Peru Recap - Our first month back on the road
Wow, this month has flown by! and our time in Peru has come to an end - for now. We haven't quite gotten our fill of Pisco Sours, Caldo di Gallina, Chicharron, Inca ruins and canyons, so it looks like a return trip is in our future, but for now, we are Ecuador bound. We'll be spending 10 days in Quito and Banos with Ruben's son and a friend. Hopefully the 20-somethings can keep up!
A quick recap of Peru:
We ate and walked our way through Lima for 2 days, including the Combinado plate at Al Toke Pez (a giant platter of ceviche mixto, chicharron de pescado and arroz y mariscos, served with a glass of chicha morado, a surprisingly tasty juice made from purple corn and spices) for S./17 ($5.25) and an extravagant dinner at Astrid y Gaston, perennially named to lists of the top 100 restaurants in the world, for my first taste of Cuy (guinea pig).
And yes, we saw the sights: Huaca Pucllana - an archeological site in the heart of Miraflores, dating from 200-700AD - the historical center, pretty parks and congested buses. I was pleasantly surprised by the city - definitely worth the layover.
From there, we flew to Cusco and trekked to Choquequirao, a lesser known, but no less dramatic Incan site, before continuing on to Machu Picchu (full blog post of our 9 day adventure coming soon); rode horses around the ruins above the city; watched parades and festivities that lasted 2 weeks; hiked to Rainbow Mountain; and wandered through the markets and narrow streets before continuing on the the lovely town of Arequipa.
Where Cusco is dominated by sienna colored buildings, Arequipa's main structures are white stone. The city is vibrant and feels less touristy and more lived in than Cusco, was filled with abundant sunshine and is the gateway to Colca Canyon. Another 4 days on the trail took us to the hot springs in Llahuar, the waterfall in Fure, the ruins in Tapay, calming silence and amazing night skies filled with constellations and glimpses of the Milky Way.
Our final stop was Huacachina - a desert oasis just outside of Ica. We went dune-buggying and sand boarding on the massive dunes that surround the oasis and "found" the Lost Canyon, a recent geological find in the middle of the desert.
A bus ride to Lima, a flight to Quito and off for more adventures!