Welcome to the Andes!
Trip Start Jul 14, 2010
93Trip End May 18, 2011
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The road continued up and up, piling on top of itself and not seeming like it was getting us to a particular destination except the top of a mountain, but we eventually found ourselves in the town of Cajamarca after about 10 hours of travel. We found our hostel, right on the Plaza de Armas, which had just enough room for us. We had a large room with about 13 spare beds in it all to ourselves for the low, low price of 15 or 20 soles. Granted, it was a little creepy to be sleeping in one corner of a cold room that looked like a mattress graveyard, but whatever. It was cheap, and there were no bed bugs.
That night, we ate an expensive meal, where we tried our first lomo saltado and rocoto relleno, two meals that were specific to Peru, according to our guidebook. Lomo saltado is cut up beef with grilled onions, tomatoes, other vegetables, and fries all mixed up together, and rocoto relleno is hot peppers stuffed with meat, cheese, and other things. Both meals were really good, but way too expensive for us to ever go back to that particular restaurant.
Later on, we met back up with Roger, who was staying in the same hostel, along with another interesting character who hung out with us because we were speaking English
The next day, Logan and I had originally planned on taking a four hour hike or a taxi up to some ruins of aquaducts, where there was also supposed to be some climbing to do, but we woke up at 10 AM, so we had to nix that trip due to logistics
We basically just wasted the rest of the day wandering around, saving money (since we´d spent so much the night before on dinner and the bar) by eating bread and mangoes for lunch. When we got back to the hostel, a couple of surprises awaited us. Number one, the hostes staff gave us some free cake and soda, which we gratefully gobbled down, and number two, Roger was there! He told us he had a story to tell, so we went to dinner, where he told us his story of the rest of the previous night and the next day.
Apparently, his new friends had convinced him not to get on his bus the next morning, and told him they would take him to the aquaducts, and afterward, they would go to one of their houses for some really good barbeque. Who wouldn´t say yes to that deal? So Roger slept in longer, missed his early bus, and waited for the Cajamarqueños to pick him up to go to the ruins. They never showed up, so after waiting for about an hour afterward, he went down to the bus station to see if they would refund his ticket. They told him that the bus had waited for him for maybe 30 minutes before taking off, and gave him a partial refund. So, here he was, still in Cajamarca. Because of the mishap, he would end up leaving for Chachapoyas the same day as us, just on a different bus line. The next morning, we all woke up early and took a taxi together to our buses.