Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 1: Lima, Peru

Hola!  (Gotta practice my espanol) Just made it to my hostel in Lima, Peru, so thought I´d send out a quick email before I go to bed (it´s midnight...WAY past my bedtime!)  Thankfully they have one working (very slow and old) computer with internet access here!!

Left KC for Houston at 12:15 this afternoon on the smallest little puddle jumper plane I think I´ve ever been on.  I was taking my sweet time at the airport in Houston - got totally ripped off by the currency exchange place getting Peruvian money, walking around looking at things and eating lunch - and damn near missed my flight!  They boarded really early and by the time I lolly gagged around to the gate it was almost completely boarded.  So of course there was NO room on the plane for my two carry-on backpacks (all my luggage).  I did luck out and not have anyone in the middle seat next to me so I somehow managed to shove one under the middle seat and the other one the flight attendant took and had to put it in some closet up front I guess.  7 hour flight to Lima.  I watched a couple of movies:  Australia (pretty good but wouldn´t pay to see it in a theater) and Twlight (kind of weird but it´s a love story so it was okay :) )  We hit some pretty good turbulents over the Andes...pretty sure the plane dropped for a good two seconds at least...everyone was gasping and grabbing things.  LOL...Shannon you probably would´ve passed out!  Other than that, smooth flight and not as long as I thought it would be. 

When I got off the plane in Lima,  there was a HUGE line to get through had like 9 switchbacks, each about 50 feet, just lined with people.  Took about 45 minutes to get to the front of the line, and when I did, the jerk immigration guy took one look at my little sheet I had filled out and circled this one line I had missed at the bottom and pointed to the back of the line. Oh hell no...I wasn´t about to go to the back for that.  So I move back out of the way a little bit and then realized I didn't have a pen.  So I go back and ask (and motion because I´m pretty sure he didn´t speak a lick of English) that I don´t have a pen.  He just shook his head no and pointed to the back of the line again.  I so would´ve kicked that guy if there wasn´t a desk right there!!  Some nice lady in line had a pen and was watching the whole I freaking wrote "USA" on the form and walked right back up to him.  Haha...he didn´t say anything, just stamped my passport and slid it back...jerk. ;)

So once I made it through the airport drama, it was on to the fun part...finding a taxi to take me to my hostel in Miraflores (an area of town)!  Haha...this is always the biggest challenge because there are some many people trying to rip you off (especially tourists) at the airport!  Luckily (I always get lucky on my crazy trips) I found a nice guy named Jorge to take me.  He had a cross and a picture of Jesus hanging from his rear view mirror so that made me feel a little better.  He seemed really nice so I got in : )  Turns out he didn´t speak english...LOL!  I think he asked me how my flight was and I said bien (good) and he just kept talking.  I kept saying ¨"no intiendo - no habla espanol - tu habla ingles¿" and he always laughed and said no and just kept talking in spanish!  What part of "I don´t understand - I don´t speak Spanish" did he not get!?  So anyways, I sat in the front seat because I get motion sickness pretty easy, and that was a mistake.  You think I´m a crazy driver!?  You should get in for a ride in Lima with THIS guy!  I totally should´ve just sat in the back seat, held on tight, and shut my eyes!  He literally drove down the middle of the road - I mean RIGHT down the middle.  And if there were two cars in the right lanes, he´d just honk his horn and split them.  Ya know I think I must have a sign on my back when I land in foreign countries that says "I want the craziest taxi driver there is" because I swear this always happens to me!  But whatever, we made it.  Lima is just another big city...pretty dirty, saw some beggers, some hookers, lots of graffiitti and some casinos.  They actually have Pizza Hut, Starbucks, TGI Fridays, Burger King and even Chili's!  Plenty of places to find some normal grub if Peruvian food turns out to not be good.  We drove right along the coast and since I had my window down so I didn´t throw up on Jorge my crazy driver, I could here the big waves crashing up on the was so nice! 

So my hostel is in the heart of Miraflores (the tourist district) and is called Flying Dog Hostel...haha...   Hey it´s $8 per night and I´sharing a room with three other girls (who are already asleep) so I´m not complaining. 

I think I'll hit the beach tomorrow and maybe paraglide off these beatufiul cliffs around here - heard it´s really cheap!  Then I'm thinking I might go to Cuzco on Tuesday to get to Macchu Picchu.  Who´s all kind of still up in the air for now...more fun that way...haha! I´ll keep ya posted : )

But I´m here and I´m safe and I´ve met some cool young people so I´m all good!  That´s all I really wanted to say...sorry it turned it to another one of my novels!  ; )  More to come...


PS - the keyboards down here are different (it´s so weird!?) and I´ve hit the wrong keys at least 50 times already so sorry if there are really bad punctuation errors! :)

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