Peru to Bolivia

We left Huacachina on an Econociva bus that we paid 80 soles for.

Preparing for the worst, as we know how bad they can be, they still managed to surprise us by being 2 hours late. This would be ok if we didn’t spend an afternoon on a Pisco tour which only added to our confusion at the bus station.

The ride itself was 13.5 hours of pure joy (not really), we slept and binged watched Netflix. Finally in Arequipa (again) we bought our ticket to Puno and had 2 hours to kill so we went for açai bowls in the city centre.

We got our ticket for 15 soles at the station. Online & in tourist shops they sell them for 120 soles, talk about a bargain.

Bus number 2, a day time bus of 6 hours, piece of cake we thought. Not so much. Being awake is so much worse and the amount of times you need to visit the half dingy toilet is gross. But yet again we made it. We stayed the night in Puno but decided to skip any tours as we will be doing them on the Bolivian side. We managed to get another 15 soles bus ticket over the border to Bolivia (purchased at the station). The border was quick and easy. Thanks to our Swedish and Australian passports we didn’t needed to pay a thing and we also didn’t need a visa. A small tip is to bring a copy of your passport.

This now means we have left Peru and arrived in Bolivia!

IMG_2703

IMG_8344

We are also back on high altitude. You would think we would be used to it by now. Let’s just say that we are not.

 

Huacachina, Ica Peru

Teddy was devastated when he missed the La Guajira desert on Colombia’s north coast. So of course when we heard about Huacachina in Peru, heading there was a no brainer. Huacachina sits 3 hours south of Lima and about 15 minutes from the desert city if Ica. Its easily one of the coolest places we have been. Nestled between some of the worlds biggest sand dunes (the biggest being in neighbouring city Nazca) Huacachina is a desert oasis like no other.

IMG_2680

IMG_2688

Spend the day paddling a boat on the lake, soaking up sunshine on sand dunes or walking up the behemoths to sand board and ski back down again. Everything about huachina is great, our hostel was the Desert Nights Hostel, which had the feel of a Saudi Arabian desert palace.

We spent our first day tanning in the desert sun. Drinking on our rooftop bar and eating delicious desert food. We wanted to ride the buggies across the desert sands for the sunset, unfortunately that week an accident occurred and all motorsports in the area were shut down. ATV tours were still operating in the desert next door but we wouldn’t recommend. It was less ‘tour’ and more ‘drive around in a circle for 40 minutes’.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7195.JPG

Day 2 had us on a wine and Pisco bodega tour. we definitely recommend, the bodega street is like something out of an old western and you get great value for money. We felt the Pisco three shots in and they just kept coming our way. If you like your Pisco strong and wine super sweet, then Ica is the place for you.

IMG_2064

IMG_9005

That evening we hiked up the biggest dune we could find for the sunset, finished a bottle of Lucuma Pisco and a few beers at the top and boarded down in terrible fashion.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7182.JPG

IMG_6193

If you like sand between your toes (and everywhere else you can think off) you will love this little place.

IMG_6453

IMG_5020

IMG_3862

Costs:-

ATV Tour: 60 Soles p/p (Price possibility raised due to lack of buggies)
Pisco Tour: 25 Soles p/p
Board rental: 5-8 Soles per board (We did meet someone selling for 35)
Hostel: 25 Soles p/p

Arequipa, Peru

I know, I know, it’s been a while. Sometimes that happens when you spend the majority of your time on busses.

So what’s been happening (Other than the copies amounts of music and Netflix we have gone through on our bus trips)?

We left Puerto Maldonado for Arequipa on the 7th of August, thinking we had an 8 hour bus ahead. It wasn’t, the bus was 15.5 hours long and very uncomfortable. But we made it, as always. We got off the bus to sunshine and 25 degrees, do I need to tell you this made us very happy. No, no we Don’t. Naturally this required a rooftop hostel, we chose World Backpackers.

Arequipa is the Medellin Peru, except the snow stays on mountain tops here, not little bags. What we mean is that it is the city of eternal spring in Peru. Weather is amazing for 11 months of the year. The Spanish influence on the architecture is also the strongest in Peru. We recommend staying here for at least 2 nights.

37550569_1901527193227485_4803244738104786944_n
View from the hostel roof

We celebrated my birthday (9th-11th) in a Airbnb that Teddy had organised. A beautiful apartment overlooking the city. We ate, drank, danced, played cards and ended our Friday in one of the many nightclubs around Plaza del Armas. Although I have never felt so out of place before, blond hair get’s you more attention in Peruvian clubs than we expected. So much so that we ended up in the VIP section within our first 10 minutes.

IMG_3686

We left Arequipa relaxed and ready for new adventures (yet another 13 hour bus, however we paid the extra and went with Cruz Del Sur, and what a difference) in Huacachina.

World Backpackers Hostel: $28 Soles each. A very nice place!

Bus Prices:- 

Puerto Maldonado to Arequipa = 70 Soles (Book your ticket at the station, much better value)

Arequipa to Ica = 120 Soles with Cruz Del Sur (You can find cheaper but for this bus trip we thought it was worth it).

IMG_1154

IMG_4443

IMG_1904

IMG_6792

IMG_5171

IMG_7271

 

 

 

The Amazonas

 

A wide river, caiman, macaws, monkeys, spiders, giant rodents, giant otters & a bunch of native plants is all it takes to enjoy a couple of days in the Amazon. Puerto Maldonado was our access point, 300 soles per person was our price, 2 days 1 night was our stay, Carlos expeditions was our tour company and Daniel was our guide.

When getting a guide always be sure to ask if their grandfather left them with a native family in the rainforest for 3 years when they were 8. Daniel had the fortune of such an event and as a result was an expert on all the forest plants. And to think I complain about tinned tomato’s in the supermarket that don’t come with openers.

Image result for tinned tomatoes
seriously though…
derica-tomato-paste-400g-can-food-produce-and-other-for-sale-at-lagos.jpg
What is this?

Fun fact: the 20% of plants that you can use will either make you hallucinate, heal you or act as viagra. 

We heard the Amazon was incredibly dense and despite their abundance, hard to actually spot animals in. Maybe it was our small group of 3, early mornings or expert guide but we saw pretty much everything except for the Jaguar. 

IMG_2668

IMG_2715

 

IMG_2625
Capuchin Monkey

IMG_2633

There was also the worlds biggest, and possibly slowest rodent the Capybara. We saw the Capybara at night time and couldn’t take any photos, but here is a picture I drew just for you. In real life they look a little bit more lifelike.

IMG_2238
To scale for your convenience

The Capybara was actually the highlight of the animals, the size (As seen in our size comparison) makes them look like something that somehow survived the Jurassic period. 

Lake Sandoval Has the famed and allusive giant otters which are very hard to to see due to them being elusive. We got a good glance from a distance though.

We also learnt that in the rainforest, the real kings of the land are the wild pigs, the otters are the kings of the water, humans in kayaks are neither.

IMG_9534
IMG_2622

IMG_2654

 

IMG_2614 2
Don’t forget your 4 layers of clothes to escape the mosquitos

 

 

 

Montaña De Colores, aka Rainbow Mountain

One foot in front of the other. That’s how you get anywhere in life, although slowly. There really should be a faster way to make it through life. Maybe if we had some sort of wheeled shoe system that it was socially acceptable for adults to wear. Or if we beat the system by tying our feet together and jumping everywhere. That wouldn’t really work though. What about segways! feet off the ground completely, that would do it. But why is everyone so obsessed with feet. Maybe we can stop looking at our feet and view our surroundings. Then it would be one beautiful location after another, one interaction after another, one moment after another.

Anyway at high altitude the one foot technique is just fine thank you very much, it’s also the technique we used to get to the top (5107 m) of the montaña de colores, also named rainbow mountain.

We don’t know how people get those perfect Instagram photos. If you come here expect to share it with others.

IMG_2547

We did remember to check the views as well. Here are some more photos.

IMG_2609IMG_2554IMG_2572

IMG_2583
You don’t have to share the sparkling wine though

IMG_2588

IMG_2537
The view from the other side that no one talks about

IMG_2551

We payed 60 PEN each for transport, which forgot us for 3 hours. Because  of this we had our own private driver.
Breakfast bread and jam was included, as was a very good, very satisfying buffet lunch.

Machu Picchu, the video

We promised you a poorly edited video of our trek to Machu Picchu and we love to deliver on our promises. So here it is.

Music by ‘PhuturePrimitive – Boundless’

Editing and filing by Teddy. Like a toddlers awful macaroni artwork, only nice comments allowed.

“Oh, well isn’t that a lovely…one”

Macchu Picchu!

And we are back!

Potato hunting isn’t always the most fruitful activity that one can undertake in their lifetime. Perhaps thats what the local people of the Cusco region in 1911 thought in pity to themselves before directing Hiram Bingham to the mountain tops of the region to find Machu Picchu, now 1 of 7 of the new wonders of the world. Of course this makes the local and unnamed people of the region the real discovers of Machu Picchu. We could feel bad about this, but let a potato hunter have a little win every once in a while. Also Peru has 3000 of the worlds 5000 potato’s, which Bingham would know if he wasn’t so busy with ruins. 

IMG_2471

There are several ways to get there. You can be incredibly organised and book several months to a year, in advance to secure a spot on the original Inka trail. However, plenty of other options exist and can be booked at short notice. We chose the Inka jungle trail. Why? Because we got to ride bikes, water raft, go on 5 of the longest ziplines we have ever seen AND if we say it fast enough people will think we did the original Inka trail. 

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7134.JPG

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7169.JPG

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7175.JPG
Charlie was not as happy as she looks. Never seen her so scared
IMG_2389
The views are incredible!

No matter what tour you take, you will probably end up in Aguas Calientes, Pueblo. A beautiful little base town full of hostels, restaurants, cafe’s, some bars and clubs as well as amazing local art. We didn’t know anything about it before we left so didn’t organise extra time there. So here we are letting you all know to book yourselves in for 2 nights in this town. We are still considering catching the train back just to spend more time there. 

IMG_2420
The worst picture. But you get the point.

Machu Picchu itself is better than pictures and poorly edited videos (Coming soon) can make it look. Get there early enough and you can avoid 2500 other people that will arrive around 10 a.m. A guide is also a good idea, learning about who the Inka really were is a nice touch (Just a word for government or king). The name of the actual people was quechua who never really disappeared but just moved so the sneaky spaniards wouldn’t find Machu and destroy it.

IMG_2464

IMG_2443

We paid $140 US for 4 days & 3 nights. We slept in hostels all nights which was included, so was breakfast, lunch & dinner. Make sure you book this trek in Cusco as you get a better price and they leave pretty much every day!

IMG_2376

IMG_6908

IMG_5218

IMG_8035

IMG_8935

Tomorrow at 3.30 am we are off to Rainbow mountain… More hiking yay!

More about that then!