Hay paises a los que uno termina yendo, hay otros a los que uno termina yendo varias veces, y eso es genial. Yo he ido con mi bici ya 3 Veces a Perú, es el pais de los skateparks, en solo Lima creo que hay unos 50, pero no solamente fuí a montar en bici, 2 de las 3 veces fui a trabajar, hasta novia Peruana tube, estuve mas de dos meses enseñando a otros ingenieros telecomunicaciones que eran mas viejos que yo, lo bueno de los viajes de trabajo es que te pagan el viaje, te dan un apartamento, tienes compañeros de trabajo y nuevos amigos, lo malo es que hay que trabajar duro y al mismo tiempo no romperse ningún hueso.
La primera vez que fui a Peru, compré mis billetes de avion en mi trabajo en Bogota, viaje de ida y vuelta a Peru para año nuevo (es realmente dificil tomar vacaciones cuando eres empleado en Colombia, solo tienes 15 dias al año) y una compañera me dijo “Cami tu si eres loco”, Yo pensé, “Si ella lo cree, es que voy por bun camino”. Los tiquetes me costaron unos $500, que era un poco menos que mi salario.
Llegué a Lima
Y logré hospedarme en un apartamento de la empresa para la que trabajaba, Yo no sabia que unos meses mas tarde me enviarían 2 veces mas para trabajar, un rato mas tarde ya mi bici estaba armada y yo iba rodando por las calles de una Lima de verano y buscando el restaurante que me pareciera mas popular y de barrio para comer mi primer ceviche, me costó 8 soles y siempre era delicioso.
El sonido de la bicicleta y el pacer de rodar por calles nunca antes vistas, en un pais que solo vemos en la televisión, porque a mis 26 años, yo nunca había visto un Peruano en Colombia.
Yo tenía ya algunos amigos bikers Peruanos que había conocido por internet, uno de ellos era Peter Henningsen, leyenda local y promotor de la construcción de skateparks en Peru, gracias a él se habian construido mas de 20 skateparks y el último y mas divertido llevaba su nombre “Peter H.” En las fotos, con Peter y Manuel, con Manuel fuí a montar a Barcelona hace solo unas semanas (Es año nuevo de 2017).
Ica y las dunas
Unos dias después llegó a Lima una amiga, una chica que me había gustado mucho cuando yo tenía 15 años, ella y un amigo suyo venían a viajar por Perú, en Ica visitamos las dunas de arena y andmamos en Buggy, muy divertido, Yo salí solo para Ica y luego Cuzco, una ciudad ya mundialmente conocida por la animada celebración de año nuevo, para mí fue un momento triste porque llegó el año nuevo y la celebración y yo estaba solo y un poco melancólico, solo un poco porque Carolina me llamó a las 00:10, por esos días yo estaba enamorado de esa paisa a quien volvería a ver a mi regreso a Bogotá.
Nazca esta a 7 horas al sur de Lima
Una ruta larga y recta pasando por paisajes sobretodo áridos, como las ciudades, las líneas son impresionantes y vale la pena pagar los $50 que cuesta volar en avioneta, así fué como un piloto las descubrió hace ya casi un siglo.
Pues finalmente llegué a Cuzco y de ahi a Machu picchu, a Cuzco llegué en avion desde Lima, a Machu Picchu hice un trayecto en bus y otro en tren, no tenía tiempo para caminar los 3 dias que toma el camino del Inca, pero mi viaje a las montañas sagradas fue un viaje de peregrinación solitaria, cambiar de bus de pueblo en pueblo, almorzar en casas perdidas, el último pueblo es Aguascalientes, allí encontré un hotel de 5 dolares que no estaba nada mal, el dueño me dijo que había que llegar temprano a Machu Picchu porque luego habia mucha gente, y que eran unos 45 minutos caminando, Yo estaba molesto porque tube que pagar un trayecto en tren porque no habia ninguna otra opción y no quería pagar los 7 dolares del único bus que va del pueblo a Machu Picchu, así que salí a las 6 de la mañana y me tardé casi dos horas SUBIENDO la montaña, fue muy dificil, pero hice una parte del trayecto con niños y habitantes de la montaña, el paisaje fué de verdad muy bonito. Llegué un poco mas tarde que el primer bus turistico pero la ciudad perdida estaba casi vacía, sentí una satisfacción muy grande.
Trabajo y novia en Lima
De las tres veces que fuí a Lima me acuerdo mas de los amigos de BMX que de los compañeros de trabajo, mi trabajo era enseñar telecomunicaciones a ingenieros de operadores móviles, no era nada fácil, pero me gusta la idea de haber repartido conocimiento por todo Latinoamérica (También he trabajado en Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Trinidad y Tobago, Curacao, Mexico y por supuesto Colombia). Lucero fue mi novia, una modelo Trujillana que por esos dias tenia escolta porque su mamá estaba amenazada, Lucero me enseñó lugares, me mostró la vida limeña como toda novia extranjera debe hacer, impregnó en mi un amor por el su pais.
Perú, 1st trip, 2008
Written on Oct 2014.
I have been to Perú 3 times, always with my bicycle.
1st time was in the end of 2008, December 20 or so, I wass working for this Chinese telecom company and new year holidays was near, I searched for some flight tickets and I bought them under the laugh of the office secretary who said “Cami, you are crazy”.
Going to Peru alone, is it crazy? Paying 500 USD for the flight tickets? It was my current monthly salary and I was happy spending it on the trip. so I took my bicycle and went to Lima, I managed to get one of the office apartments there, so the apartment keys were waiting for me in Lima and I had my bike and a country to discover!
You cannot imaging the feeling when I assembled my bike and went outside in a sunny day in Lima, it is a similar feeling every time I do it, the bike sound is louder than ever, and the talking in the street is powerful, the cars, the wind, the faces, I feel I am looked, I feel a strange, a foreigner, jumping everywhere, stopping anywhere I wanted.
I had already some BMX friends in Lima, and I met Peter H, the most outstanding BMXer and promoter in Peru, He has built more than 30 skateparks there and the best one has his name, He took me to some skateparks and I felt sorry I wasn´t a better rider.
It is always amazing to visit a city or country where they speak your same language but with a different culture, accent, food, style, this happened in Perú. I discovered the food, the streets and the BMX guys there. Few days later came an old friend from childhood, a girl I really liked when I was 15, Natalia, she came with a guy, friend of hers, so it was 3 Colombian all together, 1 bike only! Lima was already a familiar city, I became to know the streets and the places, my friends were going to Cuzco and machu picchu but I had a flight to Cuzco in the end of my trip.
We decided to take a bus and go to Ica, 4 hours south Lima, where the desert begins and you can do sandsurfing and take rides in buggy cars in the sand, it is cheap and a nice experience, lots of fun, I think this is one of the things a very low budget traveler would miss, even it costs 10 USD, could be big money for a André Brougignol [a French hitchhiker and a master to me, He traveled 150 countries spending 1 USD a day] We payed and enjoyed, that night we walked the city, kind of dead, we sleept in the hostel and next day we separated, I took another bus to Nazca, 7 hours south Lima, where the famous Nazca lines are, some amazing amazing carvings in the deserts soil, I paid the US$50 to take the airplane ride to see the lines, it worthed some nice pictures I took,
In Nazca, I met some other Colombian who were traveling in a VolsWagen van all the way from Colombia (it is 2000 Km), They told me I made it cheaper and it was cheaper by bus, but I was alone, and they had themselves, anyway, I almost puked when in the airplane and I made it, I landed again, touched land and reality, quick look at the town and going to buy bus tickets in Nazca bus station, then back to Lima, what were my other Colombian friends were doing, no idea, I went back to Lima and to the skatepark and my lent apartment and my bike.
When taking the plain Lima – Cuzco, it happened that it was overbooked and I didnt get my seat! they apologized and gave me a 400 USD$ compensation! and a flight ticket for the next day, no big deal, I went bck to the apartment and I got one more BMX day in Lima BUT i LESS DAY IN maCCHU pICCU.
Next day I took the flight and went to Cuzco, a city 2600 m above sea, same as my hometown Bogota, people speak diferent there in Cuzco, with an Andinian accent, I had to pay train tickets to reach Aguascalientes, the nearest town to Machu Piccu, people sometimes walk from Cuzco to MP, it is called “inca´s route” I think it is now a touristic tour, I was alone and with no time, so I took 2 buses and one train, comming back I took the same.
In Aguascalientes (which means hot waters) I found a 5 USD hotel room and walked the town, it is a lovely town in the mountains, but not the mountains you see in Europe, this is kind of jungle, dark green and rivers, lovely, pizza places, masage, spas, but when you are alone you dont waste time or money, when you travel in group you end wasting money in beers, food and touristic tours.
Somebody told me I should go early in the morning to machu picchu, busses start at 8 am, but I decided to go by walk, I started at 7 am, rivers, mountains and a dusty road, farmers only, pretty nice, at 8 or so the official and only busses reached and passed me, full with tourists, I was angry with the tourist monopoly they made of that, I reached Machu Picchu after 1,5 hours, it is up the mountain and I was so tired and sweating, but it totally deserved the effort, being one of the only visitors at that time was beautiful, magical, something you (if you care) will feel if you go and do it yourself. Walking the ancient city I was thinking of the old indigenas that lived there, some tourist offered to take me pictures with my camera, I told them dont feel sorry for me, I was happy alone, I got a call from Carolina, the girl from Medellin who I had just met back in Colombia and who was much of my thoughts those and many days, I was happy, content, climbing up guaynaicchu is totally worthy, I met there in the top Carolina, a nice girl who had run out his camera´s battery, so I took pictures for her and her parents, she never accepted a coffee with me in Bogotá, and I know she is now living in France.
So, I went back to Cuzco, December 31, Cuzco is world famous for the new years celebration with the fireworks and party and alcohol in the street, I met my 2 Colombian friends there, during all those days when I did so many things, tey just made it to Cuzco, no idea what they did, should be their story, we cooked soemthing in the hostel, I remember a Spanish tortilla de patatas, I didnt know the life would take me to Spain 1 year later and I would try many of those.
before new years midnight, we went out, all from the hostel, to the main square, 11:45 and my 2 colombian friends along with the others dissapeared, I looked for them and the others but never found them, I found myself alone in Cuzcos main square, happy people and fireworks everywhere, midnight and I started hearing new years greetings and hugs and happy people, I was there, about to cry, with a loneliness feeling, when at 00:10 Carolina called me. Hard to describe, right?
I went back to Lima, I took my flight to Bogotá and I made it home, My mom was angry with me because I spend the new year time far from home, she even kicked me out home and I had to live in a hostel (in my own city) for 3 days, I have never liked to disturb other people asking favors and I felt like beign alone, I was also searching for a place to rent for me, in the end I came back to my mom’s place. 6 months later I moved to Spain.
And that was my 1st of 3 trips to Peru!
Perú, 2nd trip
On 2009, I traveled 2 more times to Perú, but I can not distinguish them very well…
I had a web friend in Perú, Lucero, who I was happy to meet once I went there… Going to Lima by my 2nd time was a good experience, clear sky and a summer feeling I didn´t know. I went to Peru to work, my company sent me, and I again took my bicicle, I already knew the streets, and this time I would stay 1 month in Lima, so good time to enjoy.
I was single, apartment keys in my pocket, an stable job abroad, in a brother country, riding my bicycle in the skatepark with some new friends, and a girl I liked, a local nice girl, that meant discovering culture, words, food, going to local places, cinema, long long chats. I also had this job, that meant dress decently, taking taxi every morning to the customer place (I was a technology trainer) meet my students, have lunch with them, doing something after class or after work, sometimes putting my bike in a taxi and going to the skatepark, sometimes going out with Lucero or sometimes getting some food somewhere and going home.
I remember the food, worldwide delicious Peruvian food, and it was! I remember going out with friends, drinking pisco sour in the beach restaurant, being welcome everywhere.
My favorite dish was Ceviche peruano, a mix of sea food with lemon and sweet potato, delicious, and I liked it from small street restaurants, I remember I was once seated in the outside table and one man tried to steal my phone, I catched him, no big deal, no problems.
Perú, 3rd trip
The 3rd trip was also interesting, 15 days this time.
This trip had a metting with Carolina, who came to Lima in a tour Bogotá-Lima-Bolivia, Carolina is a girl I meet in Medellin, 2008, I relate Carolina with Japan, I met her about 2 months after I came back from Japan, I still had the relax and calm Japan gave to my life, and I also had the madness I got for being by myself so long time in such a country, then Carolina filled my life with pasion, emotions, accents, powerful feelings, life. She is an amazing person who I always remember, for long time a must be with person, these days (dec 2013, writting from China, where I am with my fiancee Camille) a must see again great friend.
So Carolina went there, she and 2 friends of her, but Lima was She and me. We went once out with Peter H, great BMXer in Peru and the guy who help building so many skateparks there, went into a posh disco, free drinks an a great time. Carolina left some days later, that wouldn´t be the first time she let me, meant she had to keep on with her route, and that wasn´t the first time we split, neither the last. She left and left me wandering in my life, I now imagine a tiny world, a lonely guy moving here and there, no reasons and no end points, that was me, the meanful Carolina was gone.