Since we last spoke I have left Lima and am now in Cusco, where every day is Saturday! Leaving Lima was hard because Christian and Kelly are such phenomenal hosts. If anyone is ever going to stay in Lima don’t hesitate to stay at their place, I HIGHLY recommend it! My time in Lima I spent exploring the city, I did some photography for a bar, some photography for a graffiti artist and a lot of drinking and dancing. On that note, I am terrible at the salsa. But a word to all Latin men: saying, “just follow me” while trying to get me to salsa means NOTHING to a person who has only ever had salsa with chips.. Another note to all Latin men: saying, “I love you I love you! I’m so in love with you!” and then barfing all over the ground in front of you will NOT make me sleep with you.
I took a bus on to a city called Ica and a taxi to a smaller town called Huacachina which is a tiny oasis surrounded by massive sand dunes. At about midnight and after a few pisco sours with the front desk guy we scrambled up some sand dunes to a place where we could overlook the entire city under a full moon. After more pisco we scrambled/slid/fell back down. As he said, I now have sand in my Colca Canyon…
The next day I went sandboarding and dune buggying. Sandboarding was sick and I only thought I was going to die twice. We went down some HUGE sand dunes. Wow. Dune Buggying was a different story, I saw my life flash before my eyes every few minutes. It was a 12 person buggy that he was taking full speed off dunes that, I swear to God, HAD to be vertical drops. Ok, I admit, I screamed more than once; and therefore, I also got sand in my teeth…. And my ears, and my nose…I think it would actually be harder to find a place where I didn’t get sand.
You know you’re in Cusco when the cars don’t have enough oxygen to start and neither do you. And maybe your lips turn a bit purple. But at least it’s beautiful. Oh Cusco, you are quaint but the bus ride to get me to you was anything but. We took off at 7:30pm and it wasn’t 10 minutes into the ride that I realized the death trap I was belted into. The thing about it was the bus itself was fabulous, it was a double decker and I had front row seats to the 16 hour shit show that was about to happen before my eyes. In the upper-deck-front-row-seat you’ve got nothing but a floor to ceiling picture window 2 feet in front of you. My first thought was “OOOOOOH HELL YES!” 20 minutes later, I realized I didn’t want to know what it would take to get us to Cusco. It was 16 hours of hair pin curves, and not just a couple. It was turn after turn after turn…after turn, at lightning speed….in the left hand lane. In the LEFT HAND LANE. Every fuckin time in the left lane. I realize that in a 2 story, 50 foot hazardous tin can you have to make some sacrifices, maybe safety around tight turns is one of them. I kept telling myself, “Oh Lindsay, this is PERFECTLY normal for buses to do this! Don’t worry!” That was until the Peruvian guy next to me started stomping his feet at an impressive pace with a noteworthy strength yelling (in spanish), “YOURE FUCKING CRAZY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!” It was at this moment that I popped a couple Dramamine and out I went. My favorite part was that they had a digital display of his speed on a monitor at the front of the bus and a “this bus can only reach 90kmh” sign on the back. Ha. Ha. Ha.
So I obviously survived the bus ride, one of many to come I am sure. And now I am in Cusco and it’s kind of hard to breath, every once in a while I get the feeling that I’m going to puke. On the bright side, I constantly feel like I’m running a marathon which makes me feel kind of accomplished.
I got in another fight with a taxi driver tonight. Can fighting in Spanish be a favorite pastime? it always sounds so heated and it makes me laugh on the inside. Fuckin guy says 5 soles, I get in the car and he says 7! Oh no. no no no. that’s not how this works. In retrospect I think he may have had some….problems. Every time we stopped at a light he would get really close to his steering wheel, studying the little stickers he had put there. He asked me if I was going to do some site seeing and then pointed to a GIANT plastic eagle he had hanging from his rear view mirror. He turned around and said “we have eagles here” with a big toothy grin, then he pointed to a furry lion on his dash and with the same toothy grin just said, “lioonnnnn.” Oh god. He ended up taking me to the wrong hostel, but no matter how many times I pointed at the life-size cardboard cutouts of half naked women and said “I'm not going to stay here and THAT’S NOT THE NAME OF THE HOSTEL” he insisted I go in and ask if it was the right one. It wasn’t. I’m not trying to pay by the hour. When we finally did get to the right hostel I asked how much for him to wait a second and then take me back to the same place he picked me up, he almost tripled the price so I laughed and said no. he yelled after me, “don’t worry! It’ll be easy to find a taxi back! Don’t pay more than 4 soles!” dick.
More photos to come, in the meantime I will leave you with a photo of a REALLY ugly Peruvian dog...