Unbeknownst to us, the bus we signed up for to take us around Peru is most definitely on the tourist circuit. However, this isn’t all bad and we’ve dropped our pretentions about what makes a trip a trip and are along for the ride. Paracas was nothing special (in my humble opinion) and bloated with vendors aggressively hawking their wares on the boardwalk, but we walked away from the place happy and relaxed.
As luck would have it, Peru is hot in a fight to make it in the World Cup and we have been privy to watching these games locally. The first match against Argentina was a hoot and ended with a zero-zero tie. On Tuesday, Peru squared up against Colombia and also subjected us to 90 minutes of riveting back-and-forth action which also ended in a tie game. Color me impressed. It is fun though watching this miserable game in a place where people enjoy it and get real into it.
The poor man’s Galapagos tour turned out to be just that. We were impressed by the sheer number of birds but not so impressed by the sheer amount of bird shit that made it in the boat. The tour guide made a point of saying in both english and spanish that bird guano is one of Peru’s richest exports and then, moments later: MAYHEM. Bird poo everywhere. It hit two girls we met and ruined some clothing, but the worst part was the stench. To be fair, it was special to see tens-of-thousands of these Cormorants kicking it on this island, as well as Humboldt Penguins (tight) and some lazy ass Sea Lions.
We left our hostel in Paracas and ended up in a town that I was tremendously worried about called “Huacachina” due to the fact that the internet said it was going to be a full-bore tourist trap with little to offer except expensive food and hepatitis in every flavor, but the internet was dead wrong. While this town is subject to the same tourist trappings as others on the circuit, it has an undeniable charm that we’re liking immensely. Huacachina is a literal desert oasis with a small lagoon dotted with palm trees and surrounded by gigantic sand dunes. I’ve never seen a sand dune before and am loving this shit. Also, say “Huacachina” aloud. WOKKACHEENA. It’s like you’ve got jewels in your mouth. We’re going to a place later called “Copachica” that has a similar mouthfeel.
Unlike our last hostel, this one hasn’t exclusively played Bob Marley and has a legit pool with a swim-up bar. The views are incredible, the food tastes like ass but is cheap so we’ll call that a win and the cost is $35 a night.
Also cheap was our insane dune buggy tour today. Although it had a distinct taste of neglect to passenger safety, it was about as good as life can get. It was incredibly terrifying and we wholeheartedly loved it. We also “sandboarded” but they decided to get all uppity about us getting hurt and wouldn’t let us stand up. Regardless, I found a way to crash and went ass-over-teakettle and have sand deeply lodged in every orifice.
Traveling is going well. Money is a stressor, but isn’t it always? I sincerely didn’t know what day of the week it was today and took three showers and Jean’s biggest gripe is a toss-up between the awful placement of the tags on her underwear and the brutal sunburn on her nose.
Bullet points because I’m lazy:
- The feral dog situation or, as we like to call it, “Perros de calle” is out of control in these small towns. Jean and I have taken to naming them in Spanish. Some choice names based on their appearance (and gibberish):
- Basura, Cabello Loco, Fea, Bombadero, Abogado, dientes loco, amongst other names.
- Today we fed one of the perros de calle some cookies we bought at the tienda. I lost my wallet in the process.
- I don’t have rabies from my previous dog bite.
- Jean almost walked in front of a bus. When I got upset about it, she protested and said “you said ‘JEAN!’”
- There was a nutty Russian girl on our dune buggy tour that had Jean take some provocative pictures of her.
- We did laundry in our room and rigged up a clothesline with some climbing gear.
- No diarrhea and are full-bore drinking the water.
- Overheard a girl on the phone from our hostel room saying “to be fair, I did make out with three guys” and then ended the phone call with “WELL I’M GLAD YOU’RE GLAD!”