Ok, Jason called it...I couldn't resist writing down what happened on our trip each day. I don't want to just look back at my pictures and try to remember everything that happened. I have had so many thoughts and memories so far that I want to make sure I don't forget a thing! Unfortunately this means my photos are un-edited and in raw and perhaps not so fabulous form. Some of them are from my point and shoot camera and others with my dslr. I will just include a few and the rest sometime after we return. Here is what has happened so far.
Day 1: We arrived in Lima late last night after a long, but not as bad as we thought, six hour flight. We started off our flight meeting a very nice and fancy pantsy couple from Lima.They were standing behind us in line to get on the plane and gave us all sorts of restaurant recommendations. They told us they owned a hotel (a fancy one!) here in Lima and gave us their card and told us to call them with anything we need. So nice!! : ) I spent most of the flight reading 'Breaking Dawn' (still have a ways to go) and Jason spent it playing games on the iPad. It wasn't bad at all.
We were greeted right as we exited the baggage claim by a cute old man with our name on a sign. We felt so VIP. He led us to his car (taking my bag for me and all!) and then drove us to the hotel. He was such an interesting person to talk to. It made me sad that we would only be meeting him this once. He spoke fabulous English but had lived in Peru his whole life. He is retired and does airport transfers for different travel agencies when he feels like it. He told us all about Lima, asked us questions about Minnesota, and surprisingly he knew a lot about Minnesota. He gave us some great tips about Lima and then dropped us at our hotel. He was a very sweet man and he started us off on a fabulous note.
We got to our hotel and weren't sure what to expect because it was fairly cheap. It is super nice! If you've ever been to the Graves 601 in Minneapolis, it's kind of along those lines. It has windows that you can open without screens and let a ton of fresh air inside. We love that.Excuse the smudge on my lens...took me awhile to figure out it was there:
As Jason was looking out the window admiring the view and the fresh air, we heard a 'crash'. I asked him what it was and he didn't answer at first. I walked out of the bathroom and saw him looking out the window. "I dropped the iPod out the window!'' is what I heard next. Apparently in his excitement, he hit his hand on the window and it flew out of his hand and out the window! Luckily it landed on a ledge and not on the street below...the question now was...how are we going to get it out? He tried to climb through the window but couldn't quite fit (I was releived actually...I didn't want him climbing on a ledge on our first night in Peru...I'd like to avoid injuries if at all possible) so we had to call the front desk and they had to grab a huge ladder to climb up on the roof to get it for him. It was pretty embarassing for him but pretty hilarious for me. The iPod on the ledge: (it was fine and still works!)
We ended the already late night with some room service (which was surprisingly good!) and some Monday night football on the spanish ESPN channel. Pretty entertaining.
Basically, I ended yesterday feeling like everything was on the right track...super excited for the rest of the trip! I was worried no one would meet us at the airport and that our hotel might be gross...but neither of those were an issue! So happy!
Day 2: This morning we went downstairs for breakfast which was good stuff. The coffee was impressively delicious and we are kind of sissies when it comes to coffee and don't like it bitter...but it was good! We were also a little tentative to drink it because we have been warned by many to only drink bottled water because tap water here makes you sick. We weren't sure how they made the coffee but once we had one taste we were goners. So far so good, no poop explosions or puking yet! Yes!
We then made our way to the tour bus where we drove around on a fancy bus to see the sights of Lima. We saw and heard about all sorts of different areas of the city. There are several districts in Lima and we are staying in Miraflores...near the ocean. After the bus tour the guide took us out and brought us into a museum. Not 10 minutes into the tour, a LOUD LOUD siren started going off and a man was yelling something in spanish through the loud speaker. Everyone looked a bit panicked and our guide told us we needed to leave the museum immediately. We got outside and entire street was filled with people. Everyone everywhere had evacuated their buildings. Students, lawyers, everyone. It was a mad house!
Turns out it was an earthquake drill although we saw TV reporters and police officers giving interviews and wondered if it was perhaps something more. We were told that it was just a drill but who knows. Jason had mentioned yesterday actually that he'd like to experience what an earthquake feels like. I of course took this opportunity to ask him if he still felt so enthusiastic about feeling an earthquake and he said a .06 on the Richter Scale would suffice just fine. Haha.
After that madness, we finished our tour and headed to a pretty cool church. Underneath the church there are catacombs that hold the bones of over 25,000 people. We were able to go underground below the church and see these bones. It was pretty cool but kind of creepy too. Especially a bit creepy to be in an old brick 'basement' right after a 'fake earthquake'. Just sayin'. But we survived and it was interesting for sure. The church itself was also very beautiful and ornate. Unfortunatley no photography was allowed so nothing to share besides words.
After the tour we hoped off the bus early to check out the coast that was nearby. It is what I have wanted to see most in Lima and it turns out it was for good reason, it is beautiful! We walked around to check out the sights a little. There were several people para-gliding...right of the cliff...I wish I was more brave because oh hell no I was not going to do that!
After checking out the coast we took a loooong walk back to find food for lunch and/or our hotel. We of course did not pack a map in our bag because who needs a map in a foreign country you've never been to? Not us surely. Well...we could've probably benefited from one. But on the bright side, we got a lot of exercise and eventually did find our hotel : ) But before that we found a yummy restaurant and tried the alcoholic drink of choice...a Pisco Sour. It tastes kind of tequila-y, kind of different...but strong nonetheless. Good thing this restaurant happened to be 1 block from our hotel (little did we know) because we were deeeeerunk after lunch. After one drink you ask? Apparently!
We got back to the hotel, freshened up, forced ourselves to not take a nap which sounded like heaven at that time and went back out on the road. We went to a highly recommended (in our tour books and online) restaurant that has been serving Pisco Sours for 50+ years. So of course we had just one more...followed by a large delicious coffee. While were there we met a very nice older couple from Sweden who have been traveling to South America for 12 years or so. They told us about all the small towns they have discovered and grown to love and recommended that we check them out if we ever come back. I'm sure we will be back. I love meeting new people wherever we go...it's what makes traveling so interesting and fun!
After that it was time for dinner and oh what the heck....another Pisco Sour (might explain the gut rot right now). We were the only couple in the restaurant and every restaurant seemed dead...I guess that's what happens in the slow season on a Tuesday night! We WERE going to be brave and try seafood (neither of us likes seafood) since we were right on the coast and people raved about the ceviche but we wimped out. There is still time, but we will see what happens.
On our way back to the hotel we saw a homeless girl who asked us for our leftover food. Jason, my sweet husband of course gave it to her and we made our way back to the room : )
Tomorrow morning we have a very early flight to Cusco so I better go to bed. I am SO looking forward to the next leg of this journey. Friday we will be going to Machu Picchu which is what I am of course looking forward to most. I am pretty nervous for tomorrow though because I hear the altitude sickness can be wicked and horrible. Here's to hoping it's not too bad!
Here are the pictures from today : ) They are in order of what happened so I'm sure you can guess what's going on...for some reason this app isn't letting me label them.