Peru- the adventure of a lifetime! Step one: Lima & Radiohead

I actually put this off for a day since I’ve been back chiefly because I don’t even know where to begin! I will start by recapping my adventure from where we first landed- Lima, Peru.

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In Lima, we stayed in the Miraflores district. It’s a very safe, quite rich and fancy area in Lima. There are a lot of poorer areas, and one that is outright unsafe (at the airport, Callao, the port area). Lots of robberies, muggings, etc. But it’s easy to bypass by buying a safe bus ticket that leaves directly from the airport and it’s not an area you ‘wander in to’ by any chance.

We spent a few days in Miraflores in a very nice Air BnB that had a rooftop infinity pool, a ground floor pool and lots of sundecks. Really awesome. It was quite warm in Lima, as the sun really lazer beams down on people.

For our time in Lima, we visited the Pucllana Temple, which is right in the heart of Miraflores. It was very neat, and a cool way to learn about pre-Inca civilizations (there were so many, over 35?!).

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We then went to the historical old city part of Lima, and that was okay…It was kind of a bust tourist-wise because they just didn’t seem to be really set up for lounging at cafes or having cocktails, if you know what I mean? Just, nothing there to sit and enjoy. We did visit the San Francisco monastery, where they have very creepy catacombs. A reasonable price and a super interesting visit/tour through the catacombs. I highly recommend!

In the evening, we went to Barranco. Aside from Miraflores, people stay there. It’s really awesome- beautiful, quirky, funky, lots of people and restaurants and very safe. I loved it! There is also a brewery there, the Barranco Brewery.

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The next few days, we ran along the gorgeous Miraflores sea walk. They are very close to the South Pacific but it’s not a very friendly beachfront. There is no sand, just rocks and the highway runs right along next to it! The waves are also killer… And in the evening, we went to the Soundhearts Radiohead concert!!! WHOOP! The bus to the soccer arena was a flaming nigtmare, and I seriously wondered if I was going to get crushed to death. Yikes. I do NOT recommend taking the bus in Lima. It is a horrible experience.

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But anyways, we made it and the concert was SO GOOD. Radiohead played well to their audience, it wasn’t too crammed, and they had three encores. We left after the second, as I did not want to repeat the ‘crushed in a bus’ experience…But we still had time to listen to ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ which made it allll worthwhile….

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Corvina ceviche

And then it was up at 4am to catch a flight to our next adventure- Iquitos and the Amazon jungle. Stay tuned…

 

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Girl from Ipanema: Phase 5!

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Ipanema Beach!

Our time in Rio wasn’t all Olympics- we made sure to do lots of other fun things, like check out the Leblon area (SO chic, and very, very expensive!), as well as Ipanema Beach. Sadly we didn’t spend a lot of time (or swim) at Ipanema beach, as we had kind of tacked it onto an already busy day, but it was quite lovely all on it’s own to chill out at.

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Christ the Redeemer

That morning, we had booked tickets to go see Christ the Redeemer. A foggy day but it really turned around and worked out fine in the end. Quite the sight- I highly recommend going!

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Me with a foggy Christ the Redeemer

And the view…Amazing!

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Just stunning….This is where the they did the Olympic rowing too.

And then we went straight to the Jardim Botanico- and wow, so many monkeys. I loved the common marmosets the most, and the capuchin monkeys kind of scared me a bit. Crazy little guys, there were so many! I was like, oh look, a monkey…and Ian said, there’s never just one monkey…He was right!

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Many capuchin monkeys

They were very close to us!

13995602_10100602801628726_7934411114911010201_oMarmosets too!

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Cute but weird up close.

And some very active lizards in the desert section of the Jardim.

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Hang on tight!

Mom's hat on the left, mine on the right.

Mom’s hat on the left, mine on the right.

Back from holidays and wow, we did a TON!

  • Spruce Meadows
  • Calgary Stampede (rodeo)
  • Drumheller, including the Royal Tyrell Museum and the Hoodoos!
  • Ghost Lake
  • Canmore, hiking up to Grassi Lake
  • Downtown Calgary
  • Calgary Zoo

So…We did pretty much everything you CAN do in Calgary! The weather was a mixed bag- rain and thunderstorms the first night, cold the second day at Spruce (seriously- I was wearing a sweater, jeans and a jacket! I didn’t even bring cold-weather clothes with me, so had to borrow them!), and then warmed up by Wednesday to about 30 deg for the rest of the week.

Staying with family is always a bit of a challenge- it’s nice to stay with company, but you also run the risk of irritating them, not giving them enough space, or they feel like you don’t want to hang out with them when you want to *give* them that extra space…It saves $ but adds frustration. Always a bit of a tightrope, a balancing act.

View from the top of the Stampede

View from the top of the Stampede

I particularly enjoyed the rodeo this year, and I even had some amazing fair food- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches deep-fried on a skewer interspersed with deep-fried Reese’s peanut butter cups! OMG so good.

We also tried the Jurassic Pork pulled pork mac’n’ cheese. Also a winner! Not a winner- the Crazy Cones- too much cone, too little lousy ice cream. Blah.

Spruce was classic as always- Ian bought me a pair of gloves there, they had free hot dogs too! I ate three- which was pretty much two too many…My stomach…

I remember being here celebrating 25 years!

I remember being here celebrating 25 years!

Canmore was really nice actually. We did a short hike up to Grassi Lake, and climbed around a bit. I saw a pictograph! Very cool. We finished it off with a lunch in Canmore.

Allosaurus!

Allosaurus!

Drumheller was cool, a lot cooler than I thought it might be. The town itself is a big nothing…No neat shops, just small, dusty and hot. The Royal Tyrrell Museum was fantastic! Love the dino info, and so informative.

Hoodoos

Hoodoos

Then the Hoodoos were so cool, and it felt very hardcore to be hiking around in the heat. We also visited Wayne, pop. 33…And the Last Chance Saloon, where we got a beer, and then hiked up to the grassy plains area. Nice and hot.

A hot day in the badlands

A hot day in the badlands

The Calgary Zoo was also really neat, the animals were SO active! You know how rare that is? So rare! The bears were acting silly, the tigers were prowling, the female lions were nuzzling and grooming each other, and the butterflies were even friendly, with one hitch-hiking on my (very attractive to it) orange purse.

A friendly hitchhiker

A friendly hitchhiker

The night we flew home, we watched bad weather come rolling in. We spent the day boating at Ghost Lake- a very cold lake outside of Cochrane (cute town), as my sister’s boyfriend owns a fast speedboat. The clouds came in, and by the time we made it to the airport, thunder and lightning started up. We sat on the plane, which was stifling hot and muggy, for about an hour before they cleared us for take-off. Lucky thing we left then, as the storm kept going and they closed the airport until 11am the next day! Jesus!

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Got home around 9pm, and was so tired. It was like the whole week caught up with me!

Saddling up to the bar at the Last Chance Saloon in Wayne, AB

Saddling up to the bar at the Last Chance Saloon in Wayne, AB

Rode Oats the next day and he was soooo nutty. Freaked out about the stuff moving around the outdoor arena, spooky and snorty. We got through it ok, but man…After a week away, rough riding and spooking wasn’t really what I was looking forward to! He did look cute playing with a feedbucket after the ride though, so can’t stay mad…

This week- I’m riding tonight and dressage lesson tomorrow, may ride Wed and resume reg. jumping lessons on Thursday. No rest for the wicked though- going camping on the coast this weekend for my b-day!