Trip Start Oct 27, 2012
Trip End Nov 02, 2012

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Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, October 29, 2012

Huancayo is not one of Peru's pretty cities but there are some interesting places to explore outside of the city. We stayed in the Hotel Touismo which is 3 stars and includes a good breakfast. There were a number of free buses waiting at the train station to take people to their hotels. Our free bus was run by one of the local tour companies and they used the opportunity as they drove us to our hotel to sell us tours. The company was called:

We took the 'traditional circuit’ on our first day which visited a textiles centre where there was a brief demonstration of spinning alpaca wool into yarn and weaving with a loom, a visit to a silver jewellery shop with a demonstration by a silver craftsman, a visit to a dairy production centre were yogurt, cheese and ice cream are made followed by a trip up to a trout farm and lunch at a brilliant restaurant where trout is the obviously the freshest and most popular dish on the menu. The tour finished with a stop at the convent of Santa Rosa de Ocopa where peru’s most extensive collection of very old books are kept along with a lot of nice paintings followed by a stop at a beautiful lake.

The following day we took the long tour into the high jungle which left the hotel at 6am and didn’t get back until 10pm. This trip is well worth it as it covers a lot of ground. As you descend over the eastern side of the Peruvian Andes you’ll get to see why Huancayo is such a busy centre and a gateway for this part of Peru into the jungle. The country has obviously placed a lot of importance on this route as there are a number of new bridges to assist all the trucks to bring agricultural produce out of the region. The views from the bus are spectacular as the road twists and winds its way down the mountains. We made a brief stop at what is known as the centre of Peru (Tarmatambo) and is also a lookout where you can see a really long waterfall. We then stopped at the Plaza the Armas of the city of Tarma followed by another brief stop at Acobamba where there is a modern looking church that is said to have had some kind of miracle happen there. We then moved on to San Ramon which is an ecological site where we took a nice half an hour hike up to a waterfall and being the jungle it started raining and we all got soaked. The Waterfall is spectacular and certainly worth the walk. We then stopped for lunch before visiting the native community of Pampa Michi where we got to get dressed up as natives and take part in some tribal dance and some demonstrations of how their bows and arrows worked. It’s heaps of fun but just remember that everything is by tips as your tour price doesn’t include any entry to the native village which would have probably been a better idea to have just charged us all 15 or 20 soles each on the way in instead of being expected to give tips all the time. At the end of the dancing you can buy their handicrafts. The last stop is a coffee processing plant where you can buy some really high quality coffee to take home. Here you can buy the world’s most expensive coffee that sells for over $1000 per kilo. There’s a little animal called the Mitchi that eats the raw coffee beans and poos out clean roasted coffee beans ready to be ground and brewed. We got to try some of the coffee and it is really smooth and has a distinct flavour. They sell it there at a relatively cheap price of 75 soles ($25) for about 250 grams. 
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