Champagne Campaign: Peru

Peru

I traveled to Peru in April of 2015 and spent about a month there with my brother Chap, and my friend Logan.  While our main purpose for going there was to do ayahuasca and visit Machu Picchu, we also did the Lares Trek, spent a few days floatin’ around on Lake Titicaca, relaxed in Mancura Beach, and of course popped some bottles.

Below are some flicks, pics, tips, and tricks of these sick spots in Peru:

  • The Lares Trail, Cuzco region
  • Machu Picchu
  • Lake Titicaca
  • Mancura Beach

Here are a few short video clips that highlight all of the spectacularness of each place we went. Scroll down for the full recap.

 

(Fast Version of Mancura^^)

Click below for more details about the Lares Trek and Macchu Picchu, and stay tuned for a detailed account of our Ayahuasca experience.

Lares Trek + Condor Expeditions

Champagne Campaign Pop Spots

 Wakawasi

This was day 2 of our the Lares Trek, which was a beautiful 3 night, 4 day Trek that took us through the Cuzco region of Peru, and eventually to Machu Picchu. If you want to be a total diva while trekking I suggest you book your Trek with Condor Expeditions, or Action Peru Treks  This was our crew in the photo, as you can see there was a team of 4 men, as well as several donkeys, that pretty much did everything, while we just walked around and enjoyed the scenery.  They carried all of our bags, they set up and broke down camp every night,and cooked every meal for us, I’m talking 5 courses of dankness.  This pic was taken right before we trudged up to the highest point of our trek, peaking that bad boy was definitely a cause for celebration!

  • Don’t eat vegetables of questionable quality two days before your Trek, in a 3rd world country.
  • If you get food poisoning, get medicine from the pharmacy, pack baby wipes and extra toilet paper in your bag, and pray to Pachamama!

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 Patacancha

This pop was a little bit anti-climatic and I blame it on the altitude.  It’s easy to blame all of your shortcomings on the altitude when you’re that high up, so Logan Chap and I got into a habit of using that as our excuse.  Our shortness of breath, our inability to keep up with our belongings, our failure to recall basic words, it must be the altitude… Well we had envisioned that it would be hilarious to stand in the middle of a bunch of lamas and alpacas, and watch them scatter everywhere when we popped the bottle… ‘Alpacattack!” However,  the pop came out as a barely audible “ding” noise, and the Alpaca’s were NOT phased.  This turned out to be a double flop because the champagne was way too sweet to drink… Musta’ been the altitude.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Don’t buy a $3 bottle of champagne at a hole in the wall shack in a shanty town if you want something that’s half-way consumable.

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Lake Titicaca

This place is pretty epic, and we got hooked up with a sweet overnight tour through the company Puno Travel that I would definitely recommend to anyone who goes there.  We hopped in a big ole’ boat, and cruised around the lake for a couple of hours, and went to some cool spots.  We stopped by man-made Reed Islands, and then headed to a sweet little town off of the Peninsula Capachica.   Of course being the d-gens that we are, we packed champagne and liquor in our bags, and managed to crush it before lunch which made for an interesting day.

 

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Reed Islands

When we were told that there are literally man made islands, hand woven out of reeds and mud, that float around Lake Titicaca we decided we definitely had to check it out.  This island that we stopped at was probably about 100 square feet, and housed about 19 people in little huts.  While the island was fun to visit for a while, even more so after you down a bottle of champagne, It’s no place for a diva.  Living on a tiny little pile of reeds in the middle of a lake, exposed to the elements, must be a tough life, props to these homies for gettin’ by!  The “mayor” of the island made it clear to us that he definitely wanted to move to the mainland ASAP.  Good luck my friend!

 

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Peninsula de Capachica

We stayed the night in this town at a quaint little bed and breakfast owned by the mayor, or “Papa” as we called him, and his wife. They cooked us our meals, dressed us up in their clothes, and showed us around town.  This little village was very pleasant, and was my favorite that we visited in all of Peru.  The people led very simple lives, surrounded by beauty.  Dancing to reggaeton in the middle of the road while dressed in full on native garb,  overlooking Lake Titicaca  while a herd of sheep walk by, was quite a unique experience.

Tips and Tricks:

  •  Don’t let your friend guzzle down an entire bottle of bourbon before lunch if you want to make a good impression on the virtuous native people…
  • If you feel like you need to make up for the inappropriate behavior of your friend you can either (1) explain to the group that he is your Canadian step brother, or (2) buy 100’s of dollars worth of textiles from them as a “pity purchase.”
  •  If all 3 of the people in your group are sharing the same little bit of cash because everyone lost their debit cards, don’t spend 100’s of dollars on ponchos and headbands in a town where there’s no banks, and you all have to pay for lunch the next day.

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 Taquile

This was another sweet, quaint little island that we visited on our tour. We actually ended up kayaking here from the peninsula, which was an “add on” option to the tour. Maybe it was the fact that we partied the whole day before, or maybe it was the altitude, but it was certainly not the pleasant kayaking trip we had expected, it was intense!  The guy basically pointed to an island that seemed pretty far away, and informed us that that was our destination.  The rest of our group arrived by boat, but we arrived using our brute strength, and an entire bag of coca leaves.  Eventually we made it, and the beautiful views were that much sicker because we earned it!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Know what you’re getting yourself into when you sign up for a “kayak tour,” make sure it’s not a marathon.
  • Realize you’re going to get very wet on this “kayak tour,” and bring a change of clothes… And lots of coca leaves.

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 Mancura

Mancura is a hilarious little beach town in northern Peru and was the grand finale of our trip. We were super stoked to come here and relax for the first time during our month long “vacation.”  Ayahuasca retreats, backpacking, trekking, camping, kayaking, climbing 3,482 stairs, food poisoning, and drinking really take it out of you.  Not to mention that altitude!

 Mancura is a really popular place for surfing, and apparently has one of the longest left point breaks in the world. We found a post up spot that was literally 50 feet from the surf.  Everything we could possibly need was just a stones throw away @ Hotel Wawa.  We literally went a couple days without leaving the vicinity, we just posted up and watched the festivities around us.  We felt as if we were in a Peruvian version of The Simpson’s.  We kept encountering the same predictable characters over and over again, just livin’ the good life kickin’ it at the beach, all day errrrrrday!

The American dollar goes a long way in Peru, so  being the indulgent diva that I am, I literally got room service and a  massage every single day, (They’re like $20!)  The staff at Wawa were super chill, and let us keep an ongoing tab for the 4 days that we were there.  Despite the fact that drinks were buy one get one free, and 3 times cheaper than they are in the US, our bar tab was like $500… Haha that’s a lot of Pisco Sours!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Don’t leave glass bottles of beer in your bag when flying.

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Resources:

Tour Companies: Condor Expeditions, Action Peru Treks, Puno Travel

Lodging:  Hostel World, Lonely Planet, Hostel World

Transportation: Transzela Inca

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