A Travellerspoint blog

Banos

We got a bus from Cuenca to Rio Bambas for $7, then Rio Bambas to Banos for $2.
Banos was an over touristy town with all the stuff you don’t want- quad bikes, touts, damp hostels and stalls full of tat!! Yes the hot baths were there and that was a strange experience, the hottest bath was something ridiculous like 53 degrees!!!! Then next door to that there was a cold plunge pool, we all felt a little faint doing this from boiling to cold and all were red from the chest downwards!! There was another pool which much more pleasant and much more of a social pool with people of all ages in sat around the pool just chatting away. There were a few waterfalls near by too.
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Guinea Pig is the dish here but none of us could bring ourselves to eat it!! I think it’s the way it is cooked- whole with its mouth wide open and you can see all their teeth.

Banos had a weird looking church which was lit up like it was something from Disney with all these blue and green lights!!
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Here they made a really sweet sweet which is a bit like Taffy and its stretched and made properly by hand in the little stalls around the town, but you couldn’t eat too much of it!! Very sickly.
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We were here for St Patricks Day so had a few cheeky drinks in the only Irish bar in town, but it was so quiet!!!
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We left Banos and headed to Salinas which was quite a journey!

Posted by downbhoy 18:13 Comments (0)

Lima to Cuenca via Loja

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89 Soles and 15 hours later we arrived in Piura. Nothing exciting here just a hot, dusty town.
We crossed the border into Equador to a little town called Loja and for some reason everywhere was closed!! It must have been the time of the week or something because nothing was going on at all!! There were a few nice little plazas and markets but aside from that nothing!!.

Cuenca was our next stop 5 hours from Loja. It cost $7.50 each. Our hostel was called El Capitolio which was lovely and run by a really helpful lady. It had a kitchen too which was good. Here we went to a Panama hat place called Barranco which is a museum and shows you how they are made. Tried on loads of hats and some of them were very tempting!!
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But after all of that Darren and Rob eventually got their Panama Hats from a big shop near the bus station but I cant remember the name of it!!
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The town is very easy to walk around and has some amazing buildings including the blue domed church.
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The next day we went for a walk/scramble in the Parque Nacional Cajas about an hour away from Cuenca. There were loads of different maps all drawn on a map but we were a little restricted with time so chose the green route which would take 4hours. Started off really well walking around the lake and then started to get steeper and steeper. It seemed to last forever getting to the top of the hill but about 2 hours later we did and sat and had our sandwiches whilst looking out over some amazing scenery. Really hilly and green with lots of little lakes dotted here and there. Some of it was really crawling/ scrambling though and was quite tricky in places but we all made it, despite Madeleine’s vertigo attack.
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Posted by downbhoy 18:06 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

Lima

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From Huacachina it takes 5 hours to get yo Lima and cost 20 soles. The hostel was a fantastic place to stay in the Old Town called Hostel Espana. It was right nextdoor to a huge Monestary. The hostel was so good though, when we stepped inside the entrance we automatically thought that we wouldn’t be able to afford it. It looked so grand with its huge gold mirrors and chandeliers and gorgeous mosaic floors everywhere!! But to our amazement it was only 68 soles between 4 of us sharing. The best bit about it was the roof top terrace, it was full of greenery and a nice p[lace to chill out. The funniest thing was the collection of animals that they had up there- 2 turtles, a peacock, a cat, 2 fat pigeons, 4 love birds and 2 parrots!! Again, hours of amusement!!
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Lima is really nice just to walk around. We weren’t in the touristy, more expensive part of Miraflores, the Old Town did just fine. We were within walking distance of quite a few museums and right next to the monestary which was huge and beautiful. One museum had a huge volt full of beautiful gold things, then the next floor had some lovely paintings which were set our really well in a gorgeous room.
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We hunted down a lovely café called Queirolo which was in the middle of the city but quite a way down a little side alley. All the locals were there eating whatever they had made that day. We had a really good dinner followed by Pisco drinks made by the really nice man who left us the rest of the cocktail ingredients to help ourselves!! It had ginger and lime and a few other syrups in which made the Pisco taste probably as nice as it can!!
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We did pop to Miraflores to get some Havaianas flip flops for Rob and Madeleine and then we had the most amazing Sushi ever!!!!! So delicious but a little expensive but so worth it!!!!
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Posted by downbhoy 19:22 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Huacachina and Ica

sand boarding and grape crushing!!

sunny

7 soles from Nazca got us into Ica which is about 2 ½ hours journey. We stayed in Huacachina about 10 minutes from Ica right in the middle of the desert. Another strange place, sand all around you and then a lagoon oasis with an load of palm trees around it! Years ago this place used to be a spa type place for the wealthy Peruvians to visit. You can tell it used to be glamorous from the old buildings. But today there are sand buggies and quad bikes revving up and down the dunes taking tourists to the top of the dunes to sand board down. We didn’t go on the buggies but the boys hiked their sand board up to the top and had a few slides down!! We stayed in Banana hostel which had a really stuffy tight dorm room. But they did really good fruit smoothies and had a little pool aswell. They also had a pug dog who kept us amused for a while!!
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The next day was the beginning of the grape harvest. We did a tour by taxi to 2 wineries for 10 soles per person. Tucana was the first one which was set in a lovely part of the country side. We were told about the slpicing of the grapes to get a more hardy grape. Here they make white wine and Pisco.
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The next one was so much fun!! El Catador had the grape party this particular day and so the Grape Queen was there with the local press and the Pisco lady. The next thing we know we are crushing grapes being filmed for the evening news!! Had really sticky feet after wards! The smell was amazing though as you walked around, they use the grape skins back into the ground so layer the paths with them and it smells so Christmassy and sweet. And of course we had to try their produce!
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Posted by downbhoy 13:53 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Huacachina and Ica

sand boarding and grape crushing!!

sunny

7 soles from Nazca got us into Ica which is about 2 ½ hours journey. We stayed in Huacachina about 10 minutes from Ica right in the middle of the desert. Another strange place, sand all around you and then a lagoon oasis with an load of palm trees around it! Years ago this place used to be a spa type place for the wealthy Peruvians to visit. You can tell it used to be glamorous from the old buildings. But today there are sand buggies and quad bikes revving up and down the dunes taking tourists to the top of the dunes to sand board down. We didn’t go on the buggies but the boys hiked their sand board up to the top and had a few slides down!! We stayed in Banana hostel which had a really stuffy tight dorm room. But they did really good fruit smoothies and had a little pool aswell. They also had a pug dog who kept us amused for a while!!
5579607765_54e90a81a3.jpg5579611433_2bd68c21a5.jpg5579614447_92fc589a95.jpg5579619109_f96dd03a73.jpg5580210028_4a12e4de70.jpg5580221108_555e5422e0.jpg5579638613_1c189ea284.jpg5579643781_4713f9e0ae.jpg

The next day was the beginning of the grape harvest. We did a tour by taxi to 2 wineries for 10 soles per person. Tucana was the first one which was set in a lovely part of the country side. We were told about the slpicing of the grapes to get a more hardy grape. Here they make white wine and Pisco.
5512380138_b3429d5bfb.jpg5511787887_355cbdccbc.jpg5511852657_5fbb83d462.jpg5512457440_08c9633cb2.jpg5512461500_b1265af922.jpg5511843831_c51a5354a7.jpg5512445936_31076251e4.jpg5512437098_8e66739685.jpg5511879011_79c2091c54.jpg
The next one was so much fun!! El Catador had the grape party this particular day and so the Grape Queen was there with the local press and the Pisco lady. The next thing we know we are crushing grapes being filmed for the evening news!! Had really sticky feet after wards! The smell was amazing though as you walked around, they use the grape skins back into the ground so layer the paths with them and it smells so Christmassy and sweet. And of course we had to try their produce!
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Posted by downbhoy 13:53 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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