A sad goodbye and my guide to being fabulous

Trip Start Oct 15, 2013
Trip End Apr 15, 2014

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Flag of Peru  , Lima Region,
Monday, December 9, 2013

We are now in Lima which is the last stop on our trip and the last place we will be with our beloved famalia. Lima is known as the grey city and is the capital of Peru. We have been in quite a few cities in South America, we really enjoyed Rio but are done with being in expensive crowded places, so weren't holding many expectations for Lima.

When we got here in the afternoon, we checked into our hotel and decided to go 'out out'. As it as a Monday evening, there wasn't much going on, but we all descended onto a bar, had a drink and a dance which was a great way to spend out last official day of the tour.

It feels very strange knowing that we (our famalia) won't be together again (until our reunion in Amsterdam) as we have spent every day for the last 5 craziest, fun filled weeks of our lives together and it makes me very sad. We have been so lucky to meet each other, and to see the things we have seen and experience the things we have together. It was a really sad goodbye, but it was time to move on to our next adventure.

Famalia- we love you millions, it's been a blast!

My guide to being fabulous in South America

For anyone thinking of traveling South America, here are my top tips to being fabulous-

Before you go, pack for hot and cold weather- if you do South America properly you will be at high and low places so a range of temperatures. A warm outfit or two is fine. I went for plain tops, a couple of patterned shirts and leggings, everything goes with everything, they are light and dry quickly. I also took a couple of summer dresses, just to help the fabulousness, as does some statement jewlery.

Take an eye mask and ear plugs- hostels can be bright and noisy, all partying and no sleep makes for a very grump traveler.

Always wear sun lotion, even when it's cloudy. A girl on Our tour fell asleep on the deck of a boat when it was cloudy, she seriously burn her face and then her face fell off! I wore a tinted moisturiser which is SPF 25 which was right for me, but pale people would need higher. This worked a treat, I have soft skin and no burns or peels.

Avon So Soft- this is a normal spray oil moisturiser, but for some reason mozzies hate it, £2 a pop, doesn't smell rank and doesn't choke you like insect spray.

My top rule to anywhere outside the UK, and I can't stress this enough is cook it, peel it, wash it, leave it. Prioritise this in this order and stick to it religiously. I have and I am one of the very few who didn't get sick out of about 20 people (so far)

On the same note, always ask whether salad/ absolutely anything on your plate not cooked was washed in pure water. Most of it would have been washed in tap water- this will make you very ill!!!

Avoid ice unless you are sure it's pure water, an obvious one but we were told some ice was safe and then people got really ill.

Hand sanitiser- we have gone through gallons of the stuff but it's really important. You could touch something, touch your mouth or face and be sat on the white throne for days. I would say this is especially important in places like Bolivia, not to go into too much detail but a lot of places don't have running water/ soap/ loo roll- germs spread like wild fire!

Always carry loo roll- a lot of places don't have it, which makes for one unhappy camper if you pass the point of no return if you know what I'm saying. Also, some places in the bigger cities have a large roll of paper by the sink so look for that on your way in.

Don't be a sucker in taxis- make sure it is a proper taxi, ask the price before you get in, act like you know where you are going and never never get in one on your own. There are some areas where kidnapping is big business, so ladies, don't be the first to get in (so they can drive off before your guy can get in) and get out first. Also, when handing over notes- hold it up to the light and tell them it's real, so they can't switch it and claim it's fake and rob you of more money.

Don't be a victim- if you look vunerable then you are an easy target. If you get lost, walk quickly and with purpose, don't let people see you are lost. Your hostel should give you a map and advise where is not safe- seriously, listen to them! Also, listen to your gut, you will know when you are somewhere you shouldn't be- don't stick around!

If you are going to Argentina, take big $ notes. Argentinians are currently trying to hoard dollars as they are only allowed to withdraw Passos, so they will buy dollars for an inflated rate. You can do this on the black market, but the safest way is to speak to ex pats/ travellers/ hostel owners to see where money shops are. The legality of it is a bit hazy, but they will give you a similar rate as the black market, you are less likely to get robbed and the bigger the note the better the rate.

Stay in hostels, I think this is an obvious one, but it's a great way to meet people. We used hostelworld.com for most of our bookings, they have an app to take it easier and you can get some really fair rates. I would recommend ones with communal spaces as that's a good way to get chatting to people.

Go on free walking tours- great way to see places for free, you will meet other travellers and they are normally quite interesting.

If you are traveling on your own, do a tour. We had some much fun on ours, everything is sorted out for you, you pay upfront- job done.

Girls essentials-
Dri fit leggings, I have lived in them, I have three pairs, they pack up small, go with everything (they suck you in) and they dry quickly
Freeruns, light weight, go with everything, super comfy
Deep hair conditioner
Moisturiser- not something I do normally but my tan hasn't fallen off yet
A good day pack with lots of pockets, compartments
Buff- used this a lot
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