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Country #3: Peru

March 11, 2011

The outdoors and food, that is what Peru does best (at least in our humble opinions).  For the most part, we had a great time in our third country and it seemed like a whirlwind.  To give a quick recap, we flew into Lima late at night and turned around and got on a plane to Cusco.  Once in Cusco we enjoyed local cuisine and shopping before we took off the next day to Aguas Calientes by train.  Once in this small, touristy town, we secured all of our transfers and tickets to visit Machu Picchu, which we did the next day.  Then we hopped on a train back to Cusco where we spent more time eating, shopping, and relaxing until we headed back to Lima.  Once in Lima we explored as much as we could and almost got to go to a Backstreet Boys concert – such a shame that we didn’t.  Then we packed up our bags and caught a flight to Argentina.  So, here are some of our typical details:

Guinea Pig with a lime drink

Food:  We loved the food in Peru!  We tried some interesting new dishes including alpaca and guinea pig… both were surprisingly good and left us wanting more.  As well, we had excellent ceviche and a really good cilantro lamb dish.  The great part was that the good food was all over the country in each of the cities we visited.  For lunch one day, we went to a restaurant called Astrid y Gaston which is supposed to be the best restaurant in Peru – it didn’t disappoint.  This is where we ate the guinea pig which is a darker meat and the skin was quite crunchy (like a chewy potato chip).  Steven also got to order a few fruit drinks that he loved.

Lodging: After our crazy flight experience on our way to Cusco, we decided we could splurge for a hotel our first night once we finally made it there (and by splurge, I mean $50).  We stayed in a place called Casa Andina that had hot water, a room heater, and a great breakfast!  It was fantastic after not having slept much the night before.  We liked it so much that we decided to just come back here after going to Machu Picchu.  It took some convincing but hotel staff eventually, and begrudgingly, gave us a great rate for two more nights.

Church in the city center of Cusco, Peru

In Aguas Calientes, right outside of Machu Picchu, we found a little hostel on the square that was good for one night.  I couldn’t even tell you the name of it but they did store our bags for us for the day while we were at Machu Picchu.  This was very nice, especially since we woke the desk clerk up at 4:00 in the morning to check out.

In Lima we stayed in a private room at the Flying Dog Hostel in Miraflores.  It was a great location, with a room on the 3rd floor overlooking the park.  Plus, it proved to be a good place to hang out while I wasn’t feeling so great (see below).  The park, which was named after President Kennedy, was really fun to walk around.  There were always local Peruvians singing, dancing, showing movies, selling crafts, and more.  It is what a park should be in the city with people out enjoying life and nature amidst the concrete.

I think they only like Steven

Steven’s best experience:  Playing with the llamas, a fun, not so graceful, and smelly animal.  Would have liked to play with guinea pigs too but I guess they had all been eaten.

Jen’s best experience:  Climbing Wayna Picchu.  I might not have said it on the way up as I was wanting to quit but it was awesome from the top!  It was really cloudy as we started the hike but by the time we got to the top it had cleared up and was beautiful!

Worst experience:  Well, I got a little sick which sort of ruined Lima for us.  We were in an awesome part of Lima called Miraflores, which is the garden district, but we didn’t get to do much because of me!  So that was definitely the worst part and Steven started to go a little stir crazy from being cooped up.

Lima is certainly a place for us to go back and do a little more exploring since it was cut short this time.  As well, I know Steven wants to go back and visit Lake Titicaca at some point.  Overall, Peru was great and now on to Argentina!

Flying over the Andes headed to Argentina

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jim Traner permalink
    March 16, 2011 19:50

    Lake Titicaca? Isn’t that in Bolivia (the deepest lake in the world?

    I’m getting jazzed. I finally looked at your itinerary. Spain – are you going to Cordoba? It is on the way to Sevilla. A beautiful little town with a large mosque (the Moors) built around a little Catholic church. Great place for walking on narrow cobblestone streets at night to below ground bars for drinking sherry!

    Morocco??? I’m dieing. I can’t wait to read this one! I only went to Tangiers (the Casbah). Please go in-country.

    Hong Kong – Do you want to connect with Bonny and David? Great people who I could ask if you could stay with them. Let me know.

    Nepal??? I had no idea. Baktapur (800 year old town), Tiger Tops (did not experience), but I did fly out to a town where there is a small hotel (Fish Tail Lodge) on an island in a lake looking out at the Annapurna mountains. I will try to think of the name of the town.

    Sounds like you two are having a hell of a time!!! Yahoo!!
    Love, U.J.

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