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Peru - Lima, Paracas and Haucachina

We landed after a long flight from New Zealand via Chile and were thankful to see a Peruvian waiting for us in arrivals with Sam's name on a sign.

After the usual battle of trying to fit Sam's surfboard bag in the car we set off for Miraflores, Lima. The taxi driver must have been in a hurry as he drove alarmingly fast, bobbing and weaving in and out of traffic and constantly beeping his horn. There doesn't seem to be any traffic rules here...

We decided to stay in Miraflores as it's meant to be quite upmarket and relatively safe compared to other areas in Lima. It was quite late when we arrived at Casita Miraflores so we headed straight to bed.

The following morning we woke up reasonably early to have our included breakfast. Unfortunately, it was nothing like what we got used to in Australia and New Zealand and we had to settle for jam on white bread, a glass of juice and a coffee.

Running only on sugar and caffeine, we then went for a stroll to the seafront and found ourselves in Parque Del Amor (Love Park).

The park is right on the seafront and contains beautiful mosaic benches that curve through like a snake.

Following our less than satisfying breakfast we headed for an early lunch to La Verde which is a vegan place I found using the HappyCow app. If you're vegan or veggie I definitely recommend this app when you're travelling/on your holidays.

Sam is partial to pulpo (octopus) so that evening we headed to Costazul Seafood where they are famous for their octopus and ceviche. The food was delicious as were their Pisco Sours...I just about remember leaving the restaurant.

When we got back to our hotel we sat with Rodrigo (a 16 year old chap that works there) and another guest drinking more and trying to learn Spanish.

The following morning, with a terrible hangover, we got a bus down to Paracus. I was initially quite nervous about getting a bus as I have read they are frequently hijacked. There are horror stories about buses being stopped, armed gangs boarding, assaulting women and stealing everyone's belongings. The Cruz Del Sur buses have rigorous security checks but even they have had issues in the past.

Thankfully, after 3.5 hours we arrived in Paracas safely and headed to our hostel. When we walked through the front door we were surprised to see a party in full swing in the reception/communal area. It looked as though the owners and their family were a few bottles of Pisco down already as they gyrated around to booming music.

Our room was basic and the walls were so thin that I could hear someone in the room next door snoring. Add that to Sam's snoring and people going to the toilet during the night and you have yourself a crappy sleep.

The communal areas of the hostel were cool and seemed to have a yoga theme.

I'd love to have something like this on the wall in my yoga studio back at home. If anyone knows any Cornwall based artists let me know!

The main strip in Paracas runs along the seafront and is full of restaurants and market stalls selling souvenirs. The beach is small and gets super busy and the water didn’t look very appealing for swimming in.

One morning we got up early and went for a walk out of the main tourist area. We were joined by two friendly dogs who came along for the adventure.

Our main reason for heading to Paracas was to meet up with my mum's friends Loraine and Mark who were spending 5 weeks travelling around Peru. We met up with them for dinner on a couple of occasions and it was really nice to see friendly faces from back home. Also they showed us the cheapest little local spot for food where you could get a huge feed for 8 Sol (£1.77)!