After the incredible landcapes, huge condors and freakishly large bees of Colca Canyon we returned to the teeny tiny streets of Chivay. An aside about the bees- there are these giant bees at the canyon that apparently “don’t sting” and they became fascinated by me and kept landing on me at all opportunities. I’m 100% sure one stung me through my leggings. At one point I had 6 of them chilling on my dungarees. I must look like a flower.
After a brief lie down in my very own double bed (hallelujah) we decided to go to the hot springs for a dip. After reversing down a tiny “road” and walking across a “bridge” we arrived at the springs. The sun was behind the mountain and it was cold. Was this a good idea? We werent convinced. We teamed together to invade the hottest pool and push out the people who were already enjoying it. 5 minutes later we had it to ourselves and it was bliss!
This hand symbol is a llama by the way- what else would you do in South America? The springs were built next to a river and it was all quite picturesque in theory…in reality it smelt a bit funky and there was a group of leering Peruvian men standing next to the pools but we had fun.
That evening it was decided it was time to try guinea pig. This is a Peruvian thing people seem to love, we saw the strange house with the family living in the same room as 3 generations of guinea pigs during the Lares trek and we saw the random man roasting them in the “bakery”. Not my vibe. Guinea pigs are pets.
This is how it is served and it literally looks like it’s been charred alive because of its expression. And it has been flattened. All a bit much for me. Anyway it got dissected, people looked at its brain, took photos with claws etc etc. I felt a bit nauseous and had a tomato and cucumber salad.
After this event we got the night bus to Nazca. We were rudely awakened with no five minute warning in Nazca and stumbled out of the bus with no clue what was going on. Once we arrived at where we were staying however we were happy as larry. It was hot. There was a pool. What more could anyone need? Alcohol and bread apparently so a few kind and wonderful volunteers took a taxi to the market. I stayed by the pool and waited for Tom to bring me water and wine (like Jesus).
The purpose of being in Nazca really is to look at the Nazca lines from a plane, but it’s very expensive. Luckily for me Mike has a super drone and sent that off to do the job for us. The Nazca lines are the second of Peru’s mysteries because no one knows why they are there or what their purpose is. Those Incas sure were secretive.
I went up to one of the view points to see 3 of the different symbols and they’re like crop circles in the desert. Strange. I’m not sure they would have been aware of what they looked like from above when they were created so it is all a bit of a mystery.
The rest of the time in Nazca was spent having a pool party which everyone loved and enjoyed the warmth and chance to chill out.
So much going on in one photo.
In the evening I went back in time to almost 10 years ago (how distressing) and played some good old drinking games. Of course I lost “smoke or fire” but being 27 and a loser I refused to down the “dirty” pint because you know…I’m not 18. Various strange, secret whats app conversations and a lot of alcohol later we went to bed.
The following day we travelled to Huacachina, which is basically an oasis in the middle of the desert.
I’ve had my fair share of sand from the Sahara so I opted to stay by the pool whilst other people went out to the sand dunes. Later we travelled to Paracas, with high hopes of sun and a pool on the coast. Unfortunately we woke up to clouds so we drowned our sorrows by eating pancakes (some of us having more pancakes than others-Eliza) and ate so much food we were getting looks of disgust from girls picking at their food on another table. We bought some more “tat” from the market and then went to get a bus to Lima.
We marvelled at the fact Lima has apparent wealth, nice apartments and real clothes shops. Eliza and I were wearing our travel pants. Don’t feel like Lima is a place for alpaca jumpers and stripy bottoms. We were out of our depth. The roads were terrifying.
We had a lovely final meal together, sad goodbyes and I set off for the airport at 11 pm. Connected to wifi after after about 2 hours to find out that Hannah had left her driving license and credit card in my bag. Clever move. Left Hannah’s valuables with an anxious adolescent at money exchange (forced him to accept responsibility for them) and finally checked in. Flight was delayed until 5am and I got detained at every stage of passport control. After being heavily questioned about my life, who knows what my passport flagged up, I was the final person on the plane and sat in a middle seat next to a baby. Yayyyy. It wasn’t so bad the baby was adorable and called Isabella and I made friends with her mum. I watched Everest and cried. Now I am in Toronto airport waiting to fly to sunny Manchester TO SEE MY FAMILY. Oh family I have missed you. Might film my reunion with Alby.
39 days until I move to Malaysia. Time to see family and friends, eat cheese, drink Yorkshire tea and persuade some more people to go on other adventures with me.
Peruvian adventure over. Big, big love to all the people who made it an incredible experience and those who put up me when I was feeling at the bottom of my game.