Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Viaje #1- Junín, Perú

This past week I went on my first excursion with ISA-My study abroad program!

We took the Ferrocarril Central (Peruvian train) which is the highest passenger train in the world! The train took us almost 16,000 feet up into the Andes Mountains and the view was undescribable! Although, this was an amazing experience with the scenery, at that altitude, there were a few people who got sick while on the train. We were given tea de coca (yes, that is cocaine leaf tea) to help with the altitude. Don't get too excited though, although the coca leaves will cause you to fail a drug test, and are illegal to bring back to the US, they are not processed or made into cocaine, instead they just help with altitude and overall health while up in the Andes. The best part of the train was that the last car was a bar and was turned into an intense dance party towards the end of the trip!

Besides our time in the Andes mountains, we also spent a couple days in the Central Jungle in Peru. From the snowcapped mountains, we took a bus into the jungle and went from wearing scarfs and coats to jumping into our bathing suits! The different climates and landscapes within only 100 miles in Peru is insane. While in the jungle, we made a short trek to the Tirol waterfalls in the city of San Ramon. Here we were able to jump in the water and swim under the enormous waterfall! The view itself was amazing, but being able to jump in and swim was better than I expected. At night, we were able to visit a native tribe in the jungle, where we celebrated a wedding with them! In fact, Erin-my sister, was the bride! The dancing after the ceremony was like something out of the "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" movie. So naturally, a lot of fun!

The last day of the trip was spent relaxing by the pool and a little more adventuring through the jungle near our villas which we stayed at before returning by bus to Lima. My first excursion included the highlands and the jungle---and I am already certain that Peru is unlike any other country and a must-see for anyone who enjoys travel!
The dance party on the train

One of the views from the Andes

The waterfall- we swam at the base!

Erin's wedding ceremony with a random native

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