A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Harshu

Buenos Aires week 1

Palermo

We flew from rio to B.A., we could have taken a bus to save some money but, travelling in a bus for 48 hours was something we both werent looking forward to. So we flew with Pluna. This plane has been the smallest plane I have ever been in, I reckon. These people didnt have any food included in the flight and I had not had lunch after a pretty hectic day so I was ready to buy a 20 Real Sandwich which Anthony wasnt happy about. It was a very uncomfortable flight and we had decided to live in dorms in B.A to save up on some cash as the flights were pretty expensive so not a great start. We got to B.A., just before 8pm. The view of the city from high up was absolutely amazing, lights as far as the eye can see. It reminded me how Dubai looked in the night but B.A. offcourse is a bigger city.Thanks to Anthony who left the camera in the bag we couldnt tape the landing, our only night landing (we have taped landing in every other country).

Anyway we had not booked accomodation so it was hostel hunting again from the airport. We knew where we wanted to go though. We just had to decide which part of the city we wanted to go to as Palermo and San Telmo were our two choices and in two different directions.We made our way to Tango backpackers in Palermo. The reception and the common area looked pretty cool. The private room had bunk beds and was double the price of the dorm so we obviously chose the 4 bed dorm. There was another couple there before us and had captured both top beds so Anthony and I happily settled in the bottom beds. Unlike Mendoza this time Anthony was going to give a show to the people on the top. Lol !!

From the second day in Palermo we again got into a routine of late mornings, visiting a couple of sites, a bite and then a massive dinner. And oh did I mention lots of nice wine.. and offcourse clubbing.
If I write about every place we have been to and eaten at, I will never finish. Each place has been great but I am writing down the ones worth a mention.

SIGHT SEEING

B. A. is such a big city and just like other countries in S.A full of plazas and avenues in the centre. Gosh and the subways are so far spread. Thinking of 4 stop city loop in melbourne as subway is a joke.

To get anywhere around the city we had to come to Plaza Italia which is a very between Ave Santa Fe and Jorge L Borges. This is a very busy commercial area which has a lot of public transport available in the form of bus, rail and subways and joins Sociedad Rural, the Zoo and the Botanical Garden through its square. Loads of shops too...

The things strongly suggessted by the locals was to visit the zoo, the Botanical Gardens and walk around the parks apart from trying the argentinian steaks. Anyway so we made our way to the zoo, the entrance fees was about 15 Pesos per person so we decided to go to the Botanical gardens first as it was free. This garden, located in Palermo, near Santa fe and was designed by French landscaper Carlos Thays and was inaugurated in 1908. It has numerous statues, fountains, and thousands of species of plants and trees from all over the world (a lot of which we took notice had boards saying they were from OZ ). Inside the garden there is a museum, a library, a greenhouse and a gardening school. But after visiting the Melbourne´s botanical garden and Peradinia Gardens in Kandy this garden in B.A. was like cchiicckkeen burger!! So we got out of there and made our to the parks. They do have a lot of Parks here. I think the parks looked better than the Botanical garden. There was a massive Rose garden in one of the parks which was a highlight for me. It was pretty relaxing in the parks, on our way out we saw some Kushmakundi going on behind a tree.

We visited Plaza de Mayo is the country´s political centre and one of the important plazas.

Florida Street -This street is one of the most famous pedestrian streets of the city
It is also a part of the longest street of shops which scatter around the city centre. Imagine the bourke street mall but much much bigger and spread out in 10 directions. (literally) !!

Av Correintes- It is an important commercial area which is full of Cambio´s (money exchange offices) and all most every bank´s branch of Argentina.

Lavalle Street - This street has a large number of movie theaters as well as restaurants and cafes. Its a shame that the subway service shuts down at 10.30pm or this would be great place to eat and walk around.

Palermo Sunday market

This market was one of the 3 popular markets in B.A. The things offered in this market were mainly clothing, leather, lots of accessories and more accessories. This market is a great place for any age group. I really had to remind myself that I had to keep a budget so all I did here mainly was window shopping. I think I bought two things from here, Anthony was very proud of me for not blowing cash as he was very anxious about me walking around in the market by myself. I think what helped was this Argentinian guy who was chasing me for about 20minutes and I had to run back to the hostel.. Lol !!

Recolota Sunday market-
This was like the hippie market in Ipanema. There is a park surrounding the Recoleta cemetery which has hundreds of stalls lined up all around the park. The market offers a lots of paintings and real life portraits, sculptures, hand made jewellery, winter wear , and tonnes of different soveinger options. The quality of the things looked good, so things were expensive. I was in heaven as it was still cheaper than the market in Ipanema so that meant I could afford to buy a couple of things, Anthony had to stop me from going crazy and buy everything possible. It was funny that we were thinking about tango and we got to see some street Tango while walking around. They werent the best Tango dancers but it was the first time we had actually seen someone dance Tango so it was pretty exciting.
While we were in the market we also were able to visit a church and the cultural centre.

Recoleta cultural centre - We visited this centre when we went to the Sunday market in Recolota. The building was built in 1732 and exhibits sculptures, paintings, and photographs with 25 auditoriums.

The Evita Museum-
We went to visit The Evita Museum dedicated to a remarkable woman (popularly known as Eva Peron) in Argetinian history. The museum was inaugurated in 2002 which was the 50th anniversary of Eva´s death and is located in a petit hotel which was built in the first decade of 20th century. The museum exhibits the life of Evita from her childhood, her youth as an actress, her life as the First Lady next to Argentinian president Juan Peron, her struggle for outlaying laws for women´s civil rights, rights of the aged and workers rights in Argentina and finally a procession after her death. It was wierd that no where in the museum did they mention the reason of her death. It was cancer said one of the salesperson in the soveigner shop. After a great experience in the museum we went to the restaurant of the hotel. It was so cute and petit, just like the rest of the place. We had an amazing crepe and coffee. It was late afternoon so we only got a cafe menu but had seen that there was a seperate lunch menu and we could not stop thinking about it.
This cafe/ restaurant I think was one one of the cutest places we ate at in Buenos Aires. After the first visit we could not stop thinking of the lunch menu which had even a bigger variety of savoury and dessert crepes. So we went back and I had the best mushroom crepe ever and Anthony had a good old salmon crepe. It was ssoooooooo good and offcourse the best capuchino with the 3 layers. I reckon we have had the best coffees in Argentina as the presentation adds so much to the experience.

DINING

On our first night in B.A we had dinner at this Parrilla ( grilled / barabeques ) close to the hostel suggessted by the guy at the reception. After a decent meal we went to check this place out which was about 6 blocks down from our hostel which was supposed to have lots restaurants and stuff around. There was a good cluster different eateries, pubs and retaurants in this plaza. It looked pretty impressive almost every place was packed for dinner at 12.30 am. Like Mendoza even here people eat pretty late. We had a craving for a choclate mousse but didnt really find it, as we had already eaten we walked backed. On our way back we stumbled onto this really cute restaurant. OMG the place was so cute and inviting we almost got hungry again. Before we leave we will definitely eat here atleast once. I must say this area of Palermo definitely has some cute restaurants and amazing wine lists. Len and Them will definitely love this place. I will be definitely drinking a lot of Malbec while I am here (Ok mum not a lot may be a little) .

La Cabrera
We made our way back to the hostel just before dark and were pretty hungry so left for dinner. We wanted to go to this place called La Cabrera a Parrilla ( grilled / barabeques )which was highly recommended by everyone we had spoken to, about Bunes Aires and also the Lonely Planet had a great review of it. So we got there and there was a 45 mins wait. We were like great, it looked pretty happening as the restaurant was absolutely packed and there were about 25 people waiting. So we made reservations and then went for a walk looking around at different places to eat, not for the night but for later, we had to kill time anyway. When we got back we saw free wine and champagne was being served for the people waiting, we were like F&"·&%$. We were so bummed that we missed out on the free drinks. But it wasnt too bad, we got our table as we got there. So offcourse the first order was a bottle of Malbec. I didnt really have too much of a choice apart from 1/4 chicken and something else which was a chicken dish. Anthony on the other hand was in paradise. He had so much choice but he went with the waiter´s recommendation which I think was smart or else he would have taken atleast an hour with his spanish and decision making. He got a massive steak ( De Chorizo) with 13 sides which was amazing. He was very happy.Will upload a pic. After a great meal and bottle of wine, we so were full. Then the waiter brings the dessert menu with two glasses of dessert champagne. We werent really sure if was free so we were hesistant to drink at first, but once tasted it we skulled it. We didnt care. They didnt have a choclate mousse and nothing else really caught our eye so we asked for the bill but the waiter was there to save us from missing out one of the best cakes we were about to have. He suggessted to have this warm choclate cake with cream, strawberry and ice cream. Anthony could not resist the offer and ordered it. To our surprise their was a serve the best blue berries I have ever had accompanying the above mentioned goodies. We had already finished the amazing champagne, I just asked what was it called as I really liked it. The waiter not only told me the name but brought out the bottle to show me and poured another glass and was like dont worry "its on me." SO we were like ok go on and instead of half a glass champers like the first time he poured a full glass for me. VERY HAPPY !! Amazing experience. I must say the food could have been tastier by itself but what made it a great experience was a great spot,great ambience, good food, a great waiter and his service, great wine and great dessert. Offcourse a great massive bill in the end. We blew the daily budget with authority, I think we wont eat for the next 3 days. But it was so worth it. All in all a great night and I think Anthony was really happy that he hammered a steak in the place he looking forward to go to.


CLUBBING

Just like its fine dining and amazing wine B.A. is also famous for its night life. In melbourne we would go out and the clubs are packed by midnight. Here people are still thinking where to go at 1 am and apparently most clubs start getting crowd at 2am in the morning.

CLUB NICETO
We went to this place called Club Niceto, got in at about 3.00 am and it was absolutely jam packed. The dance floor could hold about 500 people and still there was no way we were able to even step our foot on the dance floor. Electronic music seems to be very popular here. Its not our kinda music so I think after the first few tracks we had had it but we still stayed as the place was a buzz. There was a balcony on the second level which gave a pretty awesome view of the floor. We couldnt really bear the music anymore and Anthony was falling asleep so I think we left just before 5 am and while we were leaving we could see there were atleast a 100 people trying to get in. And the floor looked even more packed than before. And all of this on a Wednesday night. I can only imagine the place during the weekend.

COMMUNITY TANGO

Our friend Faisal suggessted of a place he had been which was like a community hall where the Locals came to show off their Tango techniques, learn tango or just simply have fun. Ha had already told us not to expect any younger crowd as the place was more appealing to people over 40. Apparently its the younger crowd here think that only nerds like Tango. We thoght we had not really seen the Tango dancing as such, we were going to go to a Tango show but that would be professionals, but this place would be good as it had only locals. And so after dinner 3 of us headed to the hall. Faisal was right, no tourists in sight apart from us. There was a Tango lesson which was in Spanish. Anthony and I tried but with his balance and my inability to let him lead, all we ended up doing was step on eachother´s foot and get frustrated and move away. But then Faisal could see that we both wanted to give it a shot. He had done a couple of Tango classes so he tried to teach the steps but it didnt help much. In the end when the music started we just ended up doing our own thing. We could not believe how bad we were as normally its not the case at all. But it was great fun, watching the other couples dance, they made it look so easy. They had such an elegance and flawles control of step and they seem to know the steps on every track. I reckon Tango dancers are like a good wine the older they get the better. Like every other dance I hope Uncle knows how to Tango so I can practice with him when I get back.
Like I said before people go out and stay out really late. We got back to the hostel at 3.30am and people looked at us as we were some sort of losers. As they were still thinking where to go. Next morning, offcourse we got up late. I think I went to he bathroom at about 12 in the afternoon and I saw 3 girls strugling to make their way to the bathroom in their going gear from last night. They said they went to this place which was open till 10am in the morning and they had just got back. I think Anthony and even me are a bit too old for nightouts like these.

ZOUK CLUB
Sunday night we went to a Zouk club, never heard of it in OZ. The music was pretty cool. It also had 3 guys (one of them reminded me of CHADWICK) performed on some zouk music,i think. For the first time I have seen a all boy group perform in club so it was different. I think people who cant get their command on one style of dance have created this dancing. It looks like bits of so many different dance styles like slow samba, tango, a bit of J.LO´s version of Salsa, had a touch of the caribbean. It is pretty good, much better than electronic or trance music for us.

So this was our first week in Palermo. We are going to a different hostel tommorrow in the city called the Millhouse (famously known as the party hostel) and then off to San Telmo (one of the older suburbs) of B.A. Hopefully they treat us well like Palermo. I think we will definitely would love to finish our trip in Palermo. This is has definitely been one of the places where we got really comforatble like Cuzco and Ipanema..

Posted by Harshu 19:34 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

Easter in The City of God

Living in Favella like conditions, Resurrection at Christo & The Favella Funkparty

So after being nearly attacked by a drugee.. We had had it. We had to make a decision what to do next either Salvodor, Rio or B.A. Buenos Aires is going to be our final destination anyway so either Salvodor or Rio. We had been to Rio during the carnival and were curious to see the city in its daily buzz. So we decided to come to Rio. Also it was the easter weekend and we thought what better way to celebrate Easter than going to Christo himself.

The guy at the information place in Sao Paulo was like the Lonely Planet book. Exact directions and information about the bus terminal, bus companies and tickets. It was wierd coming back to the Sao Paulo bus terminal, as the last time we were here, we were with our big GAP group.

The bus ride was pretty smooth, got to Rio at about 8.00pm. The decision of leaving to Rio was pretty quick so we had not booked any accomodation. So at 8.30 in the night we were calling all these hostels from the Lonely Planet. Called about 4 places, all full. Finally the wave hostel had 2 spots left in a dorm. It was the busy easter weekend so everything was full getting a double room was out of question. We arrived on the same street where we stayed the last time. It was difficult driving past the street as the place we stayed at was absolutely perfect. Anyway we arrive to this hostel. I realised that we had walked past this place a lot of times during our first visit. There was cluster of different hostels; CLUSTER Anthony was happy. Lol !!

Worse Than Favella like conditions (we have seen the favella its up market) -

On arrival a girl from a different place to what we had booked hostel called¨ The Girl from Ipanema¨ greeted us and asked us if wanted a room. We asked if they had a private room which we would prefer over the dorms. She said as it is a busy weekend all their regular doubles are full but they had a private room which she would do it for a cheap price for that night. The other room was going to be available the next day ie Easter Sunday. OMG the room was ssoooo SHOCKING!! I couldnt believe that we had to pay them money to stay in that room. It should have been the other way around.I have never seen over 20 socket holes drilled in not even a 10 by 10 room. It had 3 beds, one double and 2 singles.The beds looked like they were from the junkyard from the Favella or a donation from the Favella to the hostel. We told the girl that we will check our initially reserved place first and then tell her. So we walked next door to the Wave Hostel thinking we will defintely prefer to stay in the dorm instead of that shocking room.
This other place had a nice and clean social area, so we thought ah thats a good start. Walked into this dorm OOOOHH MY GOD ! it was the dirtiest room I have ever seen (Yes worse than our room. it just has clothes and ear-rings everywhere !!). The walls were painted marroon with cob webs nearly touching the top bunk bed. The room had no ventilation of any sort, so you would have to leave the main door open and a cieling fan (another donation from the Favella). We have stayed in a dorm in Mendoza for a night. So its not the only exposure to dorms but all of a sudden the Hole we saw before in the other hostel was like a 3* hotel. So we checked in there and tried to stay out for as long as we could. We were going to Christo the next day that excitment took over us and slept on the dodgey beds praying that we dont get bitten by the bed bugs.Hopefully the other room in the apartment that she was talking about be a better room or else we are calling Sonia getting in Ipanema Palace.

Resurrection at Christo

Next day we were up pretty early and took a 7.30 bus to get to Christo. We thought we had got there pretty early as we were there before the first train left but nnnoooooooo! There were about 100 people already there.What a noble idea - celebrate easter at Christo as if no one else thought of that. lol !
We had to wait ages to get a good shot. After about a good hour and a half I think we got the shot we wanted. Surprisingly, there was a Preist there this time blessing people who I think missed the morning mass. So that was special.Unlike in India this guy didnt ask me what religion I am nothing, just the language we spoke and where we were from and then blessed us in English. The day looked pretty cloudy on the way there but surprisingly it was very clear near Christo. I think this time around we could appreciate the statue even more. This time around I didnt get the magical feeling when I caught a glimpse of the statue from the stairs but I was still in an awe !! It is just a magnificent structure I think everyone should visit it once in the lifetime Christian or non Christian. It got really busy by now so we went ot have to breakfast at the same place as last time where I still think they serve the best Mango and strawberry mixed juice ever. After the breakfast we went back near the statue and enjoyed the views of the Rio. It was simply a divine moment celebrating easter sunday in this wonderfully spiritual site.

We left at about 12 from Corcovado mountain and made our way back anxious about this other room. As mentioned before we were staying in a shocker of a room in the Girl from Ipanema hostel on Holy saturday, I think Jesus´Tomb would have had more light and comfort. Luckily for us though, Sofia the owner had another double room for us a few houses down from the main hostel in a shared unit. We Jumped at the chance to move on sight. The apartment was clean, spacious. It brought back sanity to us after staying in a bad location in Sao Paulo and the shocker the night before. After taking nice warm shower and coming back to sanity we were ready to socialise with the people in the hostel so went to the reception and check what can be done.

Benny´s Favella Funkparty

The girl at the reception told us about this Favella Funk party as a popular thing to do for the night. The list of people going to this party looked pretty big as well. Anthony met this guy Faisal (not Oliver) who was also going and said that it was the place to be. All we could think about is Bené/Benny´s going away party from the movie The City of God. The receptionist also said that we would get access to the VIP level which is the upper level and you could see the dance floor(I could imagine the scene from the movie).So we got pretty hyped. We didnt really do too much during the day just relaxed and took a nap as we were told we will come back at 4.30 in the morning from the party. After dinner we met the rest of the group at 10 pm at the hostel reception where we going to be collected from to go to this Party. Anthony was speaking to Faisal, it was Faisal´s last night there he was going to B.A. the next day, he seems like a nice guy we will definitely catch up with him in B.A. I was a bit anxious as I didnt see any girl names on the list and I didnt want to be the only girl there. But luckily there were 3 more girls there and I kinda got friendly with Inquin and Karen. Inquin was with her B.f and it was there last night there aswell.

We left the hostel at about 10.30 pm and drove to this favella which was about 40-45 mins away from Ipanema. When we drove past the parking lot we saw atleast 350 people just in the parking lot. Everyone got really excited thinking of the number inside as it looked like a big concert like area. Just outside the entrance there was small vendor selling Caipirinhas for 2 Reals. We were told that drinks inside would be expensive so everyone decided to have some drinks outside and then go in. The scene outside was pretty happening. Everyone was dressed in this Favella Funk promotional T- Shirts with a Johnny Bravo print. I sooo wanted that T- Shirt (I so love Johnny bravo- Anthony doesnt know who he is and most of you wouldnt either). I must say people were a bit agressive with their advances; we had 2 Scottish guys who actually got scared of the 2 girls making advances and begged me and this other girl to stand with us so the girls would go away. But we had our own issues, one specific mention was this guy standing not even a meter away from us salvating and staring right at me. It wasnt very comfortable.

It was just before 1am and our tour guy who was Brsilian told us that we could get in. Everyone bought a drink and got ready to walk in. By now we couldnt see the people outside so we thought they have all gone in. We were about 15 people we walked in together and everyone single one of us had the same reaction. WHAT THE F$@K ?? Where are all the people?? This place inside did look like Benny´s party but instead of 1000 people in his party there were not even 50 people here (and the place could hold about 1000 people ). We just didnt understand where did the over 350 people go who were waiting outside. When we went to the toilets they all were flooded and the dance floor corner were full of piss. We couldnt contemplate that 50 people could do that.
The girl I was talking to Inquin was telling me how much fun these parties are as they had been to one before. It looked like it could be a great spot but where were all the people ? I must the say the music was great, cheap drinks, and we were on the upper level which was supposed to be the VIP level. The VIP level was totally empty apart from the 15 of us. After I finished my massive Caipirinha I didnt really care and I was getting it on with the Baila Funk music that was playing. Anthony was disappointed though as there was no crowd.
Everyone enjoyed but I think missed the crowd. There were dance comps with people being pulled out from the crowd, the moves were far more aggressively primal than any where else in south america. There also was also strippers both male and female picking people from the crowd and giving them massive shots of Casacha straight from the bottles and shaking there heads worse than a Indian massuer. If that was me I would have puked right on the stripper man.

We got out at about 3.30 am as I think, everyone wanted to leave but for some reason we stayed another hour outside. When we finally left our driver apolozised to us saying sorry about the empty place and told us that there was a shooting inside just about 30 minutes before we got there. Thats is why when we arrived everyone was outside or already gone or leaving. And thats why the place was empty. Now it all made sense the flooded toilets, piss puddles on the near the dance floors, empty cups and beer bottles lying everywhere. In the movie after Benny was shot, people start running everywhere but they dont show how the club looked later. I think we saw how it would have looked. I cant believe there was someone killed in there and we werent told. Finally we left at 4.30 am and got to the hostel just before 5.30 in the morning.

Anthony and a couple of others didnt get over the fact that there was no crowd, but I think it made sense to them after the shooting story. All in all a very wierd experience, I had a great night until I heard about the shooting.
Hey one good thing atleast I got the Johnny Bravo print T-Shirt thanks to Faisal.

Looking forward to just lying on the beach at posto 9 now.

Chao

Posted by Harshu 07:27 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Lima

Mira Flores, Centro and off course dramas

After Visiting amazing churches, inca museums and being spoilt with cheap massa-hes (that is how they say it here) and cocktails we decided to hit Lima. But we had to leave as all we
were doing is getting drunk on the cocktails and getting massa-hes. It was difficult to leave
our hotel Calicanto and the crew.

Our guy Miguel at calicanto arranged free airport transport in Lima for us from Cusco so when we get to Lima
we could be taken hostel hunting as we had not booked anything. The flight was pretty smooth
no dramas. When we got to the Lima airport instead of 1 there were 2 people waiting for us for this free pick up.
The free fried fish with Louey had taught us a lesson.So about 10 minutes in the taxi I
couldnt help it and I reconfirmed whether the transfer was free with Pablo our driver. Pablo who was quite churpy till then exclaimed "Nooooooo Lady!!!" that its not free and we had to pay 30 USD to him and then off course you can imagine Anthony, he was like STOP right now and then rudely negoiated the fare to be 10USD(is what we would have paid if we took a bus). But it wasnt either of their fault as the taxi driver wasnt told about the free trasnfer and we were under the impression that it was a free transfer.
Thanks Louey it was the free fried fish incident that urged me to confirm this free transfer or else we would have paid much more if we didnt check.

limaa__7_.jpg

The first impression of Lima was lots of chinese restraunts(chifa´s), pokies and a stone beach. There
was no sand on the beach but just pebble stones. I have never seen that in person so it was cool. We drove into this hotel called Excetivo in Mira Flores. which the taxi driver insisted. It was not the best option but we took it for 1 day as we were gonna walk around and move somewhere else the next day. The taxi driver swore that he didnt get any commission and we had to pay for the tranfer but I still dont beleive him because I think about 30mins after we checkedin he showed up in the recepetion and didnt expect to see us and was a baffled when he saw
me walking in.

Lima is offcourse a much bigger city than Cusco. We went wandering on the beach and make
reservations in this place called Rosa Nautica. Like Unc Ranchi says, it was an "upmarket"
place right on the beach, we drove past earlier. It was so upmarket that the bellboy declined Anthony to walk in with his sleeveless top to even to make a reservation. Eventually after persuasion we walked in and made one for 6.30pm. It was already 4pm and we had not had lunch yet. So I wasnt sure how we were going to make it back for dinner at 6.30pm. Anyway we decided to walk towards the main centre. As usual Anthony was being picky for place to eat and it was 4.15pm and I was shitty as I was hungry. I finally put my foot down and we walked in to a place called cafe Z. I ordered a simple tomato and oregano pizza as thats the only thing I understood from the menu. Anthony on the other hand picked something fancy, as he thinks he knows Spanish and orders this mix thing which
he thought was a better pizza. And later he was telling me ``Look it says misto, that means mixed pizza``.

My pizza comes first offcourse as it was simple and Anthony wouldnt stop teasing me and asking how did my cheese and bread tasted? 5 mins later his pizza arrives, and I asked him where the pizza base was ?as it had olives, cheese, porksaugages all alinged beautifully. And then we realise that he ordered a startes platter. I
have a pic of his reaction which i will upload u have to see it. Now my cheese and bread -
The simple pizza was offcourse better and he was eying that. As nice as I am (U know what I
mean Aunty ) hehehe, I did share my pizza with him and offcourse as usual after his stuff up I was
there to save the day. I spoke to the waitress, she didnt speak english but I think she
understood what Anthony had done as she walked away giggling.We werent sure where she went, and
then the manager walked upto us and told us that he will get pizza for him for free. Anthony
was like wwwwweeeeeeeee !! It was really nice of the guys at cafe Z to give the pizza to anthony for free
when it was Anthony who had made a mistake ordering. And now all of sudden as he got a free
pizza and a platter he went back to teasing my simple pizza. TYPICAL Lol !!

limaa__3_.jpglimaa__4_.jpg

After lunch at 4.45pm we went looking for a hostel in the centre and did check a couple out but they were all full. It was the last hostel we were gonna look at before we made our way back to the hostel, LOKI backpackers, spoke to this manager Sabastein, he said they had one room left but someone else was supposed to check in like 8 hours ago and if they didnt show up in the nexthour we will getthe room, Nice room amazing view of the main road and the
biggest Mackers I have ever seen.

So we were very happy about finding this place and were looking forward to the hear from Sabastein in an hour and hoping he says yep its ok u can check in tommorrow. It had got pretty late by now about 6,15pm and we had reservations for this Náutica place at 6,30 pm.

BOth of us were pretty full still so we decided to can that place and just roam around the centre where it looked pretty good. We walked into this street which looked like china town at first but then we realised it was a cluster of restaurants, kareoke places and some night clubs. Before we ate we called the hostel and confirmed that we can check in tommorrow in the room shown to us by the manager.So we were relieved and ready to enjoy our dinner.We ate at this really welcoming place, mainly an english speaking waiter who could help with the menu. He was really nice and got us into eating at this place. Offering 2 free pisco sours each instead of one; which is a norm. I think in lima people like to eat a lot of cold fish as most of the menu in this restaurant was just that. Anthony ordererd the local favourite some cold fish with tiger milk(nothing to do with a tiger) and I got something that looked like it was going to be hot as the fish was supposed to be served with some chilli sauce.It was my turn to make a mistake with the order. I thought I had ordered warm cooked fish and was telling Anthony how I cant eat cold fish as a main. The food arrived while we were sipping on the Piscos, Anthony looks at my food and before I tasted it, he took a bite and had a face. I still didnt get it and I took a massive bite and had a brain freeze as the fish I thought would be fire hot was Ice cold. OMG i was so pppiiiiisssssseeedddd !! And offcourse I had take Anthony´s smart stabs about my choice for the rest of the meal.

After dinner we walked into this free night club it wasnt the best but wasnt bad as the music was ok and the crowd was bearable. But we had heard about this one particular street where there was supposed to be a CLUSTER OF CLUBS (like Anthony likes it). I didnt really drink but Anthony finished a whole jug of beer. Had a decent night and came back pretty late.

Next day we got to Loki to check into our room that we booked.
You must be thinking how come there is no drama with these two yet. Finally ready for a smooth run as everything is confirmed and cross checked. But nnnnooooooooooo !!

We get to the reception and the guy tells us someone else hás been put into our room by mistake. We were pretty disappointed, the guy at the reception said that the poeple will be back in 2 hours and they will get them to move into a different room and until then we can stay in a different room. We thought 2hours is not bad as we were going for a walk anyway. We come back at 6pm in the evening which was 6 hours later and nothing yet. After being tossed around for the whole night we were told that we wont get our room and stay in a different one for the night. Anthony and I were pissed, we had not even unpacked thinking we are going to move soon. And also no one had the audacity to come up to us and tell us what was happening. And on top of that I had specifically asked to speak to the manager or someone with authority when possible, The manager sends this non english speaking girl to us, telling us about the room and how we cant move that night and bargaining to give a discounted price for the other room. I thought it was really poor on Loki´s behalf. We were really keen in just staying in our room and enjoying the view and relaxing that night. The hostel had a really cool common área. So we decided to enjoy the special rate dacquiris and enjoy the view from there. We played some wierd drinking games within a group of 15 people i think. Met this Lankan guy from England who was next to us. First I thought he was related to Anthony in some wierd way but he was Tamil so that was not going to happen. He mentioned how he hás visited his cousin in melbourne a lot times and he lived in Keysborough. I thought he had to know Bevan or some one Lankan and have a wierd connection. He started speaking about cricket and the attack on the Lankan team in Pakistan. We were really happy thinking we can have a cricket conversation as no one else we had met even knew cricket. But unfortunately he didnt know who Chaminda Vaas was; At first Anthony was real excited trying to find who this cousin in Keysborough was but after the Vass mishap Anthony stopped talking to him. Lol !!
I could not beleive that, I was just giving him so much shit the whole night . It was real fun. We went out get a bite and walk arouund a bit and called it a night.

Next day expected someone to come to us telling that ok your room is ready and we can check in. The guy at the reception didnt even have an idea of what was going on. I was about to crack it, (I gave him the benefit of the doubt thinking of the chicken burger incident) and explained what had happened. But he was arrogant and saying´he has worked there for 3 years, and this had never happened´ and was passing the buck; then I cracked it. I told him to send Sabastein to speak to us in the breakfast área where Anthony was waiting and he was the one who we were dealing with. I wouldnt have got angry on this guy but he was giving me attitude when it was their fault. We had nearly finished our breakfast when this Sabastein who is the manager shows up with even more attitude and arrogance. It was great the way Anthony and I gave it back to him as both of us had lost it by now. We were a great team.

Finally we got into a adjacent room which gave a similar view but we had so much to do as we were leaving for São Paulo next morning. We nearly got what we wanted and then headed to this big shopping centre which was constructed on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I think it is one of the best shopping centres I have seen locationwise. We had not had lunch and were looking for a place. We ended up feasting on an amazing buffet and enjoying the view of the ocean. What a spread !! Offcourse we had to move from our table at least once, but this time it was in middle of the meal thanks to Mr. De Silva.
I have to edit the details here but I am sure you know what must have happened, if not I will tell in person. I personally think that this place was a better place and value for money than the Lake Náutica place that we ditched the night before. We were so full couldnt walk properly for the first 10 mins after we left the place. We wandered around the mall for a while and then made our way back and got to our hostel at about 6.30pm.
Chilled out in the common área for a little while and went out to get some dinner. Anthony got some beef roll and I got a fried rice from one of the Chifa´s (chinese restaurants) there. Had a quite one as we had to catch flight for São Paulo at about 4,00am.
Looking forward to São Paulo as have heard heaps about it but if I feel scared will get to B.A. before schedule.

Goodnite

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Posted by Harshu 20:29 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Aguas Caliente-Relaxing after the Inca trail

Hot Springs, gross old ladies and CUY

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After our trek we made our way to the busstop outside macchu picchu down the mountain got to the foot of this town Aguas Caliente from where we were supposed to catch the train the next day for olaytantambo. We decided to stay in this town for one night just to relax after the crazy hectic 4 days and enjoy the hot springs. And if we left on the same day we would have to rush with the hot springs and would have got to Cusco pretty late in the night. So we wanted to just relax and the enjoy the hot springs. Our guide suggested a nice hostel and a place to eat aswell. It was an absolute shocker so we went and explored the room so we found a better place with a view of Urubumba river. Anthony and I then went for lunch,as usual De silva did not want to go with the guides choice which was fine and took ages in picking restaurant and I had my tanttrums as I was very hungry, after much walking we ended at the suggestion of the guide anyway, a restuarant called HOT SRINGS with a nice view. Anthony ordered a guinea pig, yes I said a guinea pig or CUY , it is a traditional dish in Cusco.I stuck with the local theme and ordered a grilled llama. De Silva devoured the CUY with his barehands like he had never eaten before. The waiter was estonished that there was no remains on the plate not even the head. After lunch Anthony decided to take a nap and I went on venturing the town and the market. Again didnt really buy much but nearly got picked up and asked for a coffee which I had to decline like 3 times and then I got lost in the market for about 20minutes until I saw Anthony who had awoken and come to find me and go to the hotsprings for a well deserved relaxing soak.

The hotsprings themselves was a bit disappointing as we expected actual natural surroundings, however they were more like a bath house. The water itself did not look that inviting and the place was a bit overcrowed despite being late in the evening. Having said that we had not really had excellent shower conditions in the last four days to add to our aching legs so we jumped in anyway. It was a good decision in the end as we were able to just stay still and recharge whilst downing the local brew. The highlight of the evening was when we witness a 50+ Brazillian lady sleezing on to this 20 year old peruvian boy. It reminded us of thailand in reverse.

Apart from the hotsprings, Aguas Caliente was fairly lowkey. Just a point for us to relax. It did have an abundance of restaurents for us to choose from though, all at rock bottom prices. We ended heading back to cusco by train and bus the next day where we hope to chill for a while.
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Posted by Harshu 22:55 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

The Inca Trail-Day 3

An Abundance of the most important Archeological Inca Sights (Read in Following sequence Day 1,2,3,4)

After a very tiring day 2 we had an early start again at 5.30 with wake up tea provided by our tireless porters who were up again I don’t know exactly since when but had another great breakfast ready.
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We started our trek at 6.30ish with about an hour and a bit of climbing straight up. We continued up and over the mountain, with again a 40 minutes descent before coming upon to the first ¨archeological Inca Site¨ , this one on the edge looking out over the valley. Its called ***** . Our guide Carlos was telling us how it was the most important archeological Inca site. He said the same thing when saw the first look out point on DAY1. Infact it was at this point that Walter, Isa, Anthony and my self started to chuckle. Mainly because of the amount of times Carlos used the term ' Archeological Inca Site'. If we got a dollar from Carlos every time he used this phrase we would have all done the trek free. In all seriousness but we loved his enthusiasm and passion for his role. I also loved walking through the look out point and enjoying the view. After staying there for about 10-15 mins and taking in the view we started walking again a little steep it wasn´t as bad though. I was struggling on day 2 by now but not today. The incline wasn’t as bad. I was still sore from the day2 slip but it was all good. We were at about 3800ms above sea level. At this point we could notice a change vegetation, the flora and fauna. We could notice this, when Walter was taking even more pictures than the first two days(he he). I think after climbing another steep mountain we passed two other important archeological Inca sites Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca . By the end of the third site we were at 3600m above sea level. We could also enjoy the view of Urubumba ( U-R-U-B-U-M-B-A as Carlos EXCLAIMED !!!!) river and by 4.30pm we got to the camp site, Winaywayna.

We got to winaywayna and our campsite was a little away from the main camp area which was a god send as we were away from the noise. The place was pretty weird. I was pretty surprised as the restaurant sold beer, and different types of alcohol. I heard that there was night club in there as well, however this turned out to be more like a high school cafeteria. I cant quite understand why you would want to drink too much on the eve of reaching machu picchu though.

Before dinner Anthony and I ventured to the main camp area, Anthony took advantage of the first sight with hot showers in three days. We struggled back hand in hand with a flat batteried torch in the dark, awaiding spiders only to return to yet another great last supper.
After the meals It was time to give the porters their tip. Hopefully they were happy with what they got.I am sure they deserved much more for what they do. I wish I had the more cash on hand to tip them heavily. I feel for Daniel 18, it was his first trek carrying 25kg . I hope the others gave him an equal share.
After giving the tips and taking pictures with our porter friends, Carlos told us that we have an early start at 4.00 AM. So we returned to our respective tents just after 8.00pm. I fell asleep as I hit the bed.I could still hear the powerful gush of Urubamba river which was pretty far away but it felt like that we had camped right on the bank of the river.

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In a wrap it was a great day climbing up and down the steep mountains and looking at the many 'Archeological inca sites and Urubamba river and hearing its powerful rush. Really looking forward to tommorrow we will be in machupicchu tomorrow. Cant belive that the four days went so quickly.

Posted by Harshu 17:37 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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