Well it wasn't rest yet! It was the easiest customs we've ever passed through and extremely daunting when we walked outside. People filled the streets!! Luckily we had booked a transfer with the hostel and there was a young man waiting with a sign with our names printed on it!!
The drive from the airport was scary and my seatbelt didn't work. We passed through one of the most dangerous suburbs of Lima and were warned to lock our doors. I have been in western civilisation for too long, I was scared again!! We finally made it to the hostel, checked in and got talking to our roomies who have been all over South America!! They were so friendly. By the time we hit the restaurant it was closed so we enjoyed a brownie and a bag of crisps for dinner!! We showered before bed which felt so so good and hit the pillow we were shattered!!
The next day we had our free breakfast got ready and planned to head out to explore with two roomies!! But before I had a quick Skype home to wish my amazing Nana a Happy 81st Birthday!! The people we spoke to last night checked out early but left Ed and I a very sweet note with their email if we need any help in the future!!
We headed out for a wander and made it a plan to try traditional Peruvian food. It was amazing so yummy!! Basically rice, veg, spices, pork and chicken bites! After lunch we took the bus into the city and explored down town Lima. We visited various churches and government buildings which were stunning!! It was a daunting place to wonder round and it happened to be national earth quake day so the whole nation undergo a practice drill just in case! We were in the main square and some workers wanted pictures with me haha!! The square was packed full!!
We went on to visit the famous Francisco Cathedral which was pretty! We then walked to find the water fountain that is renown for nightly light shows, however it was so far and the area wasn't as safe so we made our way back by public bus to Mira Flores where we were staying. We got back had a short rest and I caught up with diary writing before we decided to venture out to a famous sandwich shop in the city square! We met our Cuban roomie and enjoyed dinner together which was delicious. We spent the rest of the evening in the hostels common room catching up with the blog!! I finally updated the blog up until the start of Peru which felt good after being behind for so long! The drug presence was very high which meant it was noisy all night in the hostel!! We got speaking to a young girl who had been robbed in Columbia which sounded awful not ideal to hear on your first day in South America!!
The next day was check out day and the day we started our 20 day tour! We gathered our things, had breakfast and walked to our new hotel which was by the sea and quite a walk with our 20kg bags!!
We checked in and couldn't believe we had a huge double room with our own bathroom we were very happy!!
We had a wander around the beach area and visited the new shopping mall along the coast which was nice! We saw a catholic wedding which went on for the whole day!! Then we headed back to meet our group before dinner.
Our group was small and consisted of two other couples. 1 German (Katerine and Achim) who were late 30'S and the other Scottish on their honeymoon (Fiona and Callum) both 28! So we were the babies!! We got to know one another and had a safety briefing on all aspects of the trip!
After Ed and I were a little disappointed as we were meant to enjoy a group dinner but both couples wanted to do separate things!! So Ed and I headed to a traditional Peruvian nearer to the square. We tried another traditional dish which is basically mash potato avocado and chicken it was again yummy!! We also tried the local beverage- Pisco. Which is very strong like Vodka, mine was served beautifully in a massive pineapple it was yummy!! We headed back and enjoyed an early night in our own luxury room!!
The next day we quickly headed to the supermarket for fruit and then met in the reception and boarded our private bus to the bus station! We then caught our bus to Paracas. The bus was 1st class compared the buses we had been used to in Australasia!!! We were given snacks, had full reclining seats with foot rests and a movie!! Admittedly the chicken roll was vile and I didn't eat it haha. We drove through the deserted coast and we managed to drift off to sleep. I was thinking of home a lot today with it being the anniversary of Uncle Paul's death. I was feeling ready for home for lots of hugs and kisses!!
We arrived at 5pm and got a private car to the hotel, we were told it was basic but we were both very chuffed with it. We stayed on the roof and looked out onto the sea!! As we checked in I happened to spot someone I had met in New Zealand which was very strange!! This trip has taught me that this world is far smaller than you think!
We walked down to the beach and caught the sunset which was very pretty, before venturing out for dinner. Both couples were lovely and we enjoyed pleasant conversation all evening. The German couple decided to go home but we stayed for a few drinks and got to know one another. Pisco after pisco went down well and we found out it was Pedro our tour guides birthday so of course a celebratory drink was consumed!! On our late night walk back from the bar the town shut down all it's electricity so it was extremely dark and scary finding our way home!!
The next day the German couple- Katerine and Achim headed on an excursion to the balesta islands to see seals and different bird wildlife which we decided to give a miss and save our money as we've seen a lot of wildlife on previous trips. Sadly they only saw a few birds on their trip!
We had a lazy morning and sat down with our tour guide to discuss our future plans across South America, as we have nothing planned!! He was very helpful and told us places many tourists wouldn't stop and know about!!
I started to feel sick nearer to lunch time and ended up chucking my guts up for the rest of the morning which was pleasant!! After a small rest we then jumped on another bus to head towards a local Pisco winery! We had a tour of the vineyards and were shown traditional ways of making tasty Pisco!! The winery was filled with wild point setters which really made me think of home, both my mum and my nana would have loved them.
We were given shots and jams to taste which most of the time I opted out of! The winery also made pecan chocolate which I of course tried and it was delicious!!
After our tour we headed to the Oasis in Huachinni. This place was gorgeous, we jumped in sand buggies and headed out onto the dunes for an adventure ride across the dessert. It was so thrilling we were catching air on some and heading vertically down the dunes. Once the driver found a good spot we sand boarded down the dunes which sounds a lot easier than it was, it was quite scary!!!
Ed managed to stand and get almost all the way down the dune, I stuck to laying on my front!! The driver also kindly took us to a dried up Oasis which wasn't part of the tour, it was so cool with barren trees and shrubs left over!! Felt like a scene in Lion King!
We had a lovely lunch and tried a few more Peruvian favourites and then headed back on our private bus to Nazca. We stopped half way for fresh oranges and then to a viewing point to see the Nazca lines!
We climbed a basic scaffolding tower of around 50 metres where we could view some of the mysterious Nazca lines that still puzzle people today! There are over 30 theories as to who or what formed them. Their huge unexplainable presence is better seen from the air but as we could see one already pretty good we decided to opt out of the extra flight!!
We finally made it to the hotel and went for a short orientation walk around the town. We grabbed fruit to mix with our Pisco we had brought earlier and made some yummy dinner drinks!! We had anther great dinner I enjoyed steak with bacon, mash and veg so yum!!
The next morning we leisurely got up and finished our planning of South America! The others went for their flight over the Nazca lines, they said it was good but not much different from what we had seen yesterday!! We were glad we didn't pay out for it in the end!! Once the others returned we headed out for a late lunch which was at a traditional Peruvian chicken restaurant similar to Nandos back home but non touristy and a hidden gem our helpful guide showed us!!
It was delicious, perfectly cooked I had chicken with salad and Ed enjoyed a whole chicken with chips haha!!
After lunch we were driven to the 2000 year old Inka cemetery which was extremely interesting! We were out in the middle of no where and were guided around the different tombs viewing what was left after the grave robbers took their valuables! Still inside were mummies found in the area which had hair and teeth still it was for-nominal! Even small babies were preserved and placed with their families! One had a bird they had also preserved! Sadly their belongings gold, silver, materials and pottery had been stolen and destroyed but we headed to a pottery place where some had been restored. This family were the only ones allowed to replicate and restore the pottery. The man showed us how they made and used the land to produce such spectacular instruments, ornaments and domestic items.
We were still full from lunch so grabbed snacks at the supermarket then our big bags from the hotel and headed to the bus station!! Peru's roads are filled with either beetles or these small Japanese cars that were used in huge factories, they are only legal here!! We boarded our night bus to Arequipa after a short wait and again it was luxury we had blankets and pillows as well as snacks and a film we fell straight into a comfy sleep!!