Day 1 in Lima! I actually slept pretty good last night...bunk bed with one thin sheet and I guess what you would consider a pillow... ; ) It is really hot and humid here so the window was open. And since this hostel is literally int he middle of Miraflores, it was ridiculously loud all night (sirens and horns honking and cats fighting - lots of stray cats and dogs around here), but I was so tired I didn´t care - woke up feeling pretty rested! The girls who I was bunking with got up early and left for Cuzco. They were from France and seemed nice enough, but I didn´t really talk to them more than to roll over and say hi, where are you from.
So a "free breakfast" is included in my hostel so I got my little coupon for it from the front desk and walked down the street and around the corner to the little restaurant, El Parqueitto.
Turns out free breakfast is a glass of juice, two pieces of toast, and a fried egg. Beats nothin´I guess! You´d think I would´ve learned with all the travling not to drink anything that isn´t straight out of an unopened bottle, but the juice just looked so good (and it was) so I drank it - mango I think! Doing fine so far so it must have been okay!! :)
After breakfast I set out on foot to see the area. No one has been overly nice or welcoming here like some of the other places I´ve been, but they aren´t mean either and I haven´t felt unsafe or threatened at all. I picked up a couple of girl hitchikers a few weeks back (in Tahoe) that happened to be from Lima and they told me not to wear shorts here. They were right...I don´t think I´ve seen one girl with shorts on around here. They practically wear nothing on top (short, tight tanktops) but always jeans or at least long capris. So no shorts for me either. And with my glasses on, I really don´t think I stick out at all! I walked around for awhile and looked in some shops, found a little grocery store and managed to buy some bottled water. Spanish isn´t nearly as hard to understand and speak as some of the other languages. I don´t think I even picked up one word of Vietnamese when I was in Vietnam. Just too hard. I´m doing okay with my Spanish...it´s coming back to me pretty quick :) Here are some pictures of where I walked in Lima...
After walking around, I went back to the hostel and changed for the beach and paragliding. There was too strong of a cross-wind this morning, so while I was waiting around for them to decide if I could go or not, I did some shopping (of course). Turns out the bikinis down here are a little on the skimpy side...LOL! They pretty much have a non-existent butt...I mean it literally covered like not even half of mine! So I opted for some board shorts and a couple of cute tank tops instead. I know, I know...just what I needed huh...more clothes! :) Anyways, the wind wasn´t changing so I went to a surf shop, rented a board and made a new friend, and hit the ocean. The water was surprisingly warm, and surfing was surprisingly hard. Even paddling out is a struggle! Standing up is nearly impossible...although I did manage to make it up once for like .2 seconds. :) I´m planning on going to another nicer beach about 30 minutes south of Lima tomorrow to maser my surfing skills! ;)
I met a new girl here at the hostel named Magdalena from the Czeck Republic. She is 26 and has been traveling through South America for almost a month now by herself - she´s going to go with me to surf tomorrow! SEE!! I´m not the only crazy girl out there who travels alone! I did meet two older couples from California while in Lacomar (a shopping area on the beach) who asked ¨what a little girl from Kansas was doing in Peru by herself¨ I responded ¨seeing the city just like you¨and they just gave me a weird look...haha :)
I walked back to the hostel (making sure I knew who was walking behind me!) from the beach around 6pm (wanted to make it back before dark) and the paragliding people called and said the winds were changing so they would come pick me up at the hostel and take me to the cliff. I asked how I would know who they were, and they just told me to wait on the curb...haha. So there I was, just sitting on a curb in front of my hostel in Lima at 6pm - and every single freakin´car that drove by stopped and asked if I needed a taxi. Finally a jeep pulled up with a white guy and a Peruvian girl and he said ¨Terri?¨ I nodded my head yes and he pointed to the back seat so I just hopped in! The guy was Michael and the girl was Christina - they run this little paragliding operation I guess. Michael´s mom is from Texas so he spoke pretty good English. We got to the sight (the cliffs) right at sunset and it was just beautiful! I got some pretty good pics!
He got all of his equipment out, strapped me in with him, and we just jumped off a cliff right over the Pacific Ocean!! SO COOL! It wasn´t really all that exilerating, pretty slow ride to the beach, about 5 or 10 minutes or so I would guess, but it was still pretty cool! :) They just dropped me off back here at the hostel...actually they dropped me off on the other side of Kennedy Park and asked me if I could walk back to the hostel. Wasn´t too thrilled because it´s dark now but I said I could find my way...and thankfully I did! It was only like 2 blocks away. :)
Okay - well I´m off to shower and then Magda and I are going out with some other people here at the hostel to some jazz club or something? I don´t know, just along for the ride and some fun! :)
That´s it for today! I´ll write more tomorrow...