Jul. 9th, 2012

sarahblack: (Meg in love)
Peru! That is where I am right now. How weird is that?

So far I've spent an evening and a day in Lima and a day in Cuzco. I stayed in Miraflores while I was in Lima. (It is a very beautiful, tourist-friendly part of Lima.) I didn't have to worry about walking around by myself - although I didn't venture out on my own in the evening for anything more than a quick trip to the store around the corner from my gorgeous colonial hotel - and the Peruvians that I interacted with where all amazingly friendly. I would have worried that I was being scammed, except they never tried to sell me anything or take me anywhere. They just seemed genuinely interested in chatting!

I ended up spending my free day in Lima walking around Miraflores, staying close to the ocean for the most part. The waves were beautiful! And there was a cool shopping centre in the cliffs overhanging the ocean. I ended up going back there for dinner later in the day with a couple of Norwegian girls who are on the same tour as me. It was nice to get to know them a little bit. They both had soup, and I went with some fish of the day special. It was hilarious when the waiter brought them their soups - I have never seen such generous proportions! The one with the seafood soup pretty much got what I would consider to be a full pot!

This morning we flew to Cuzco. It's about an hour away from Lima, so it wasn't a big deal. The view of the mountains from the plane was amazing! Snow-capped peaks and deep valleys... Just gorgeous. ♥

The afternoon was spent getting ourselves situated at the hotel, going on a walking tour of the city, and receiving information about the coming days.

1. The hotel is nice and I love my roomate. (She is just like me! We both finished grad school, both studied Immunology, are both travelling around the world for about the same length of time, and have really similar opinions on all sorts of subjects.)

2. The walking tour was a lot of fun. We went to a local market - sort of like Kolaportid in Iceland. Local people had stands with everything from clothes made from llama wool to whole entire pigs, or even live frogs! But mainly it was flowers, fruit, herbs, nuts, and other run of the mill food items. We also went to see the main square. There was a beautiful colonial cathedral, and a very impressive fountain. Also, since the Peruvian independence day is in July (the 28th, I believe) there were Peruvian flags everywhere. (And I thought the people in the USA were patriotic!) It looked really festive and beautiful. We stopped at a little juice shop for lunch, and I got the most amazing fresh Papaya juice along with a chicken sandwich. Yummy!

3. I'm terrified of the coming days. The Inca Trail sounds like it will be hell on earth - but with amazing catering. (Three course breakfast, lunch and dinner on the hiking days!) The first day will be 10 kilometers. The next day will be the same length, but steeper uphill and also steeper downhill. The third day will be 16 kilometers, but apparently it is supposed to be very beautiful. On the fourth day we will wake up at four AM for a two hour trek to Machu Picchu. In the dark. But I think we're supposed to be arriving at Machu Picchu around sunrise for the grand effect. Oh, and there will be no electricity while we are on the hike.

I am so scared! But also kind of excited to see if I will be able to handle this. If I do this I will have major bragging rights. And you will all have to put up with endless 'When I was at Machu Picchu' stories. (Hopefully I won't chunder everywhere, though.)

Tonight I'm staying at a hotel. Tomorrow I'm going to the Sacred Valley and staying at a hotel again, but the day after tomorrow (11th of July?) will be the first hiking day. I should be back to civilisation on the 14th-ish.

Hopefully I will be able to post something then. I'm not sure what the computer situation will be. But as always, no news is good news!

I just got back from eating way too much pizza with the Norwegian girls, my roomate and an Australian girl who joined forces with us. I really like all of them, but only my roomate and one of the Norwegian girls will be joining me for the Inca Trail hike. The Australian is doing a different hike, and the other Norwegian girl is taking the train. (I'm so jealous of her.)

Anyway, I'm going to go pack now. I can only bring the bare essentials for the hike and I need to decide what to leave behind at the hotel. Our porters will carry 6 kilograms for us, and half of that is the sleeping bag and the mattress... I'm going to have to think very carefully about this. I really don't want to have to carry a lot myself. It'll be hard enough to hike with just my body to lug around!


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Sarah Black

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