Colca Canyon Tour

I got picked up 7.45 in the morning here at Kevins place and was droven downtown to the agency, where I waited for like an hour before everyone was gathered to start our 3 hours- journey to Colca. I didn’t know what to expect really, since this also was an activity I had booked since before.

On our way to Colca we had a few stops, like in Pampa Cañahuas, where we could see Vicuñas , they are not tooo usual around here.

Vicuñas

Vicuñas

I think this pic is charming :) Love the finger haha. On our way to the Colca Valley, quite high above sea level. They put the stones like this to make a wish and then the stones will attract energies from the mountains around.

I think this pic is charming :) Love the finger haha. On our way to the Colca Valley, 4910 m above sea level. They put the stones like this and make a wish and then the stones will attract energies from the mountains around.

Happy time for the lamas.. This would have been a great shot if that man hadn't been there...

Happy time for the lamas.. This would have been a great shot if that man hadn’t been there…

We had a stop for some coca tee at Patapampa and then arrived at Chivay, the capital of the Colca Valley. We checked in at our hotel, and I was soo tired I wanted to sleep but already after 30 minutes we were going to the thermal baths in La Calera. I put on my bathing suite and went there.. it was reaaally cold and windy outside, but once in, woooow, amazing how hot it was!! Close to the source it was actually burning. Some people didn’t want to take their clothes of and jump in, poor them I say, because it was really lovely. And afterwards, when you have to go out, you are so warm that you don’t feel it’s cold outside at all, so it was totally a pleasant bath. : )  15 soles though.

On our way to the thermal baths. Nice bridge. :)

On our way to the thermal baths. Nice bridge. :)

Thermal baths in Chivay

Thermal baths in Chivay

Warm and happy after the thermal baths

Warm and happy after the thermal baths

Went back to the hotel and took a shower (I always get really really dry after the thermal baths and start to peel of skin) and then went to eat dinner. It was going to be a folkloric show.. it was some men playing nice music and then a couple dancing some traditional dances. It was nice but I feel like it’s way to touristic.. not real.

Folkloric event in Chivay

Folkloric event in Chivay

Also when we arrived at Chivay they took us to another touristic restaurant, the buffey was for 25 soles, maybe not tooo much, but still a lot more because the local food is for 5-6 soles. I went downtown to have that instead. I didn’t bring that much money, I had only calculated max 10 soles each meal, so I can’t afford to eat on the touristic places.

Next day I had breakfast at the hotel at 5.30, and around 6 the bus came to pick us up to go to the Cruz del Condor, where you can see a lot of condors flying around. On our way we made some stops, like in Maca to go to the market, and in Achoma and Pinchollo that has some great views over the Colca valley. In Cruz del Condor we stayed for 1 hour, and it was amazing how many condors that were flying around there. Some of the biggest are around 2,5-3 meters between the wings.

Panorama over the Colca Valley... beautiful!!

Panorama over the Colca Valley… beautiful!!

Haha. I was going to take my sunglasses of.

Haha. I look a little stiff… I was just going to take my sunglasses of. :p

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Just me in Maca with a condor on my head. Haha!

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Four impressive condors.

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Just about to land on the rock. :)

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And the picture of the tour group with the Peruvian flag :)

We had the last pricey lunch (buffey for 25 soles, looked reaaaally great, but I had a starter for 10 soles instead…) and then the rest started their trip back to Arequipa, but I was going to stay for a few more days on my own.

The guide fixed so I could stay in Chivay at a hostel there that costed 25 soles (but  apparently the hotel this night was 35 USD!). My thought was to start with the rural tourism in the villages tomorrow. I went for a walk around the market in Chivay when German calls me and says he is in Chivay and can take me to the small villages today already. I went to check out from the hostal, I had only been there for like 30 minutes max, but the couple who owned it had just been to the bank so they could only return 15 soles. Damn it. Anyhow.

A woman and her two Alpacas, Chocolate and Blanca on the main square in Chivay

A woman and her two Alpacas, Chocolate and Blanca on the main square in Chivay

German took me with his motorcycle first to Corporaque to visit and introduce me to Josefina who lives there with her son Jorge there. They let me try their traditional clothing. :) So beautiful!! The cheapest traditional dress cost at least 1000 soles (400 USD).. the women work for years to earn enough to have their own dress..

On the motorcycle :)

On the motorcycle :)

With German in Corporaque

With German in Corporaque

A little later German drove me to Canocota in the sunset, to introduce me to the family there, Julia and Pedro, where I’m going to stay this night.

Will put more pictures later!

 

Annonser

Are-quipay! (meaning in Quechua: Yes, stay here)

Wow.. I was going to start this in spanish again. I guess I’ve started to think more in Spanish, I’m glad I have :) I learn new expressions every day and I feel more fluent now the never… still not totally fluently though, and that after more than 100 days in spanish speaking countries… hm. When will it come?

So I arrived in Arequipa.. it didn’t start so well, the bus was 2 hours late, and then the taxi drivers would only go down to 12 soles for driving me to my hosts place, and my host had told me that  it should be around 6 soles. Damn it. I’m to bad negotiating (I look to European…).

I arrived safe though at Kevins place. He showed me the room – and I have a whole own room! Totally luxurious.  Then he told me that there were around 6 other people more there too upstairs in the kitchen, from couchsurfing… I was like whaat? Haha. I got up to the kitchen and there they were, 3 Argentinian girls, one Spanish, one american, one Brazilian, me and Kevin. We had a very good hang out, like 9 in the morning on a Saturday. :) We drank some mate and talked for a few hours, got to hungry and went out to town to grab something to eat.

 

First group picture saturday morning, I had just arrived a few hours earlier :)

First group picture saturday morning, I had just arrived a few hours earlier :)


We took the combi downtown, only like 10 minutes, then Kevin showed us around the city and let us try the typical food from Arequipa. First we ate empanadillas and salteños and after that we walked around the city – so beautiful and clean!

We went to the market San Camilo. On our way there was a lady selling something called Tuna, it’s a cactus fruit. And it’s delicious!!! Something between melon and kiwi. So funny. I also tried Jugo de Maca for the first time… good but really filling!

 They have sooooooooo much (for me) exotic fruit and vegetables here… I was like drooling. We also had some frozen cheese which is typical arequipeñan, it’s like ice cream…yummyyyy! Haha.

Having some nice empanadillas and salteños :)

First stop: Having some nice empanadillas and salteños :)

Eating Tuna, a cactus fruit....Delicious!

Second stop, trying some Tuna, a cactus fruit….Delicious!

Buying some salteños in the market of Camilo, they even had vegetarian ones!

Buying some salteños in the market of Camilo, they even had vegetarian ones!

Inside San Camilo market... I love that they have so much fruit and vegetables!!! THIS IS PARADISE!

Inside San Camilo market… I love that they have so much fruit and vegetables!!! THIS IS PARADISE!

Having some Queso Helado! Under the bowl there's ice.. so in the bottom of the bowl the cheese frozens.. so good!

Having some Queso Helado! Under the bowl there’s ice.. so in the bottom of the bowl the cheese frozens.. so good!

We walked around the historical center, beautiful. It’s declared a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. It has touches of religious, colonial, and republican architecture, which  mixes european and native characteristics into a unique style called ”Escuela arequipeña”.

We visited some plazas, and funny thing, we pass by the only place I had been in contact with to take some salsa classes! I think it was meant for me to know where it is so I can go there :)

The cathedral of Arequipa

The cathedral of Arequipa

Plaza de Armas, lovely!

Plaza de Armas, lovely!

One of the peaceful plazas in Arequipa

One of the peaceful plazas in Arequipa

Love the mountains...

Love the mountains…

Walking around in los claustros, finding the "Baila conmigo" studio! And a melting ice cream outside. Haha.

Walking around in los claustros, finding the ”Baila conmigo” studio! And a melting ice cream outside. Haha.

At night we went around the neighbourhood and bought all the ingredients to make Pisco maracuya sour. Also typical from here, and delicious! We were supposed to go out but we were such a big gang here playing games, talking and dancing.. time flew by and then it was like 5 in the morning.. haha. Most important thing, I learnt the basic steps of bachata! In the beginning I was just laughing, because it feels so funny (youtube it!) but then I really enjoyed it. Kevin is a great great teacher!! He later said that I probably was the best European he has danced with too, woho!

Having "anti cuchos" in Kevins neigbourhood, apparently reaaaally good, the argentinian girls LOVED it... haha.

Having ”anti cuchos” in Kevins neigbourhood, apparently reaaaally good, the argentinian girls LOVED it… haha.

Group picture :)

Group picture :)

Next day was just chilling. Some went to town but some of us stayed and had just a day off, went to the small shop around the corner to buy some sweets… then I sat by the computer and did all the stuff I needed to do haha. At night all the other surfers left, we were a little bit to many people here, and they were going either to Puno or to Lima.. to bad. We were a really nice group.. called ourselves “el grupo bacán”. :) (bacan is a Peruvian expression, meaning like ”excellent” or ”great”)

El grupo vacan! Haha :) Carla, Me, Kevin, Gisela, Mariel, Dale, Alberto y Dafny

El grupo bacan! Haha :)
Carla, Me, Kevin, Gisela, Mariel, Dale, Alberto y Dafny

Monday I went to the salsa place and took my first salsa class, so much fun!!! It was a private class, cost 35 soles (around 13 USD) quite luxurious I know, but totally worth it. It was so much fun! I’m definitively taking one more later.

In the same plaza where the dance studio is, there’s a vegetarian restaurant too. So I had some lunch there, it’s a vegetarian buffet.. Mmm! And cheap, 7-9 soles depending if you have the soup too or only second course.. I bought take away too to have as dinner tonight :)

This weeks menu... isn't it lovely???

This weeks menu… isn’t it lovely???

Vegetarian buffet!!

Vegetarian buffet!!

Then I walked around the town, had some really good chocolate cake, visited some handicraft markets, (they have BEAUTIFUL things here!!!), then Kevin met me up after his work and showed me around some more, took me to like a hundred (not really..but 10 at least) different small plazas and parts of this town that are a little bit hidden for us who does not know about them.. .

The town is sort of built up as squares, but if you go in through a door in the building, you get to a small plaza inside, or sometimes a whole other neighborhood with streets and houses within those walls.. it’s lovely.

It reminds me of Andalucia in Spain, everything is white. Almost all the houses are built of Sillar, which is a material subtracted from the volcanos around Arequipa. Oh yeah, maybe I haven’t told you yet, but the town is surrounded by volcanoes. From Kevins kitchen you see the Misti Volcano perfectly. It’s really impressive.

A church inside the walls somewhere in Arequipa... I find the cross on the right side really wierd. I've seen a few like these... why does it have a glass, hammer, a latter, a sword, and even an ear on it??? Haha.

A church inside the walls somewhere in Arequipa… I find the cross on the right side really wierd. I’ve seen a few like these… why does it have a glass, hammer, a latter, a sword, and even an ear on it??? Haha.

Another plaza. One of the oldest.

Another plaza. One of the oldest.

One of the beautiful entrances from the street.

One of the beautiful entrances from the street.

A lovely little street with restaurants. Quite touristic but beautiful.

A lovely little street with restaurants. Quite touristic but beautiful.

Panorama over Arequipa from Kevins roof

Panorama over Arequipa from Kevins roof

I really love this city. I feel so much at home here in Arequipa..  And in Kevins house.. haha.  I don’t know if I would like Arequipa THAT much if it wasn’t for him. He is showing me and telling me so much about Arequipa.. you can tell he is proud of being arequipeñan and he loves his city :) By the way, it’s always sunshine here in Arequipa! Always!!!

This text is from the Arequipeñan passport.... saying that it's not their (the arequipeñans) problem they are almost perfect.. It's written how they pronounce it too. Kevin read it to me, haha, so much fun!

This text is from the Arequipeñan passport…. saying that it’s not their (the arequipeñans) problem they are almost perfect.. It’s written how they pronounce it too. Kevin read it to me, haha, so much fun!

Next day I went to the monastery of Santa Catalina.. it was quite expensive, 35 soles the entrance. But the Brazilian guy the first day said it was worth it.. so I went there. It’s one of the things “you should see” in this city. The monastery was built around 1570’s by the first spanish religious people.. it’s like a whole city within the monastery, around 20.000 squaremetres big. It’s really cozy and colonial with strong beautiful colours. The streets have Spanish names (Calle Cordoba;) and the houses where the nuns lived are open so you can see how they lived. Interesting, but to me, it reminded me to much about Spain… and I’m in Peru now… so it felt a little bit weird to see typical old Spanish houses… still beautiful though.

They can't have been too tall during that period... haha.

They can’t have been too tall during that period… haha.

This looks so andalucian to me! Haha.

This looks so andalucian to me! Haha.

Calle Cordoba! :) Hehe. All the streets are named after spanish cities..

Calle Cordoba! :) Hehe. All the streets are named after spanish cities..

One of the lovely little kitchens

One of the lovely little kitchens

Love these confessionals.. :)

Love these confessionals.. :)

After the monastery I went to another vegetarian restaurant, deliciiiiious food… and cheap! The name of the restaurant is called Mandala..MmmmM!  Love that there are so many vegetarian restaurants here in Arequipa.

Mandala vegetarian Restaurant in Arequipa, street Jerusalem 207.

Mandala vegetarian Restaurant in Arequipa, street Jerusalem 207.

Then Kevin met me up and he showed me some other parts of the city :) He is to sweet!

Oh.. I also met up with German Ramos! My friend Johan Nikula from my fencing group in Stockholm lived here in Arequipa a couple of years ago, and he put me in contact with German, who is from the Colca region and knows some families there.  Apparently it costs at least 50 soles to live with a family there… I think it sounds way to expensive!! But since Johan has told me so much about it I will do it for a couple of days. I’m leaving with a tour to see the typical things first, then I’ll stay in Chivay and go to the small villages from there.

Will not miss this ;)

This is how the bus system works. A combi comes, one person screams where it's going, and you try to jump in the van while it's moving.

This is how the bus system works. A combi comes, one person screams where it’s going, and you try to jump in the van while it’s moving, the door is open – it doesn’t stop for you…and dream about getting a seat – you will probably have like 10 armpits around your head instead..

Well.. until next!!

 

Nazca – the first town I really like in Peru

So I arrived in Nazca in the afternoon. Once again I traveled with Cruz del Sur, the luxurious bus company. Since I’m doing this trip in Peru with Green Toad Bus, I already have the busses and bigger activities planned and paid, I would probably have chosen a cheaper company for the shorter trips if I would have done it today…. but I can’t say I’m not satisfied haha. 

Kiwi, my host, picked me up in the bus terminal with his cool Volkswagen-van. It took me 1 minute (or less) to realize that this was someone I will like. So so so so glad.. I was a little afraid to have a bad experience again… but totally the opposite. We went to his apartment and first thing he says is ”Feel like it’s your home!”. The apartment is supercool designed and have writings on the walls from other couchsurfers.  Funny detail, he doesn’t have any chairs because he got tired of them, haha. : )

Kiwis really cool apartment with all the inscriptions from friends and couchsurfers.

Kiwis really cool apartment with all the inscriptions from friends and couchsurfers.

Two of his friends came over and we had a nice hang out there. It’s a nice relaxed atmosphere here in Nazca, a lot of people drops by to say hi or to just hang out, even if Kiwi isn’t there.  :)

In the evening we went for a walk around the small city. We passed by a ”typical house” of how Nazca looked before. This city did also suffer from a big earthquake and all the buildings crashed and had to be restored. It happens every 10-15 years.. I asked if they weren’t tired of rebuilding their houses every time, but were like ”njaeh… we are  used to that, that’s how it is”. Impressive… I mean… I would be much more terrified/sad/scare/dejected/tired If I knew my apartment was going to fall apart every 10-15 years… but it’s also good that they don’t get that attached to material things like an apartment.

The yellow house there at the right is what the typical  nazca house looked like before the last earthquake

The yellow house there at the right is what the typical nazca house looked like before the last earthquake

A woman and her kid in traditional clothing selling nuts and seeds. So sweet!

A woman and her kid in traditional clothing selling nuts and seeds. So sweet!

Anyhow. We walked to the main plaza and sat there during the sunset, it got all dark around 18.30 and it felt like it was like 12 at night… haha. I really like Nazca, such a good vibe. Small city and safe to walk around, friendly atmosphere, nice streets, good food… yeah, I really enjoy Nazca, the first city I actually like here in Peru!

At night we passed by Rubens bar, recently opened, and it was beautiful! It’s 100% made of nature materials, and everything is outdoor. Lovely work. : )

We did some planning about next days trip like what food to buy etc. Then sleepy time!

Rubens bar, decorated really nice!

Rubens bar, decorated really nice!

Next morning I got picked up by a travel agency, they were supposed to pass by sometime between 7 or 8.. so I was ready at 7 of course… but they came 8.30 of course, haha. They took me to the Nazca Airport to take a small airplane over the Nazca Lines..
It is said to be some of the greatest Geoglyphs in the world. There are patterns of animals, insects, humanoid creatures all sketched out in the desert. They were created by the Nazca Culture about 100 years B.C.. but wasn’t discovered until now in the 20th century when it was spotted from a comercial plane. There are so big and on a flat landscape so you need to be in an airplane to see them.

In the airplane! :)

In the airplane! :)

I had company with a nice man, Wil, from Canada. He also had a love in Santa Fe, such a funny coincidence : ) The flight was quite terrible though.. haha. I thought the lines were going to be much bigger and easier to see! But with all the other lines that are there it’s difficult to distinguish such a big area for the figure, and once you found it, try to take a picture of it before the flight has passed it by…. Almost impossible. I felt quite stressed, we had headphones where we heard what the captain said, but it was like ”Left left left, monkey monkey! Right right, Condor! Left astronaut!”. It was better to take pictures of the environment from there, really cool. And also, to fly in a small plane like this, is really cool. But I don’t think it’s worth 100 USD at all…. But since I already had it paid, well well….

 

My favorite, the humming bird! Also the easiest to see because it was painted on a darker ground. Apparently, this is my sign in the nazca zodiacs too! Yay!

My favorite, the humming bird! Also the easiest to see because it was painted on a darker ground. Apparently, this is my sign in the nazca zodiacs too! Yay!

This is more what it looks like when you try to find some geoplyps.. not really sure where they are here.. haha.

This is more what it actually looks like from the airplane… so it’s not to easy to find the Geoglyphs.. Not sure where they are here! Once you do find a figure, you try to zoom in on to take a picture and you also change the contrasts in the computer before uploading it… so I guess that’s why I thought the Geoglyphs were going to be bigger and easier to see.

At noon I met up with Atenas and went to the market to buy fruit, vegetables and cheese, first time I actually visit a market like this to negotiate and buy… so funny, and so cheap!! Much cheaper then in the supermarkets. And fresh! Athena also showed me a fruit (?) called Pacai, that grows in the trees here in Nazca, it looks like a big green bean, you open it up, and there are like sponshy white things inside that are really sweet and tasty. I would never have thought that! So funny to find out things like that.

In the market with Atenas, buying fruits and vegetables. :)

In the market with Atenas, buying fruits and vegetables. :)

Pacai! So sweet and good. The black thing is the seed that's inside the white thing.. haha.

Pacai! So sweet and good. The black thing is the seed that’s inside the white thing.. haha.

Later when we had fixed everything and Ruben and Jul had finished their work, we packed the Volkswagen car and started our little roadtrip to the camping site and the thermal baths.. they are like 35 km from Nazca, but the road there isn’t the easiest, so it took us 1,5-2 hours to get there, haha. The road reminds me of Donald duck and Goofys camping trip with the caravan that we Swedes watch every Christmas on TV, haha. So funny!

That's the road we took with our big wolkswagen..

That’s the road we took with our big wolkswagen..

On the road!

On the road!

Me in front of Rubens car :) Lovely!

Me in front of Rubens car :) Lovely!

We arrived at night, put our tents up and lit a fire. We had a light dinner there and some coffee and spent hours talking, looking into the fire (or playing with the fire on our sticks, haha) or into the sky watching all the stars. I even saw a falling star, woho!!!! So glad I did haha.

Around 23ish  we jumped into our bikinis and went to bath in the nature thermal baths, and it was really warm water!! We spent a couple of hours there to, a little bit of talking but mostly just quietly meditating… so relaxing. I haven’t had a warm shower/bath for that long time in ages…

While we were in the baths, some animal robbed us on our food!! Not everything, but like all the bread, cheese, crackers, avocados… too bad. Haha.

Dancing around the fire :)

Dancing around the fire :)

Bathing at night... it comes really hot water from the tap, thats why I have my feet there.. haha.

Bathing at night… it comes really hot water from the tap, thats why I have my feet there.. haha.

Next morning I jumped in the thermal baths again,  and was there alone for like to hours, just sitting under the falling warm water meditating and feeling completely relaxed.

Ruben went to a house on the other side of the hill, where some farmers live and do cheese.. so we could manage to do a quite complete meal later with comotle, carrots, potatoes, cheese and a salad.. yummy.  After lunch me and Atena did some bracelets and the guys took a bath.. then around 15 we packed our things and started our bumpy journey back to town.

We hang everything in the three :)

Our camping spot and our tree-cloth-hanger :)

Haha. Some sheep  we found on the road!

Haha. Some sheep we found on the road!

Went to the supermarket again, packed my backpack, sat down and talked with Ruben, had some really nice chats about life… then took the 22 bus to Arequipa. I could have stayed here for like 3 days more I think.. I didn’t have time to visit other ”attractions” here in Nazca.. I’m actually sad to leave this lovely town and lovely people… I really hope Arequipa is as good as Nazca.  : )

Visiting Ica and Huacachina…. not to impressed

I had a van transfer from Paracas directly to Huacachina, where I had the sandboarding thing already booked and included in my package.

I had a couple of hours before the sandboarding to walk around this area, it’s very small and touristic – but beautiful. Huacachina is an oasis in the desert, literally. There is this big water pool surrounded by big sand dunes and desert. Apparently is the only oasis in america. Quite cool.

Panorama over Huacachina... and oasis in the desert. Beautiful!

Panorama over Huacachina… and oasis in the desert. Beautiful!

I got friends with one of the artisans there and helped him translate a text from Spanish to English.. quite funny. Then I had a delicious vegetarian burger with fries at Desert Nights restaurant, and for dessert, ice coffee – the best I’ve ever had in my life. So good.

So the sandboarding… was different. It was so much fun to race around in the sand dunes with the jeep, it felt like a rollercoaster. But the sandboarding itself was slightly disappointing, mainly because the boards were so bad, just a tree thing with some Velcro straps on it. No boots or anything. So it was very difficult to sandboard and do the turns since your feet aren’t really stuck in the board, I did 2 times though, and the last 2 times I did as everybody else – just lying on my stomach on the board and going down the dune – it’s really fast and funny!

I know there are “professional” boards with boots, but I’m disappointed that they didn’t even say something about it here, that you have paid for this activity without knowing that it’s not going to be as in the pictures.. well well. It was worth anyways!

Doing some sandboarding! Haha. Such a bad board!

Doing some sandboarding! Very funny! But such a bad board! haha

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Going towards our next dune in the sunset :)

I met up with my host Jesus there after the sandboarding event, and with another girl from Spain, Laura, that was staying with him. On our way to his house, we also picked up a Japanese girl and Jill from the united states. So we were going to be 5 girls at the same time at Jesus! No one of us did know about it.  In the beginning I felt a little bit weird, mainly because I didn’t feel I could get to know Jesus well if we were so many.. but in the end I’m sooo glad they were there.  I wanted to shower when we got home because I had literally sand EVERYWHERE, but apparently the water is turned of after 22, so I couldn’t… and you can’t flush the toilet or wash your teeth either… weird thing to turn of! Haha. Oh and also, the house is under construction, so the toilet didn’t have a door…. also slightly weird to know that people can pass by or enter when you are sitting there… haha. But I took the shower curtain around me so I wasn’t that laid bare.. haha.

Next day we all went for a small walk around the city of Ica. Ica have had quite many earth quakes and all the buildings are damaged and ugly. It is really not a beautiful at all… so much traffic and noise.. I have NEVER seen so many mototaxis in my life! And they honk ALL THE TIME! Hahaha. Amazing.

The group is out for a small city tour around Ica

The group is out for a small city tour around Ica

Visiting a chocolate fabric, tasted some really taste bombons... mmmm yummy!

Visiting a chocolate fabric, tasted some really good pralines… mmmm yummy!

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Icas Big Ben… ;) You see how damaged it is..

We run some arrences, and I got an appointment for waxing, finally :) We had lunch at a chinese/Peruvian food place, it was actually really good, quite cheap, 6-9 soles (mine cost of course 9, even if it was without the meat, so typical! This is one thing I’ve noticed here, that they can do the vegetarian option for you, but you pay the same as if it was meat in it.. always makes me mad) but the good thing is that we took half of that with us as a doggy bag and had it for dinner too. But cold, since Jesus and his mother ran out of gas in the kitchen they said.

In the evening everybody left for Huacachina to do the sandboarding, but since I already had done it, I went to a saloon to do my vaxing. Such a nice place, and the guy who did it was so funny and sweet. Also, he sold me under the table a vax thing that looks like a flat deodorant sort of, you warm in the micro for 3 minutes and then roll it over your hair. It’s perfect for traveling. Haha.

The room we stayed in while couchsurfing. Here Minube (?) is calling to Japan..

The room we stayed in while couchsurfing. 5 girls…

Jesus and the girls picked me up on the way back and we got to the house. The Japanese girl, had just found out that her grandfather had died, so she had to go back to Japan tomorrow, after 9 months of traveling. She asked Jesus if she could borrow his computer with internet so that she could skype with her family and buy a ticket to Tokyo, and he said it was ok. But after like 5-10 minutes, Jesus mother comes in and asks me to tell her that she has to end the call, because the internet has a limit and she is the one who is paying. I asked if it was ok to pay her a couple of soles for using the internet but she didn’t let her. Weird.

A little bit crowded in the back of the taxi :) Haha

A little bit crowded in the back of the taxi :) Haha

Some beers and thé in Huacachina at night

Some beers and thé in a nice place in Huacachina at night.  In order to enter we asked them to turn down the music because they had it SO loud there that we even hear each other standing outside the bar!

We picked up two german girls and then dropped of the Japanese girl in the center so she could go to an internet café and then go to Lima to fix everything, the rest of us went to Huacachina for some drinks, but it was quite dead today, still nice to do something.

This morning I went to the other part of the house to ask if I could use the kitchen to do my breakfast (oatmeal, the new thing, sooo good and easy to do – if – you have a kitchen of course!) but this time the mother actually said “No, you are supposed to be in your part of the house and not here, and I’m soon going there myself to eat breakfast”… so now we got it black on white.  We were not welcome there. We have had our suspicions about it before, mainly because we couldn’t go to the kitchen (”we are out of gas”), and if we wanted to store anything in the fridge or charge a battery it was like ”um……well…… ok……” but we couldn’t go ourselves to the fridge to put it there, we had to stay at the door while they did it for us, even if the fridge was 2 metres from the door. So yes, we noticed that they didn’t want you to use their part of the house. I think that they earned a small commission for every time they sold a sandboarding tour.. that’s why they had so many couchsurfers there… I don’t know. But it was my first weird couchsurfing experience. Hopefully my last!!

Jill is having her breakfast in a big 2L-pet bottle since we couldn't even borrow a bowl from the kitchen... haha

Jill is having her breakfast in the bottom of a big 2L-pet bottle she have cut in halv since we couldn’t even borrow a bowl from the kitchen… haha

We girls went out to find a taxi to go Cachiche, which is known for being the centre of witchcraft in Peru. While walking outside looking for a yellow taxi, some women  sitting outside their house which we passed by runs towards us when we are standing in a corner of the street looking for taxis, and she tells us that this is not a safe area for us to be in at all. The day before two german girls had been sequestrated here… and we saw more and more “tough guys” gathering around us on their mototaxis… but happily the women had called a safe cab for us who picked us up and took us to Cachiche. I had heard earlier that this wasn’t a good area – by other taxi driver – but why doesn’t my host say anything about this??? It’s just too much… It made me dislike this place even more.

So.. in Cachiche then. It is a very very small little village, almost everything in ruins or construction – apparently everything was destroyed in the last earthquake. We went to the Parque de Cachiche where there is a statue of a very famous good witch, Julia, who cured the stammer of a boy, who later became a famous congressman in Lima and to thank her, he did this statue of her here.

I'm a beautiful witch ;)

I’m a beautiful witch ;)

The statue of the famous witch Julia Hernández Pecho Viuda de Díaz

The statue of the famous witch Julia Hernández Pecho Viuda de Díaz

Then we went to the museum just across the street from the park, and it looked closed, but they opened up for us and told us a little bit of the story there and a pyramid they have, some paintings etc. The man who owned a museum there was a warlock, but the place was under construction and wasn’t really open. It was nice to hear the legend though, and I think it will be a much bigger attraction soon too when they have fixed it, have a store, a restaurant  and some activites… like palm readings and tarot cards.

After that we visited the legendary Palmera de siete cabezas –  a young kid comes running to us and offers to tell us the legend about it, I ask how much it costs and he says “nada, solo su voluntad”.. soooo sweeeet, he starts by “hello, welcome to cachiche, my name is alberto and I’m going to tell you a little about the palm tree with seven heads”… such a good strong voice and interesting story.

Panorama over Cachiches Palm tree with seven heads!

Panorama over Cachiches Palm tree with seven heads/crowns!

Me in front of the Palmera de siete Cabezas, Cachiche

Me in front of the crowns of Palmera de las siete Cabezas, Cachiche

So the legend says that this tree was a normal straight tree and a meeting point for bad witches who did human sacrifices in return for knowledge about the future. One day one of the witches pulled the shortest stick and was supposed to get sacrified, but she objected and got so mad that she cursed this tree. Now it is a deformed tree, the trunk is twisted six times and is growing down in the sand and surging up in 6 different crowns. The seventh crown they cut every year, because it is said that if they allow the 7th head to grow, the town will go under. Once they didn’t cut the 7th head and the city was flooded. Now they never forget to cut the 7th head. 

We gave him one sol each, so he was really happy about it.. The tree is really weird. I can’t understand how this is possible, haha. How can ONE palm tree have SEVEN heads? And under the sand and everything.. amazing. There is only one other like this, but with 3 heads, somewhere in Africa..

Our guide in front of two of the heads of the palm tree.

Our little guide in front of two of the heads of the palm tree.

After cachiche we went to the town of Ica and had some ice cream, coffee and pizza. Then we went to a ciber café for an hour before going home.. The girls went to Huacachina to sandboard and Jill packed her bag and left for Cuzco with the 18 bus. Buhuuuu….. but I only have to stand one more night in this town before leaving tomorrow at 12pm… and I’m spending the evening alone in this apartment with my computer.. I’ve fixed all the pics, now I just need some internet, haha. Hopefully I will have time in Nazca :)  I have also watched like 5 episodes of Parks and recreation, they are sooo funny, love them, so I felt like I had a really great evening anyways :)

When the girls arrived, late, because they had taken a walk there and had dinner – we played a funny cardgame called Shithead, haha, very funny.

Bye!

On my way – first stop: Paracas

Finally: I’m on my way again. It feels good. I have been in Peru for over 3 weeks but I don’t really feel like I know Peru. I don’t know that much about the culture and what’s typical Peruvian. Well, more then the language of course, haha. For example, they say “ya” aaaall the time. Also they say “no más” all the time.  In the beginning I was all confused, especially while surfing.

This could be a conversation, I have to write it in Spanish though.
En el surf por ejemplo:
“Empiezas a remar cuando digo ya, ya!”
“Ya?” (empiezo a remar)
“No, ya no, ahorita cuando diga ya remas,  ya!
“Ahora?”
“no ya!”
“ya?”
“si ya rema rema ya!”

Jajajaj…

Otras cosas que dicen es: “Hasta allí no más” , No dicen “no quiero mas” (hablando comida), “allí esta” (sobre objetos en algún sitio) o “allí mismo” (si estas en ese justo sitio).. todo es “allí no mas”.  Tambien utilizan el “ya” como nosotros utilizamos el vale y otras palabras.  En español por ejemplo despues de comprar algo, decimos “Vale, gracias” y se responde “De nada”  pero aquí se dice   “Ya, gracias” “Ya”.
“Voy al baño, vale?” = Voy al baño, ya?
“Esto lleva carne, no?” = Esto lleva carne, ya?
“Te gusta esto, verdad?” = Te gusta esto, ya?

Es decir.. nosotros tenemos mucha mas variación, y aquí dicen Ya a todo.

Anyhow.. Back to what I was going to say… I’m glad that I’m on my way again.

I took the night bus with Cruz del Sur to paracas, and woooow, such a luxury bus, I wish the trip would have been longer then just 3,5-4 hours. I’ve never seen anything like that and never slept so well in a bus or anything. It was like 100 times better then the cinema chairs. They were so comfortable, I had arm rests and foot rest. And they gave you a pillow and a blanket too. And breakfast!!! You will never se this in Ecuador or in mexico! Haha.

This is where I'm staying. There are rooms from 15 soles (dorm) up to 40 soles (private). Clean and good place! With wifi :)

This is where I’m staying. There are rooms from 15 soles (dorm) up to 40 soles (private). Clean and good place! With wifi :)

I arrived 7.15 in the morning in Paracas, where someone was supposed to  pick me up, but no one did. Instead a tour group was kind to help me to get into town so that I could go to the meeting point for the tour to the Ballestas Islands that was supposed to leave at 8. I talked to the tour office and apparently they hadn’t got the info that my dates had changed, so they didn’t expect me until the 14th. It didn’t matter that much, I rescheduled the tour for next day and went to find a hostel, and there was one just across the street.

Went home and sleeept. I woke up, went for a walk, went home, slept again, woke up, went to eat dinner, went home, slept again, woke up, talked a little to Duilio, then I slept again – 8 hours in a row – without waking up even once, I didn’t hear anyone in the dorm or anything. I really needed this, haha.

Sea lions in isla ballestas :)

Sea lions in isla ballestas :)

So many birds everywhere!!!

So many birds everywhere!!!

Today I did go on the tour to the Ballestas Islands, it’s said to be the Galapagos of Peru, and it reminded me of it too. There were thoousaaaands of birds and sea lions in those islands. Quite amazing. We saw penguins too.

And on our way to the islands we stopped to see the Calendabre, which is dated to 220 before chris and it’s around 180 metres long, carved into the rock… It reminds of the Nazca lines (which I will see in a few days from an airplane), but the difference is that this is ‘around 60 cm deep,  and the Nazca lines are about 15-20 cm deep. Also they are only visible from airplanes, and this is not.  Still amazing. Who did this? And why?

Penguins, rocks and birds! Isla ballestas.

Penguins, rocks and birds! Isla ballestas.

The prehistoric geoglyph; El candelabro, dated 220 BCE. It's carved into the stone underneath the sand, about 61 cm depth (2 feet), and it's about 180 meters long (595 feet)

The prehistoric geoglyph; El candelabro, dated 220 BCE. It’s carved into the stone underneath the sand, about 61 cm depth (2 feet), and it’s about 180 meters long (595 feet)


I spent a couple of hours at the beach reading, it’s not the most beautiful beach but at least there is sand :)  In the afternoon I took a walk around the city, it’s really small, but I like it here, it’s calm in the evening, a lot of tourists only come for the day to do the ballestas islands. I hanged out with my roomie Guy from Israel, had dinner at the same place I ate dinner yesterday and lunch today, haha. Then we talked for hours in the hostel with another German girl, sharing travel stories and travel comfortable-tips haha (yes, there are built-in pillows in the head rest in the airplanes!).

The beach in Paracas. Not soo nice, but the best I've visited in Peru so far, it's still sand. ;)

The beach in Paracas. Not soo nice, but the best I’ve visited in Peru so far, it’s still sand. ;)

Now I’m heading to Huacachina to do some sandboarding.

(Hm.. apparently there’s no electricity here now, why does this always happen to me? So I guess I’ll have to upload this from my next destination. Still this with gas is really good because even if the electricity is of you can always cook, which isn’t possible in for example Sweden where we only have electrical stove)

Leaving Eco Truly for some surfing again

The last week in Eco Truly has been very calm but nice. There were some really weird atmosphere for one day, and some people left.. but then some other funny devotes returned and everything went back to normal. I’ve spent a lot of more time with the devotes this last week then before, and learned a lot about their culture, their love problems within the community etc. I really enjoy to be there and to talk to everybody.

But, everything has to come to and end, and to be honest, I felt that after 15 days I was done with that. I could of course have stayed for a week more if I wanted that, but I didn’t feel like I was going to miss anything by not doing it, since almost everyone I knew had already left or were going to leave on tuesday too.

Me and Sandra and a foggy valley behind (where we live, but you can't really see it in this pic.. haha)

Me and Sandra and a foggy valley behind where we live, but you can’t really see it in this pic.. haha

Lisa in front of the temple. I love her! She always protects me.

Lisa in front of the Truly that’s up at the hill. I love Lisa! She always protects me. Going to miss her so much!

Some devotes having fun at the beach :)

Some devotes having fun at the beach :)

Me and Madre Yoshi! She gave me the beautiful earrings I'm wearing too. :)

Me and Madre Yoshi! She gave me the beautiful earrings I’m wearing too. :)

Also, I was going to meet up with Fausto from Mexico, we took surf lessons together in Puerto Escondido, and now he was going to Lima for a couple of days (he works as a flight captain). Lima is only a couple of hours away from Eco Truly, so I brought Didac with me too, he has been having some problems with his stomach and been going through some emotional stuff and he needed some environmental change. We arrived here on Tuesday, went to Lion Backpackers hostal again, then Fausto came here and we walked down to the beach to Johnnys surf :) So funny, people still remembered me there! They all knew I was ”Johnnys chica” haha.

Haha, greeting Alberto, our other surf teacher. Looks like we have been friends forever, which wasn't the case!

Haha, greeting Alberto, our other surf teacher. Looks like we have been friends forever, which wasn’t the case! (Didacs pic)

Ready to surf! :D

Ready to surf! :D

One surf guy had seen me walking in Miraflores and tried to tell Johnny that he had seen me, but he didn’t know my name, so Johnny didn’t understand who he meant until we got there. Still amazing since I had only been in Miraflores for about one hour before going down to the beach! Haha. The surf was great, so much fun, I love it. Fausto and Didac was up over the heels aswell. It was Didacs first time and I haven’t seen him this happy anytime during the 2 weeks in the park, haha.

After surfing we went to the hostal to change and then we got out to grab some dinner. Fausto wanted to try Ceviche, wich is a typical Peruvian dish. We got to a quite fancy restaurant, since me and Didac was looking to eat for around 10 soles, and this costed around 30 soles, but totally worth it. I had an amaaaazing plate, it was delicious, and we got treated so well. :) Then we went to have some drinks close to the Kennedy park, before having a somewhat early night.

Like the best meal ever... wowow. Vegetarian piqueo... so a little bit of everything... so yummy!

Like the best meal ever… wowow. Vegetarian piqueo… so a little bit of everything… so yummy!

Next day, surf again! Haha. Of course! We all took a lesson in the morning, and it was a lovely sunny day! After lunch Barca played, so Didac went to the hostal to see the football game, while me and Fausto got down to the beach to surf again, but this time we only rented boards and wetsuits, so we didn’t take a surf lessons, we were just going to try to surf by ourselves…. and it went really well!!!!! I’m so glad, I didn’t think I would be able to even get up in one wave, but I got like 5 really good ones! So happy. But also soooo tired, because you paddle a lot more when you don’t have a teacher who tells you which wave will work and not, haha.  We stayed until the sun got down.. so beautiful!

Time to surf day 2!

Time to surf day 2!

Sunset at beach Makaha. Lovely!

Sunset at beach Makaha. Lovely!

Miraflores at night

Miraflores at night

At night we were all really dead and went out to eat dinner, almost as expensive as yesterday but much worse food, not worth it… we ate in calle Las Pizzas, very touristic.. We said Good Bye to Fausto who were flying back to Mexico early in the morning. So fun to see him again!!

And today, me and Didac went down to the beach again, of course. Last surf! I did it myself again, so nice :) Also it only costs 20 soles instead of 60, so I saved a bit :) I tried a smaller board too, much more difficult, I fell so many times due to different balance, haha, but it was an experience.;)  I’m sad that this really is my last day of surfing in Lima, I don’t know when it will be next time…. buhu… love the feeling there!

In the evening we went shopping at the handcrafts market, and I bought a lovely colourful warm poncho. I am now leaving for colder temperatures, no beach for a while now… it’s good to be prepared :) Taking the bus at 3.40 am…. so now I’m just hanging around here at the hostal. I have to leave at 21.30 though, if I don’t pay for another night… Which I wont… haha.

Until next!

 

Roadtrip with the Hare Krishna

Hello!

Esteban left today, but he’ll be back in 5 days or so, good.. haha. I can’t deal with more good byes right now! Everybody except Didac here are going to leave during this week.  I feel more depressed when other people leave me then when I leave them. I think it’s because I’m still in the same place and I have memories here with them, so it makes it harder to get used to being here without them. But when I’m the one who is leaving, I get sad because they life keeps going on but without me in the picture. But it’s easier, because I go to a new place where I don’t have any memories of them there, so it’s only in my mind and not in the surroundings….

Roadtrip with devotes and volunteers! Singing in the bus :)

Roadtrip with devotes and volunteers!

Anyhow.. I wrote that a couple of days ago. Yesterday we had a day off, so we did a small excursion out to a park where there are pools and slides. We had lunch there are played volleyball too. It was very nice to do something else with all the devotes. So weird to see them “as normal people” with swim clothes and throwing them down the slides haha.  The bus ride there was looong though… they woke us up at 4.45 and were like “the bus leaves in 30 minutes! Get ready!” so we did, and then we sat there waiting for hours for everybody and for the food.. So we didn’t leave until around 7… and then we got stuck in traffic on the way… so I think we arrived like around 13 or something. Very long bus trip! 
And the same on our way back, but we stopped by another Hare Krishna temple there that comes from another kind of Hare Krishna, this is more hindu and they  come from a part called Viscos or something like that, while the one in Eco Truly Park is Brindas… yeah…

In the pool! We had some swim competitions :) So weird to see everyone in their bathing suits.

In the pool! We had some swim competitions :) So weird to see everyone ”normal”, in their bathing suites, relaxing and having a good time.

Walking around in the area. :)

Walking around in the area. :)

But I really enjoyed the road trip mainly because it was the first time I really hang out with the devotes and not only the volunteers. I got to know them in a total other way. Heard about all the internal “love problems” over here and stuff haha. But also I dared to ask them more personally stuff, like how they became Hare Krishna and about their life and their futures now. It’s quite interesting, mostly of the young devotes have only been here for a year or two, and found it by themselves. One because she went to a Hare Krishna restaurant and loved the food, the other because he fell in love with a girl who was Hare Krishna.. etc.

It took me like a week to realize that they are just like regular people, except for they pray and sing songs every night. But it wasn’t until yesterday I hadn’t spoken to them as regular people either, but with the respect of someone religious who you don’t know how to talk to really..

It’s really a nice religion. I like the ecological, spiritual and vegetarian way of living… But every temple has their own believes and rules, even if they all are Hare Krishna there are different kinds of it.. like in the temple were we are, it’s quite cool and “modern” compared to others, one girl had been doing her service in another temple and they were much more harder, for example the woman is not supposed to show their body in front of men,  so she wears quite much long-sleeved clothes and didn’t swim in the pool with the others, or a woman can’t be alone with another devote in the same room, because it can be tempting.. it’s not like that here… Good. I’m not a big fan of that “fanatic” thing with rules. This suites me fine.

another temple a little bit more different

another temple a little bit more different

Another beautiful temple

Inside of the temple .. beautiful!

Today Amy left us… haha, she knows how I feel about the good byes, so she was like ”Don’t cry now!” haha.. We aren’t so many left here now, but it arrived 3 other girls here who are staying for a week, and I think I’ll be staying until next tuesday, so 6 more days,  so there won’t be more good byes then! :) Oh well, I will have 2 more good byes with Rainer and Liona, who also are two of the ”original troup” who has been here all the time while I’ve been here who are leaving this week.. Then no more good byes before I leave, hopefully! Oh.. well there are some devotes who are leaving too this week… well… I guess it’s never-ending so I’ll just have to get used to it!! Damn it.

 

Until next!