I got a little behind on my posts, slowly retelling my adventures. It’s been busy and the internet has sucked. But I’m leaving Peru and I feel like now is a good time to recap.
I heard that when you go to Peru, especially shopping, you’re expected to barter, but you shouldn’t offer too low a price else you insult them. That makes it really difficult. Especially when you convert the soles to American dollars, I found that things weren’t exactly expensive. But I’m a college student and don’t want to spend money. I am also an artist and understand people’s hard work. So resulted my conundrum. If only someone had given me a cheat sheet.
So some things that I’ve noticed.
I myself didn’t get altitude sickness. My parents also visited and neither of them got altitude sickness. We all drank matte de coca as soon as we got in. My host family fed it to me and I fed it to my parents. I had heard it helps with the altitude sickness. Maybe that’s why it helped. Maybe it’s because my family’s pretty durable (otherwise we’d break each other way too easily). But a girl from the Netherlands did get sick and had to go to the hospital. Ouch. Despite not having altitude sickness, I was shorter on breath. Everyone was.
Food. Peruvian soup is AMAZING. The avocados (palta) and mangos in Peru are also very good. There is a Mexican restaurant off from Plaza de Armas, a bit up the center road that is referred to as the drug street, that has a wonderful menu, you need to ask for it. You pronounce it men-ooh. It’s only 15 soles, you get garlic bread and nachos, a soup or salad and a main course. The owners are also very nice people. I also appreciated the street food. Cow heart was pretty tasty, that was just below Plaza de Armas, going down a small road next to the church you see a woman and her cart. Also my friend pointed out a chicken drum stick with fried rice AND pasta for only 3 soles. That was really good and filling. It was on the street that had a statue/monument Wanaqypa (or something similar) on a white diamond-like pillar.
Then Piscos may be the drink of Peru, but I don’t love the Pisco sour. However if you want a traditional Peru drink, keeping a bit of the Pisco but want something better than a Pisco Sour, go with a Maracuya sour. It’s a passion fruit drink. Very delicious. It can be strong or sweet and I still love it. (It was my last drink in Peru, thanks mom!)
Back to shopping. The closer you are to Plaza de Armas, the more expensive (duh). If you are buying one of those nice ‘alpaca’ sweaters that every tourist shop has…it’s actually an acrylic material. If you listen closely, the vendors when they say baby alpaca are actually saying maybe alpaca. HAHAHA….
Some estimates of things based on experience/talking to other people:
Scarf/wrap = 10 soles
‘Alpaca’ acrylic sweater = 35 soles
Leather backpack (all leather) = 80 soles
Fingerless ‘alpaca’ gloves = 8 soles
Leather head = 25 soles
Remember, you can always bargain. Be ready to walk away and leave it behind if you aren’t willing to pay that much.
To take a taxi to the airport should be around 4/5 soles. Around the city during the day, 3 soles, during the night, 4 soles. Also I hate taxis. Too loud, always there when you don’t want them, never there when you do want them…sigh.
At San Francisco Plaza you can see a sign, Choco Museo. I will reiterate that it was one of my favorite places in the city and the people who work there are pretty awesome. Plus the chocolate was pretty damn good and so was the liquor.
Overall…it was a wonderful time. I met people from around the world. I didn’t meet/interact with many Peruvians because I was attending a school for international students and was busy every weekend with one trip or another. So awesome that I met people from all over (Europe, Asia, North America, Australia) not so amazing that I didn’t really fall into the Peruvian way of life. I was a tourist. They knew it, I knew it and that made all the difference. It was a wonderful place. It was time to leave.
Brazos de Argentina!
In next weeks’ episodes:
Ode to Chocolate
She can(‘t) rap
Inca Trail parts 1-….