A Travellerspoint blog

Barcelona

Back in Europe

sunny 27 °C
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Amigos,

we are in Barcelona now, after 29 hours of travelling. It feels good to be back in Europe. Everything is so clean and modern and everything is so expensive. It will take a while to get used to the new environments.

The weather is beautiful, sunny and about 27 celcius. It is still bright outside although it is 20.00 o´clock. I guess that is what the European summer is like, we had almost forgotten.

We will stay with friends, José, Ana and Sofia (their little girl). Though we haven´t met them yet. We are waiting for them.

Tomorrow we will enjoy the beautiful city of Barcelona and the day after we will fly to Stockholm.

Bye for now!!!

Sabrina and Fredrik

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Posted by sabrinakam 19:53 Archived in Spain Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Lima

Last stop

overcast 20 °C
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We are back in Lima but this time it will be our final stop before flying to Europe.

We arrived Friday in the afternoon and went by taxi from the bus terminal to Miraflores, one of the nicest areas of Lima. The hostel that we had picked for our stay in Lima was full so we had to look for some other place to stay. We walked around in the neighbourhood and found a quite good-prized hostel (80 soles/US$27 for a double) where we got a huge room with three queen-size beds, own bathroom, windows and cable TV. We thought what a great deal, super location, good prize for the area and the room has all what we need. In the morning I realized that they even have room service. I checked the “menu” and found out that amongst ceviche, sandwhiches and juices you can also order Viagra, condoms and other small necessities. How classy!!!! Then we understood where we had ended up and why this place had so inexpensive rooms. Well, since we liked our room and the price we decided to stay.
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The weather is awful in Lima. All day the city is covered by a melancholy mist giving the sun a hard time to get through with its rays. It is autumn now and that is what the weather is like according to the Limeños. We are looking forward to the European summer!!!!
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Yesterday we took a tour (on our own) to central Lima. We took a bus to the Plaza de Armas where we walked around a bit. For lunch we went to L´Eau Vive, a unique restaurant that has meals prepared and served by a French order of nuns (the profits all go to charity), and afterwards we went to the monastery and church of San Francisco, which is famous for its catacombs and its remarkable library. We finished our tour at Plaza San Martin from where we took a bus back to Miraflores. At night we went to see “The Pirates of the Caribbean 3”. I fell a sleep several times so I am not sure if I really liked the movie.
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Today we had an excellent breakfast buffet at Mangos and we will probably go for another film tonight, The Good Shepard. I hope I won’t fall asleep again.
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Tomorrow in the morning we will fly to Guayaquil in Ecuador and from there we will carry on to Madrid.
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We’ll keep you informed about our adventures in Spain.

Lots of love,

Sabrina and Fredrik

Posted by sabrinakam 16:09 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Huacachina

The sand-boarders paradise?

sunny 24 °C
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Huacachina is just 4 km off Ica and we arrived here early in the morning after having spent the night travelling between Arequipa and Ica by bus. We found a room at one of the cheapest places “Casa de Arena” and the first thing we were interested in was food. We found a nice place close to the lagoon and enjoyed our breakfast, pancakes with fruits, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit juice and tea. Yummi!!!
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Huacachina is a tiny, tiny resort village, dominated by a backdrop of giant sand dunes and nestled next to a small lagoon. Swimming in the lagoon is not recommendable (I don’t know if it is even allowed) but the sand dunes are an amazing thing to see and “explore”.
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At the café/restaurant where we had breakfast we found out that they offer sand-boarding and dune-buggy tours so we booked ourselves a tour for the afternoon. We were six people on the tour, two guys from England, a couple from France and ourselves. For two hours we were supposed to put our lives in the hands of our buggy driver whose name we don’t know since he preferred not to speak to us. A part from his dullness of not wanting to speak with us, he turned out to be a really good dune buggy driver. We had a blast speeding up and down the dunes; it felt like being on a roller coaster. In between the speeding we stopped to try the sand-boarding. On purpose I wrote “try” since it didn’t really turn out to be an easy thing to do. I tried the first dune sand-boarding and did not really get a grip on it. The next dune I took sliding down with my belly on the board in stead of my feet. That was much easier and more fun. Fredrik as an advanced snowboarder had more success but he was struggling too. On one hand the boards really sucks (just normal plywood panels with some strips and wax) and on the other hand sand is not snow.
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The whole tour was great fun though. At the end we stopped on the top of a dune to enjoy the sunset. Fantastic!!!!
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Lots of love,

Sabrina and Fredrik
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Posted by sabrinakam 13:19 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Arequipa and Cañon del Colca

sunny 23 °C
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Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru and quite nice with numerous colonial churches and mansions dotted throughout the city. We didn’t have too much time to explore the city; actually we only had some hours. If you have more time to spend, take at least a day to find out more about this place. The main reason to come here was to see the Cañon del Colca which is according to our travel bible (Lonely Planet) the second deepest canyon in the world, the deepest would be right next door, 200 km northwest of Arequipa, Cañon del Cotahuasi. Later on we would learn from our guide that according to the most recent measurements in 2005 they proved that Cañon del Colca is the deepest canyon of the world with a depth of 4100 m. Anyway, to save up some time we decided to book an organized two day tour to the Cañon del Colca and Colca valley. This tour wouldn’t include any hiking, but there are other tours, 3-day tours, organized as hiking tours. Probably not a bad option!!!
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When we got picked up in the morning by the tourist bus we found out that there would be travelling 28 people with us. “How WONDERFUL”, we thought, “this is going to be a real TOURISTY thing”. The first thing we had to do was to introduce ourselves and we found out that the group consisted of a quite interesting mix of people from all over, Norway, Denmark, England, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Australia, USA, Germany and Sweden. Our guide, Yrene from Colonial Tours, turned out to be a real gem. She is really knowledgeable about the life and customs of the people who live in the Colca Valley (maybe because she is from there herself), she speaks good English and perfect Spanish (of course) and she has a good sense of humour. It never got boring to listen to her.

On our way to Chivay, the centre town of the Colca Valley and the place where we would spend the night, we saw some beautiful landscapes, vicuñas (a relative of the llama and alpaca but wild), a llama that eats cocaine leaves, more llamas in the wilderness, souvenir shops (of course, where there are tourists, there are souvenir shops) plants that you only can see higher than 4500 m above sea level and we got to the highest point of our trip, 4900 m.
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Once in Chivay, we had lunch, a delicious buffet with local food (yummi, yummi!!!) and afterwards we went for a short hike outside of Coporaque, a small village close to Chivay, to see a funerary site from about 800 years after Christ. We got back when it was dark and went by bus to the hot springs at Calera. The “baños” were superb, just the right temperature for some quick relaxing. At night we went to an ok restaurant where they had live music (musica folclorica) and dancing. We had a really nice talk with a British couple, Ally and David, so we did not spend too much attention to the dancers and musicians. Sorry!!!
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The next day started with an early breakfast at 5.30 a.m. and then we went off to Cañon del Colca to see the spectacular Andean Condors. These huge birds can get a wingspan of 3,10 m and can way up to 15 kg. They are primarily scavengers, feeding on carrion. Yuck!!! Anyway, before we got to the “Cruz del Condor” (viewpoint to spot condors), we stopped at a village to see some local dancers in their tradicional customs. That was a real touristy thing just prepared for us, the tourists. We took a photo anyway and payed a small tip.
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Then finally we arrived at the “Cruz del Condor”. We were not the only tourists there, of course not, there were lots of other tourist busses. Anyway, we managed to get a perfect spot and after about 10 minutes the condors started to fly below us in the canyon. With every circle they came closer to us until they flew off. In total we must have seen 20 condors. Amazing!!! It was difficult to get some good shots but we (Fredrik) managed anyway with our simple camera. Have a look!!!
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The tour has been a success despite being so touristy. The canyon is beautiful and to see the condors hovering below and above you is an unique experience. Next time (if we come back some day), we will do some hiking here.

Bye for now, amigos!!!

Sabrina and Fredrik
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Posted by sabrinakam 13:32 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Sillustani ruins and visit to local family

Funerary towers and quite an expereince


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The other tour we booked through "Inca Tours" was to Sillustani where you can see ruins of funerary towers, called Chullpas, once built by the Lupaca, Colla and Incas. The different tribes erected for their nobility these special funerary towers in different shapes and forms and at different eras. We had a very good guide who explained in detail the period of the different tribes and the diverse designs.
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After Sillustani and the Chullpas, we got to visit a local family to see their home and the way they live nowadays. They still live in a very traditional way, in very plain houses built of adobe without electricity or water supply and they eke out a living of whatever their land and animals can produce. We saw a pig and a handful of guinea pigs in their backyard. They eat guinea pig on special occasions or on Sundays. Otherwise they consume quinua, a typical Peruvian grain or other types of grain, potatoes, cheese and bread. We got to try their bread and cheese which was quite nice.
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To see how this family lives, was quite an experience. Their life is so different to ours and any Peruvian who lives in a city. It is very simple with no influences of modern life.

Bye for now!

Sabrina and Fredrik
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Posted by sabrinakam 19:32 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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