Hairless dogs, lost cities, and killer ants!

Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
Trip End Mar 26, 2010

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Flag of Peru  ,
Sunday, March 14, 2010

So after a very long and delayed flight, we finally arrived in Peru!

First stop was Lima for 2 days, where we stayed in a super friendly hostel who's owners Pedro and Christian were the most
helpful people we've encountered so far, makes a nice change:) Anyway, so no time for any "r&r" we were off to see
some inca ruins and learn about the lima people. highlight of the day had to be meeting one hairless dog called hutch!
Funniest looking thing ever! apparently they're a typical peruvian dog and each historical sight in Peru is encouraged to have
a hairless dog as a resident! When dave finally pulled me away from the dogs we went wondering the streets and found a
bar where they serve the most MASSIVE beers!

That night We sampled the
obligatory Pisco Sour in a restaurant with dinner and then returned to the hostel for an early night only to find the place just getting
going with Pedro in the kitchen knocking up Pisco sours of his own, for FREE! AND they were much nicer than the ones we
had just bought. So bed was delayed and we stayed up with the backpacker revelers who were just warming up before hitting
the town! We felt so old. The next morning we headed out for a city tour (of course) and found ourselves having more Pisco sours for
brunch at Hotel Bolivar where they were invented before returning to our nice Miraflores hostel to pack up for Cusco.

We flew into Cusco and headed straight to our very nice little hotel called "Ninos", which was set up to get kids off the
street and educated, fed and housed etc.. The Dutch lady started it by taking in 2 boys in '97 and has now taken in over
600, adopting 24 of them! Makes one feel a bit inadequate seeing how generous she has been with her life and time! Its amazing.

Anyway, no messing about, Luc obviously had us straight out on a City tour. Another organised
one, but we had hopes that it would be better than the Spanish misery of the Cartagena tour, and it was, marginally. We
saw some cool Inca ruins and Lucy got to shop for Llama products, but the highlight of Peru so far came after the tour at
dinner time in the form of "Cuy", or in English, Guinea Pig!!! We knew that it was a Peruvian specialty so decided it was
a must try and we weren't disappointed. It was delicious. It tastes like a cross between Pheasant and hog roast. Sooo tasty.
LC: and soooo weird! its like eating your pet, i felt so bad....but it was delish, im sorry:(

Obviously the Inca trail was out of the equation so we had another day to sight see which we filled with a sacred valley of
the Incas tour. We saw first hand some of the devastation
caused by the rains and floods and I felt bad that I was annoyed that the trail was closed and hadn't really thought about
all the shit it had caused the locals. Some of their houses had been completely washed away!
We visited some really cool Inca sights and learnt lots about their culture and beliefs. We got to about a 30 minute train
journey from Machu Picchu!So close yet so far!
Oh one thing worth mentioning is that we were given some type of tea that helps with altitude sickness when we arrived in
Cusco, and had had a few cups after that on our tours as well, so were sitting in the airport delayed reading about peru
and we come across this section about the tea, its actually tea made with coca leaves, the same coca leaves that they
use to make cocaine, and that anyone who has drunk this tea will test positive for cocaine!! EEEEKKK! dave and luc, tested
positive cocaine, can you imagine?! from tea! how british.

After another long flight delay in Cusco we arrived in Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle and were whisked off to the
river for our 3 hour boat journey
into the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. Due to the delay we arrived in the dark and had to do the 30 minute hike into the
 jungle from the river to our lodge in the pitch black. Our lodge appeared in the glow of kerosene lanterns (there was no
electricity or hot water there) and it was surprisingly nice! We had an awesome room, with open sides to the jungle (Luc
had a different opinion) and it was like sleeping out in the open nearly. Really cool.
LC: ok, my version, after a 10 hour transit to this place all i wanted was a hot shower and a good nights sleep, so we arrive
in the dark after dodging spider webs only to find that our "lovely" room IS MISSING A FLIPPING WALL!!!!  i was hoping that
this was perhaps an error on their part and they just hadn't put the wall on yet, but nope, that was our room, fabulous.
Well lets have a nice shower and forget about the missing wall. Forget that there's no lights, just means you cant see the spiders,
turn the taps and what do you get, FLIPPING FREEEEEZING cold water, again, fabulous. Instead i opted for covering myself in
100% deet and falling asleep under the safety of the mosquito nets, reminding myself that we were indeed on holiday and not
in purgatory. After waking up in a state of terror saying "dave what was that what was that...theres an animal in the room!!"
we listened more closely and realised it was our next door neighbours snoring!! too funny! I then tried to go to the loo, only
to open the lid and find a massive frog staring back up at me!!! i think i actually managed to levitate and move across the
length of the room in fright! (i also think i manged to wake everyone in earshot with my yelp of terror, dave came running through
thinking i was being attacked!). We both returned to the "safety" of our netted bed hoping it would deter any passing
jaguars or pumas from tearing us limb from limb!! 

5am wake up call....this must still be purgatory....we going walking for the next 5 hours....yes, definitely purgatory.
Ok in fairness, it was quite cool trudging through the jungle in our wellies keeping an eye out for various birds and animals,
but all we really saw were a sh*t load of spiders, those scary looking ones with bright colours that look like they could
kill you just by looking at you! And then we met some terrible ants called "bullet ants" because if they bite you it feels like
you've just been shot!! (now im thinking...if thats the case then why are we standing so frikken close to these things???)
We then went canoeing across an oxbow lake and got to feed some piranhas (eeek!) and also managed to spot some red monkeys!

That night we were back on the boat and went searching for caimans! We only managed to see one and they're actually quite small
alligators which was unexpected.  And we also spotted some rodent things, we've forgotten the name already but apparently they're
the largest living rodent in the world! tapiwara's or something like that? pic attached for clarity.

Day two we had a 4am wake up call (aarrggh) only to be told that our walk had been cancelled cause of the rain (yyyyyeeeeaaayyy!!)
so we got to sleep in until 7am, luxury. By the time we woke up the rain had stopped and we were back to 35 degrees with 99%
humidity. At breakfast though, i managed to spot an anteater in the tree opposite the lodge which was exciting, they are the
cutest little things!! ( our guide also told us that it was the first one he had seen in 18 months and that they were really
rare! cool!) We also got to spot some stunning red and blue macaws that day, as well as a tarantula (eek!) we also
 learnt about the brazil nuts that are
abundant in the peruvian amazon as well as a visit to an amazonian fruit farm.

Next day was departure day, and although we were sad to be leaving i couldn't have been happier to leave behind all the scary things
we had seen, i can honestly say i have seen enough bugs to last me lifetime! Bring on hot showers and 4 walls in Rio!   
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Chinner on

Enjoy Rio guys. Hope the scaffolding didn't sour things too much today and that BA don't change their minds again on your flight later in the week. Bring some sunshine back with you!
Chinner x
ps - awesome photos again.

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