Wonderer Wanders back into the Andes.

Hola Amigos y Amigas

Lo Siento por la retrasa! Ai no excusa yo se! Yo he estado muy occupado, pero viaje un poco! Tengo nueve dias solo en Huaraz, antes yo comenzar mi viajar a traves de Sur America! Yo estoy muy excitado, pero Yo voy a triste el irste Huaraz y mis amigos, amigas y mi familia claro.

Entonces……In English

I am quite ashamed of myself for neglecting my blog so much over the last month or so. I have no real excuses, but all I can say is that I have been fully immersing myself in Peruvian life and the language so much that I simply have not had time to produce another masterpiece. Yes it is a pathetic excuse I know. Hopefully this entry will make up for lost time!

I believe in my last entry, I was enjoying life on the open potholed roads of Peru and was throwing myself down some monsterous sand dunes with a flimsy piece of wood attached to my feet. That is where I left you and so I feel it necessary that I jump into my Time Machine and travel back six weeks to when I was just leaving Huacachina. Unfortunately there are no De Lorean Cars over here, so I may have to share the journey with several people in one of the many cramped Collectivo mini buses in town. I have actually come to realise that the number of Collectivos and taxis in Huaraz, far out weigh the number of other vehicles in town. I am still trying to work out how taxi drivers can make a profit, with so much competition!

So anyway- where was I….oh yes…

After saying ciou to the friendly hotel staff and the various friends I had made on the dunes, I threw by battered pack into the boot of a rather unsafe looking taxi and made the 15 minute journey back to Ica and the Hostel I had stayed in before. After paying my weather beaten driver his money, I pushed my way through the crowds and the prostitutes and eventually arrived at the hostel, where I collapsed onto the same bed I had slept on before. Funnily enough I had absolute freedom of choice as to which room I wanted as the hostel was devoid of any other tourists. Its a shame though, as the hostel itself is actually rather nice if you forget about its location!

It was nearly 9pm by the time I had checked in, so decided to hit the town for some dinner. Headed to a local Chinese restaurant and had a very filling dinner for just over a pound. Shared the meal with a friendly local student, who wanted some help with his English home work.

The next day I purchased a bus ticket to Ayacucho and boarded the bus late evening, ready for the 13 hour journey that would take me back up into the Andes. The journey itself was rather tedious and was made worse by the awful Andean Music turned up to deafening, coupled with the extreme cold that filled the bus as we crawled over mountain passes exceeding 4000m in height. Only highlight of the journey was enjoying a spectacular night sky as I relieved myself on the side of the road, shivering as I went.

We made the switchback descent into Ayacucho at dawn, as the sun began revealing itself from behind the towering mountains. Sporting all of my warmest clothing, not quite up to the job, I hopped into a tuk tuk and directed my bubbly driver to my Hostel of Choice.

After checking in, I slept for a few hours, before i spent the remainder of the day wandering the streets, exploring what this mountain town had to offer. I soon discovered that the town itself is full of character and is home to many beautiful churches and cathedrals. I entered many of them and even sat through one of the services. I also pent some of the afternoon sitting in the Central Plaza, chatting away to some local university students.

Being a Saturday, later that evening, I hit one of the local discos in town with four guys working at my hotel. I was the only Gringo in the place and so proved a hit with some of the local Chicas. Certainly practiced my dancing and Spanish speaking abilities that evening. I had all of my drink bought for me too. Like so many times before, I was blown away by the hospitality of these new found friends. I spent the whole evening, swigging from various beer bottles and didn´t reach for my wallet once!

Later the next day, nursing a headache and dry mouth, I boarded yet another bus that would take me back to Lima. The journey was long, especially considering that our bus broke down three times, once with a worrying smell coming from below. I was blessed with some terrific scenery though, as we passed through deep cut valleys with cascading rivers flowing next to the road. Also crested a mountain pass, which reached 4,756m. I did feel a little sick as we reached this height.

After yet another 13 hour journey, my bus eventually arrived in Lima, late evening and I soon found myself back in The Flying Dog Hostel, in the Miraflores District of Lima. After such a long journey, I did very little that evening and went to bed quite early.

The next day I met the two people staying in my dorm, a middle aged lady from Israel and Viviana, an absolute stunner from Brazil. Tall, slim with olive skin and long flowing black hair. I am really looking forward to visiting Brazil now despite the fact that they speak Portugese and I understand nothing!

Spent the remainder of the day with Viviana, wandering around, treating ourselves to a three course lunch ( for 1 pound 50! ) and changing our flight dates at the Iberia Office in Lima. It isn´t only me who finds themselves wanting to spend longer and longer in South America. It really is addictive and the longer I stay, the more I find myself wanting to actually return here to live.

Later that evening, we both headed to a local Cinema and enjoyed Pirates Of The Carribean 3. A great film made better by the fact that it was in English.

Later that evening I said goodbye to Viviana and the others and boarded the night bus that would take me back to Huaraz. By utter coincidence I happened to bump into Hilda, the friendly Dutch girl I met back in Huacachina. Despite being nearly 3 times the size of France, Peru certainly felt very small that evening.

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