Tag Archives: barranco

Peru: day 14

So I did it. I survived my first day of international solo travel. It was a very strange day.

Last night I said goodbye to my favorite shantytown of Huaycan by climbing a mountain, then promptly shoveling my face with food for the rest of the evening. Notable edibles included: choufa, Peru’s version of Chinese fried rice; two churros; a fruit salad which had fruit AND yogurt AND ice cream AND cereal; and two Pisco Sours, the Peruvian drink of choice. It was sad to say goodbye to my favorite shantytown, especially because at night it looks like the city in Blade Runner with less rain and more dust.

This morning I said goodbye to the other volunteers and to LLI and hit the road to Barranco.

After a long hot shower and a long nap, I set out to wander the city with a map and my camera. I stopped at a restaurant that was noted on my map because they had a Peruvian buffet and I chowed down. Nobody in the restaurant spoke English so communication was difficult, but I managed to get their wifi password and look up some cool stuff to do in the area.

I walked a block down to a photography exhibit by Mario Testino which was a series of photographs of traditional Andean attire. It was an amazing exhibit.

On my way back, I wanted to hit up the electricity museum but it was closed. I asked the security guard what the hours were and he shook my hand and wouldn’t let go. After an awkward two minute long handshake, I pulled my hand away and thanked him for whatever information he had given me that I couldn’t understand.

I decided to walk along the beach for a bit, and on my way I met a guy named Jeremy who excitedly stopped me and asked me where I was from. We had a little chat and he asked me to come listen to him play trumpet at this club we were conveniently a block away from. After he hugged me and kissed my face about three times each I finally managed to convince him I was due back elsewhere but would hopefully run into him later to listen to him play the trumpet.

I’m not sure if people are exceptionally friendly here or if these are circumstances I should be cautious of. Obviously today I played the cautious card, but learning the difference between opportunities and scams is something I’ll have to work on. I know in this place specifically, gringas are a bit of a commodity, so I’ll chalk it all up to that.

After a loooong walk, I made it back to my hostel without getting lost once. I had a lot riding on how today was going to go, and I’m glad it ended up the way it did. It was an excellent day.

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Peru: day 9

I went from having a significant amount of free time to having none really fast. I have an hour to kill at the moment though so I thought I’d update on the shenanigans of the last few days.

Day 5

I had a ton of downtime on Monday but the day was kind of boring and not worth writing about. I hand washed my laundry which was a horrible failure for the most part. I have the soapy water part down but not the getting things clean part. The washing machine makes it look so easy!

Day 6

Because our teaching program is for after school/work and weekends, our weekends are on Wednesdays and Thursdays. On weekends, everyone treks to Lima (two hours via combi) for a weekend of money spending, good food, and general awesomeness.

On Tuesday, after a full day of teaching, we got dressed up and headed to Lima for salsa. Thankfully, I was not required to salsa because it seems awfully complicated and people get sweaty while doing it. And there’s a lot of foot-stepping-on which I’m not fond of. But I was happy holding drinks and jackets for everyone else and watching in awe as these amazing, attractive Peruvian dancers salsa-ed.

It was very Casablanca. (And by that I’m referring to the temperature in the club, the music, and the romantic-ish atmosphere.)

We stayed in a hostel called the Lima Wari which I will discuss in more detail at the end of my trip. I’m staying my last few days in town there next week.

Day 7

After a decent hostel breakfast and a cold shower (there was hot water, I just couldn’t figure out how to work the damn thing), we visited a little cafe for lattes. The rest of the day was spent shopping. In the evening, all us ladies got gussied up (I did only to the best of my ability, which still means I looked like a potato with a crooked line of lipstick on it) and went to this amazing fancy burger joint.

I’d tell you about the rest of my evening, but it was so strange that I’m typing out my first of a series of memoirs of my trip to post when I can accurately punctuate the Spanish parts of it.

Day 8

The damp atmosphere of Lima attacked my sinuses so I decided breathing was more important and took allergy medication. Allergy meds and I don’t get along. I learned that while abroad, they turn me into a grumpy, tired, irate mess. So I’m just going to forget yesterday even happened.

Day 9 (today!)

More teaching. More dirt. More combis. More yummy food. More reading. More thinking. It’s all good.

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