Saturday, August 5, 2006

Our first 24 hours.

We survived our first 24 hours in Peru, without a scratch may I add. This morning, we woke up and headed down to the Piano bar for our complimentary breakfast in our hotel. It was buffet style, and we helped our selves to coco tea, croisant with ham, fresco queso, tamalitos, y empanadas. It was simply splendid.

After breakfast, Alin and I made our way out into Lima to find a new hotel. We had a list of leads from our handy Lonely Planet book which guided us through Miraflores in search of a warm place to lay our heads tonight. We checked out three places before settling on Hostel Seniorial, 2 blocks from the beach. We learned a valuable lesson at this hotel, always pay in cash. The locals here have a habit of telling you what things cost in U.S. dollars, what they don´t tell you is that they like to determine the exchange rate themselves, and charge your credit card in Soles. This basically results in you paying for things in $5-10 more for a given item than what was advertised. The safest bet is to go to a reputable bank, where they will give you an accepted exchange rate and you can always deal with cash.

After finding a new place to stay, Alin and I headed for the Museo de Nacion. We decided to walk to there from our hotel, big mistake. It took us 2 hours walking to get about halfway, at which point we gave up and took one of the hundreds of busses that honked and hollered at us along our journey. We reached the museo in 5 minutes. We enjoyed the exhibits that the museo had to offer but the greatest surprise was at the end.

As we walked out of the museo to return to our hotel, we walked into a friend of mine, Amy Dietz, from back in the States. Just hours before, on my walk with Alin, I mentioned that I thought I had a friend in Peru at the moment, but had no idea where she was or what she was up to. Then, hours later, we run into her waiting outside our museo, as though it was destiny.

Given what had just transpired, Alin, myself, Amy and her room mate went out for Sangrias to celebrate in a part of town known as Barranco. Our new found friends took us to a spot with a beautiful view of the ocean where drank ourselves silly and talked about times passed.

After finishing our most tastey beverages, we made our way to a local flea market, where had dinner. Alin ate skewer´s of chicken, while I tried the beef heart and grilled intestines. Yes it sounds gross, but it was actually quite delicious.

After dinner, we walked down to a street nearby and hung out at a bar for a few hours, drank some mojitos and talked some more. At 9:00Pm, we went to a local dinner theatre, where we watched a entertaining performance of dancers and musicians strutting their stuff. Alin and I weren´t to be left out, and we hopped on up to the dance floor to practice our new learned dance moves. I felt it was a disaster, but we laughed and had a great time nonetheless.

Now we´re back and we´re off to bed. Hope you´re all having a great time back in the States.

Ciao!

-s

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