Sam Pooley from Bramwell International has been on a trek to Peru with Latin Link
This is the 1st, very late and probably only instalment of Samīs BI Peru blog. Hopefully this will entertain you for at least as long as it takes you to read it.
Firstly, Peru is beautiful. The group and I spent the first three days in the capital, Lima. We didnīt really do much but this gave me time to get to know the team and settle into the peruvian way of life. On one of our many trips to the city square we met a lovely stray dog. We called him Graham. Grahams depth perception was not the best so he greeted us all by slowly walking into us. After becoming friends Graham went on to join us during lunch and then walked us all back to the hostel where a very teary goodbye took place.
Our next destination was Arequipa. Arequipa was great. It stands at a much higher altitude than Lima which made the first few days very tiring: simple tasks such as going up the stairs felt like they required my Meindl boots and a flask of hot chocolate.
After a short stay in the city to acclimatise the group and I set off on a three day trek through the Colca Canyon. WOW. The Colca Canyon is AMAZING, itīs HUGE! I have taken some brilliant pictures.
During the trek we reached an altitude of 4910m! Little hint, don't try and chase a llama at this height, you will never catch it no matter how hard you try.
Following the canyon and Arequipa we went onto Puno. Puno is a city right next to Lake Titicaca. The city itself isn't much to look at but the lake is beautiful. We took a boat out and stayed over night on one of the islands. One of the highlights of the trip so far was star-watching that night, I have never seen so many stars!
At the moment the group and I are staying in the city of Cusco. Cusco is the most beautiful city so far, with lots of water fountains and greenery. I have however learnt a lot of strange things while being here. For example, it seems the custom for a taxi driver to try and charge us three times the going rate, when questioned by spanish speaking members of our team apparently it is due to the trip being up hill.......
I have found that when paying for something you must be very clear about what you want, you often get a slight variation of what you asked for. A funny exmple of this happened two days ago. Hannah and I decided to go on a horse riding tour which visited 5 ruins around the city and in the mountains. When paying for the tour it was explained the trip would take about 4 and a half hours. We arrived at our horses and met our guide, I called my horse George, George and I got on very well. After a short walk with George up a hill our guide asked us to get off the horses and catch a random mini bus to the first ruin. We were slightly puzzled but obliged. After a short time at the first ruins we returned to find the guide asleep on a hill. We woke him up and went to the second ruin where our guide told us this was the end of the tour and left us a few miles away from the city! It took us an hour to walk back to the city where we went on to complain to the tour company. Given what had happened, we were surprised to have to argue to get our money back. We were even more surprised that after arguing we did not recieve the full amount, but I suppose at least I have a good story to tell.
In two days the group and I head off into the jungle to do some biking, white water rafting, trekking and zip-lining! I can't wait. I am having a really great time:)
Well thatīs it. I hope you all enjoyed my message and I shall leave you with some great news................ During the trek in the Colca Canyon I was the only member of the group to not get a blister! Meindl Softline Ultra boots are brilliant!!!!