In what will appear to be a case of an unemployed travelling dickbag taking the piss, backpacking can be tiring. When you arrive in some busted arse town at 9pm with nowhere to sleep that night and no real ability to speak to people above saying English words in a racist Mexican accent, the fun can be sucked out of the thing. ‘FISHY, YOU LITERALLY DO NOTHING ALL DAY AND HAVE NOT ONE RESPONSIBILTY IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW’ I hear you say. Good call.
Be that as it may, Siz and I decided early on to give ourselves a break from this organising malarkey and booked a tour through Peru. There’s a shit-ton of must-sees in and around the Andes, and the big ones like Machu Picchu need to be teed up early, so dropping a few dollary-doos on a Peru highlights package with the knowledge that we couldn’t fuck it up seemed to us a sound investment.
The only trouble with organised tours is you ship in and out of places via the tourist trails without ever sinking your teeth into the juicy steak of local culture. The guide points at something, you take photos of the something, then you leave the something. The only Espanol I’ve spoken since this one started is when I’ve accidentally mispronounced Machu Picchu to mean Old Penis. This being the case, the last couple of weeks haven’t given us the sort of in depth Peru experience that we might have otherwise received, giving me the green light to blast through the West of Peru in dot point format.
The Capital. Points for sounding like Llama which is pretty Peruvian and easy to remember. Minus a few for being the most Westernised place we’ve yet seen in South America. Dogs in bags. KFC. A disappointingly low count of street cocaine and massage offers. It’s better for those living there, obviously, but I didn’t sit and occasionally poop on 2 days worth of international transport to see Adelaide. Single-handedly keeping the Paragliding industry alive.
Sounds like Nascar which isn’t South American at all. A town built off of the backs of people who made lines in the dirt a while back. Got into a plane with a saucy multi-lingual pilot and two French birds named Michelle. Apparently that was reason enough for me to also be called Michelle for the whole flight. Wasn’t sure if it was an innocent mistake and didn’t have the swinging room to kick off with him in the light aircraft anyway. The lines were both mind-blowing (how they do it, yo?) and a little bit shit (that it though?). Had some nice chicken.
Second biggest joint in Peru. Doesn’t sound like anything, so lost points on the difficulty to pun. Good looking. If Arequipa was a person, it’d be Hellen Mirren. Hot and old. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains that gave me the feeling I was constantly looking at a bottle of Evian. Or that I’d walk up to it and it’d be a big painted wall like in The Truman Show. Disconcerting. Had a fight with a couple of wine bottles that our hotel toilet ended up losing.
Chivay is high. Chivay’s in the sky. Pete Doherty will tell you when you’re that high all the time you can come across a bit cold. With a severe lack of heating in our hotel room, Chivay to me is famous junkie Pete Doherty. It’s the gateway to the world’s 3rd deepest canyon, Colca. I both threw rocks into and got naked at Colca Cayon. I can only label that day a success. Got suggestively whipped by a local while we were interpretive dancing the symptoms of yellow fever. Undecided whether or not it’s my thing.
So half down, half to go. As a general rule thus far, Peru is disgustingly beautiful, culturally fascinating, and charming the pants right off me. In the meantime Siz has got the Machu Picchu shenanigans covered.