Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fantasy

Another person I know is planning a trip to Peru. One word. Jealous! 
I know I rattle on and on about that country but it is a seriously beautiful place with the best food in the world. So this week's Friday Fantasy is of going back there. This is less fantasy and more plan because I WILL be back there again. It's only a matter of time.

So here's a map of what planning goes on in my head. It's a big country and when you consider 1/3 is pretty much jungle and 1/3 the Andes, it's not the fastest to travel around. 

The pale pink is where I went the first time - nearly 3 weeks in 2004. We stayed a week in Huancayo and then did Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca.

The purple is my most recent trip in 2010. I flew to Cusco, did the Sacred Valley, then to Arequipa, Nazca, Huaraz, Cajamarca, Chachapoyas, down the river to Iquitos via Tarapoto. Then I left Peru by boat for Colombia before coming back to Peru via a flight to Panama City. When back I travelled from Lima to Trujillo, Chiclayo, a side trip to Huancayo, back down to Ica and out of Lima. I covered a lot of ground but still didn't sate my appetite for the place. 

The red line is where I'd like to go next time. I definitely want to return to Iquitos by boat via Pucallpa. That's the path Che Guevara took. I'd like to travel along the central spine of the Andes from Ayacucho to Huancayo. I've heard Ayacucho has a fantastic guinea pig restaurant. Tingo Maria appeals because it was and still is a place that's a little dangerous - associated with drug dealing/coca growing - and for that it's a bit mysterious and also there's a cave nearby that looks amazing. 

The orange is a path I'd like to take. I've heard rumours that it is possible but am yet to meet someone who's done it. It's not in the guidebooks. It'd involve taking a series of small boats downstream to Pucallpa. A challenge. I like it.

The yellow is another road I've heard is theoretically possible. If you have the time and will. Sounds like me. 

The green's a road that my travel insurance wouldn't let me go down. It's right through the prime coca growing area. A bit of a no, no. I wonder what type of things could be found along the way?

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