Bet you thought I was still at the border!
Cusco Travel Blog› entry 9 of 26 › view all entries
Sorry I haven´t updated you for a while, hope you weren´t worried that something had happened to me at the border - I was worried something might! It was actually really easy crossing on the bus and it didn´t leave on the otherside without me. The border was really relaxed, there were about 8 of us who crossed. We got our exit stamps and I was the last to go through, a bit worried because I´d lost my T3 and it tells you NOT to do that but I filled in a new form and walked across the bridge with the Dutch guy who waited for me just in case! On the other side we got our peruvian stamps and checked in with the police and that was it. I would have looked to have taken a picture of the border but was too scared, even though it was fairly quiet. Relieved it was over and we were on our way, I sat back to enjoy listening to 80s music, everyone was asleep when they played YMCA so I danced in my chair on my own! Wasn´t quite plan sailing though, we were stopped further down the road by the police who decided that they wanted to search a rucksack which was either mine or the Dutch guys, there was a lot of commotion and we were about to get off the bus but the drivers mate sorted everything out.
The mountains disappeared and we drove through the desert of Northern Peru. I was surprised to see rickshaws on the road and when we arrived in Piura, it reminded me a little of India, I´m not sure what I was expecting though. We stayed the night in Piura to recover from the long bus journey and sampled our first Inca Kola, its bright yellow and tastes just like cream soda. We had dinner but there wasn´t much else to do in Piura than sample the beer and also try a Pisco sour, (it was compulsory to celebrate my first night in Peru). We didn´t think much of the drink made with egg white but at least we can say we tried it!
The next day we took a bus to Chiclayo.
I moved south again to Trujillo, which is a beautiful colonial city, unfortunately my camera decided not to work so I have no pictures of it or the sites that I visited. Fortunately I did a tour with an English couple who will send me their pictures when they get home. (Its working again now though). In Trujillo, I saw Huacas de Luna, which I think is a Chimu temple site - the guide was rubbish at explaining the history, so we just enjoyed wandering around and seeing the colouring freizes that they carved into the walls depicting different scenes and with different meanings (sorry just as bad as the guide at explaining). In the afternoon, the highlight of the day for me was the visit to Chan Chan, the Chimu Capital which is the largest mud brick city in the world. They have only excavated about 20% but it was massive, we wandering round a plaza and a labrynth of corridors and rooms. The friezes here depicted scenes to do with fishing because these people were fishermen and the site was not far from the coast. To end the day we went to the nearby coastal resort of Huanchaco to see the cigar shaped reed boats that its famous for, we were ripped off with the tour though because it was the end of the day so he only gave us twenty minutes there. That was just enough time for the three of us, in true brit style, to take off our socks and shoes and run down to the waters edge and dip our toes in. The weather wasn´t great it was very overcast but the water was ok for a paddle. We even had enough time to pay 50 soles and take a turn on the pier. It was great to be by the sea, I miss it, just wish we could have had longer for a go in one of the reed boats.
I headed to Lima after that but didn´t hang around. I caught an overnight bus to Cusco which nearly killed me. It wasn´t the luxury that I had had the taste of. I thought I would be snuggling up to an old peruvian guy for the night but the seat next to me wasn´t occupied so I moved. Despite having 2 reclining seats to myself I barely slept, it was freexing cold and then boiling hot but the worst part was when we were on some mountain road that seemed to go round in circles, I don´t know how high it was but with all the twists and turns I thought I was going to be sick! I survived to arrive in Cusco, where I´ve been recovering ever since. The altitude has really knocked me for six, I´m off my food and the beer!
I ventured out for the first time yesterday. Cusco is lovely, even better than Trujillo. Its full of Gringos too. I bumped into one yesterday that I knew...the dutch guy! He introduced himself to the lady I was with and I know his name now, Chil, no wonder I couldn´t remember it. I had dinner with him and a mother and daughter from Manchester who are travelling together, they were on the same bus as me, so went with them to the same hostel.
I start the Inca Trail on Monday, so you won´t here from me again for a while. I´m keeping my fingers crossed that my camera behaves, I might buy a spare but its not cheap here. Wish me luck!