Journal

Landed in Lima, Peru

We slept through breakfast, and I was sleepy still when I left a $9 tip for my $1.50 coffee. I had a pocket full of Peruvian coins, and dropped 25 soles into the jar before doing the math. One lofty latte. Landed, in Peru.

Coffee craving satiated, we scrambled to book the last two seats on a Cruz Del Sur coach to Cusco, then perused the avenues lining Parque Central de Miraflores for a less isolated locale to spend the night. We sampled La Lucha for lunch, then boarded a local bus for 1.5 soles (45 cents). Reggaeton drowned the sound of congested colectivos; fire throwers stopped traffic at streetlights. We met a girl named Luna, and a jacket-clad chihuahua named Cosito. Twenty minutes outside the familiar, we were waived off the bus at what seemed a suspicious stop. Luna told us to hide our cameras, and we walked a few rough blocks through a barrio I would describe as sketch at best.

Riot police blocked our route to Plaza de Armas, and with some prying explained a protest group known as Shining Path was expected to be staging a march–thru at any moment; a Maoist guerrilla insurgent group widely condemned for it's brutality and kidnapping antics. We retreated to a side street and snapped photos instead, then walked for an hour toward Parque de la Reserva. The park was peppered with newlywed brides mingled with photo-taking families, and we paid four soles to stroll through the colored cascades. Taxis, colectivos and walking tours conquered, we hunted down the metro line and traded 5 soles for a metro pass and ride to Republica.

Our hostel was a fair walk from the metro stop, enough to merit an expensiveish dinner at Rigoletto, a Peruvian/Italian place we scouted online while pirating wifi from a number of Starbucks shops. A shared plate of fresh ceviche, spinach cheese ravioli and two flutes of white. A spot of Miraflores meandering and one shared Cusqueña light to round out the night.

Peru, day two. Breakfast was a collection of expired cocoa puffs, inedible bread and coffee with condensed milk. We woofed it to Pariwana hostel with our double packs, a trip to Farmaca for some lady stuff and breakfast number two on the hostel roof. World Cup Italy vs Costa Rica and non-chewy cocoa puffs. Win.

Post puffs, we walked to Parque del Amor where I did a pseudo pull up, then to Larcomar by the sea for another coffee (can't live without). Line slacking, parachuting and stolen kisses. The stuff of a stellar midday stroll. A sort of skateboard convention was unfolding on the steps of Larcomar, and we stood still while backpacked skaters flew by in flocks. That night, we punched out three beers and four caprihnas combined, then signed up for flip cup and managed a three time take home. We met a few of our flat mates and cheered on their quest for the Wolf on Wall Street experience, then decided two weeks in Peru wasn't time enough.