A Long Trip
During the 2019's holiday season I was invited for a trip to Peru and I couldn't say no. It was during my Erasmus period so I had plenty of free time. I packed my bags and left on the 24th of December.
I'm not aiming to be a travel blogger so here are my key experiences and photos. I'll keep it brief. Also sorry for the quality of the images. They got deleted and those were the only backup.
- Lima is a weird city. I've never been to South America before so I'm not sure that it's the norm, but it seems very poor and very rich at the same time. The journey from the airport to our hotel was full of slums and unfinished buildings, but also of hipster cafes and restaurants
- I was staying in Miraflores, apparently it's the rich and turistical district
- The buildings are grey, the flowers are not. There were also a lot of murales and paintings on the walls
- There is no beer in Lima. I'm kinda exaggerating but don't expect to find imported beer, only local breweries in some pubs
- It was December and the weather was very weird. At times 30C, at times 10. I wasn't prepared for the cold so I had to buy sweatshirts
- The food is simply awesome. I don't particularly enjoy fish so I couldn't fully appreciate the Ceviche, but their Lomo Saltado (Stir Fried Beef) and Papas a la Huancaina (Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce) were simply amazing. One of my favourite memories was the Sopa Criolla, which is a tomato soup with potatoes, garlic, pasta and bread
- Lima's center is a scam. Very touristy but no one actually lives there. It's also very dangerous and full of police, don't go there at night. There are still cool things to see, and it's probably the most "antique" area of the city so it's worth a visit
- I spent New Year's Eve in Lima. It was kind of a surreal experience being surrounded by palms decorated like christmas trees. There were cool fireworks on the beach and lots of people gathered outside
- After 00:00 I went to a club and met an Uruguayan journalist that was evicted from his country and was given political asylum in Peru. He told me about how he missed his family. Sometimes I wonder how he's doing and how much of that was true
- After Lima my next destination was Paracas
- Paracas is the capital of the Paracas District in the Ica Region in Peru. A small port town catering to tourism, Paracas serves as the jumping point for tours to Islas Ballestas and to Paracas National Reserve
- I didn't spend much time here, and the city is actually very small, but as mentioned above I stopped there to go visit the Ballestas islands and the Paracas desert
- The islands were reachable by boat and were nice. Sea Lions and Penguins!
- The desert was simply amazing. I'm pretty sure deserts in general are my favourite geographical formation
- I also did paragliding with the strong winds coming from the bay. Looking at the desert from above was an unforgettable experience
- Local planes are a nighthmare. We had a 4 hour delay with zero explanation. Passport Control was incredibly slow and they almost lost my luggage.
- The plan was to go straight to Macchu Picchu and then stop in Cusco on the way back so that's what we did. Never take a taxi outside of the airport. I was kinda expecting that it'd be pricey but when the trip to Ollyatantambo costs 150$ and the trip back 5$ I can feel a sour taste in my mouth
- Roads in Peru are visually incredible and logistically a nightmare
- Llamas taste like a softer version of beef
- I took the Inca Rail from Ollyatantambo to Aguas Calientes and then the bus to Macchu Picchu. A touristy choice but the alternative was simply too long and hard. The transport service to Macchu Picchu in general is very nice and well organized and I have nothing to complain about
- Too many people
- The view is amazing
- It takes a couple of hours to visit most of the city, and to be honest it's pretty much more of the same. The surroundings are what makes it special and unique
- Cusco is probably the most beautiful city I saw during the trip from an architectural standpoint
- I felt the effects of high altitude, not sure if the cocoa pills helped or they were just placebo
- The buildings are nice but I'm not sure if there's much to see other than the main square, maybe I missed a lot of stuff
- Thinking back at it I remember liking it but I really can't recall any major landmark
- Nazca, as a city, doesn't exist. It takes an incredibly long time to reach it trough the desert from basically anywhere.
- It's mostly a glorified airport for the Nazca Lines
- The lines were nice, but not incredible (I also suffered plane sickness, sorry!)
- In general I think that this is the only place that wasn't really worth visiting
To conclude: this was not the kind of trip I usually do. I prefer being less touristy and more local, and I didn't get too many opportunities of doing it here. Still I really enjoyed my time here and I would definitely come back, if not for the 12h+ plane trip.
P.S. After coming back to Italy at 01:00AM my Flixbus got cancelled, I had to sleep at the airport, take a shared bus to Ljubljana and then sleep on the floor for 2 more days because my housemate forgot to leave me the keys. Fun times.© thevinter.RSS