Carnival in Cajamarca

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  This blog post also appears on the Academia Superior de Idiomas’ blog I spent one of the best weekends of my life celebrating the carnival in Cajamarca. I heard about it when I arrived in Peru, it takes place throughout Feb but the main celebrations take place during the first weekend of March. If you don’t mind getting completely soaked, the celebrations are not to be missed. I thought I was prepared, armed with my water pistol, but after getting hit by a water balloon I realised I was going to lose this fight as I ran away from a guy who was trying to pour an entire bucket of water over me. Locals here are intrigued by tourists and often ask to take pictures with you, this happened right after one of them threw a water balloon at us but I took the opportunity to make friends. Its always nice to have locals in your circle, firstly they are generally really nice people, secondly you get exempt from “gringo tax” and thirdly had we not met them we wouldn’t have known about a lot of the things that were going on. They were also better prepared with bags of water balloons, and as they lived nearby they kept going home to get refills. We had formed an alliance and literally had a war against the entire square. It was so much fun, it ended with a downpour of rain which I danced in, firstly I missed the rain and secondly…nothing beats dancing in the rain 🙂

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Throughout Peru every town and city has a small park in the centre and by 10am it was  full of revellers. Some people woke up in the square from the previous nights festivities. Groups of friends gather with their drums and all play the same beat and sing the same song but somehow nobody gets tired of it! You can spot Llamas dressed to the nines wondering around the square and you should constantly expect to be thrown water at. wpid-IMAG1594_1.jpgwpid-IMAG1533.jpgwpid-IMG_24387019115418.jpeg Their is a daily parade and then the final Monday is the main parade which went on for hours and included huge floats. wpid-IMAG1563.jpgwpid-IMAG1546.jpgwpid-IMAG1497.jpg Although Peruvians travel far and wide to attend the carnival, spotting tourists is rare and it’s a very authentic experience that you can really immerse yourself in. We stayed at a good hostel, Hospedaje Jesús Trabajador Manthoc, it was centrally located so we could walk everywhere. They are one of the few hostels not to triple their prices during carnival, they also let us check out of our rooms at 10pm, gave 8 of us a 16 people dorm and didn’t charge us extra. It was clean with basic facilities…I wouldn’t plan on staying their longer then a weekend but for it was perfect for a short time. It was such a beautiful city and I missed out on a lot of the highlights such as the famous hot springs so I will be going back their before I leave! Toodles for now x

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