The View from Above

What is it about seeing things, especially cities, from above? Whenever I go to a foreign city, one of the must-do activities is always to climb some big tower or hill to see the view. Is this just so that you can orientate yourself and get a mental picture of where everything is in the city? Or to give you a good impression of how big the city is overall, which is hard to determine when you’ve just arrived and have only seen the area around wherever you’re staying? (more…)

Flight fun

So…we finish the Inca trail (tough but fun with amazing views), are stunned by Machu Picchu (I take back some of what I said about Incan ruins) and take a 22 hour bus back to Lima (not as bad as it sounds apart from the four violent torture films played back to back). We have one nice day in Lima, go out for a fancy last meal in a beautiful restaurant on a pier jutting into the sea at sunset. We pack our bags – and somehow fit everything inside after weeks of just strapping excess luggage to the outside. We book a taxi and arrive at the airport 3 hours before our flight to Paris leaves. A perfect end to a lovely month in Peru, some might say.

Then we look at the departure boards and find that there is no flight to Paris.

Apparently it had been cancelled a few months ago and passengers transferred onto a flight the day before. Naturally, our dear crappy online travel agent had neglected to tell us this minor detail so it had taken off without us, and the only other flight that night, to Amsterdam, was now full.

They told us to wait until the check in closed in case some passengers didn’t turn up – but of course they all did. So now we are stuck in Lima for the foreseeable future as all the flights on the next few days are fully booked so we just have to go to the airport each day to hope that two passengers decide not to turn up… exciting? A pain? A bit of an adventure? Who knows…

Peruvian Food No. 3

Guinea pig! – tonight we sampled that lovely childhood pet, the guinea pig. All the restaurants around the main square of Cusco serve some variety of guinea pig (cuy in Spanish) but we opted for a roast guinea pig, which they said would serve two. 15 minutes after ordering said roast guinea pig appeared in front of us, cooked whole – you could see its little ears and rather sharp looking teeth. Having had two pet guinea pigs at home myself it was a bizarre experience to tuck in, also because it tasted like nothing I’d ever eaten before. There wasn’t actually an enormous amount of meat on the body, but it had a texture like chicken and a flavour…well…sort of gamey? Hard to compare it to anything else because it was such an unusual flavour. The waiter told us that you could eat everything but I decided to give the brain and cheeks a miss, but Alex tucked into those and said that the cheeks especially were good because they were very tender. So there you have it, roast guinea pig!