Best moment: So many! We loved Peru: from watching a mother and baby humpback whale arc through the Pacific Ocean to reaching the top of the Punta Union on the tough Santa Cruz trek, it’s been amazing. The number one moment for me though has to be reaching Machu Picchu first thing in the morning. Before the crowds arrived and with the sun hitting the ancient site, it felt like a special moment and one I’ll remember forever.
Best spontaneous thing / surprise: It can only be getting the news of our niece and nephew as we drove into Lima. These two are eager to get in the world and we’re just as eager to meet them in three months time. Hola little Lima babies, Leo and Lily!
Worst moment: walking along Mancora beach and seeing a number of dead sea lions that have been shot by local fisherman. That and seasickness made for a bit of a downer!
Best thing eaten: seafood stew and a mountain of chips in Mancora, cerviche surrounded by young cool Limeños in Lima, and fancy pisco sours and rice pudding at Huaca Pucllana.
Weirdest thing eaten: a couple of Peruvian hostels seem to think that serving anaemic ham for breakfast is the way forward. No thanks.
Favourite place: such a tough one… Colca Canyon was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced – I loved swimming in the river, staying in little huts and walking down to a green oasis amongst the desert.
Things we’ve learnt:
- it doesn’t matter if travel plans mess up
- sleeping on airport floors ain’t fun and it ain’t pretty but it can be done
- there are a lot of steps up to Machu Picchu but they are totally worth it
- 4am starts and 1000m climbs aren’t fun either; but every hill has a top
- altitude hurts. Coca leaves help
- I’m sick of all my clothes, and have developed a passionate hatred for my pink fleece
- there’s so much of Peru we haven’t had time to explore, and I hope we come back again to see more
- the gang that we did the Santa Cruz trek with: a fun group from around the world
- Phil and Imogen who we shared a tired brekkie in Huaraz with, bumped into them again in Arequipa and gave us Colca Canyon tips
- José who we met in Huaraz and climbed to Laguna Chirup with
- Mischel and Elise from Holland who we met in Huaraz and who we spent our plane delay in Lima with. They put on their best Scottish accents to make a happy birthday video for my friend
- Cleo and Craig: we met the lovely Cleo in Colombia and it was fab to meet up with her again in Huaraz. Her boyfriend Craig was the courier of a new Monzo card out to us and we were very grateful!
- the lady that worked in the bank who saved said Monzo card when it was swallowed by the ATM
- bus driver back from Aguas Calientes who entertained me with 6 hours of classic “Dad tunes”, including Chris Rea
- Lettie and Grant, our hiking pals in Colca Canyon
- the beautiful ladies in the mountain towns of Peru, dressed elaborately in embroidered clothes, bright shawls, fedora hats and with long braids down their backs. Just gorgeous.