25.08.2010 - 01.09.2010 10 °C
Once again we have neglected our blogging duties and, having the worst memory ever, I (Jaz) have forgotten dates and details so am just going to give you a quick run down of Cuzco, Lima and our trek to Mexico City (via Bogota!)
Post-Inca Trail we made our way slowly back to Cuzco. We had to get a bus to Aguas Calientes, a train to Ollantaytambo and a car transfer to Cuzco. It took ages and by the time we got back, picked up our bags from hostel Pirwa (we didn't want to stay here because of the rubbish showers and the fact we needed to be clean!) and moved them to hostel Pariwana, it was late and we were hungry. We got clean and were wanting to head for food, but the hostel was almost under lock-down... All the lights had been turned off (whilst Liam was in the shower, which was useful) and a crowd had gathered in the courtyard- there was about to be an offering to Pachamama. Said offering consisted of a guy in a weird hat/mask, a t-shirt and rolled up jeans (how very traditional) bounding around the courtyard, chanting and putting his hands through the fire he had started. This (and variations of it) carried on for about an hour and a half and quite honestly was a bit weird. It left us feeling a bit odd afterwards, but as soon as we could we went off for dinner.
When we got back we were relieved to find that we still had the 12-bed dorm to ourselves and we settled in for a well-deserved sleep. The next couple of days passed in a bit of a blur and we mainly wandered around markets, saw some more of Cuzco and on the 27th (I think), we went off to Lima. The bus ride took 21 hours but was surprisingly ok! It was our longest journey up until this point, but we spent our time reading, listening to music, watching and films. The timing of it was good as we got on at 2pm, so we had a few hours until sleep and only a few hours after sleep until we finally reached Lima.
In Lima we stayed with a family friend, Sharon. We had our own room at the top of the house with cable tv and The Simpsons in English, so we spent a lot of time just chilling out, relaxing and also took the opportunity to get some washing done. On the day we arrived, quite a few of us went to an outdoor food market, which was a great experience- they had lots of outdoor stalls selling different types of cuisine and then undercover tables for you to sit at and enjoy. Other days were spent wandering Miraflores, going for drinks, trying a Bembos, buying gifts for people back home (here's looking at you dad!) and, once again, trying the local foods (what were the things called that we ate, Sharon?)
We went in to the actual city of Lima just once- on St Rosa Day (I can't get away! haha). There was a procession through the streets, a massive crowd of people at St Rosa Church (where they write wishes on to a piece of paper and throw it in to the well there), a mural on the ground and fireworks. Whilst the fireworks were going off, we took the opportunity to duck in to a convent nearby and have a look around. It was nowhere near as impressive as the Santa Catalina convent in Arequipa, but still quite nice (if not as well kept) and it had some lovely detailing.
The main event while in Lima was finally getting to a Latin American football match. We went along to see Alianza Lima v Total Chaclao for the pricely sum of about two pounds each. The ground was only half full and there was no away support, but the atmosphere was still immense. We were sat behind one of the goals, on cement steps, and the noisy fans were directly opposite us. They had the stand shaking and were jumping around, waving banners, banging drums, you name it! The final score was 3-1 to Alianza (the first two goals were scored in massively quick succession- Total's defence was shocking!) All in all a great experience, but we were surprised by the low standard of the football and stadium and the fact that they had a female official!
Early hours on the 1st September we took a cab to Lima airport and started or trek to Mexico City. I say trek because we went Lima-Bogota (Colombia), which took 1.5 hours and then we waited for bordering four hours in Bogota airport (yawn) before getting the four hour flight to Mexico City. We woke up that morning at 3am (after about two hours sleep), left Sharon's house at 4am and didn't arrive at our hostel in Mexico until about 8pm. We were EXHAUSTED!
More to come on that, I'm off to pick my mum up from the airport!
Jaz and Liam xxx