Cajamarca: A Love Affair. Part 2.

When I last left off, I had just detailed how Jacqui and I spent the day hiking through the amazing site of Cumbe Mayo, and visiting the equally impressive Ventanillas de Cajamarca. For day two of our stay in the beautiful mountain city, we decided to forego some of the other full-day tour options to check out some of the more local (and walkable) attractions Cajamarca had to offer. Our day started early – 6 am. When I woke up the sun had not yet made it over the tall peaks surrounding the city, and as I got my things together I was able to watch the sky turn from a deep navy blue to a beautiful early-morning light pink. It was amazing. [Continue reading…]

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Cajamarca: A Love Affair. Part I.

After spending some time in the desert, I was ready to move on and experience the mountains that Peru is so famous for. Taking Julio’s advice, I booked a daytime bus for Sunday (rather than an overnight) on Transportes Linea from Trujillo to Cajamarca so that I could witness the beautiful scenery. It was truly remarkable; stunning mountains as far as the eye can see, small towns perched on the hillsides, and beautiful lakes. This is what I had been waiting for. Arriving in Cajamarca at night, without hotel reservations, was not as distressing as I had initially foreseen. Instructing my taxi driver to drop me off in the Plaza de Armas, I stepped out of the car onto a street lined with more hostels, hotels, and tourism agencies than I could count. Even at night, the view was beautiful! [Continue reading…]

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Trujillo: An Archaeologist’s Dream

Having stayed put in Lima these past 4 weeks, I decided it was about time to see some other parts of the country. Not that Lima isn’t full of things to see (even if I lived here a year I doubt I’d be able to see everything), I just felt like I needed to experience other regions of this beautiful country in order to fully appreciate it and all it has to offer.

My opportunity came two weeks ago when Jacqui mentioned she’d be visiting Trujillo for a swim meet. For those of you who are unaware, Trujillo is home to Chan Chan, one of Peru’s more famous archaeological sites. Having read about it in school, the site was on the top of my Peruvian must-see list, right under Machu Picchu. Having never traveled alone, I had hoped to buddy up with one of the other volunteers to go exploring – this was my chance! Having invited myself along on her trip, Jacqui politely accepted, with one condition. She’d be busy in Trujillo, but planned on visiting Cajamarca afterwards and welcomed some company on that leg of her journey. In other words, I’d get the chance to try traveling on my own and I’d be able to travel with a buddy. I thought “okay, I can do this!” [Continue reading…]

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To Be or Not to Be A Lima Fútbol Hooligan

Last week I had the pleasure of attending my very first Peruvian fútbol (soccer) match. And oh what a match it was.

As it happens this year was the inaugural year of the sub-20 version of the Copa Libertadores. The Cup, which includes teams from across South America, has been going on annually since 1960, but for the first time a separate tournament was held for teams with players who were under 20 years old. As it turns out, two local teams were pitted against one another in the semi-finals; Julio’s favorite local team Club Universitario de Deportes (often simply called “Universitario” or “La U”) versus Alianza Lima. It seemed like all of Lima was taking sides, and it certainly promised to be an exciting match! [Continue reading…]

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One of the Family

One of the many reasons I chose Karikuy over other volunteer programs in Lima, was that it afforded me the opportunity to live like a real Limeno. I really loved the fact that I would be living in a local neighborhood that wasn’t known for being touristy, and in addition, I’d be dining on traditional food. So far, the program has definitely lived up to those expectations. Living in Julio’s childhood home and neighborhood has given me a good idea of what it would have been like to grow up here. [Continue reading…]

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