Still trying to catch up on posting about all my Peruvian adventures- I'm getting there, slowly! This one is from the long weekend of the 28th July, Peru's Independence Day. Quick history lesson for you all- Peru officially declared its independence from the Spanish empire on this day in 1821. Before that, the country had been under Spanish control since the arrival of Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador, who arrived in the 1500s, wiping out large portions of the native population (sound familiar, Australians?).
Anyway, I headed up to the Central Andes Mountains with my host sister and some of her uni friends for the weekend. We started the weekend well, stopping in Lunahuana and Cañete for wine and pisco tasting, before continuing the long drive up to Huancaya - over 3000m above sea level.
Huancaya is a tiny little village, with no more than 100 buildings, quaint little cobblestone streets and running water for less than 12 hours a day. There was no hot water, no Internet, no heating- only hard straw mattresses and tiny door frames that I had to crouch in order to get through. It may sound like a nightmare for some, but, while it was freezing, I really enjoyed experiencing how the mountain people really live.
We spent most of the weekend exploring, going for hikes through the mountainside, viewing the crystal-clear lagoons in the region (there's over 30!) and beautiful waterfalls, eating freshly- caught trout and pachamanca, crossing a huge, rickety suspension bridge (? I only know that it's puente colgante in Spanish, my English is getting terrible!) over a rushing waterfall and wrapping myself up in as many layers as I possibly could so that I didn't freeze to death!
All in all, it was a lovely weekend, and I loved seeing a different part of the Andes- each region has its own unique culture and customs. I was definitely meant to be a mountain child, I definitely can't wait to go back to the Andes when I'll go to Cuzco in November!