So I finally did it. I finally not only left Cusco, but I left Peru. I think in total I ended up spending about 4.5 months in that amazing country, and it was still not enough. With the coming doom that is my flight home fast approaching I had to force myself to leave Mancora in search of adventures further north.
The second attempt of traveling Peru I actually saw quite a few more places than in the first 3 months that I was there. During my first week back I took a solo trip down to Arequipa and went hiking in the Colca Canyon - memo to self - do not attempt to do this again when you`re wearing the equivalent of dunlop volleys. During the hiking expedition I got to do many amazing things. My two favorites are as follows: 1) Got to stay over night in an oasis at the bottom of the canyon (never been to one of those before) and 2) RIDE A MULE!!! Pretty much the most excited I had been in a long time. I also discovered that being a 6 hour walk from a road and hiking in altitude will not stop a brass band. Highly amused to see one of those hiking along behind us at one point. Random much.
After another 3 weeks in Cusco I headed up to Lima to be a spy at a hostel (free accommodation for the win). Got to actually explore Lima and catch up with some people that I`d met in Cusco who live in Lima, it was actually pretty good having some locals show me around. Also got to see a laser and water show at a water park which was pretty damn cool. Look up Parque de Aguas, Lima on youtube if you`re into that sorta thing. Some of its just lasers but other parts of it actually look like movies being projected onto the fountain.
4 days after I arrived in Lima, B and Yona came and met me and we headed up to Mancora. A chilled out beach town in the north of Peru. Here we got to catch up with a whole bunch of people we know and love from Cusco. Soooo great. It was the best way I could have spent my last week in Peru. Chilling with (relatively) old friends, making new friends, chilling by the pool, rediscovering my tan, living off fresh fruit and tasty smoothies, generally taking it easy. I even did a surf lesson - keen to do them again some time - sooo much fun! After a week, with that flight of doom date creeping closer I forced myself to leave. Time to explore Ecuador.
Peru, you`ve been amazing, inspiring and my home for the last 5 months.