Thursday, February 25, 2016

Weekend in Paracas

Last week we started off the weekend by spending a couple hours on U.S. soil. And by that I mean we took a field trip to the United States Embassy, which is only about a 15 minute walk from my house here in Lima. The woman we talked to was amazing and she made me question what I really want to do after college. But I don't think I will be changing my major anytime soon. I just know that traveling in the future is a must for me. On Friday we got up very early to meet at the bus station for a weekend trip to Paracas. We didn't have first class seats on the bus but it was only four hours this time instead of 20 hours so I'm not complaining. The hotel we were staying in was a five star resort and it was wonderful. When we got there the rooms were not ready yet so we changed into our swim suits and hung out by the pool for a few hours (it over looked the ocean). Our hotel were great, queen sized beds, fluffy pillows, and air conditioning! After we got our things settled in our rooms I found a hammock to lay in by the beach, which was very relaxing until I looked up and saw the biggest, creepiest looking spider I had ever seen hanging above my head. Needless to stay I stayed away from the hammocks for the rest of the weekend. Later that night we ordered pizza and then sat in the hot tub for awhile. On Saturday we got up early to take a boat ride out to Islas Ballestas, it is a well known Island of Peru for its sea lions. There we saw hundreds of sea lions and their pups on the island, there were also thousands of birds flying all around (which was only slightly terrifying), dolphins that swan in front of our boat, and even a couple of penguins! The rest of the day was spent by the pool. Sunday was not as eventful, there was a small museum at the resort that we toured but other than that I spent the day napping and packing to head back to Lima. I am sad we had to leave so soon, I miss doing nothing by the pool all day. But we have a weekend off from traveling and then the weekend after this one we go to Machu Picchu! 

 Oreo Milkshake :)

 Sea lions 


 More sea lions

 The best dessert ever. 

The museum at the hotel

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Spring Break

Last week for spring break ten of us went to Mancora, Peru for nine days. We took a bus (thankfully this time in first class) it was about a 20 hour bus ride, it wasn't too bad though because the seats were very comfortable.We left on the 4th and got into Mancora the next morning. But it turns out the house we rented for the week was actually in a small town just outside of Mancora called Los Organos. So we got off the bus and found four moto taxis to take us to our house which was about 20 minutes away. The house that we stayed in was really nice. It had four bedrooms a big kitchen and two balconies that you could see the ocean from. There was a pool right outside our house and the beach was a two minute walk away. I'm glad we ended up staying in Organos rather than Mancora because it was a lot more peaceful and we basically had the beach to ourselves. Once we got settled we went into town to buy some groceries for the next couple of days. After that we swam in the pool for a bit and then watched the sunset on the beach. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen and they got better each night. The next couple of days were spent relaxing on the beach and hanging out by the pool. On the third day we made our way into Mancora and explored the town. The streets are lined with shops that have all shorts of things you can buy it was very crowded compared to Organos but there were plenty of things to see and do. The day before we left some of us went on an all day excursion that included going to a couple different beaches and a boat ride to a crocodile zoo. I could've done without the long bus ride to the crocodiles but I enjoyed visiting the other beaches like Punta Sal. On our last day in Organos I spent most of the day on the beach and in the pool. I did not want to leave and would've stayed there forever if I could. But we had classes this week and are preparing for our next trip this weekend to Paracas! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Huaraz, Peru

Our weekend started on Wednesday after class got out at six and I went home to start packing for our trip. Me and six other girls got on a bus that night at 10:30 for an 8 hour ride to Huaraz. None of us really slept on the bus ride there so when we got to Huaraz we took a cab to the nice little hostel we would be staying at and took a nap. After we woke up a few of us walked around to find a place to eat lunch and explore the town.
It was a good day to just relax because the next few days we would be very busy. When we first arrived in Huaraz we were approached by a tour guide who offered us a 3 day hiking trip for just 100 soles (which is equal to $30). Day one of our hiking trip started off at 8:30 in the morning with a 2 hour bus ride to Huascaran National Park where we went on a short hike to Pastoruri Glacier. We did not know that we would be hiking to a glacier that day so none of us were prepared for the weather. It started sleeting once we got to the top and was very cold but I have missed the cold and snow so I enjoyed it (even though I didn't have warm enough clothes on).

Day 2 was a little different. We started the day 5:30 am with a 3 hour bus ride to another part of the Huascaran National Park, this time to hike to Laguna 69, a beautiful lake hidden up in the Andes Mountains. We heard that the hike would be difficult, but we had no idea what we got ourselves into. The hike to Laguna 69 was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Nine miles up the mountains and a total of 7 hours there and back. It rained off and on the whole way up and by the time we got to the top we were exhausted. But it was worth it because Laguna 69 and the hike there is the most beautiful place I have ever been. I can't put into words how amazing and beautiful this place is.

For day 3 we thankfully did not have another hike. This time we had a 3 and a half hour bus ride to a small town called Chavin were we visited pre-inca ruins. It was very interesting and relaxing compared to the previous days, though walking around in the underground tunnels freaked me out a little bit.

Then almost as soon as we got back to our hostel we had to leave to catch another bus back to Lima. We had spent a total of 15 hours on a bus that day and I did not sleep through any of it. So when I got back home at 6 am on Monday I took a four hour nap before class. I am still recovering from lack of sleep and studying for the midterms this week. Our spring break starts this Thursday and we will be back on a bus, this time to Mancora, to spend ten days on the beach. I am so excited to spend some time on the beach that I almost don't mind the 18 hour bus ride there.