A busy old week!

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Good morning folks

I trust this finds you in mighty fine form and that you had a superb weekend.
Since my last ramblings, I have turned 45, lost my camera chip, come back to Lima, got very tiddly, almost forgot to do my “Visa Waiver”, had words with a raucous neighbour, packed my bags and slept for about 2 minutes!

This could be a slightly shorter than usual blog, I have to get to the airport, endless cups of tea, pies and fish&chips all beckon for me in Blighty!.

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Jollies in Ancash!

Our first ever family holiday!
We headed ‘oop the road to Ancash, staying first in a beaut little village called Chiquián and then in Huaraz. I would put some pics up here, but being the donkey I am, between getting a power-nap at 10pm and now (1:30am) I have somehow managed to lose the chip with all our pics (which, of course, I hadn’t backed-up!) So I’ll borrow some of Lina’s. I’ll go into more detail some other time…

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I do sometimes give Lima a bit of bad press on here, it is a chaotic madhouse at times (most/all of the time) and I really had forgotten the value of escaping the city. Peru is not just Lima.

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Blue skies, fresh air (albeit a bit thin in oxygen), sunshine, friendly people and soaring Andean peaks. Ancash is a TOP spot! In the first half we stayed in the diddy village of Chiquián, formerly the starting point of the legendary Cordillera Huayhuash (“Touching the Void” territory). Now a road goes on further into the mountains so it is a bit of a sleepy backwater, it has lost some trade you could say.

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From there we explored nearby Aquia, snook through a mine to see huge “Puya” trees at almost 4000m and then moved on to Huaraz.

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There it started to go a bit wrong :-/

Valentina was hit with a bug, then Lina, then me (on my birthday!)

I’m not sure if it was something we ate, or just delayed effects of the altitude, but we were all laid low with bad guts &/or vomiting. Not nice, especially for the Wee One.

On my birthday I had nothing to eat for 30hrs+ (longer days up there), plus no coffee nor booze. (Made up for that on Saturday!) It was a really special day though and we did celebrate with Pizza later on :-)

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Anyroad, not letting that get us down we explored Huaraz, Yungay (more about this place another day), Laguna Llangunuco, Caraz and Cahruaz, before changing our tickets to come home on the 1pm bus and not the overnighter, to hopefully get a bit of kip before a full-on Saturday (party for the nipper, birthday session for me!) Oh the irony. (Explained soon).

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It was an amazing trip and a big thanks to my two little ladies, and to Tim, Eu and Nicholas for making it so special :-)

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Back to Lima…

I’ve been up to Ancash 3 times and always taken the overnight bus, however the views from the daytime bus are out of this World! After 2hrs of panoramic views of the Cordillera Blanca the road freefalls down from over 10000ft to sea level in a series of endless hairpins and switchbacks, to hit the Panamericana Highway, and the road back to Lima, through a series of dusty hard-bitten seaside/desert towns. The roads get increasingly crazier the nearer you get back to the capital. After getting short-changed by a dodgy cabbie (I did think he was going to nab our bags, so an unintentional 100% tip is maybe a bonus), we got home and I heard the unmistakeable tones of a band striking up two doors down. 10pm and the glorious night of sleep I’d been daydreaming of now looked unlikely…

At 2pm Lina rang the Serenazgo (local council security, not the police and not much use at all!)
The noise was like trying to sleep next to a big speaker at Knebworth, they promised to send somebody but they never did. Lina rang back at 2:30am and was told that “it was the weekend” and that although there are no specific times/rules about making an infernal racket, that neighbours should be “tolerant” towards parties and the like, it was the weekend after all!

By 3am I’d had enough and went banging on their door. “You have 20 seconds to comply…”

I was a bit wired through no sleep and a l-o-n-g day, but I think I got my point across (I almost lost my voice through shouting over the noise of a terrible Bangles tribute band, but seemed to mean business as the party then stopped.

A neet oot!

Saturday night was my first tipple in about 7 weeks and it was long awaited :-)

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An excessive and very enjoyable night out with my good mates, James B, James D and Declan.
Starting in Miraflores and then on to a club in Barranco, where we raised the average age by 200%, but generally took over the place. It was a top do!

Sunday…

Was a flurry of still feeling drunk, a lunch out with James, James, Erika, Irma and my two ladies, then midnight packing and now scribbling this at 2am. Best catch that plane!

Blighty

Awaits!
See you at the airport at 8:50am on Tuesday Dannyboy :-)

And finally…

Need some Monday morning motivation?
Watch THIS.

The man, the legend Ed Stafford. We met this guy once (he bought Lina Fish & Chips!).
What he did will never be repeated, this is seriously hardcore.

Have a top week :-)

Cheers
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

p.s. I’ll be writing next weeks blog live from Gregg’s!

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