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Begin as you mean to go on

July 12, 2013

I was in the very last row of the plane, next to two very chatty singers/students from LaGuardia High School (FAME’s Music and Art for the children of the 80s among us, for everyone else, it’s an arts focused high school in Manhattan). They were joining a group from performing arts camp in Lima. I loved Fame (I would watch it right now if I could) and I love artsy kids. I just don’t love it next to me on a plane for 8 hours – overnight. It’s probably my imagination, but every time I was able to find a magically comfortable angle to get a little sleep, they worked a little bit more on their harmonizing. Still – they were sweet and excited, and really – what have I got to complain about?

We landed about 7:30, I was in my room (and my bed) at the hotel before 9am. A note on the taxi, and again, I could be imagining it, but I think all taxis in third world countries play the same radio station and its AWESOME! I jammed all the way from the airport to Captain and Tenille, ABBA, Wham, and Culture Club. Along the way, I got my first glimpses of Lima and its shoreline. A few hearty surfers were braving the wintery (for Lima – rainy and about 50) weather.

After a bath, a nap, and a little work, I headed out to see the city. And to eat. I missed both plane meals – not much of a loss – and hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday so I was starving. A little cafe fit the bill with a refreshingly bright ceviche. It failed a bit with the pisco sour which was way too sweet for me. I’m assured that I should keep trying them, and never one to give up, I shall.

As I kept walking toward what folks said was something good, but I could never understand exactly what, exhaustion hit me. Hard. I was just about to turn around I saw what everyone was pointing me to – the ocean.

beach monument

Actually , really big mall built above the ocean, but with great views – it was gray and angry water today, but beautiful. The mall had the usual L’Occitane and Nine Wests alongside some Peruvian souvenir shops. One alpaca shop went so far as to have women in native dress weaving in the window. For a dollar you could take their photo.

weavers

After a long wander and several foiled attempts to get down to the actual beach, I found a grocery store and picked up my travel supply kit – some prosciutto, cheese, bread, and Fanta (don’t judge) and headed back to the hotel for a bit more work (its only an hour time difference, so easy to connect with New Yorkers).

My guide called up and I met he and a fellow traveler in the lobby for a quick hello. Juan lives in Cuzco and is excited and charming. He was very eager to have someone who wanted to see a museum in Lima – he has a favorite. It’s not the one I’d picked out from the guidebooks, but I’m certain that his enthusiasm is enough to make it a better experience. Graham, my only traveling partner already here is a recent college grad, traveling to celebrate the achievement. He’s a Brit (again, I’m the only American) and will be my partner on the Moonstone trek as it seems the rest of the group were approved for the Inca Trail and only he and I will be on Moonstone. I promised many pisco sours on me if he puts up with my speed and grumpy demeanor on the way up the hill. He’s happy with the arrangement so far – lets hope he remains so when we are 4 days in and smelly.

I’m back in my room. Its early, but tomorrow the real excitement begins so I think I’m happy with another bath and, as soon as my extra blankets arrive (damn its cold here), an early night.

Tomorrow I’ll get my game face on. I will!

 

 

 

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