A Travellerspoint blog

In the Cordillera Blanca

Our travels to Huaraz and Lima

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Huaraz and Lima
Hi! It has been well over a week since the last time we posted anything, but we have been travelling so much that we really did not have any time to write things!! And in addition we did not have connection to the internet for the past five days…

Last time we left you with an account of our journey to Chiclayo, so I am going to continue from there. After leaving Trujillo we arrived to the city of Huaraz, located just about in the middle of Peru in Cordillera Blanca. We arrived at 5.30 am in the morning and the hostel we had in mind was completely full. It was a cold morning and we were on the streets of a town we knew nothing about and nobody in. Not a good situation, but our taxi driver found us a temporary couch in one of the other hostels to sleep on for a couple hours untill everyone was awake. After waiting for a couple hours we ventured out and found a place to stay with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, and then decided to wander around the town. Huaraz is a peruvian capital of all sorts of extreme sports, everything from trekking in the beautiful mountains to mountain biking and climbing the glaciers. It is full of great restaurants and artisan shops (I finally bought my Peruvian Sweater) and also specialty equipment shops for all of your trekking needs. There is also a bunch of expats from Europe and America that have made Huaraz their home.

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So, we ventured out to find a company that would take us trekking for a day. We succesfully found one and scheduled a trip to Lake 69, which is supposed to be one of the main tourist attractions and one of the most beautiful places to see in Peru, but the next day after leaving early in the morning, our bus had to turn back – threre was a miners strike and all the roads around Huaraz were blocked. (Nobody could get in or out of town) Later we met up with Sandra, whom we have met previously in Chachapoyas and one other new friend Anish, and ended up taking a taxi to Lake Churup trail, which was closer to town and just straight up the mountains from Huaraz. It took us about an hour to get to the trailhead on a very bumpy road, which went through some very picturesque local villages. Once we started hiking I realized I wasn´t going to make it – at over 3000 meters altitude there just was no air! So about 10 minutes in I bailed, and Ryan with company went on. I spent the next five hours relaxing with beautiful views and reading my book… I am glad I did – the hike was very strenuous and at times even dangerous. But Ryan said it was all worth it!

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Upon coming back from the mountains we had a very satisfying pizza dinner in a local restaurant and called it a night. Next day Sandra and Anish were going to trek the Santa Cruz trail, but after waiting around for a few hours they had to quit – the strike was still on and the roads were still blocked. (This is not the first time in Peru that we are very thankful not to be on a tight schedule) But we were glad they stayed and we hung out together. After spending some more time in Huaraz we had dinner with more new friends and got on yet another night bus to Lima.

Lima is huge! There are many neighborhoods here, but we chose to stay in Miraflores, one of the prettier places, full of restaurants and shops and things to do. It was Saturday when we arrived here and also my birthday! After much aggrevation we bought plane tickets to Iquitos, and later went out at night and had a great dinner and wine! The next day we spent visiting Museo de la Nacion and then walking in the old center of Lima, which is beautiful and chock full of boroque architecture. We just kept stumbling onto more great things, such as a traditional food festival, beautiful churches, and free of charge museums and exhibits! We really like Lima, but the next day it was time for us to leave and go to Iquitos and the mighty Amazonian Jungle!

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Posted by Drifters 13:15 Archived in Peru Tagged mountains Comments (0)

More of Peru - Huanco, Chiclayo, Trujillo and Huanchaco

Starting to Feel Like We Live on a Bus

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We had one more day left in Chachapoyas before heading overnight on yet another bus to Chiclayo. Since we had already thoroughly explored the small town by foot, I decided to relax in the hostel most of the day, but Anastasia ventured off to the nearby town of Huancas. Huancas is known for producing a lot of handmade pottery, and she had the opportunity to see how it is made and do some shopping. There is also a beautiful mirador in Huancas with a great view of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

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Upon Anastasia’s return to Chachapoyas we went out for dinner for the fourth day in a row to Sabor de Peru, and had a very filling meal before taking off on the bus. It was a long bus ride overnight to Chiclayo, but the seats were extremely comfortable and we were all able to get some sleep. Upon arrival in Chiclayo we checked into the budget hotel Mochicas. It wasn’t the nicest place, but clean, not smelly, and the owner was very friendly and gave us more information than we could ever need about the city and surrounding area (He reminded us of Uncle George in Michigan!) This was our last day travelling with our newfound friend Sophie before she had to head to Lima and back to England for a friend’s wedding, so we wanted to make the best of the day.

Chiclayo is the 4th largest city in Peru, and was quite a shock after spending the last couple weeks in smaller towns and villages throughout Peru and Ecuador. We took a short walk around the city and got breakfast before taking a taxi ride about 10 minutes to the neighboring town of Lambayeque. They have a museum in Lambayeque dedicated to the ruins of Sipan, more accurately the graves of rulers of Sipan, which was the main reason for our visit to Chiclayo. Unfortunately, the security at the museum is very tight and we were not allowed to take any photos, but the museum was amazing, and all the artifacts and information they had from 1700 years ago about the era of the Mochicas were really interesting. After spending a couple hours there, we went to the Museo Arqueologico Bruning with artifacts collected the last few thousand years around the Lambayeque area.
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The mummies were greatly preserved and there was a pretty good collection of colonial silver aritifacts. So after another couple hours in this museum Sophie and I had had enough learning for the day and were ready to head back to Chiclayo. We had a great chinese dinner at one of the "chifas" and finally some chocolate cake and then sent Sophie off at the bus station with hopes to see her again when she returns to Peru in a couple weeks. After our goodbyes, we went off to the grocery store and got some fantastic bread called ¨Cachanga¨(Anastasia´s new favorite) and a bottle of wine (Anastasia´s old favorite) to drown our sorrows in, and relaxed for the rest of the evening watching ¨Fashion Police¨(Hello E!) on TV.

We spent one more day in Chiclayo and thought about going to another ruin site of Tucume, (about 45 minutes away) but decided against it because we were pretty exhausted from all the tours and travelling of the previous week. Maybe the wine had somethhing to do with it too, I am not sure. So, after an uneventful day, we were rested and ready for another bus ride the next morning. We left early to head to the mountain town of Huaraz through the city of Trujillo, because we thought it was about 9 hours away. However, after a very nice 3 hour ride to Trujillo we were informed that there were only night buses from Trujillo to Huaraz, and that we would need to stay with our huge packs in Trujillo for another 10 hours before the bus departed. Anastasia immediately had the great idea to head to the nearby beach town of Huanchaco to pass the time since we didn’t want to spend all day inhaling bus fumes at the station. (Plus she never really needs much of a reason to go to the ocean) So we flagged down a taxi and after a 20 minute ride spent a fantastic day eating, drinking, and watching the local fisherman and surfers before we went back to spend another night trying to sleep on a bus.

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We have been doing a lot of travelling in Peru (which takes a long time compared to the smaller countries in Central America and Ecuador) and have seen so many amazing things already, but we haven´t even gotten to the real touristy areas of Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and Arequipa. Plus we definitely want to go to the Amazon here too, but constantly feel like we need to move faster because there are so many other places to see. We met a woman in Ecuador who spent 3 years travelling in Peru, and I can definitely understand why now. She most likely spent half of that time waiting for buses and trying to book a nice hostel...Time will only tell how long we end up staying here in Peru, but we are definitely enjoying our time, and as we have already realized on this trip, it´s impossible to see everything even if you spend a whole lifetime trying.

Huanchaco

Huanchaco

Huanchaco

Huanchaco

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Posted by Drifters 13:07 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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