After our relaxed day having finished our Colca Canyon trek, we returned to Arequipa on the 6.30am bus, I.e. 7.45am ( Peru doesn’t have a talent for time keeping). Arequipa greeted us with ice creams, wifi, a warm shower and a nice meal, a welcome change from our ambitious but none the less questionable trek grub! A trip to the monastery in the city the next day was an eye opener. They call it a city within a city because it is totally secluded from the buzz of Arequipa outside its doors.
A night bus to Huacachina however brought on a whole new set of adventures. By 4.30pm that evening, we were racing across the sand dunes with our crazy buggy driver and boarding down the biggest dunes I have ever seen (our screams could be heard for miles) before taking the time for some comedy photos as the sun set over the desert.
Following a night in our desert oasis, we headed out early in the morning for our boat ride around the Ballestas Islands. Despite the grey weather, we still managed to see our fair share of wildlife including some South American sea lions, humbolt penguins and boobies, all of which are vulnerable or endangered species. Moving on, that afternoon we hopped onto a bus to Lima where we arrived in time for dinner with Pete, another quest leader, whose great love of life is apparently Cerviche (fish ‘cooked’ in lime juice).
The following morning, we went out to visit Villa Maria, where Quest runs another project. The slums of Villa Maria were a world away from the high rises of Miraflores, only a twenty minute bus ride away. On arrival, we were instantly roped into spending the morning playing with the kids on the project before a full afternoon cleaning up paths in the sport complex. Painting circles on the road outside the Quest Overseas school as earthquake safe zones for the pupils was the next morning’s activity before returning to Miraflores for our Cerviche lunch which got mixed reviews…
Currently, you can find us in Huaraz, Peru where, following an intensive trek prep day, which was further complicated by our ‘Come Dine With Me’ theme for our next trek, where we acclimatised before heading out for our highest trek yet in the beautiful landscape of Huayhuash.