Ahhhh Peru, it was so good to see you again. It has been 7 years since I was last in Peru and although the country itself hasn’t changed too much, my experience this time around was vastly different from the cruisy backpacking pace we set back in 2012. I was leading a group of 32 … Continue reading The Rum Diaries Part LVI
Yep that’s how many vehicle changes it took to get from Chachapoyas to Cuenca. First up was a terrifyingly fast taxi ride from Chachapoyas to Bagua Grande, through scenery that would have been beautiful had it not been whizzing past at the speed of light. In Bagua we tuk-tukked (I think I just created a … Continue reading From Chachapoyas to Cuenca- via taxi, tuk tuk, combi, tuk tuk, minivan, tuk tuk, taxi, ranchero, taxi and bus.
The Chachapoyans were around long before the Inca; they precede South America’s most famous empire by around 900 years. At their height they numbered around half a million, scattered over a few dozen settlements in the cloud forest covered mountains of Peru’s Amazonas region. The fortress of Kuelep is the most famous of their former … Continue reading How to Prepare a Shrunken Head and other tales from Chachapoyas
Jesus, these rum diaries have a way of creeping up on me. Before I know it, empty bottles are bleating at me so as not to be left out of the great annals. So first off is a bottle we drained many, many weeks ago...so fast in fact that there wasn't even time to capture the … Continue reading The Rum Diaries XII and XIII
Huanchaco is not the world's most beautiful beach town, but we haven't been to the beach since leaving Australia so despite it's less attractive features (less than perfect weather and trash-strewn sand) we are happy to be here!! Even though we've been stuffing ourselves with ceviche since we arrived in Peru, somehow seafood tastes better … Continue reading Vamos a la playa
If you haven’t seen the incredibly hairy documentary ‘Touching the Void’, go see it. But maybe not before embarking upon a trek in the Huaraz region. Listening to Joe Simpson and Simon Yates recount their disastrous climb of Siula Grande makes hoofing it up a 6344m mountain seem even less fun than it already sounds. … Continue reading The Santa Cruz Trek, Huaraz
Entry to Machu Picchu is double that of other world-famous sites (the Colosseum & the Pyramids of Giza to name a few); traditional transport options range from merely expensive ($55 for the cheapest one way train ticket) to obscenely overpriced ($320 one way on board the deluxe Hiram Bingham service- almost the equivalent of the … Continue reading Machu Picchu, Peru’s cash cow.
I blame Peru for the quick succession of rum diary entries- along with several good local varieties, there also seems to be a lot more international imports here than Bolivia (and unlike Bolivia, they don’t just photocopy the label and fill it with glorified metho). Ron Viejo de Caldas (3 Años) is a Colombian export- … Continue reading The Rum Diaries Part XI
Another Peruvian success story- Ron Pomalco Reserva Especial- for the low, low price of $8 a bottle. This one was so good, in fact, that Martijn finished it in one night (with a little help from our Russian friend). Rum + fire = happiness.
The Colca Canyon is actually the world’s second deepest canyon (according to nearly every source I have managed to lay hands on) but don’t tell the locals that. Our guide got rather huffy when we suggested that this was the case- seems small man syndrome extends to ‘my canyon is deeper than yours’ type posturing. … Continue reading Hiking the Colca Canyon