Lima that is.... this is the third time i´ve been in Lima and the third time in the same hostal. A lot has transpired since being in Lima the last two times. Well, after the last entry Shannon returned to Canada and Matt and I continued traveling on. Matt actually met someone in Lima and we all traveled to Cuzco together. After many attempts in the bathroom and even in the dorms in Cuzco, poor guy still didn´t get lucky. Oh well. Apparantly, one night in Cuzco there were three couples making out in a 16 bed dorm room. I was out like a light and had my ear plugs in and obviously missed all the excitement. Matt told me as he was attempting the same during the night....
enough of that....
well, we left for cuzco on a bus that left Lima at 11 a.m. and finally arrived in cuzco at 3:00 the next day. That was 26 hours of pure hell. I think something was wrong with the bus as it was traveling slowly. Someone vomited in the sink and the door wouldn´t stay shut. It kept clapping open and shut wafting the wonderous oders of vomit, urine and feces. I seriously thought I was going to die. The bus was cold. Matt and his little friend were snuggling under a blanket whilst I writhed in painful cold trying not to think of the smell.
We stayed two nights in Cuzco at a party hostal and ended up leaving Matt´s friend there and heading to Urubumba. We were in Urubumba for two weeks. It was really awesome. We read a lot, lounged around, made a habit of walking to town to the mercado every day for a fresh juice, we did some permaculture designs of my friend´s property, visited the area a bit, painted her kitchen and had to endure her caretaker who was spunging off my friend as he pretended to be a struggling artist and yoga teacher with no students.... As part of seeing the area, Matt and I went to Lares, Calca, and Ollaytantambo. I loved Ollaytantambo…. Reminded me of Vilcabumba. We walked there from Urubumba, which took about three hours. We hung there and explored the town asked around about going to Machu Pichu, had lunch after climbing the ruins. We refused to pay for the entrance to the main ruins so we decided to target the ruins on the mountainside. It was a bit dangerous climbing up and all around, but we were the only ones there. Spent hours climbing around. Talked Matt down from making that one last dangerous climb, as I wasn´t going to do it. It was much further up, steep and with a deep ravene to cross to get there. A lot of erosion must have taken place after the fortifications were built. After hours, we headed back down and grabbed a combi to Urubumba.
Lares also deserves a special mention. I think that was probably one of the most amazing places I´ve seen. It took us three hours to get there by combi via Calca. We left around 3:00 in the afternoon after waiting for hours determined to find some way there as there are only two buses that go there daily. We managed to find a bus and headed out through a landscape that is beyond description….. climbing all the way up the mountains reaching the top of the snow capped mountains we had been seeing off in the distance for weeks from Urubumba. The road, passed over waterfalls…. Seriously waterfalls cascaded off the mountain crossed the road and continued down the mountain. They reinforced the roads to withstand the constant flow of water. A little nervous about the combi crossing water on the road with no railings on the other side of the road, but all was ok. As we passed and climbed higher to the glaciers that are obviously melting rapidly…. It was so cool to see current and past glacial formations. We passed settlements that must have been there pre-inca. Many old settlements and farming land was overgrown, but you could still see the terracing going all the way up the mountain sides as the mountains had obviously been cultivated for hundreds of years. There were obviously different time periods of ruins all through the mountains and valley. We finally descended to the valley and town of Lares. It was only slightly warmer than the mountains we had passed through. Me, like an idiot, didn´t think it would be that cold and didn´t bring my jacket. Ihad no idea we would be that high up. We arrived around 7:00 or 8:00, found a really cheap hostal for $1.50, dropped our stuff and headed to the thermal baths. We had to buy a flashlight as there were no lights on the road there. A little nervous about walking in the dark in the middle of the mountains, but again... all was ok. We chilled in the most heavenly thermal baths for a couple of hours, going from one pool to another of varying temperatures and going to shower off to cool off and return again. The water had a lot of minerals. We only rinsed off a bit, but I didn´t wash my hair as it was way too cold... what a mistake. We went back down and nobody was on the streets, but we desperately needed something warm to drink. We found a little tienda open and got hot tea and crackers. Crashed out and left the next afternoon after hanging around town in the morning. The next morning our bodies and hair were matted with the minerals. The showers were too cold, so we stunk and stuck all the way back to Urubumba.
After leaving Urubumba after two weeks, we headed to Cuzco long enough to go to South American explorers, grab lunch and head straight to Puno. Puno was ok. The altitude was way intensive and I had trouble breathing the whole night, both nights actually. The first day we wandered around and went to the fertility temple in the nearby city of Chicuito. We actually had the best Peruvian food we both experienced there. He had trout and I had all the veggie type stuff they could put together for me. It was awesome. The second day, we took a tour of Lake Titticaca. It was cheesy, but what can you do. Islas Flotantes was interesting… the islands made of reeds, afterwards we went to Isla Taquile, wandered a bit, had lunch and returned. It was very difficult climbing up from the peer to the top and town center. The altitude was intense, but the view was amazing. We returned to town long enough to grab our bags and head to the terminal for the night bus to Arequipa.
Arequipa was awesome. Really cultural, a beautiful city. Loved it. If I were to live in any city in Peru, I would choose Arequipa. They also had the best looking men in all of Peru. We were there for one night and two days and just wandered the city each day. We took a bus to Nazca where we were dropped late at night in the dark in the middle of the road. We took a taxi to the hostal and crashed out. The next day we went to the mirrador to scope out the Nazca Lines. We couldn´t see much, but took a few photos and started walking back to town after about ½ hour a bus finally passed and we hoped on heading back to Nazca. We decided to just head back Lima....wiser this time, we just went straight to the main road heading north late at night and found a relatively cheap bus in the street heading to Lima. We ended up in the same hostal….again…after arriving early a.m. and trying different hostals... again with windbag. The guy who won´t shut up. I don’t think I´ve ever seen someone like that. He goes from one unrelated subject to another without breathing and talking as much as he can as long as he has someone´s attention. I struggle to understand his ramblings in Spanish. He likes the girls, but he so knows I won´t stand for it. He is a grey haired, almost toothless old man wearing a red smoking jacket and trying to mac on all the young travellers.. He particularly likes young blondes.
Well, after two days in Lima, I said goodbye to Matt and headed to Eco Truly for the second time. It was so hard saying goodbye to him. In that one month we really got close. Back at the Hare Krishna temple, they were preparing for the festival and the arrival of the two gurus. I was going to stay two weeks, but only stayed one. Hundreds of Hare Krishna was a bit much for me. I loved the farm. I finally got to work in the gardens and became friends with Jaime, the cute little gardener… Actually met him in Central Lima yesterday as he wanted to see me one last time. I did see the gurus, but didn´t speak to either of them. Enjoyed my time there, but that many people was becoming so unpeaceful. I headed back to Lima and tried to stay at another hostal. It was nice, but really expensive. I at least was able to scrub almost two weeks worth of grime off in a hot shower, wandered a bit and went to bed early. The area was beautiful, but way too expensive. I ended up with windbag for a third time. Thank god my friends are arriving tomorrow night and this is the last night there…. Never to return to Lima again.. thank god.
I will be travelling two more weeks with my friends. Really don´t know where we are going to go yet, but I´ll post again in the next country I´m at. Either will be Chile or Bolivia. Can´t decide yet. I´ll let one of my friends make that decision when she comes.