Flash trip in Lima

After my wonderfully relaxing stint on the North Coast of Peru, the time had finally come to head south to visit Lima and Cusco. I was to meet my boyfriend in Lima in two days time. I hopped on a bus myself for 16 long hours south to Lima (highly recommend Cruz del Sur if you are bussing it around Peru). I thought of stopping along the way but there were no clear stops and it would have ended up costing me a day or two. I could also hear the sound of luxurious, actual hotel rooms calling my name knowing that I’d be able to split the costs with someone.

Miraflores, the place to be in Lima!

Miraflores, the place to be in Lima. 

I stayed in two hostels while in Lima in the most famous area, Miraflores. Some people think Miraflores is too expat-y, but for me it was a welcomed change compared to the bit rougher Talara in the North. I avoided the tourist things and just wandered around the city for the most part, enjoying the loveliness of being in a major metropolis again. Sunday was wonderful as they shut down the streets and allow pedestrians to run, walk, or bike in the street. The days seemed to fly by and while it wasn’t the easiest place for me to be on my own (a few single meals here and there), Ricardo was quickly there to greet me.

IMG_1998

We got to have some morning drinks on the boardwalk which overlooks the ocean in Miraflores, Lima after Ricardo arrived. The views were well worth the stop.

I met him at the airport. It was supposed to be a surprise but Lima traffic was horrendous. What should have been a ½ hour ride turned into nearly 2 hours. It was so great to see a familiar face and once again be with my ultimate travel partner. This was the 3rd (okay 5th if you count the two trips to El Salvador) international trip of ours. All you out there who say you have to wait until a honeymoon to go to great places with your S.O., I don’t believe you.

IMG_2768

Ricardo enjoying the coastal view in Lima, Peru!

With Ricardo in tow, we set out for some famous Peruvian seafood in the form of sushi. If you know me at all, I am a massive researcher. I did my research and found Edo sushi in Miraflores. Clearly I did not research enough. I was so disappointed. I should have known considering it is a chain (sorry, I’m a bit anti-chain). It was an expensive meal for average sushi. We had two rolls and tiradito – supposed to be a bit like capriccio but was too heavy and too much like sashimi for the type of fish.

FullSizeRender_1

Our amazing feast at Punto Azul made up for the previous night. I could eat this multiple times a week!

Luckily, the next day was a much bigger success. Our plane left at 3 for Cusco. As mentioned, the airport was around a 30 min ride away so we figured as long as we left by 1 or so we’d be good. Well, as we only had another day in Lima on our return, we decided to get ceviche and one of the best places in Lima is Punto Azul and it lives up to its reputation! We made it there around 12:30, ordered almost immediately and paid before the food had even arrived. We got ceviche, stuffed oysters, and arroz con mariscos ( rice with shellfish). A buzz, completely stuffed, and the first cab we found, we booked it to the hotel for our suitcases and then off to the airport. I was sweating bullets in that cab worried we’d hit traffic and be denied boarding but we made it!

FullSizeRender

Our first ceviche of Lima! So delicious, you bet it wasn’t the last.

Next stop, Cusco!

Advertisements

Mancora & Beach Time

Given how much I disliked my workaway in Huanchaco, I decided to leave early (surprise, surprise) . I am not sure I have ever been so happy to leave a situation. I thought about staying in Huanchaco for a bit longer but not at the hostel but then I was worried about running into people. I did meet a girl at the hostel who was traveling to Mancora as well so that was the one benefit of having someone to travel with for a bit.

By this point, I was so ready for a proper vacation.

FullSizeRender_2

The Loki in Mancora and basically what it looked like when we arrived at 6am.

I caught an overnight bus with Stacy, the girl I had met at the hostel. She had just finished up working for 2 and half years in Lima. She was from Australia. We stayed at the Loki and it worked out great as we got to check in early ( I mean 5am early) and we could sleep once we got there. We had great roommates as well who we ended up becoming friends with.

Who wouldn't want to lounge on this beach all day?

Who wouldn’t want to lounge on this beach all day?

Now a bit on Mancora. Mancora is a beach party town on Peru’s northern most coast. It is around 3 hours from the border to Ecuador. Mancora is one of the most touristy cities in the North of Peru, if not Peru. The beaches show you why.

11150898_10205675111610432_6378926838488261152_n

The neon painting that ensued in Mancora.

After our nap from the long journey, we walked to the market and bought our breakfast/lunch, which ended up being an avocado, bread, and a mango.  Did I mention how great mangos & avocados are in South America??? So delicious, so cheap and surprisingly filling. We then spent a bit of time laying out on the beach, and this was the first time in a looonnnggg time, that I spent too much time in the sun and got a bit burnt. (Once every 5 years won’t hurt too much, right??)

Later that evening we decided to get dinner with the other girls we met. We got some amazing burritos that were in a crepe (different, I know) and made ourselves some mixed drinks on the ocean side. Given that we were staying at a party hostel which had cheap drinks, we stayed there for the night and actually had a lot of fun. Cheap drinks, glow paint, and a game or two of waterfalls and you have a great night. We wrapped up the night with some ping pong and were out by midnight.

FullSizeRender

Green Eggs & Ham. I liked it so much I came back again the next time I was in Mancora!

The next day was a bit more of the same. We got breakfast at a place called Green Eggs & Ham based on the famous Dr. Suess book. It was a welcome break to have American style breakfast after 3 months of travel. This is a must stop when in Mancora. I highly recommend the fresh juices as well! We spent the rest of the day laying out on the beach and enjoying life. Later that night, we said goodbye to our new friends and Stacy and I moved to another hostel for ½ the price and our own room. We laid low on a Sunday and swapped hotel horror stories.

We were woken the next morning to be told that the place was being fumigated (ya know, to kill bugs and everything living). Not ideal but we managed. It was fine with us as we wanted breakfast and to buy a few things. Stacy’s next stop was north to Ecuador as I was heading an hour south to stay in Lobitos for two weeks. More adventure awaited.

The Peruvian White City & Booking it North

After Puno, my expectations were set a bit lower for Peru. A lot of backpackers head for Cusco after Puno. As I was waiting for my boyfriend to do Cusco, I headed south to Arequipa.

IMG_2709

One of Arequipa’s many white traditional buildings.

Arequipa is also known as the White City due to all of its traditional colonial white buildings built using local white stone from neighboring volcanoes. It is a beautiful city with a lot of activities to partake in outside the city, one of the most famous being Colca Canyon. I’ll be honest, after Bolivia I was a bit tired of tourism. I really just wanted to enjoy the city. I spent most of my time eating and just planning my next moves.

IMG_2714

Arequipa’s Plaza de Armas was my favorite in all of Peru.

My workaway/volunteer that I had planned for April had fallen through. As such, I immediately looked for an alternative for the month I had left. I wanted to stay some place where I could learn to surf so with that as my parameters, I searched.

IMG_2706

Lovely architecture to discover around Arequipa’s many corners.

Something popped up (well two somethings) and my hope was restored. My next two weeks would be spent in Huanchaco, Peru just outside of Trujillo followed by Lobitos, Peru, both little surf towns. Little did I know, I was about to have the worst workaway experience yet.