Sunday, 17 February 2013

tentsmuir again

My high school bessie and all-round chum Rachel came up to St Andrews for a flying visit this week. We rambled around in the freezing wind in Tentsmuir Forest catching up. 

We tried and failed to use my camera's self timer... 

After a while we got it right.  

As seems to be the case with old friends, we quickly reverted back to our fourteen-year old selves. We finished our walk with chat, tea and scones at Bibi's, and tried to behave like grown-ups. 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

an evening in barranco

For our penultimate night in back in Lima, we decided to spend the evening in Barranco, the most bohemian and artistic district of the city and popular with surfers too. The aristocracy seemed to like it in the 19th century, as it's filled with colonial houses like this museum. 

I couldn't stop fantasising about the parties you could throw here! 

We walked down into the Bajada de los Banos, a beautiful walkway running to the sea. 

People had gathered to watch the beautiful sunset - even a man who proposed to his girlfriend right next to us. 
As the sun went down, we walked back up to the Puentede los Suspiros, or the Bridge of Sighs, so called because of a beautiful girl living in one of the grand houses either side of the ravine, who fell in love with a street sweeper. Forbidden to marry him, she waited as a spinster at her window, nd those on the bridge could hear her sighs. 

We ate anticuchos de corazon and picarones with fresh frozen lemondade, then wandered back to the main plaza. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


For the end of our stay, we decided to get a way to Mancora, a beach town in northern Piura, to top up our tans and relax before returning for our last semester at St Andrews. We arrived in our night bus to grey skies, but a wonderfully solid and dry heat. We took the first of many bumpy moto-taxi rides along the dusty coast road to our little beach hotel out of town. 

And after a while the sun came out! 

So began a lovely four days of sunbathing, beach walks, swimming and reading. In the midday heat we'd sip cold Cusquena beer and eat tequenos dipped in guacamole, then indulge at dinner in Pisco and massive plates of ceviche and arroz con mariscos.

Mancora was great, full of surfers and backpackers, but it was lovely escaping back to the peace our tiny hotel and watching pelicans swoop over the Pacific. 

In the evenings, everyone stopped what they were doing to watch the sun sink quickly below the waves.

 After one last play in the water, G clearly wasn't happy to leave. 

I promised myself I'd be back to see those sunsets again. 

Monday, 11 February 2013


On our last day in Lima before heading to the beach up north, we risked the midday heat to climb a huaca - one of the burial places dotted around the city and surrounded by high rise blocks and traffic.
I was so happy to see more llamas and alpacas! 

That gorgeous Lima breeze stopped us expiring in the dust and heat. 

It was the perfect site-seeing trip for just before an 18-hour overnight bus journey! Mancora here we come... 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

a day in central lima

One of my favourite things to do on holiday is wander in and out of churches and expos, stopping in shops and cafes along the way. Luckily G doesn't mind it either :) We toured around the Monastery of San Fransicso, which had a lot of beautiful religious art (with some crazy lost-in-translation explanations)and a pretty creepy crypt full of skulls and bones. 

I also managed to stock up on some Catholic kitsch, with medals, icons and huayruro beads with little gold owls on! We strolled through the main plaza, admiring the blue of the sky and yellow of the churches and colonial buildings against each other. I later even found an amazing frame full of jungle butterflies for about four quid! 

We followed our sight-seeing up with margaritas, spare ribs and burgers at Chillis, which G had a craving for ever since getting home. Eventually we strolled through the warm night, walking off our dinner, and took our purchases and photographs home.