Hello! I am currently on day 42 of my 76 day journey. So that means I have...34 days left in South America! Just over a month.
On Wednesday morning I woke up at 4:30 so I could be at the airport by 5:20 for my 7:20 AM flight from Quito to Lima. I considered taking a bus, but after seeing how things get stolen on busses I am glad I flew.
My last view of Ecuador, however, was not happy. When I got in my pre-arranged taxi at 5:00 AM I forgot to settle on a price to go to the airport. I know better than to do that! Long story short he charged me $10 for the ride that should have been $6 maximum. "It´s 5 in the morning!" he said. Maybe I was just crabby because it was 5 AM and I should have been sleeping, but the $10 was a rip off and I walked into the airport about as angry as Erin gets.
I stood in line, checked in my bags, paid the $40.80 it costs to leave Ecuador (which also did not settle well with Erin at 6:00 in the morning) then went through security.
haha. I decided to bring my flute on my backpacking adventure with me. Before I came to South America my dad helped me to make a PVC pipe case for it and my mom sewed a cloth case to cushion it. I kept my flute with me as a carry-on item and expected to get the 50 questions about it, honestly, it´s a PVC pipe on an international flight. I had to laugh when I walked through security without a second glance at it.
I stopped at a food court and grabbed a yogurt on my way to my terminal. I was still angry about the cab driver, but the yogurt tasted gooood. And then I opened my journal to a page where I had written, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." I took a few breaths and let it go and instead focused on the next portion of my journey: Peru.
My flight went about as great as any flight could go. I had a window seat and noone sitting beside me. I slept through the breakfast that was delivered to everyone else on the aircraft.
When I arrived at the airport Claudia and her brother, Fernando, were there to pick me up! After working with Claudia at Beaver Creek, it felt so weird to see her down here in South America! We dropped my things off at her house and went out to a cute restraunt for lunch. I had a chicken salad (yes, I felt like chicken after the long morning) pineapple juice, and some delicious chocolates for desert! Then we drove to LarcoMar (a local mall\social area right beside the ocean) for gelatto for desert. mmmmmmm. Lima has great food.
Next we drove to a spot that overlooks Lima. It was great to see Lima stretched out in front of me! Then we drove down to the coast and I put my feet in the Pacific Ocean in South America for the first time. Well, I tried to only get my feet wet. But I understimated a couple of waves and ended up walking back to the car with my pants drippig wet. oops.
That night Claudia drove me up the side of a mountain to a "Mirador" or looking point from which we could see most of the lights of Lima below us. How beautiful! I got to see Lima during the day and night in my first 24 hours here. I love seeing a city with a local. They know all the greatest places and best things to do. Most people that I talked to about Lima said it really is not that great and they didnt like it much. But I think they just didnt have the right people to show them around...
Anyways, that night we watched the movie "My Sister´s Keeper." It is a beautiful movie that made me cry like I have not cried in a while. But great movie.
Then next day Claudia had class so I went with her to her university. It was fun to meet her classmates and I even got to sit in on her production\cinema class where we watched Fresas y Chocolate (Strawberries and Chocolate). I did not understand much from her teacher´s lecture before the movie but it was nonetheless a great experience and the movie had English subtitles. This is actually my favorite way to watch movies now, in Spanish or English with subtitles in the other language. It is fun and I always learn new things.
Claudia had class until 9 yesterday so I went with one of her frieds who is a cab driver to the Museo Oro del Peru. It is a large museum housing a Weapons of the World Museum and Gold Museum showing the rich cultural history of Peru. I started my tour in the Weapons of the World Museum and saw a gun from Robert E. Lee, a Civil War canon, Samuri body armor and hundreds of different swords and guns. Then I headed downstairs and was captivated by the gold, jewelery, weapons, pottery and even some skulls of the ancient Peruvians. After touring downstairs I walked back upstairs and was in awe over how far our world and people have advanced. To go from slingshots and darts to guns and metal body armor is astounding.
Last night we went out! Thursday is the new Friday :)
We went to the Gothica in LarcoMar where Claudia´s friend had gotten us on the VIP list :) Thank you Maria! The Gothica is a very nice club in Lima with a DJ, dance floor and 4-ish bars. Claudia, her German friend Selena and I got Dressed Up (straightened hair, makeup, dress, leggings, HEELS, the whole sha´bang). We got to the club at about 11 and did not get back to Claudia´s house until 6 the next morning!!!
You are probably wondering what happened between 11 and 6? You would have had to have been there to completely understand. But somewhere between the dancing, mixing Spanish and English in conversation, meeting tons of new people, a few free drinks, some guys who thought they could dance Salsa (but noone who could really dance like my salsa teacher), and the sunrise I took off my shoes and had a great time.
I do not understand how these Limeans (people from Lima) kept their shoes on all night. My heels that I borrowed from Claudia were not even that high and I took them off half way through the night. Meanwhile, chicas with 6 inch heels danced the night (and morning) away. But they said their feet hurt so bad they were numb. I watched a few of them walk to their cabs with the sun rising behind them and they looked like they were in pain. I don´t understand why they do it. Leave it to a girl from Colrado\Nebraska to be puzzled about heels...
Anyways, I woke up a couple of hours ago. Yes, it is 4 in the afternoon. And Claudia and I ate fried Yucca with amazing cheese sauce and salad for lunch.
Oh yes, one more thing. In Spanish there is a word for the meal you eat around sunrise after a long night of partying. It is called "bajona." "Bajonear" is the verb form. :)