Wednesday 19th August 2015
I asked a few friends of mine about what THEY would do for those 7 weeks and one friend who had travelled about 5 months in South America a few years told me: My biggest regret was that I didn`t go to Galapagos.
That was the kind of “declic” moment for me. The challenge was to find how to get there without spending crazy money or crazy time either! First I looked at flights from Cusco to Lima then Lima to Quito but it was so expensive. Then I remembered that Nicola, the Canadian girl I had dived with in Taganga and who I had seen again in Casa Elemento told me she had gone to Galapagos from Guayaquil! So hey, why not.
I started looking at LAN first. They had a flight in the afternoon arriving at 2am in Guayaquil but otherwise later on.
The total was actually 800 USD when I was looking the full cost instead of 537 USD.
Then I looked at Avianca, but total was still around 700 USD.
Then I remembered how Paul and Manue had told me about the great bus company Cruz del Sur which is super comfortable. I checked out their buses from Lima and there was one at 70 USD the next day. Alright 26 hours of bus but…way cheaper than bloody planes!!!
I remembered seeing LC Peru as an airline company flying around Peru when I had looked at the departure board so I checked it out and they had a flight for 120 USD for the next morning Cusco to Lima so I booked that.
I didn’t manage to book the bus though, but it turned out that there are not enough travellers tomorrow so they cancelled it. The hostel helped me book the ticket for the next day which is 85 USD.
My main problem was to NOT spend 1,000 AUD on the journey going to Guayaquil. Problem sorted! So yes off to Guayaquil! Once I get there I will check out on how to get to the Galapagos.
I spent the rest of the day walking around the streets, doing some errands, taking a few photos. I saw a demonstration and will post photos later, and later on I saw a funeral where the women in black where walking behind the coffin hold by the men and behind them were maybe 50 men playing the trumpet, it was a very very poignant parade, the music was so overwhelming. I wonder who this man or woman was who died. They walked through the city.
Later we went to visit the Museum of Coca with Paul. Emmanuelle got sick in the morning, same thing as me a few days before and she spent the day with diarrhea. There is truly danger in eating food in Peru! The Museum of Coca was really really interesting. In France, people are not allowed to bring back “mate de coca” or coca leaves tea.
Coca leaves have been part of the Indigenous culture in many South American countries for centuries. Chewing them releases good alcaloides for the body, it helps the digestion, or fixing headaches. It also prevents holes in the teeth! Before the leaves were abused to create cocaine, they used to be a true medicine. Apparently the goverment of Bolivia is considering replacing milk with coca powder for the kids because it contains more calcium. There is so much unknown from the outside world about the coca leaves and so many preconceived ideas. It was really interesting!
In the evening we had dinner at Paul and Manue hostel and said good-bye with the perspective that we may meet again probably in Patagonia this time! So funny!
Off to Lima tomorrow morning! Then off to Guayaquil and let’s see. My inner compass has been disoriented a bit with this big jump south. Time to put it back with a logical north’south travel direction hey!