Two hours drive in the very early hours of the morning found us white water rafting just outside of Cusco. Decked out in a wetsuit, splash jacket, neoprene boots, life jacket and helmet, the 6 of us got inside the raft and proceeded down the river.
We started off small but as time went on, we tackled some grade 4-5 rapids and did all sorts of tricks. We even got out of the boat to jump off a small cliff into the freezing, deep water. Each time we were out of the boat, it took great effort to fight the current and swim back into the boat. Although challenging, the adrenaline kept us all excited and eager for more.
So fast did the time seem to go that soon we were by the side of the road, munching on locally baked bread with our delicious lunch. With 2 great guides, this day trip was worth every penny spent and missing out on an extra day at Machu Picchu.
Back at our hostel, we tried our luck with some warm cooking from the hostel kitchen before crashing into bed for another early night.
The following morning we were on a plane heading towards Lima; maybe not the cheapest way of travelling but definitely more enticing than a 20-hour bus ride during the day. At the airport in the capital city of Peru, a driver had been arranged to pick us up.
After a little bit of a wait for him to pay for parking and lot of waiting in traffic, we finally arrived at our host's home. Our host was a lovely and generous Peruvian woman who happened to be a friend of one of my students back in Chile. She had organised two days off work to show us around her city, although for some reason she was expecting 6 girls not 2 to be sleeping under her roof.
Once that was sorted out and we had drunk our fresh juice, we went to visit the town. First stop: the Franciscan Monastery and Museum, which also houses catacombs. After a few hours looking at rotting skeletons, we were hungry for lunch. We ate at a restaurant opposite and that's when things started to go downhill.
The waitress smashed the glass saltshaker all over my friend and although the meal was absolutely delicious while eating it, it didn't sit to well once digested. We walked to the centre of town to check out the old government palaces and beautiful Spanish architecture before taking a taxi to the bohemian beachside.
My knees began to shake and I had to run to the toilet. Braving it, I went outside to watch the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. We walked over to a nearby pub to have some drinks - a cup of coca mate for me - which only accentuated my stomach's unease. Racing me home in a taxi, I barely made it in time and spent the rest of the night stuck in the bathroom of a woman I had only just met, unable to stop or keep my liquids up. At one in the morning, I had had enough and I took some imodium to help block me up.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to see much of Lima during our only day there. About to board an international flight, we had to be at the airport 3 hours early, which meant that we had to leave our lovely host ever so soon.
We arrived to a cancelled flight and the next one wasn't until the following day. We complained, of course, and they miraculously made space for us on another flight. We only had to wait 11 hours but at least it left that same day. They gave us lunch vouchers that we used to eat McDonalds for fear of contracting yet more food poisoning. Then they took a whole heap of us to a very fancy hotel, where we spent the afternoon watching cable TV and drinking Pisco Sours while lying in beautiful, white, soft sheets.
It wasn't exactly how we expected to spend our last days in Peru but I can't say it was boring.