In May 2017, I was lucky enough to travel to Peru in South America where up until today, is still my favourite trip to date. From completing the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, to surviving 2 nights in the Amazon jungle, to braving an altitude of 5200m and to seeing a llama for the first time among many other things….it was truly an experience I will never forget!
I may have had to catch 3 flights to finally arrive into Lima (the largest capital of Peru), but flying with Qantas / Latam airlines made the 24+ hour flight very much bearable.
Upon arriving into Lima, I had 2 full days to myself before I had to meet up with the group. I get asked a lot on whether I get nervous being in a foreign country as a female solo traveler and to be honest? Not at all. In fact I probably enjoy exploring new destinations on my own as this gives me the freedom to roam about however and whenever I please 🙂
After a much needed shower and sleep, I felt exactly like Dora the Explorer as I stepped outside of my hostel with nothing but my backpack and a map in Spanish, haha. Thankfully I had a friendly gentleman who approached me asking if I needed help, as from the looks of things I was probably reading the map upside down..
He ended up walking me to the bus stop, all the while giving me the directions I needed as well as his number in case I got lost. Gonzalez even gave me his Metro card so I did not have to buy one myself!
After being on the bus for 15-20 minutes, I found myself in the heart of downtown Lima: Plaza Mayor. From there I started to walk around before stumbling upon a market filled with local Peruvian cuisine. Exactly what I was looking for!
For about AUD $3, I got a huge serving of fresh Peruvian ceviche, as seen in the photo above. Unbelievably fresh seafood with bits of red onion, herbs, potatoes, corn and a refreshing, tangy dressing to bind everything together….if you are a fan of seafood, having ceviche in Peru is an absolute must!
After soaking up the hustle and bustle in town, I decided to kill some time by getting a tattoo….I have this thing where I get a tattoo in every continent I travel to, so seeing as I was in South America for the first time, it was a no-brainer. Sorry mum!
I ended up going to Andean Ink Tattoo in Lima and was very happy with my results! The whole process went really smoothly and the boys were so friendly, I cannot recommend them enough.
Later on I made my way to Larcomar to watch the sunset. The Larcomar is a strip of restaurants, bars and shops overlooking the ocean, where paragliding was a popular choice of activity.
With a light ocean breeze blowing through my hair and the DJ playing Bruno Mars in the background, I got to soak in the sunset with a Pisco sour cocktail in one hand and a pen in another as I scribbled into my journal. I can honestly say that in the past 20+ years of my life, I have never felt so content and at ease with myself than I was in that moment in time.
My solitude did not last long however…as I soon crossed paths with some local guys! This is one of the reasons why I love travelling solo. I find that people are more likely to approach you if you are sitting alone, rather than with a group of friends. And I don’t know about you, but I travel to immerse myself in different cultures- what better way to do that than to get to know the locals?!
It was interesting to converse in broken Spanish (on my end) and little to no English on theirs, but we made it work haha.
After that, I had another day to explore before meeting the group for Day 1 of my Peru Unearthed tour with Geckos Adventures. Stay tuned for my next post on how I went on The Inca Trail hike!