viernes, 23 de octubre de 2009


We have decided that the best way to travel is with spontaneity. Planned trips never seem to go as well. Last weekend we went to La Merced and Oxapampa (the high jungle) on a whim after hearing about a big music/art festival there called Selvamonos! (from the word "selva" meaning "jungle" - literally translated: lets jungle ourselves!). Great decision. Everything fell into place. We took a night bus from Lima on Friday night and arrived in La Merced in the morning. We checked out the town and after a couple of hours took a bumpy yet beautiful ride up to Oxapampa. Everything was lush and green and the path was lined with banana trees and coffee plants. We got to our "hospedaje" and took a quick nap before heading to the festival. At the festival there were 2 stages where different bands played throughout the day and night. We met some really cool girls from columbia and ended up hanging out with them all day. The festival was great with lots of dancing and enjoying the pitch black, starry sky that we never get to see in Lima.
The next day we had about 8 hours to kill before we had to take our night bus back to Lima. What to do with our time? Maybe a nice jaunt through the jungle? Not a bad idea! At breakfast the perfect opportunity was served to us on a silver platter along with our eggs and pineapple juice. A man who owns a tour company in La Merced (one of the best in my opinion) was at the same restaurant and, although it was a Sunday, set us up with a tour in the rainforest. The tour included a "new sport" called canyoning which consists of ascending 7 waterfalls of a river that runs through a valley in the mountains. Increible! Our tour guide, Robert (pronounded rubber) enjoyed the hike as much if not more than we did. At times we would be anxious to continue on while we waited for him to finish playing in the waterfalls. It was great to have a guide who loved his playground of a forest so much! We also met up with his brother, Anthony :), who happened to be wandering around the jungle at the same time. Robert whistled a few times and out came Anthony who finished the trip with us in his flip flops and documented our trip with our cameras, which I think he enjoyed thouroughly.

On the way to La Merced Elly and I were upgraded to first class. When we saw our seats which were leather and reclined all the way back almost into beds we could not contain our laughter at how ridiculous our luck was. I think we got a lot of annoyed looks from the passengers around us.

Interesting construction technique in La Merced.

Oxapampa. the beginning of the festival.

Yes. There was rodeo. This is about all I saw I could not watch too long.

Dalila, one of the Columbian chicas we met.

Some great pictures of our jungle hike. We were soaking wet the whole time and had not been properly informed that we were to scale 7 waterfalls! But we had an amazing time and would not have changed a thing.

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