Now in the last month of their South American Bonanza, the Bolivian Gap Girlies share their ‘ceviche’ and ‘Whack-a-china’ delights!
This one is thanks to Annie aka Frenchie…
After 2 months of being in Bolivia, we left the land of cholas and cremositas and crossed the border to the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. Here we took a boat out to Isla Tequile (passing via the floating Uros islands where we tasted some of the reeds with which the islands are made, and decided that patuju tasted better), where we were staying the night. Unfortunately at this point Tali was hit with the ‘blog curse’ and was consequently ill for the next few days, sadly missing out on our tour that afternoon of the island by two very enthusiastic 7 year old girls. Not only did they take us to the top of the island to see the ruins and incredible view, but we were also shown to their grandmother’s house to see the sheep, one of which rammed into Pete’s leg, and climb the grenadine tree to pick and eat the fruit.
The next day we woke up early and headed down to one of the island’s ports for our kayaking session across to the mainland. Here we met a rather reluctant instructor who tried to persuade us not to go out due to the wind and choppy water; he was quickly ignored as we put on our gear. We kayaked across and arrived at Llachon where we met the family with whom we were staying (who gave us each a necklace of bright pink flowers). Following a delicious lunch and then a siesta in the sun, we spent the afternoon being taught the main industries that the family are involved in, specifically agriculture. As Tali was still ill it was left to Jing, Pete, Karen and me to go work in the fields with the tools presented to us, our favourite being a stick with some sort of skull-looking object attached to it which you beat at the ground with. After this our afternoon consisted of several volleyball games with the family (jing and I winning everytime) before dinner and the eventful evening that was to follow it. We were given the traditional clothes to put on, transforming us immediately into cholas, and taken outside where a fire had been set up and a local band were waiting for us. The whole family too had dressed up (including the 3 sons) and we spent the night dancing around the fire with them, pretending to be Peruvians. the next morning after several cups of tea to heat us up and too many pieces of fried bread we said our goodbyes to the family and headed to Arequipa. Here we spent our time exploring the town’s restaurants before getting up in the middle of the night to head to the Colca Canyon for our 4 day trek.
During the trek we climbed and descended a few hills, saw some Andean condors, learnt that Pete has seen enough boobs in his lifetime, discovered that ‘all three of us have relaxed bitchy faces’, adopted a dog whom we named snoop (he was black and a chiller), had several gourmet styled dinners consisting of a lamb tagine, carbonara and true chorizo and tomato pasta, watched Karen break eggs ‘chinese restaurant’ stlye, sat playing cards under the rain, had a silent disco in our tent, watched the woman’s final of the French Open and sang our own rendition of Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ (which we failed to present to Peru’s Got Talent a few days later). Back in Arequipa we indulged ourselves in endless food sprees (hello French creperie), made a disappointing trip to the Cathedral who’s impressive exterior proved only to be a façade, played a competitive game of ludo and had some flaming cucaracha shots. All in all Arequipa pleased us very much.
We proceeded to take a night bus to Huacachina (pronounced ‘whack-a-china’, many a joke on jing) where we arrived to a breakfast buffet, pool and sunshine. Happy days. Thus we spent the day relaxing by the pool until mid-afternoon when we packed into a buggy and made our way full-speed over the dunes to go sand-boarding. Once at the top of the dunes we went from steeper to longer dunes down which we sand-boarded head first (apart from Karen who thought she’d whip out some snowboarding techniques), those with the super-board going considerably faster and further. We were then taken to the top of the dunes to watch the sunset (and do a few cartwheels) before heading back to the hotel for some much deserved New Girl and then to dinner.
The next morning we travelled to Paracas, the ‘poor man’s Galapagos’, where before getting into our boat we witnessed a woman making a scene about how a man ‘should talk first and then hit’. We then headed along the coast to see a big cactus/candle holder (nobody knows) carved into the side of a mountain by ancient civilisations, before going on to the islands. Here not only did we see countless amounts of birds, penguins and sea lions, but we also learnt about the collection of bird poo for fertilizer. Getting back to land, whilst everyone around us sat down for a morning coffee or breakfast, we sat down for a 10am lunch consisting of platefuls of fresh ceviche, before heading straight to Lima.