Friday, 23 September 2011

Irish Pubs, Sheperds Pie and Cocaine

I figure my five day walking excursion will take a whole blog post so I best get up to date beforehand. Plus I´m bored, its 3am and I won´t be picked up until 430am for a 3hour bus before the Salkantay trek begins. So here´s what happened before. Im not on my laptop as that is in storage and therefore have no photos, these will be added later.
Some Cartagena pictures...
Anchor Heart


Palm reflections

I left Cartagena without any bother, ate a Colombian pasty and spent my remaining Colombian money ona muffin at the airport from a Dunkin´Donuts no less and arrived in Lima at the fun time of 2am. My airport pick up  failed to arrive and so I got money from the cash machine to no doubt lose my card once again... luckily security returned it to me and I grabbed a taxi from the very persistant drivers.

Lima, is absolutely huge. It is also very like English summer; Cold and Grey. On the first full day I walked to Miraflores and around. which took over 40 minutes to reach. I saw some old buildings and had lunch in the Supermarket, it was an amazing fish dish with rice for all of three pounds. I eventually made it to make out point, and the Paragliding base which was pretty cool. Makeout point so named by me, as in the guide book it states thats where young couples go. I walked back via a huge ravine for cars to drive down to the sea.
Mosaic and Parasailer

Bridge over the Ravine
I went out that night to a place, two blocks away and yet we still got a taxi. After leaving I argued with the taxi drivers and said I would walk as it was so close. It was, so a personal victory there.

Waking, I had some Ceviche,the proper traditional dish (gudiebooks, you, etc say its Guinea Pig, buts it not, more on that later) Ceviche is raw fish served with lime juice and chilli´s, it is quite nice. I headed to Lima Centro to visit San Francisco church and its crypt. In the tour they told me 25,000 were buried here and excavation was continuing. The Rough Guide puts the total at 75,000. This was a nice church and they had all the bones on display... grim. The square outside was full of pigeons that were quite friendly.


I headed back for some cheap hostel food and ean early night. I had booked my bus to Nazca and a day trip to some fort as the other more interesting trip to an island was full.

Short story, the fort was quite dull, full of history about repelling the Spanish and Spanish control of it. The highlight was the included lunch which was breaded fish. I returned to the hostel to play table tennis and drank buckets of rum. This time the club was much further away and a lot of fun.

Nazca! I awoke just in time to check out and catch my bus to Nazca.Nazca is a town in the desert where some crazy people drew lots of lines in the desert. I went to bed early and got up to catch a bus to the local airport the view the lines. Although the pictures don´t do them justice, they were impressive. I mean in England all we have is stone circles and crop circles, these are huge lines drawn in sound meticuously planned. After that a local girl gave me a tour of Nazca, where I joked that a school looked like a prison. I retired to the bar for a tasty Pizza and some weird russian music.
Small Plane

Map of the Lines

Humming Bird


I had a lot of time to kill in Nazca before my bus too Cuzco so naturally I did nothing, ate fried chicken and uploaded photos.

Cuzco. I´ve been warned about here, my friend Steffan came for a week and ended up here a month. Natalie raves and rants about bars\clubs here so I had a pretty good idea it would be awesome.Simply put it is. Old colonial style buildings and open squares make the town itself lovely. It reminds me of Dali and to a lesser extent Songpan. Full of tourists, locals and dogs. It seems like a proper town (unlike Lima which was urban sprawl and Nazca)
Cuzco being at over 3000 metres a lot of people get altitude sickness. The traditional local remedy for this is a tea made of Coca Leaves called Coca de Mate (tea of coke), this is the same plant Cocaine is derived from. However it would take 250 grams of Coca leaf to make 1 gram of Cocaine. However you would still fail a drug test. The tea itself tastes a lot like green tea.

In Cuzco I whacked out the big bucks to try some ´Cuy´ - Guinea Pig. Usual meals cost 20 soles(5 pounds) and this cost 50 soles (12 pounds) but hey, when in Rome. Cuy is billed as a holiday food, ie a turkey at christmas. Cuy itself is served whole, body, head, everything. It is a hassle to eat and there is very little meat. What meat there is does taste a little of chicken. One dish that i probably won´t bother with again.

In Cuzco I have mainly just wandered around town taking photos of the sights and acclimatising to the high altitude. Tonight I went to an Irish bar,I normally triy to avoid these but the Wikitravel write up mentioned home cooked british food and pints, so I decided to check it out. It was so much like an actual pub back home I almost never left. I bought a pint of Abbot Ale and it also served the third best Sheperds pie ever (1. Banff Hostel,(sorry mum) 2. mums 3. Paddys Irish Bar) It even came with Worcestershire Sauce! So impressed by my response to it the two peruvians sat next to me, ordered one for themselves! After asking me what it was....
Church tower

Traditional dress.... tourist trap

'Worlds Highest Irish Pub'

Guinea Pig

I was then dragged off to a hippy bar that had a live reggae band in San Blas (not the islands) before I came back to the hostel to while away the hours before my bus at 430.
photos to come :)

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