A Travellerspoint blog

Peru

Jungle greetings from Lima

31.03.2013 – 17.05.2013

sunny 28 °C

It’s been quite a while since my last update, but it have been busy times on all levels. Being half way in my volunteering project however, now is a good time to write.

Since April 1st, I have been working in Moyobamba. It’s a nice challenge and a lot of work, but I’m working with a young, fun and energetic team, giving me all the energy and motivation I need. The company itself is a new and growing stevia plantation. Their terrains are enormous, the infrastructure is impressive and in total it provides a job for some 350 local people. At the same time they face a lot of challenges, but everyone is enthusiastic to move forward.
As I don’t feel like a tourist in Moyobamba, I have hardly taken any pictures during my time there: nor from the plantation, nor from the city and the daily life. I’d love to share some with you, but I’m afraid I’ll have to do that a little later…

I’m staying in a house with 2 young guys, and more people from the Stevia One project are living close by. From the first moment they involved me in all of their activities, so I had the chance to explore some of the neighborhood and local (night)life. Everything is done and said in Spanish for the last month, so I do get the chance to practice it a lot too. It’s still a challenge and I miss a lot of vocabulary and grammar, but people are patient and understanding, so I manage to make myself understandable in any situation.

The 1st of May, I welcomed my parents to the Peruvian jungle. They were traveling with a group of friends in Peru and decided to extend their holidays for a week to bring a visit to their son. After 4 months without family, it was so great to see them again and talk about home. We spent a little over a week together, staying in Tarapoto, Moyobamba and Lima together.

Pictures Tarapoto...
Pictures Moyobamba...
Pictures Lima...

At this moment, I’m still in Lima. I have been working from the administrative office here, while having a great time at night and during the weekend. In a way I’m sad I already have to go back to Moyobamba: Lima is an exciting city with great people. I would love to stay here much longer, but the project in Moyobamba is calling…

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Posted by tombroekaert 09:53 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

North-Perú

28.02.2013 - 12.03.2013

sunny 33 °C

For the third time in one year I land in Lima airport. I’m back here for Felien and Omar’s wedding, to visit North-Perú and to continue to Ecuador. This is how my last month of traveling will look like, before I head back to the Peruvian jungle for my three month volunteering project.

Miraflores, the area in Lima where I’ll be staying again this time, is starting to become a familiar. I know (some of) the streets, the restaurants and the shops. WhenI’m installed in the hostel and I open my laptop, I find out my sister got a new baby boy! I’m super proud to be uncle for the third time of a healthy boy named Jef.
The second of March is the big day for Felien and Omar, as they celebrate their wedding. It’s a beautiful afternoon and evening at the beach, with a very intimate and personal ceremony in the sand and a Peruvian-Belgian party afterwards. It’s nice to meet some Belgian friends and family of Felien and the same goes for Omar’s Peruvian side. That same night, I go out in Lima, the city that has never let me down, at least party-wise. So I’m even more exhausted when I leave Lima.

Pictures Lima...

A first stop is Trujillo. The most interesting things are not found in the town itself, but around. Here, Moche and Chimú people lived long before Inca’s ruled this region and both civilizations have left their traces in the form of immense adobe piramids. I spend one day exploring the temples and graves they have here. The other day is for relaxing only: late breakfast, resting in the hammocks of the hostel, wandering around the time to grab a coffee and a quiet evening with cuba libre drinking games, once again in the hammocks.

Pictures Trujillo...

Afterwards I continue North to Chiclayo. This town contains more of Moche and Chimú ruins in the neighborhood of the city. It is different from Trujillo however: I visit some nice museums and from a mountaintop I get a sweet overview of what once was an immense complex of temples.

Pictures Chiclayo...

The last stop in Perú is Máncora. I was promised a beautiful beach and great party. I have to say it’s not much like all the people told me. Máncora consists of one street, which is the Pan-American highway. It’s filled with bars, restaurants, hostels and tourist shops only and the beach is not beautiful at all. Sure, this is the place to be if you are looking to party with other tourists or 18-year old locals, alcohol, drugs, sex or any combination of the above. I must admit however, I have a great time there… But 2 days there is more than enough…

Pictures Máncora...

Then it is time to travel to Ecuador, my last country before spending 3 more months in Perú. A short bus trip takes me to Piura, where I take a direct night bus to Loja, where I will meet my cousin to travel through Ecuador…

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Posted by tombroekaert 21:38 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Goodbye Peru, hello Chile!

14.01.2013 - 20.01.2013

sunny 28 °C

After spending two weeks in Lima, the time to go has come. I have to admit I absolutely adore the city and its habitants, and in a way I’m sad having to leave. But of course, I came here to travel and in that way, I’m eager to start moving around, to travel and get to know much more about South-America.

It does feel very strange leaving the hostel after 2 weeks. In many ways, it feels exactly like 2 weeks ago, when I was leaving Belgium. The mix of leaving everything and everyone that was familiar, with the excitement towards the unknown and new adventures.

Now, I’m writing you from the bus to Tacna (in the deep south of Peru), a 20h drive from Lima. From there, it will take me about 2 hours more to cross the border with Chile, until I get to Arica. In Chile, I’m planning to visit Arica and the surroundings (incl. Lauca national park) and the Atacama desert. Afterwards, I’ll continue to Argentina.

I’m not going to make too many promises about all the other places I hope to visit. During the last days I was making the planning and there are just too many things I would like to see, but time is limited. I suggest you follow my blog and find out, together with myself, in what places I end up…

Pictures...

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Posted by tombroekaert 16:40 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Lima (2)

7.01.2013 - 14.01.2013

semi-overcast 28 °C

It’s more than a week since I’m in Lima. I can say time is flying and I even haven’t started the real traveling yet… The week was nice, taking Spanish courses in the morning and spending relaxing afternoons and evenings with people from the hostel, Felien or Carolina.
It’s summer time in Lima and this mostly means splendid weather during the day: a lot of sun, close to 30 °C but a refreshing breeze in the city. In the night, it cools down to some 20 °C, which means still perfect to go out in t-shirt but just cool enough to sleep.

The weekend started off with an amazing party on Friday evening with people from the hostel: 6 different people, 6 different countries and 4 different continents. We went to a small underground party in the house of an artist in Barranco. First there was some live Peruvian music, followed by a dj’s playing their thing. The party scene is much more exotic here. Of course, even here they play ‘gangnam style’, but mostly salsa, cumbia, reggaeton,…
This party was the perfect setting to practice some Spanish, but mostly to learn my first basic steps of salsa. I was told you can’t learn Spanish if you don’t know how to dance salsa… It’s not too difficult, but often I got slapped on my hips, meaning I should move them more. And of course, I’m far away from spinning around the girls… it is really amazing how good some of the locals can dance.
Of course, I was more than happy to teach the Peruvians the basics of ‘gangnam style’ dancing in return.

Saturday was beach time, some 40km south of Lima, with Felien and a Belgian couple also currently living in Lima. Although I spent most of the time resting in the shadow, I noticed at night I was burnt. In the evening, we drove 60km more south to Asia, where a festival with Peruvian artists was organized. The setting was great: a fancy place right next to the beach. On top of that, in the center of the place there was an artificial wave where some surfers showed their tricks during the concert. Unfortunately the place was not completely full with people, which caused there was not a real exotic atmosphere. Still, we had a good time and saw some good bands, I already downloaded some new music…

Now I have 4-5 more days in Lima taking Spanish courses, and I’m already looking forward to really start moving around! First destination will be Chile.
I know a lot of people are waiting for pictures, but they will come as soon as I start moving. Currently I’m not taking too many pictures, I’ve been in Lima already and although it’s very beautiful, I’ll fore sure go to places where I can take more impressive pictures.
Talk to you soon!

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Posted by tombroekaert 11:50 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Lima

First days in South America

sunny 27 °C

Dear friends, this is my first message from South America. I can assure you all I have arrived safely, I’m installed well in Lima and doing great.

The flight was exhausting: in the first place I almost didn’t get any sleep the night before taking off and I had to leave to the airport at 5h30. On the plane, there where some crying babies which interrupted every attempt to get some sleep. When arriving in Lima I was dead tired but still went out for drinks. After a wónderful night, I ended up in bed only at 4h30 local time after being awake for 29 hours. I spent the night at casa Felien y Omar, where we also stayed some days during the trip last summer.
Jetlag is a bitch, so I woke up after 3h of sleep already. I stayed in bed until 9h and felt surprisingly awake when getting up. After lunch with Felien I moved to a hitchhikers hostel close by and installed me there. It’s a quiet hostel, which will be good as I am following a Spanish course for two weeks and it would be nice to be well rested for that. In the mean time it is great to meet some people.
The rest of the day, I have to admit, I have been crashing from the jetlag: trying to get some sleep (without success), some reading, sending some mails,… Finally I got to sleep around 22h and had a great nights’ sleep.

On Sunday I went for lunch with Felien and Omar, followed by a beautiful walk in Barranco (Lima) and along the coastline. It reminded me Lima is a very beautiful city and life here is good, especially now in summer. Later, I got to know some people in the hostel with whom I went for dinner and had some beers. Finally I got to bed quite early, as Spanish courses start at 8h in the morning the next day.

So this morning, I had my first Spanish course, which was great fun. I’m in class with 2 Americans and the level is perfect for me. I’m surprised how much I can already say in Spanish thanks to the Assimil book and cds. On the other hand, I realize I still have a very long way to go, especially when talking to locals that don’t speak that clear and much faster.

Got to go now, I’m going for drinks again!

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Posted by tombroekaert 12:32 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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