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July 13, 2013

I’m going to get all my complaining for the trip out in this post. At least I hope I am.

Many folks know, I’m embarking with a broken toe. It’s far better than it was, its taped, not swollen, and it, along with the rest of my foot, fits in a boot without pain. But it does still hurt when I step slightly off-center, which I think most people know, I do quite often. On the plane, I seemed to pick up whatever bug was re-circulating through the air and I’ve had a cough and terrible scratchy throat for the past two days. Also – it seems that my good stomach luck that lasted all the way through Nepal despite drinking from just about every water source I came upon, has not traveled with me to Peru. In less than 24 hours, the water, or whatever, has hit my stomach with a vengeance. And we’re headed into the jungle tomorrow.

I know many before me have had the embarrassing need to explain diarrhea to a pharmacy attendant in a language they don’t speak and I know that the pharmacy is prepared for this humiliation, but it still daunted me.

Cough syrup and Immodium in hand, I’m better. And I have great hopes that after all this, my trip will be incident and accident free.

I, however, had it easy compared to the rest of the group due to arrive early this morning. When I joined Graham and our guide Juan in the hotel lobby at 1, they were without others. I asked about lunch and Juan said “it’ll just be the three of us.” Assuming the rest of the group had opted to nap, I jumped up and said “alright then, where are we going?”

Turns out, the 6 travelers meant to be joining us were coming from Heathrow Airport were stuck there because of a fire at the airport. One couple canceled their trip altogether, while the remaining 4 will join us in a couple of days in the Amazon. So for now, it’s just Graham and me.

We headed out to Kennedy Park, one of many parks in South America named for our former president and to a great lunch. Juan and I had ceviche, Graham had a sandwich with chicken, pork, bacon, cheese, pine nuts and god only knows what else in it, but he loved it. There was beer and good cheer all around.


From there we headed to the Larco Museum, which Juan promised us would be worth the cab ride. It was a long one and both Graham and I were getting skeptical as the city neighborhoods changed around us. We passed the rubble of several old pyramids, which pre-date those in Egypt and finally arrived at a stunning bougainvillea covered building. The collection housed a stunning amount of pre-Columbian pottery and art and showcased the many Peruvian cultures besides the Inca. And Juan was a brilliant guide through the art and information.

Heading down stairs Juan steered us to a metaphorically appropriate, welcoming doorway.

erotic gallery

Inside housed a large collection of erotic pottery. Juan proudly showed us each piece and explained what was depicted, although in nearly every case, I understood. We dubbed it ‘porn pottery’, though Juan explained that it was a celebration of fertility. “It’s not all fertility,” piped Graham, pointing to a particularly graphic piece, “because that is not how babies are made!”

We headed back to the hotel and planned our 6 am rendezvous for tomorrow, when we shall head to the Amazon. I popped out for a bite from the grocery near by. My request for pollo apparently sounded like pig and I ended up with a delicious pork  sandwich.

Now I’m packing for the next leg. I will be out of touch for at least a few days and possibly as much as a week or so, but I’ll be back soon. Wish me luck!

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  1. esme permalink

    I’d pay to see you describing “diarrhea” to the pharmacist. A *week* of radio silence? You said three days!! Hope you’re having a wonderful and pain-free time. Please don’t touch the brightly-colored frogs! They are not friendly. They kill! Enjoy the Amazon!

  2. You are so great :-). Take care of that toe and the belly, of course. xo

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