Now thoroughly into deepest, darkest Peru sitting at around 4700m in Chivay it is time to recap some of th past month's activities...
Peru is very different from Ecuador and Colombia, contrasting desert, a coastline of golden sandy beaches, treacherous mountain passes and some very tall hills.
After a couple of beach resort stays- sleeping on hammocks under the stars ahead of a 5 am start!- we saw some cultural stuff at hauchaco. some pre-inca ruins. watched the sunset on the beach and tried some cerviche.
Huaraz was next on the agenda, more high altitude stuff including a trek to laguna 69 which took 6 hours and a lot of breathlessness. pictures were well worth it though.
Following Huaraz it was a drive to Lima where we partied one more time before the change of group, crew and truck. Welcome mamasita.
First stop after Lima were some islands (Ballistas islands) which are the galapagos of peru. they are famed for being a rich source of bird poo which is harvested every 5 to 10 years apparently. Now that is culture! saw some sea lions, birds, crabs, dolpihns and that is about it really.
For the afternoon we headed to the nearby sand dunes for an afternoon of sand buggying, dune boarding and then following by a bbq in the dunes where we slept in our sleeping bags under the stars. Top drawer.
Nazca...famous for the lines..we had some tours around local Nazca burial grounds and temples of the Nazca people. the tour guide 'jenson' was incredibly enthusiastic and even brought his guitar along to dinner so we all sing along to classic brit rock tunes such as wonderwall. bless.
The lines were very impressive, I bought a flight to see them from the air. more impressive that they drew these large pictures from ground level.
Think we did some more camping on the beach and had a punch party. that was good fun and then we hit up Arequipa. a beautiful town offering us the chance to relax and chillout. Good local markets offering sooo much fruit and veg. A few of us found a peruvian craft beer place around lunch time, in the early hours of the next day we met jesus, sandals and all, turns out he has a dutch girlfriend and aspirations to move to adelaide.
So the next day we head to Chivay, nice and high to help us acclimatise ahead of the inca trail in a few days time. Very exciting!