I woke up on the 14th after sweet sweet dreams of Delicious Chelsea and headed for breakfast that was, strangely, through a set of doors into the fried chicken restaurant next door which seemed to convert itself into a buffet in the morning? But whatever, it tasted good J
A few people from our group were already up and spread across a few small tables, I sat down with Finn, Mel and Luke and within a few minutes found myself trying to describe the awesomeness that was the night before dessert! Of course a pretty impossible task as like I said before, it was beyond words. A few minutes in I caught some of Nicks conversation across on the next table, describing the exact same thing as were Dan and Matt on another table!haha 2 of us had had dreams about the dessert, and all of us had separately started discussing it the next morning! Yes. It was THAT good!!
The main plan for this day was to get on another agonizingly long coach to Lima, 10 hours! So far these experiences hadn’t been too bad, cramped, sweaty coaches, no air con, but nothing too unpleasant and nothing stolen/broken or anything like that!
We got to the coach station and there seemed to be a bit of trouble, our coach had broken down? Or hadn’t made it? Or something anyway, and so we’d been transferred onto another, which didn’t seem like a big deal at first till we got to the coaches and got our tickets (we had tickets?! As in like proper tickets? With prices and names? Where are we, England?) And approached the Cruz del Sur coaches.
Hear this. DOUBLE decker, tinted windows, air con, TV, seats larger and comfier than those I got on my flight over, even little headrests!!!
Honestly it was surreal, something like that in England would cost a bomb just to drive you from Leeds to Manchester probably! It was both completely unnecessary and completely awesome!
And it just got better, on we all got, sat down in our designated seats as someone spoke over the speaker system (hells yeahs we had a speaker system!) he welcomed us onto the coach and introduced us to our hosts!? We had hosts! And not just one! Plural! One for each floor who would operate the coffee machines YES COFFEE MACHINES located on each floor and serve us our meals YES FREE FOOD! It was unbelievable!
So that was an awesome 10 hours, continuous films, some were in Spanish which made translating hilarious and also meant we could completely make up the plot, keeping us amused for hours!
Though I think the best thing we got out of it was when there was an English film with Spanish subs. Sorry did I say English? I meant American, and therefore every tenth word was SERIOUSLY!? Yeah I mean like seriously, it was just like everywhere! Seriously!
But every time it was said the subs put up what became the catchphrase of the trip ‘EN SERIO!?’ (In a high and questioning tone)haha… yeah I think you had to be there…
We arrived in lima in the evening and this is the point of the trip where we went, yeah okay, we’re on a westernized tour, apparently the kiwis hadn’t been too happy with all our accommodation so completely unnecessarily we’d been upgraded to what turned out to be the best hotel in lima, I mean we’re talking marble staircases, ridiculously large rooms with high ceilings and room service. Posh coach was fun but we just didn’t need this! Not to complain though, hot showers were a nice change! And we were here for my birthday…
Once we’d dropped off our bags we headed out as a group for a quick tour of Lima, and then headed off in our lil’ cliques to grab some dinner. We chose pretty poorly in the end, with meals taking forever and coming out cold, uncooked, or just plain wrong, but by this point Jen had got through a few Pisco Sours and we decided to head back and then head out, we were in the capital after all so you’ve gotta take advantage!
As we walked back down a little side street we were just chatting away about our plans when mid conversation I just walked off. Looking like a crazy woman in my fatmans and jatun satcha t shirt, I left the group and in their eyes walked up to a completely random guy who was walking the other way towards us, who when he saw me coming towards him also looked pretty confused until when I got about 10 feet away he stopped in shock, I don’t know how I’d recognized him but it was Will Davies from back in high school, randomly walking down the same backstreet in lima?!haha it was one of the weirdest moments for both of us I think, and so once the shock had worn off we decided to meet up for a few drinks later, it was the day before my birthday after all!
We headed to the sports bar an hour or so later, with beers and piscos going around, meeting all of Wills mates from volunteering, and a bit of time on the Dance floor Jen was feeling a tad worse for ware so Finn and I decided to walk her home with the intention of then heading back to the bar, however when we reached the main square we looked up to the sound of a pretty good live band and a bit of a light show going on up on the10th floor of this building and we couldn’t help it, I’d been 19 for just a few hours and this needed celebrating! So up we went out onto the balcony where we met some guys from new Zealand and a few other places and all in all had a really good night getting back pretty late to the hotel!
I woke up on my actual birthday at about 10… 2 hours after we were mean to meet our new guide!haha And I wasn’t the only one, I think only the kiwis actually made it! But no worries, we just made brekka and headed out for the day, we decided to go explore lima, the tourist shops, the guards, the food festival, the dog dressed in lil’ glasses and a poncho, a quick skype to the parents and a pretty awesome lunch – matt just ate and ate! And a LOT of Inca cola to try and help get over the night before! Man I miss that stuff! Oh yeah and funny story – when we went to the bar the night before, as is ALWAYS the case Dan ended up surrounded by girls and Nick, Dan and Matt got taken away to a night that when questioned about the next morning was described with head shaking and confusion. I think the story went something along the lines of they headed off with these girls, and asked where was a good night, they somehow ended up in a gay club, which I think it took matt a while to realise, and then by the sounds of it struggled to get home and leave the girls!haha
Anyway I mention this as the next day we bumped into these girls which was an errrm, interesting experience! They seemed lovely but you simply couldn’t get away!haha
When we finally made it back to our rooms we sorted out the plan for the evening, we were gonna head to the Miraflores District for a meal for my birthday! 😀 We met with the group in the reception area where everyone was just chilling, when Finn and jen headed down the lift and appeared singing happy birthday with everyone else with the most AMAZING cake like the ones we’d seen a few days before and low and behold, after all the times I’d wanted it and got rum instead… a bottle of tequila!hahah I couldn’t of asked for a better birthday! Of course we invited everyone to join us but in the end it was Myself, Jen, Dan, Finn, Matt and Nick who crammed into one 5-person taxi with me in the footwell and matt on someone’s knees I think? We never found the restaurant we wanted to go to but after popping into a local hotel and asking where was good for an evening meal we got directed to a lovely little Italian place in our own room J
Once again pisco sours and tequila sunrises were flying in all directions and I had a meal twice the size of my face!haha It was absolutely lovely, and one rendition of happy birthday later we left for a look around the quarter, mainly compromising of a beach, and well, it looked a tad dodgy at this hour so we made our way back for a few drinks of my TEQUILLAAA back at the hotel!
I woke up on the 16th with much less of a hangover than the morning before, and after a quick brekka we set off to go on a ‘cycle tour of lima’ which didn’t appeal to Matt with all the travel sickness and that so he and Dan headed off on a Bromantic day out whilst we got in the back of a 4×4 and headed up the side of a big hill overlooking lima, with steep sides and very thin roads… I think this really was one of the few moments when my stomach really dropped…
These were dust roads on steep sides of a hill falling 4 or 5 hundred metres down into the city, in our wide choice of vehicle, we didn’t have much room and there were moments when it got too much for some of the group, and one moment when both the guide and muself (and luckily no one else as there would have been screaming) heard the wheel spin as we crawled round a corner and the back left wheel headed over the edge!haha Oh joy.
In some crazy way I was loving it! I’m defiantly a panic after kind of girl! We were then confronted by a car coming the other way and this really caused problems, Jen couldn’t handle it so we got out of the car and walked the next bit as even I flinched as one car drove half way up the side of the road at a pretty unhealthy angle and our 4×4 took an incredibly close drive past him, I have to say it made me glad that we were heading back down on the bikes!
Oh yeah the bikes. It was both absolutely amazing heading back down the hill, dust piling up behind us as we stormed down the hill and absolutely terrifying as we reached a bend at high speed and remembered we had weak breaks WITH THE BREAK LEVERS THE WRONG WAY ROUND!haha I’m surprised no one went over their handle bars (and over the edge) there was one moment where Jen decided to park up right on the edge and we had to shout her over as the road started to crumble away under her! A mix of the dust and lack of breaks gave you very little control of the bike with a massive drop a few feet away, but damn it was good fun!
I scared myself when after reaching ground level we made it onto tarmac and on the last corner before the real roads, with the tread of my tyres filled with dust and the breaks all jiggldy I errm, accidentally, made a pretty impressive round the corner whilst somehow managing to stay on the bike, all I could think is that if I’d don’t that 2 minutes earlier there wouldn’t have been all that space free to skid on and I’d have been flying over the edge! :S
But hey! I survived!!
We then carried on through lima on the bikes though some lovely areas, and towns, stopping at a historic area with a magic bridge which if you cross holding your breath grants you luck, and famous poets and singers sculpted everywhere and then heading down the coast to a beautiful mosaic park filed with the cutest of love poems, it reminded me of Gaudi’s work in Barcelona, but 20m from the beach and a beautiful floating restaurant it was just lovely. J We then headed back into the car to randomly see Dan and Matt strolling down the street, so we picked them up and headed back.
Tomorrow we’re flying to Cusco ready to aclimatise for the Inca trail! 😀