With my Machu Picchu trek only days away, and the entire city of Cusco to explore, I find myself at a loss for summarizing the past week of my journey. As I sit in our hostel's internet cafe, with the sun pouring down on the crowded Plaza de Armas only minutes away, I can't help but want to throw together a blog as quickly as possible, and then partake in a solid session of people watching/beer drinking. Then again, with what has happened in the past 7 days, it doesn't seem fair to rush through it too quickly. Regardless, we'll see how this goes.
Leaving the mountainous peaks of Huaraz behind, my journey continued back to the coast, visiting the overly-populated capital of Lima. A city described by many as a place "to leave as fast as you arrived," our brief 8 hour stint in Lima between bus journeys actually afforded a decent view of this infamously unpopular location. After several hours of wandering the "upperclass" Miraflores neighborhood (high-end shops and casinos galore), an amazing $10 sushi lunch (probably top 5 in my life) and a visit to the highly-Americanized seafront mall (they had a TGI Friday's AND a Chili's if that says anything), I give Lima the following verdict: Amazing food, "eh" everything else.
After departing from the hazy fog along Lima´s coast which apparently plagues this city 364 days of the year, the next stop on the never-ending exploration of Peru took us to Huacachina - A literal oasis in the middle of the desert. Comprised of all of 100 citizens (I'm starting to enjoy these ridiculous small villages overrun by tourists), Huacachina is known for one thing, and one thing only: Sand Boarding. For $15, you are provided with a 2-hour sand boarding experience which includes taking a 12-16 person dune buggy at ridiculous fast speeds over towering sand dunes, before throwing yourself down these hundred foot sand mountains (best substitute I could find for sand dune) on a modified snowboard. My fondest memory of this amazing experience is the look on our drivers face, as he grinned with glee while taking us airborn over the dunes. Literally the best job ever.
Other highlights of Huacachina:
After several days in the desert, our path led us back into the Andes, where my journey shall remain for at least the next month. Arriving into Arequipa, a beautiful city known for it's... beautifulness, I leave you with the highlights:
Next Stop: Cusco and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Onto the pics: