Playa Tortuga, Peru
It doesn't help that it is winter here, so the beach towns are all closed up. The other night we were driving on the highway and it got dark and it took forever to find somewhere to stay. There were hundreds of little beach towns, but they seemed all boarded up and some only consisted of fancy condominiums. We finally pulled off to one of the towns that had a paved road, there were a few hostals (which is Spanish means small hotel, not somewhere with bunk beds and guys with dreds). A went into one to ask about it, there was only a child there, he had to run and call his brother to see how much to charge. I guess this should have been our first sign, but we were desperate for somewhere to stay and since it's winter, we were guessing it's just the off season. When we went up the stairs, we were greeted with this little scene:
Hostal, Cerro Azul, Peru
Everything seemed fine though, except until the next morning when we tried to leave and they had LOCKED US IN. The woman who I guess was overseeing the place decided to go run some errands and locked the front door. She did not bother to tell us she was going to do this. It was one of those locks that would be supper illegal in the US, that you need a key from both sides. We spent a while going through the whole place looking for keys, eventually she returned, but we were about five minutes from smashing the glass to exit. I can't imagine what was going through her head when she did that, but I can't say this made us enjoy peru any more than we already did.
Drive to Caraz, Peru
We did have one enjoyable hike, up in the mountains. We wanted to do a hike near Huraz called the Santa Cruz trek. It is 4 days/3 nights and was supposed to be totally safe and doable without a guide. After it took us two days of trying to get there, we decided to just do one day. I will post pictures of that when I get a chance to upload from my camera. Probably the worst part of the hike (other than being very steep uphill) was discovering how bad sand flies bite (and later discovering you can get a horrible disease from them). I'm usually not too bothered by misquitos and such, but right now I feel like I'm gonna itch my legs off, it's horrible.
Drive to Caraz, Peru
Another strange thing about Peru is the Chinese influence, we had noticed a lot of people look vaguely Chinese and the supermarkets had a Chinese produce section, but we really noticed it yesterday when we stopped at a small restaurant off the highway and they served us chicken in a star anise sauce with pickled radishes. Turns out in the 1850's Peru was importing Chinese laborers as essentially slaves. Reading more on it, seems like different people estimate it differently, but at least 5% of the population has some Chinese origins.
We are very excited to make it to Cusco, to see A's friends as well as D (oh and maccu picchu and stuff).