Recap... Lima!

Trip Start Jun 26, 2012
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Trip End Aug 11, 2012

Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So! Now that it is almost TWO WEEKS into our trip… I figured I should
probably start my blog! I guess that my roommate Lindsey and I have
just been too busy enjoying this beautiful country, that I haven’t spent
enough time keeping you all updated on what the heck I have been doing!
So… let me catch you up on what I have been doing for the past 2 weeks!

On June 26th, after spending 2 hours in line to get our boarding passes, RUNNING to the front of the 1/4 mile long security line (I think we might have pissed off a few people here..), and stepping onto the plain FOUR MINUTES before we were scheduled to take off...Linds and I left to Lima! And after 9 hours, 2 movies, and 2 terrible airplane-meals, we were landed in Lima... WE MADE IT! But it was 3am and we
were exhausted. We grabbed a taxi and headed to our hotel to crash.

Lima Day 1:  In the morning, we got ourselves lost
exploring the beautiful city. The buildings are so colorful, pink, blue,
red… amazing! I love that there are ZERO track homes, and no 2
buildings look alike. There are TONS of stray dogs roaming the streets (we learned quickly to watch our step),
and the people here drive like MANIACS. They have stop signs and street
lights, but its almost as if they are a suggestion... and crosswalks might as well be un-marked, because pedestrians definitely DO NOT have the right away... I'm not really sure who does, actually. And the city
gives a new meaning to TRAFFIC… there is unbelievable traffic here, good
thing we walk everywhere! We stopped for lunch after a while to have
our first meal in Peru! After attempting to order using my terrible
Spanish (and not really knowing what I had ordered), I ended up with a
wonderful dish of ceviche with corn, onion, and sweet potato. The corn
here is so different, 3 times the size of corn in the US, and its sweet
and so delicious. We headed back to the hotel to grab our [much needed]
Spanish-English dictionary, and then walked around the beach, which was
only 1 block from our hotel. The view at the beach was amazing. We were
on cliffs overlooking the water, with tons of people running, walking
dogs, and paragliding. I collected my courage and decided to go check
out the paragliding… but the wind was dying down & they were
closing...damn. TOMORROW. I will do it...maybe.
We kept walking along the cliffs, and ended up at a huge outdoor
mall. We sat at a cafe overlooking the ocean, and i had the best dulce
de leche cappuccino you could imagine…mmm. Amazing.
We ended up eating dinner at a restaurant nearby, and THANKGOD we
did. Because is was awesome (are you seeing a pattern with the food…???)
I had a Peruvian dish that was kind of like a stir-fry, which was
great… but the kicker was dessert. It was Peruvian rice pudding, wrapped
inside of a pastry/tortilla, then fried, with a scoop of
vanilla/cinnamon/caramel ice cream... I know, right!?! I DIED. Me and Linds were silent the entire 30-or-so seconds that it took us to devour this thing. Speechless. This may have been one of
the best things that i have ever eaten in my life. I am LOVING Peru.

Lima Day 2: So our second day in Lima was great. We
got up early and took a 3 hour bus tour of the city. We saw different
districts of Lima, City Hall, and ancient ruins! Huaca Pucllana are
ruins that were built by the indigenous peoples of Lima (before the
Incas), and are centuries older than the ruins of Machu Pichu…amazing!
The beautiful and monstrous runs seem as if the should be in a sacred,
quiet place where their awesomeness can be appreciated… yet they are
found, right smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown
Lima, a huge city! Very strange… anyways, we drove on to see Lima’s
national futbol (“soccer”) stadium, beautiful monuments, a French
palace, and the Historical Center of downtown Lima. The Historical
center was beautiful, surrounded by massive building (City Hall, a
cathedral from the 16th century, and the govt palace where their
president lives) all surrounded by beautiful gardens and a huge
fountain. I loved that the buildings were built in different eras and
all so different from one another.
We walked a few blocks from the Historical center and took a tour of
Saint Francis Cathedral, which has a museum inside. It was beautiful
inside. But the MOST memorable part, was the catacombs… which was
underground cement “rooms” where people were buried long ago. Very eerie
inside, but really cool. It was bones and skulls, piled high on top of
one another… gave me the chills. Too bad we weren’t allowed to take
pictures :(

Lima Day 3: This morning was so nice, and relaxing.
Me n Linds wandered downtown and found a cafe outside that overlooked
the beautiful central park with tons of people, beautiful flowers, a
park with kids playing, and painters selling their artwork. We sat
chatted, and had a nice relaxing breakfast and cup of coffee. After, i
bought 2 beautiful paintings from one of the painters on the street.
That afternoon, we went back to Huaca Pucllana (the ruins that we had
seen on the bus tour the day before) to take a guided tour. It was
AMAZING. This used to be the center square where the people of Lima
would come to meet. It was also the place where the bodies of 40 women
and children were found… giving proof that the indigenous people of Lima
practiced human sacrifice. This archeological site was absolutely
amazing, I’m so glad we decided to take a tour.
Later that night, we visited the Circuito Magical del Agua, which was
a huge park with 13 different water fountains! They were all different,
and so beautiful lit-up at night. One of the fountains hold the record
for the world’s tallest fountain (@ 240 feet tall!). One fountain was
great, because you could run into the middle when the water stopped
shooting from the ground… the catch, was that you could never predict
when it would start/stop! So yes, we ran into the middle as soon as it
stopped… and yes, my dumb attempt to run out before the water came back on
left me with one soaking pant leg. Figures. But we had a great time!
From there, we took a taxi to a show called Brisas del Titicaca, and
it was FANTASTIC!! We were sat at tables around the stage, and ate and
drank during the show. The show was a Peruvian music and dance show,
where each region of Peru had it’s own dance & dress. The costumes
were colorful and so amazing. In between the dances for each region, a
salsa band would play, and the audience would get up to dance for a
while until the next dance came on. I had a blast! I really have no idea
how to salsa dance, but i did have a great time trying!

Lima Day 4: Our last day in Lima! :( Very sad to
leave this beautiful city. Linds and I wanted to join the locals, so we
put on our running shows n went for a little jog on the beach. After a
quick jog (maybe 2 or 3 minutes?), Linds and i went down to the water, and she rented a surf
board while I decided to have some me-time sitting by the water. I
watched Linds attempt to catch a few waves, and then I decided to mosey
back up the cliff again. I found a shady spot under a tree and to sit…
it was the first time that i really felt like i had a chance to ground
myself, and really appreciate where i was, and how lucky i am to be here
in Peru. I must have sat there for an hour or so, until Linds came to
find me. She sat with me for a few minutes, and we saw a small cliff
below us with a bunch of rocks that spelled someones name…so we decided to climb down and erase it, and write our
names: “Nicole & Lindsey, Lima 2012”
After, we walked over to the para-gliders (because I have yet to do
it) but AGAIN, we were too late… bummer... guess it just wasn't meant to be. Oh well! We kept walking, and after climbing a fence & dodging a garden of spikey aloe plants we found a
nice spot [where we probably weren't supposed to be] to watch the beautiful fire-red sunset. Amazing.
Later, we went out salsa dancing for our last night in Lima. We
stayed out WAY too late, and got NO WHERE enough sleep but it was so
worth it [...we thought...]. We salsa-danced our butts off, and it was GREAT! ...until the next morning...
We had an early wake-up call to check out of the hotel and get to the airport. The entire morning, Linds was over the toilet, and NOO, it wasn't because we drank too much... must have been the pizza from dinner?
Soo, we check out and hop into a taxi to the airport. Knowing that the Peruvians drive like a-holes, I kindly asked the front desk for an up-chuck bag for Linds... just in case... And yep, you guessed it... about 10 minutes away from the airport, Linds is looking a few shades of green. "Uhh, Senor, I'm... blahhh" YES, THANK GOD FOR THE BAG!! You're probably wondering what happened to the bag... well, he pulled over and when linds asked him what to do with it, he laughed & made a "tie-it-in-a-knot" motion, and then a "toss-it-on-the-side-of-the-freeway-and-whistle-while-you-walk-away" motion. He gave me a comment book to sign once we got to the airport, I wrote something along the lines of... "Senor, lo siento por el vomito en el taxi. Muchas Gracias." It really wasn't funny at the time... but now its pretty hilarious lol

WE WERE OFF TO CUZCO!!!
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