us - Jess, myself and Greg went out and celebrated with the Peruvians, whow sunrise and we were still drinking king browns…..

Greg left home for the states the next day, slightly cross eyed, we left the day after bound for Santiago Chile. We said goodbye but also said see you somewhere sometime in the future - you meet a lot of different people as you travel. Some are great for a chat and to share experiences but you know that the chances of seeing them again are slim. Then there have been others like Greg, whom you are sure will meet again one day as you wave hooray.

Posted by jessnsteve 03:34 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

PERU pt3, the Intrepid Tour - 'Sacred Land of the Incas'

Amazon jungle!! Cusco!! Inca trail!! Machu Picchu!! And LAKE TITICACAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

all seasons in one day

So, after a quick pick up trip to the airport, we’re now travelling as an awesome foursome with the additions of Julie and her work colleague Genine, or Grenine as the Peruvian tour leaders would have her named, OR sister Gezza as Steve would call her for the whole trip…and its time for the greatly anticipated 15 day Intrepid Trip. But first we have a little bite to eat, and a little to drink, to celebrate Steve’s (31st!) and Julie’s (62nd!!!!!!!!!) birthdays…..
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Intrepid is an Australian travel company that provides responsible and sustainable travel tours across the world. Todays special - The Sacred Valley of the Incas!! Prior to meeting up with the group and our fearless leader Ollie for an induction we cruised Lima Centro for an afternoon checking out the Plaza Da Armas and the Larco Museum which contains a great array of Inca exotic pottery. And I mean EXOTIC! Go on see for yourself!! (Dad please close grandma’s eyes for this sextion….)
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OK, ON TOUR YO! First stop is Puerto Maldonado in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle. FACT: Peru’s Amazonas take up approximately 50% of the nations land area. We kicked off with a 3hr motorised canoe ride upstream to our eco friendly jungle lodge 'Refugio Amazonas'. On the way we spotted Capybaras (the worlds largest rodent - looks like a guinea pig on steroids crossed with a wombat) and Caimans (mini white crocs).
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We arrive at the lodge and are pleasantly surprised. We were all expecting something pretty basic but we're greeted with the opposite. The main building was a huge open construction of raw wood, the interior was decorated with wooden and jungle nut chandeliers, a fully stocked bar with jungle fruit cocktails (that mum and Genine got wasted on every night!), it had a fabulous all you can eat buffet restaurant (Steve continuously returned for 3rds and 4ths), and the BEST coffee on tap (which little miss Jrae got ridiculously hypo on!).
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Our 2 day visit in the jungle consisted of river canoe cruising, forest canopy viewing, rainforest walking and a visit to a local farm. We experienced everything from piranhas, black and white caimans, 3 diff monkey sp, many birds and butterflies, Brasil (Peru!) nut trees, a 1000yr OLD TREE, AND A HOLLOW TREE, TASTED DRAGONS BLOOD AND GOT SPASTIC ON SUGER CANE STICKS!! WOOOOOOWWW
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With enough jungle time clocked up we take a short flight to Cuzco (or Cusco??), the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city and was home to the Incas for over 2 centuries before the Spanish stormed in and built their first capital here. Massive Inca built walls line steep narrow cobblestone streets which are filled with more tourists than you can poke a stick at.
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On our way to Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley we visit the markets at Pisac for some light goods (anything we buy will need to be lugged 42km along the Inca Trail!).
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Ollantaytambo is one of the most popular towns in the Sacred Valley and one of the few places the Incas defeated the Spanish. While the group visited an entry fee Inca site, we climbed the opposite mountain which overshadows the town for free entry Inca site viewing, minus the tourists…..
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OK, the long awaited INCA TRAIL!! So excited! HERE IT IS!!
FACTS
Starting point : Village of Chilca. Km82 where you can buy walking sticks and bags of Coca leaves.
Tour guides: Wilber and Rolando - if you do the inca trail with intrepid you got to get these 2 very funny characters. THANKS AGAIN GUYS!!….ESPECIES!!!!!!!!! hahahahaha
Hike Distance: 42km
Duration: 4 days.
Highest Point: 4200m “Dead Women’s Pass“.
Finish: Machu Picchu.
Highest moment: chewing coca leaves on top of dead womans pass
Lowest moment: Jess assisting a very sick (AND broken toed) Julie in her hr of need….no need to include any more detail.

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The most famous trek in South America laid by the Incas winds its way up, down and around the mountains snaking over three high passes on the way. The views of snowy peaked andes and cloud forest are stupendous, and walking from one cliff hugging ruin to the next was an unforgettable experience. The trail is part of a series of Inca highways that linked the Incas from Quito in Ecuador to Santiago in Chile.
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Machu Picchu was thought to be built around 1440AD for Inca nobility but there is evidence that it has been a sacred Inca site for much longer. Day 4, we arrive at the Sun Gate and watch the sunrise over the majestic ruins…..
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After some “relaxation” in Cusco we make an unplanned flight to Puno due to protests blocking the roads. Puno is the hopping off point to explore Lake Titicaca, the largest, highest, navigable lake in the world sitting at 3820m above sea level stretching 230km long and 97km wide. From the shoreline the water stretches out as far as the eye can see. We visit the indigenous populated island, Taquile, via SLOW boat for a lake caught fish (trout) lunch and a demonstration of local culture through dance and music.
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After lunch its back on the boat for top deck sunset lounging while we travel to the Uros (Floating Islands). These floating islands are made up of many layers of Totora reeds, originally built to isolate the indigenous population from rival tribes. The inhabitants eat fish and reeds, the same Totora reeds which are used to built their beds, houses and boats.
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WOW what a day, we hit Puno on dark and sharpen up for a cracking dinner session complete with Peruvian music and traditional dancers.
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Next day we cross the border into Bolivia, hitting La Paz after dark due to waiting for another protest to clear from the road. In our 'irritated' eyes, La Paz is stinky from pollution and not all that exciting. Constantly peak hour traffic 24/7, the highest capital in the world (3660m) is impossible to get around quickly. On a clear day the snowy Mt Illimani (6402m) stands proud in the background. We had a last hooraah with the intrepid group and Ollie at a couple of smashing restaurants and bars, which included a gruelling pool comp, and said our goodbyes.

The intrepid tour ‘Sacred Land of the Incas’ comes highly recommended. Walking where the Inca people once walked, faught and farmed.....

More about Bolivia next blog, yes Yes YES we go leyland brothers style across the Atacama desert and visit the ALTIPLANO SALT FLATS!

Posted by jessnsteve 14:16 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

PERU pt2, AG 'After Ging Gang' - the Cordillera Blanca

Huaraz and the Cordillera blanca 07/06/09-13/06/09

semi-overcast 10 °C

It was great surfing up north and playing in the sun at Lobitos and Pacasmayo, but now it was time to start more adventures! Before we enter the outskirts of Lima our bus winds around oceanic sand cliffs, the tires only inches away from the edge. We arrive safely back in Lima after a 17hr overnight bus trip from far north and choose hostel Inkawasi in Miraflores as our temporary home. And what a score, free internet, breaky included!!! The owner, Fabio, is a mad keen surfer and top bloke with a lovely family, Nicole and Ailani. His assistant Alberto is a champ and keeps the place spotless! We dump our bags and head to the airport to pick up Steve’s mum - Ging Gang has landed!!!!!!!!! After travelling for 5 months it was great to see a familiar/family face. HOLA MI MADRE!!!!!!!!!
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After a few days acclimatising in Peru, recovering from 2days worth of jet lag, Ging Gang was ready to explore - and a trip to Huaraz and the Cordillera Blanca it is! An overnight 8hr bus from Lima saw us arrive up in the Andes, in a town called Huaraz.
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Huaraz is the jumping off point for some of South America’s best trecking. The mountainous region of the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash has an awesome jaw dropping natural beauty. This is the 2nd highest mountain range in the world with over 20 peaks above 6000m. Huascaran is the king of the peaks at 6768m.
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We settle into Albergue Churup and admire the mountains. OK, which one are we going to climb???
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With not a great deal of time up our sleeves, nor the experience, we decide to do a recommended 1 day hike up to Lake Llanganuco and Lake 69 as apposed to other hikes that last up to 10 days. Our hike involved lugging a days worth of supplies starting from 3900m, reaching 4600m and then back by sunset. Without a guide and just a cartoon sketch map provided by our hostel we encounted a few ‘which way are we going‘ moments at the cross roads of poorly marked routes. Some of the steeper higher altitude sections tore a new sphanktor or 2 in you. However, the pain is quickly replaced by pleasure as you look around at the glaciated peaks, pristine emerald lakes and brightly coloured Andean wildflowers. After the hike we spent another 2 days in Huaraz relaxing our sore muscles (walking around as if we had carrots up our coits), shopping at artesania mercados (the girls went sick!), eating VERY cheap vegetarian fare (3 course meal $2AUD), and getting friendly with the locals………
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Lake Llanganuco........
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Walking through the Andes.....
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Andean wildflowers
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And then there was Lake 69....
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MI ESPOSA Y MADRE!!!!
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Stay tuned as next we have the Intrepid tour with the inca trail and MACHU PICCHU!!!!!!!

Posted by jessnsteve 15:16 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

PERU pt1, 'BG' (before Ging Gang - Steve's mum)

Bienvenidos a Lima y Peru norte!!!! 24/05/09-07/06/09

semi-overcast 23 °C

OK, so we hung around in Panama for about a wk longer than expected whilst Steve was recovering, cheeseburger after cheeseburger. Time to get outa there we booked ourselves a ridiculously overpriced one way ticket to Lima to make up time. This unfortunately resulted in us missing out on Columbia and Ecuador.
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After a brief 3hr flight we land safely on the tarmac in Lima and immediately head for the Ormeno terminal to get a bus north. Next day we arrive in Trujillo and stay at Casa de Clara. After a few days of stretching out Steve was ready to hit the water. YIIPPAAHHH Jess says, he’s been a painfull creature since the injury. A short collectivo ride took us an hr north and we arrive at Pacasmayo, a small fishing village well known to the global surfing community for having one of the longest lefts in the world.
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Whilst staying with Senor Otto at Hostal Duke in Pacasmayo (for the first time) the surf was smallish, we visited a lesser know left just south called Poemape, and found not one but many coffee plungers which we have been searching for since Costa Rica!!!!! That’d be right ey, we just ordered a plunger on eBay and asked mum to lug it over in a wk. Once the swell had dropped out it was time to move onto the next city north - Chiclayo - where we visited museums, attracted alot of attention jogging through the streets, and cranked out our own spin class at the gym on not so OH&S standard bikes.
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We’d seen enough gold, and got enough stares. Another swell was due so we cruzed back to Pacasmayo for our 2nd visit to see if this world class left would light up…Nope still not enough swell for Steve. So we get the overnight bus much further north to the swell magnet Lobitos. The Lobitos area is home to no less than 9 LEFT HANDERS and when we arrived it was on fire.
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YEEESSSSSSSSS!!! While in Lobitos we stayed at Nachos accom but before we could see the first day out disaster struck again. Nope, Steve didn’t hit the reef, Jess was struck down with an intestinal parasite and spent the first night in the toilet with dual end fury. The following 2 days Jess layed in bed asleep, going to the toilet in the adjacent desert, while Steve got his fare share of lefts at breaks El Hueco, Lobitos and Piscinas. Finally regaining her appetite and enough strength to walk for more than 10m we bail out of Lobitos (much to Steve’s disappointment as the waves were still pumping) and get the 16hr bus back to Lima to pick up Ging Gang. And that brings us to Peru pt2, 'AG' (after Ging Gang) and the Cordillas Blancas!!!

But while we write part2, here are a few more pics!!!!!!!MORE PICS I SAY STOP WITH THE SMALL TALK...

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Cruising altitude

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Sneaky beer at a mens bar in Lima....

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Trujillo main square - plaza de armas

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Heading north....

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COFFEE PLUNGERS AND HEAPS OF THEM!!!! There was more across the road the mercado where you can also buy the daily seafood catch, some eggs, fruit n veg, AND COFFEE PLUNGERS!!!!!

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The long walk out to el faro, Pacasmayo

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Tuk Tuks - a means to get around in Pacasmayo

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On our way to Poemape

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Poemape - Jess and the tuk tuk driver

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Poemape, wraping, slightly onshore, but wraping 4-6ft (steves 2nd surf since
reef wrestle)

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The peir, Pacasmayo

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Traditional fishing boats, used for 1000s yrs

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Jess and the ocean, perfect Pacasmayo.....

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Dawn patrol transit, 5:30am, Talara, 1hr from Lobitos

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Our shack at nachos, Lobitos

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Lobitos rock pools, sunset and late one......

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Lobitos midday, still pumping, half the crowd, its lunch time!!!

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Lobitos, early and an unidentified from the water

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El hueco from the water.....so many kegs......so round......so uncrowded....

Posted by jessnsteve 06:40 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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