Greetings from the Southern Hemisphere!

31 10 2012

Hola mis amigos!

I know it´s only Day 2 in Peru, but we had to slip into an Internet cafe for some info on where we´re headed, so I figured I would take advantage…

So here we are! Day 1 was uninteresting, as we were on an airplane all.damn.day. We woke up at 4:45am to make it to the Seattle airport, hopped to San Francisco, then sat on a big Boeing for 9.5 hours. Despite a few hiccups to start us off, everything went more or less smoothly. Our seats were funky so they moved us up towards the front of the plane and had the whole 3-seat middle aisle to ourselves! This came in handy for catching some z´s. We also had the little in-flight TVs that we could watch movies and play games on. I was so dead by the time we landed though, I was like a zombie. We made it through customs, flagged down a taxi, and headed to Miraflores where we were staying. The driver was older and spent the trip giving us advice and safety tips and helping with our Spanish. I face-planted in one of the pillows as soon as we got to our room… (Our room number was 6 – my lucky number! – which I took to be a sign that the trip is going to go amazing!)

We slept in this morning then struck out on foot to explore this bustling South American city. Of course, walking down the crowded streets, we drew a lot of stares. At first I thought maybe I was just having a great hair day; then I realized I was the only woman wearing a dress. And bright red shoes. Meh, I don´t dress normally in the States, either. J and I started playing a game to see who could spot a dress-wearing native. We counted maybe 1. The few others we saw we determined to also be tourists. Weird! Maybe it´s too cold for a dress by Lima standards? I´ve found the weather to be delightful, as this is the beginning of their spring. (And our mountains at home were already covered in snow when we left.)

We walked down the bustling streets, gazing in shop windows, people-watching, and trying not to get hit by a bus. The traffic is crazy – more because of the way people drive than how many people are on the roads. Crossing the streets have been quite an adventure! We came to a park at one point – Kennedy Park, or something like that – full of flowers and statues and strolling pedestrians. A beautiful Catholic church was at the southern end, with intricate architechure and looming bell towers. And everywhere we look there are banks, more banks, and even more banks! I have no idea why…

We finally strolled all the way to the ocean. Larco Mar has huge skyscrapers, casinos, hotels, and a huge shopping center. We browsed a bit and had lunch in the food court at a place called La Lucha, Peruvian fast food. Sharing a dish called Chanco al cilindro, we got our first taste of Peruvian flavor. And it was delicious! (Don´t worry, it was just pork and potatoes. Yum!) We continued wandering and people-watching. The occassional costumed cluster would appear, being that today is Halloween; business folks grabbed food on their lunch breaks; women pushed strollers. It really didn´t seem all that different from what you might expect to see in any large city in the US, they were just all speaking Spanish instead of only half of them.

We haven´t yet made it down to actually stick a toe in the water, being that we didn´t see an easy way to descend from the cliffs, but the breeze was a delightful relief to the slightly more smoggy and smelly city further inland down in the urban jungle. We hope to maybe head back there again later.

Thus far, the people haven´t paid us much attention, other than to glance over our weird clothes or to try to hock their goods. We´ve been warned about pick-pocketers and petty theft, but I don´t have any pockets to pick! Still, I decided to be safe and spread my goods around. That way, if someone were to steal my wallet or bag, they wouldn´t take everything I´ve got. Sadly, the cash in my bra is poking me and the wad in my shoe keeps trying to escape. But as long as it´s safe! 🙂

Well, that´s going to have to be all for my first update. I don´t have a way to add any photos yet, but it´s a big city and a coast. You´ve probably seen both before. Just add a little more color. 🙂

Comments from J:
I haven´t thought of anything to say yet.

I hope everyone is doing well at home! Take care until next time! (And I´m sure J meant to say that he says hi to all.)

Much love,

K&J

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