18 January 2020

Peru, 11 Years Later

I first visited Peru back in 2008. This visit was actually triggered by numerous visits to a now-defunct Colombian restaurant in Prague. Back in 2006, I spent the summer months in Prague, where I stayed in the city for 2 and a half months. There was a Colombian restaurant which somehow we visited numerous times. I once remarked that I would like to visit South America one day, but I was told not to, because I "would be kidnapped". I wanted to prove that wrong. So I prepared myself, and in 2008 I found myself spending ten days in Peru, visiting Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.

However, the country is big, and there's more to see than Machu Picchu, so I decided to come back. 11 years later, I was back again, and this time, I spent three weeks, visiting other areas of the country, a few months ago, in September-October.

On Saturday, 14th September, I flew from Berlin to Lima, via Madrid. I actually had a long stopover in Madrid, long enough to get out of the city and meet a friend for dinner. Funny thing is that it seems I do these meet-ups with this friend in places I pass by: the last time I met him and his wife was in Mexico City, when I was visiting and they were living there.

After a red-eye flight, I arrived early morning in Lima on Sunday, 15th September. I spent two nights there, enjoying the food scene and checking out the capital city. And then I flew to Juliaca, near Lake Titicaca, spending a total of four nights in the area. This was the first time I felt altitude sickness, which was very interesting.

Then on Saturday, 21st September, I took a bus to Arequipa, and spent three nights there, exploring the city. There are plenty of cultural and historical things to see in Arequipa, so I kept myself busy.

On Tuesday, 24th September, I headed to the north, flying from Arequipa to Piura via Lima. I slowly worked my way heading south, spending two nights in Piura, three in Chiclayo, and three in Trujillo. And then on Wednesday, 2nd October, I flew from Trujillo to Lima, where I spent a final two nights, before I headed back home.

It was definitely an interesting trip, and I was glad to have been back. There were aspects which I felt were exactly the same, but also other aspects that I thought was different, in a positive way. For example, I remember in 2008 being slightly paranoid about the safety of my visit. The guidebook had blurbs of various dangers I needed to watch out for. But in 2019, I was positively surprised at how safe things felt. I was taking public transportation in Lima, and everyone had their smart phones out and about. Perhaps I am also a more seasoned traveller this time, which would also make a difference.

In any case, of course, more detailed posts would come, with photos, so stay tuned.

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