Huancayo Travel Blog

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Markets are always a fun place to wander around in. The local, everyday fresh produce markets are just down the street from the hostel. People set up store on the side of the road and under big tents, or ride trishaws through the streets. For some inexplicable reason though, the roads are still open so cars, taxis, buses, and trucks try to squeeze through the streams of people and stuff everywhere. I needed to buy a pen, and found a guy selling stationery; just as I was about to pay him, we hear a beep behind us and a big truck - maybe a 12 wheeler? - is trying to turn the corner. The stationery vendor has to pick up his entire stall, which is conveniently strapped to a table, and shift a metre backwards, to let the truck through. Crazy.

On Saturday, I went to the town of Chupaca with an Aussie guy also staying at the hostel. There´s supposed to be a big animal market there, which we somehow couldn´t find, but not to worry. Their markets are a bit more tranquilo, although we did find some interesting stalls. Here in Huancayo, maybe Peru, sheep´s head soup is a popular dish. We came across women using blowtorches on sheep heads, to get rid of the hair (fur, whatever), so you end up with a blackened bony thing with teeth that the women then buy, and take back to Huancayo to make their soups for the week. Ew.

They also eat guinea pig here, which I haven´t tried (yet). They breed them pretty big, or maybe they just feed them fat, because they´re pretty globulous, and also very cheap (live). I actually bought a recipe book, made by Lucho´s wife, that tells you how to cook a live guinea pig but somehow I don´t think I´ll be doing that with the kids at the orphanage.

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After several days of 10pm bedtimes, it was a real struggle to stay awake when I finally made it out into Huancayo´s nightlife on Saturday. Like most South American cities, this place sleeps late and wakes early, so dinner can be as late as 10pm. Dave, the other Aussie staying at La Casa, and I met up with his limeño friend Alfredo and Alfredo´s friend Reymundo (interesting name, that - literally ¨king of the world¨) at a chicken eatery. Yummy chips (I was hungry, considering dinner was two boiled eggs and a tomato and onion salad. It´s not that they don´t feed me well at the hostel, just that the last two dinners I could hardly eat).

First stop was Galileo, a sort of live music restaurant bar thing. You sit down and order drinks from the menu, while the band plays covers of songs, some in castellano (Spanish), others like Pink Floyd, U2 etc. I had my first Pisco Sour: delicious. It´s that same pisco rum, mixed with egg whites, brown sugar and lime juice. If I can manage to bring home a big bottle without breaking it then I´m going to have a pisco sour party, watch out.

We caught a taxi to the Taj Mahal, a somewhat happening club just outside the main part of the city. Now, Dave had gone to this club three nights in a row and seemed to like it, but bear in mind even though he´s Aussie, he´s over 30 and doesn´t like electronic dance music. So I sort of knew what not to expect. One room has a live band playing, so we watched them for awhile (again, there´s table service, which is something I won´t mind getting used to). The band here were pretty good and played a bit of a mixture. I had a lot of trouble staying awake though (until they played Boys Don´t Cry). In the other room is the discoteca, where they have strobe lights and pulsing lights and pretty Peruvian girls dancing either in groups or with their boyfriends. The music was mostly salsa, latino pop and r&b. It wasn´t tooooo bad....

It appears that all the people in Huancayo who smoke also go to these clubs. When you walk down the street, it doesn´t seem like anyone smokes, but we came out of that club gasping for fresh air. I´m annoyed that I didn´t bring my bottle of Febreeze.

AA74 says:
I enjoyed also the nightlife in Huancayo, so much that I decide to spend some months like a staff member of a bar very close to the TAJ MAHAL club, named EL TAYTA Av Huancavelica # 859, Huancayo. Next come warm you up with us !
See more on the web site http://www.eltaytahyo.com
Posted on: Jul 03, 2007
photo by: voordax