People make the Experience

Hi lovies,

In this blog I will tell you something about travel experience from crowded Lima to a much calmer Cusco! Enjoy reading!

My final day in Lima was short, because I decided to go to the airport early. There was no point walking around in Lima where I did not feel safest anyway. The friendly driver, who brought me to the hotel, was brining me back to the airport as well. It was such a nice man. We spoke in Spanish about his passion for soccer. He named Wesley Sneijder the only Dutch soccer player he knew, but he laughed and told me that Sneijder was getting old. We started talking about his favourite soccer club: Sports Boys, with a pink colour as logo, therefore he wore a pink uniform during their games. We moved from the subject and he asked me what my father thought about me going aboard by myself. I didn’t really know the answer to his question, because I realised I had never asked it. My father always supported my choices when I talked them through. The driver (I am really sad I forgot his name) had a daughter my age as well and he told me he would never let her go by herself. In South American countries it was not common for women to travel by themselves anyway. When we arrived at the airport he wished me good luck and told me to keep my luggage close. He gave me a hug and said with a laugh: If you will ever come back to Lima it will probably be with your children, and then I will probably be dead. I am sure he was right, but one thing I know for sure is that he made my experience in Lima so much more interesting and fun.

There I was at the airport early, and there was no sign of my flight. I decided to take a seat and wait a bit. After a while it took so long, so I decided to ask about the flight at the check-in desk. Well, have you ever been to a Peruvian airport? Because I can tell you it is very disorganized, no one speaks proper English, and when you ask them something they simply don’t answer. A steward asked me if I were by myself. When I said yes I was able to skip the line and someone helped me right away. Like I said, no one said anything, but apparently they were giving me my boarding pass. Before I knew it there was someone from the airport, who had to escort me to the plane. Again no one told me what was going one. I had never been through security so fast. On the way I finally got my answer. There was a storm coming and the flights in the afternoon were cancelled. Therefore, I was able to go with this flight that was leaving earlier.  Lucky me I thought! When I entered the plane it was full of people. I was the last one who was assigned to my seat. I was seated next to a women, who was clearly full of herself. She was wearing sunglasses and a hat in the plane, while looking at pictures of herself on her phone. When the flight attended asked her to puther phone away during she would not listen. A few minutes later the flight attended had to ask her to put it away again. Obviously she  did it being annoyed. I was happy it was just a short flight!

After approximately 2 hours we landed in Cusco. Earlier than planned of course. When I got out of the plane I was thinking about the altitude. Cusco was located at 3,399M so I read about the symptoms online. However, I had never been dealing with altitude, so I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest I was thinking I would nearly choke or breathe differently. But nope, in the beginning I didn’t feel a thing. Later on I felt a light headache as expected and when I walked up the stairs I was out of breathe much sooner. From Cusco airport I had ordered a hotel transfer, however since I got there early I had to look for another way to get to my hotel. I could not wait at the airport because there was nothing. Even my own train station at home was bigger than the airport itself. I was aware of the taxi scams happening in Peru, so I had to pick a taxi driver carefully since there were no official taxis. There were enough drivers standing at the entrance of the airport to pick from.  I was hoping to reach my hotel in one piece. Luckily I did haha. I am joking about it right now safely writing this, but honestly you never know. I have been thinking about this myself lately and you should always be careful and trust your intuition. The taxi driver was nothing like the one I had in Lima, but I got to my hotel safe where I had my first cup of Coca tea. Coca tea is supposed to help with the altitude sickness. I decided to explore the surroundings of my hotel and noticed that Cusco felt much safer. It was a pleasant and historical environment. One where I would stay for 6 days. It was my base for all the wonderful daytrips I was going to do in the surrounding area. More about this in my next blog! Because that’s where some of the real adventures start.

 

With Love,

Haley

 

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~ Once a year, go some place you have never been before ~

The Most Excited Daytrip

Hola Chicos,

Are you excited to hear about the next adventure??       

                               17 November 2018

Now I will tell you about that sandy adventure! I left very early for a very exciting day. It was about 05:30 when I was waiting in the lobby for the bus to pick me up. The man behind the reception desk was friendly and stated talking to me. He told me about his job and that he loved making music. He would play music on his day off at the boulevard in Barranco. After a while the excursion guide showed up to pick me up. You are probably wondering where to? I will tell you! The day trip was from Lima to the fisher’s village Paracas to see the Ballestas Islands, and after the trip continued to Huacachina. Huaca what? Yes, Huacachina an oases in the dessert, which was located next to Ica. I booked my trip with Peru Hop, which is a bus service you are able to take to go from place to place. Therefore, the bus was very crowded when I entered. I was sitting by myself at first, but before I knew more people entered. I decided to sit next to someone else who was by herself. We started off talking in English, but when we asked each other “where are you from?” we both ended up coming from Holland and so the conversation continued in Dutch. The first bit from Lima to Paracas took almost 4 hours. I was looking outside most of the time and saw acres of sand. The area was not very green except for the places where people grew crops and other plants. The ‘houses’ were so different from what we know in the western world. I could not believe that people actually lived like this. Just some brick stones and a corrugated plate used on top as roof. There were also many dogs walking around the streets freely.

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetParacas

As we arrived in Paracas we had to go straight to the boats. In the line I met some new people. One of them was Bruno from Italy, who was on a business trip and loved himself a bit too much, but more about that later. Once we were in the boat I was sitting next to Bruno he told me about his work in Luxembourg and how he did not like his own country do to the corruption. Once the boat was speeding the water started splashing up. I was happy I wore a rain coat but still it didn’t help much and it looked like my hair had been swimming in the Pacific. So if you ever go, sit in the front of the boat 😉  After half an hour we arrived at the Islands. There were so many birds that you could even smell them. The brochure said that the Ballestas Island were similar to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. I have never been to the Galapagos but I am quite sure those Islands are much more beautiful, since these islands only existed out of rock formations. After a while we finally got to see different types of sea lions relaxing on the rocks. Two were wrestling and one fell of a stone, others were sleeping, and one was posing for the picture. I will tell you that people were so excited to see the sealions that everyone stood up trying to take pictures, which made it harder to see them. I myself loved taking pictures of them as well, but then there was Bruno. He was particularly interested in taking selfies (yes even in a boat surrounded with sea lions and a dozen other people). It was funny to look at I can tell you that and this was only the beginning of the day. On the way back we even saw some Penguins!! Yes, I was so excited for that because I had never seen wild Penguins before.

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetPosing for the Picture

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Before we all entered the bus again we had a little bit of time left in Paracas. Bruno had bought Inka Cola which is the popular yellow drink of Peru. I tried a bit but did not like it. It was very, very sweet. The next bit in the bus to Huacachina was approximately 1,5 hour. When we got there everyone was excited. It was just like the pictures, however a little busier. Luckily, not too crowded with tourists, because many Peruvian people were enjoying the day there as well. Kids were swimming in the lake and parents were sitting underneath the palm trees.

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetHuacachina Oases

Our tour guide Fabiola was a very nice girl. She was about my age and just started doing these trips. She liked doing it but she told me it was hard. Since she had to wake up very early every day and came home very late. She used to live in a very small village, so she was happy to do this while living in Lima. I never really thought about it that much, but the people in Peru work very hard. Fabiola divided us in smaller groups to go in the dunebuggy’s and to do the sandboarding. This was when I met some other solo traveller’s among which Mona a very nice French girl, David from the States and Miguel from Mexico. We had to walk up one of the dunes with 35 degrees to get to the buggies and it was killing, but it was definitely worth it because I can tell you dune bugging is amazing. It is better than a rollercoaster, because you have no idea which way you are going. Sometimes the whole car gets picked up and you think you will crash, but the adrenaline that goes through your veins is amazing. I would defiantly do it again!! Guess what Bruno was doing during this scary moment? Yes, he really was taking selfies. I don’t know how he did not lose his phone.

IMG_E2480IMG_2492Dunes

Something else very exciting what we were doing was the sand boarding. We started from a little dune but eventually we ended up sliding down a 50m dune. Some people looked so worried, but they had to go down, there was no choice. I still do not have any clue how I did not manage to get any sand between my teeth, but it was sure in other places. Bonus Tip:  if you will ever do it! Do not wear (closed) shoes, because many people brought back the dessert when they were taking off their shoes. Later everyone watched the sunset and then we went back to the oase. Before we went on this adventure Mona and I ordered some food for on the way back to Lima. The movie Mrs. Doubtfire was being played in the bus and we received popcorn, which was the perfect end to an exciting day.

I was very glad to do this trip and I felt really safe doing it. The next day was a travel day because I was going to another wonderful city in Peru. Furtermore, I will tell you about my funny airport experience, which would probably not happen in a western Country haha. More about that Next week! Hope you loved the story of Huacachina.

 

With Love,

 

Haley

 

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~Adventure more ~

The Start of a new Journey

Hi loves!

In this blog I would like to share some of my experiences in Lima! On November 15th my journey through South-America began. I was flying from Amsterdam through Houston on my way to Lima. In the plane many thoughts occurred to me. I was going to South-America by myself! Solo, as a woman… but, I was very happy to go, because I always wanted to see this part of the world. I wanted to try out my Spanish skills, take breathtaking pictures, and see that world wonder! After the 17 hours long up in the air I arrived in Lima. Even though it was around midnight the airport was very crowded. After I received my stamp in my passport I walked through arrivals looking for my pick-up. Obviously I was not able to find my name through the many signs people were holding. I got help from another taxi driver, who called the hotel. Eventually, my driver walked towards me smiling. I believed he was half my length. The man did not speak any English so this is where I started my Spanish journey. I was actually surprised how well we were able to understand each other during the drive to the hotel. The very first question I asked was: “Porque hay mucha policia en la calle?” I asked this because obviously the whole road was filled with policemen and cars. The answer I got was not the one I was waiting for, because he told me that many tourists got robbed on this road on their way to Miraflores. Criminals would point a gun through the window of the car in order for you to give them your belongings. Here I was alone in the car with my driver fearing the robbers who could be anywhere. Another noticeable thing was the security around the houses. Every single home I have passed had a gate or even electricity around their property in order to make sure no one could easily enter a house. Eventually, after a safe ride I arrived at my Hotel.

Processed with VSCO with fp8 presetLima City Center

I stayed at Hotel el Ducado in Miraflores close to the Larcomar shopping centre. When I went out to see the neighbourhood, which was claimed to be safe I still was aware that I was in a South American city. People would stare at me because of the North European look. Maybe the conversation with my driver changed my perspective on Lima, since I did not expect it to be this dangerous. Therefore, Lima needs to be discovered with precaution. Every bank had an armed guard and Police were at many corners of the streets to keep the area safe. Believe me when I say that the city has some beautiful places such as the boulevard that stretches out across the ocean with a lot of trees, plants and beautiful views.  I did some shopping before I went on my city tour in the afternoon. This was a bit of a bummer, mainly because I love exploring things by myself so much. Yet, I was not confident enough taking a random taxi by myself to explore the city.  I got to see Plaza de Mayo and the beautiful historical and colonial buildings surrounding the square. These buildings had gone through though earthquakes and were still standing, impressive right?

                          Processed with VSCO with ka1 presetBasillica and Convent of Santa Domingo

   Processed with VSCO with ke1 presetTraditional Andean Clothing

On the way back I experienced some traffic, which I must say took pretty long. This was because there was almost no public transportation and everyone took the car or a bus. The night was setting pretty early in Lima, so I decided to stay inside my hotel room to eat something that I brought from the supermarket earlier. Ah, well I was still a bit jetlagged anyway and I needed to wake up very early for my amazing adventure the next day. Believe me you are going to want to read the stories of this adventure, which will be shared in my blog next week. Let me give you a clue what it is about! (It has to do with a lot of sand) ;). Got it? Hmmm I hope you will return next week! To see more content follow me on Instagram! @HaleyAroundTheGlobe.

 

With Love,

 

Haley

 

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~ The World is a book and those who not Travel only read one page ~

– Saint Augustine

Hello There!

This is the very first blog post I am writing, and believe me when I say I wanted to start this blog way sooner, however I always made up excuses why not to start a Travel Blog. I would always think who is going to read my blog? Mainly, because there are probably thousands of travel blogs out there, but you know what? I decided that it is time to do it anyway because I love our wonderful world, photography and telling stories. Meanwhile, I am able to share this with you guys!  Curious who I am? Read a little bit about me in the About section. For now I will keep it short, but I am going to amaze you with photo’s and stories in my following blog posts! When? If you follow my Instagram Account @HaleyAroundTheWorld you will be kept up to date! Plus you get to see some amazing photos every day. So, stay tuned!

With Love,

Haley

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~ Why only stay in one place? When we have a world full worth exploring? ~