Friday, January 7, 2011

I slept very well on the bus last night. I was surprised, actually. The “seat beds” were great even though they didn’t fold down all of the way. I was able to curl up into the seat when I wanted to change positions, which was nice – better than putting my feet up on the seat of the person in front of me like I do when I am in the plane!

The morning passed rather quickly, which was impressive. We watched “UP” and “Letters to Juliet”, both of which I can handle, so I didn’t have any heart attacks there, which was a huge bonus (although UP makes me cry a lot…but that’s better than other reactions!).

We arrived in Lima around 2 pm, which means the trip was actually 23h and not 21. Beats me where we lost 2h along the way – although I had a feeling it was going to be closer to the 24 hour mark than anything else.

Getting our bags was a gong-show. It was complete chaos! The entire bus system was impressive – except for this last bit. I mean, they check our passports at every stop. They do a metal detector scan of hand luggage before getting on the bus. And, the film us as we get on the bus and while we are in our seats! They even have a GPS locator on the bus (to prevent hijacking??!!). So, the fact that we had to yell for our bags with no order or security at all was rather unlike the rest of the experience.

I had cancelled my two nights at Pirwa hostel in Lima when the whole plane thing didn’t work out. I had thought I’d go walk around Lima and then crash at the airport. However, the bus stop was in the sector next to Miraflores and was going to only be a 10 soles ride to the hostel, so I opted for a shower and a bed to sleep in. And, on the plus side, I reserved the same cab driver that took me from the bus station to the hostel for 4am tomorrow morning.

It is really amazing how awesome showers are when there hasn’t been one in a while!! It felt pretty good.

I found a map and got some directions of the area from the hostel guy and made my way down to the beach. It was good to go walking. And, it is so much warmer here; it is the first time I’ve worn shorts to walk around since I’ve been here. The beach was great except for all the people trying to sell stuff!! I wonder if there is a different beach locals go to because all the surfer dudes got on my nerves. And, as soon as they find out I speak Spanish it is even worse because then they just want to keep talking!

The beach was nice, however, the water wasn’t to die for blue or anything. I got some sand, which was my main objective! On my way back up to the main street guys kept stopping and looking at me – I definitely didn’t miss that in the small towns! It doesn’t help that I understand when they say rude things under their breath either! Ah well!! This one creepy guy more or less followed me all the way up the hill, trying to talk to me. I finally decided that I needed to eat in order to get rid of him – so that is what I did!!

I ate at a cute coffee place on a corner, so there was lots to watch. I had this random pizza thing, that wasn’t really pizza at all, but it was good. I was quite enjoying myself until two rather cocky guys asked if the two empty chairs at my table were free! Like, seriously?! Does that work on other girls?! I don’t understand it if it does! Anyway, I said the chairs were free all right and got up and left.

On the way back to the hostel I walked through “John F. Kennedy Park” and visited a little market. I love markets! It is a good thing they don’t really exist at home because I’d probably spend too much money at them! There was this really nice wood bowl there as well as some bronze stuff (for which Peru is known), but I resisted both knowing I don’t really have room in my bag and that I don’t need anything more!!

There were a tonne of cats in this park too!! I could have done a whole photo shoot of cats, if I was into them! It was kind of cute, because they were hiding everywhere…in the pansies, up trees, in the longer grass! It is odd because I remember hearing that cats are bad luck here, which is why I haven’t seen one cat to date! I’ve seen a lot of dogs, but no cats – except here today was the opposite!!

I walked for a while longer in hopes of seeing a grocery store, which I did manage to find! It was a huge one with excellent prices on everything! I had fun looking through it and found some neat things like pre-packaged mini bottles of balsamic vinager and olive oil and bags of coca leaves. I bought a chocolate croissant for tomorrow morning as well as some chocolate milk! All good things.

On the way home I saw this guy have a fight with a police officer on the street! There were sure a lot of people watching – don’t know if that means it happens all the time or rarely, but it was odd to see (guess that means I don’t go out much if that is something I’ve never seen before, eh?!).

When I arrived in my room at the hostel there was this Brazilian guy there who was rather interesting to talk to! He is from Buenos Aires and talks with a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish which made it slightly challenging to understand! He liked to talk, however, which always makes it less awkward!! It amazes me how many people from Brazil I have met on this trip. I’d say the majority have been from South America, with Brazil winning by a long shot. I don’t know if that is because it is their summer holidays or because the money is on par, but it sure makes me work on my thinking process when speaking Spanish!

It is kind of sad that I am going home tomorrow. It has been a good trip and there is so much I haven’t done yet in Peru! It is been a good start, however! And, I know I have seen and done the mandatory things here, which is a good thing!

Yeah for the 15h on the plane tomorrow. I am soooo looking forward to fruits and veggies when I get home! 🙂

Later

-Allison

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