I spent ten days in Lima. It was probably three days too many. Lima is a nice place to visit, but when you are travelling for months, different rules apply.
It is not like a regular holiday. You don’t go on the beer every night. You don’t treat yourself to a slap-up meal every night. When you are on a budget, you need to try to live normally.
I find a week is perfect. It is enough time to get a feel for a place. Most places I go to are exciting and have interesting places to see. A lot of it is free.
During my last days in Lima, I hit my first wall of this trip. Most long-term travellers will hit a wall. Longterm solo travellers will for sure hit a wall.
I began wondering what I was doing on this side of the world. What was I trying to achieve? My thoughts wandered to the past. Could I have done better? 100% yes. Would I change things now if I could? Somethings but not everything.
I think of all the people I had arguments with and reget most but not all. I wasn’t always wrong. I like money like most people, but I have always disliked greed.
My mind drifts to the future. Both my parents suffered dementia in their last years. It was a cruel way for them to end their days. They were good people.
It does play on my mind on days I hit the wall. It is in the family. Is that the future?
I think of the Swedish guy I used to meet at language exchange meetings in Las Palmas. He lived an interesting life. Later I used to see him walking the streets in pyjamas. The only good thing was he used to never pay for his beer. I suppose it is not all bad.
People now live longer. I think what is the point of some people living longer if they cannot live with dignity. Fuck that.
It was time to leave Lima and climb over the wall for now.
I left for the 0700 bus to Paracas 260km south of Lima. I wanted to go here for one reason. To see what is called the poor-mans Galapagos islands.
For many people, the Galapagos Islands in Equador can be that bit expensive. For anyone going to Peru, there is a cheaper alternative.
I paid just under ten euro for a two-hour boat trip around the Islas Ballestas. It was the best ten euro I have spent on my journey so far.
The sea and birdlife on these islands are something else.
If you are ever in Peru, it is recommended visiting these islands. One tip. Don’t sit at the end of the boat. On the way back, I nearly passed out with the smell of diesel.
The one thing that saved me was the constant waves landing on me. This woke me up as I was passing out.
The next day I took another cheap tour to the nearby national park. It has not rained in this area since 1994.
It is amazing that people have lived and survived here for thousands of years.
I met a nice guy from Switzerland that is working with an NGO on tour, and we had a few beers later that night. This is part of travelling I like.
Next up another 210km down the road was a place I have looked forward to seeing. The world-famous Nazca lines.
The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs etched into desert sands in Nazca southern Peru. They were created between 500 AD and 500 BC.
There are many theories about the Nazca lines. Of course, right up there as usual are aliens from another world. Some say they are a guide for visiting aliens.
I would hope that if aliens had the technology to get to earth, they might not need some lines drawn in a desert.
On my arrival in Nazca, I came across the old its closed scam. I was looking for a taxi at the bus station, and this guy approached me. Where are you staying, he asked. I told him, and he replied its closed.
I have bumped into this scam many times now. The taxi driver then says he knows a better hotel for a good price. He brings you there, and the price is higher. The taxi driver then gets a cut.
Anyway, I decided to pursue it a bit more as I was bored. Why is it closed, I asked. Because today is a holiday, he replied. Wow, I said hotels closing on a holiday is a new one on me.
I asked him where I should go. He mentioned a hotel. I said that’s no good. He asked why. It’s closed, I replied. It is a holiday. I walked to my hotel and saved two euro.
After Nazca, it was an eleven-hour journey overnight to Arequipa. I get more and more impressed with the buses in Peru. The eleven hours flew by. The seat space is massive, and it is like a bed. I even slept for six hours which is not normal for me.
Arequipa was just a stopover for me on my way to Machu Pichu. I never even heard of it. It surprised me. It is Peru’s second city, and I loved the historic area.
The city suffered several earthquakes and started to build more using a white volcano stone called sillar. It has a unique look.
To tell or not to tell.
One night in Arequipa. I went out for a few beers. I met two guys from Chile. They were on a business trip to Peru. We had a few beers and a laugh. Later they wanted to meet some ladies and wanted to go to a club.
As a solo gay man travelling in areas that still have traditional values, these situations can be difficult. Despite a lot of progress, homophobia is still very much alive. I hear it everywhere I go.
Sometimes I tell people straight away because after speaking, I would feel they would have an open mind. Other times you can smell danger. Unfourtanly it is still a fact of life for LGBT people. It is great to be brave in a crowd, but sometimes you have to be smart.
I was not sure about the guys, so I declined the invitation to go to the club. If I was going there, I would do so only after telling them I was gay.
I enjoyed the craic with the two guys, and it was with a little regret I walked back to the hostel. There was just a small alarm ringing in my head. We call it our Gaydar.
After another overnight bus, I arrived in the Inca capital of Cusco on Friday morning. The city is known for its architecture. It is also the place most people use to visit Machu Picchu 75km away.
I plan to visit Machu Pichu this week. I am going to try to acclimatise in Cusco for a few days first. Cusco is 3,400 meters above sea level. That is the highest I have ever been to.
I don’t think I have brought cloaths for over a year. Las Palmas life requires T-shirts and shorts. In Cusco, the nights can be cold. There is no such thing as central heating.
I had to dip into my funds and buy a jumper and coat. It has been at least thirty years since I have worn a jumper.
My from BEER to ETERNITY has taken a big hit recently. Usually, low wage countries mean low priced beer. Colombia was a great start. Prices came at about one euro.
Ecuador and Peru have not been so good. I have paid over six euro for a beer in Peru. The big problem I can see is the craft beer industry. Most of the bars I see in Peru are craft beer bars.
I do believe some people think if you put the word craft in front of the word beer you can increase the price by 200%. That might be ok if you are getting a premium product.
I love the choice the craft beer industry has given. The problem I am seeing now is everyone thinks they are a beer expert. A lot of craft beer is now substandard overpriced, overrated pisswater.
This week’s videos come from southern Peru.
A trip out to see what is known as the poor mans Galapagos Islands in Paracas Peru.
It was always on my bucket list. The famous Nazca Lines in Peru.
My south American adventure hits a peak this week. On Monday I take a two-day tour around the Inca Sacred Valley. On Thursday I will spend two days travelling to a place I have wanted to see forever. Machu Pichu.
The wall has been climbed and its time to move forward.
Join me on my journey.
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