Saturday, March 21, 2009

Farewell Cuzco, Hello Road

This past week and a half I finished school (although I didn´t learn much--I was a bad student and convinced my teachers to take me to the zoo, watch Spanish movies, and learn some Spanish tunes), packed up all of my junk, cleaned out my room, and said goodbye to all the great people and places I have met in the beautiful Cuzco! It was quite an emotional week, really, but still good nonetheless. Also pretty uneventful after I finished school, just lots of rest during the day and lots of fun during the evenings. We went out for pizza and dancing and drinks...we being me, my Danish buddies Anne and Pernille, and Ugly American Party of One, the other tourist staying with us. She really began to grow on me and I finally began calling her by her name...Sena. She was an older lady from Florida, and I only hope when I am that old (okay, in my late forties) that I am still travelling around the world! I enjoyed my last Pisco Sour, some Cusqueña beer, shopped around buying a few more presents and souvenirs, and stopped at all my favorite little cafe´s and the like one last time! It was a good week, and it was a relief to finish school. I was pretty burnt out of trying to learn Spanish in a classroom at that point! Now it´s time to learn it in the real world! On my final day in Cuzco, I spent the day shopping, packing, and I visited Qorikancha, a giant monastery and former Inca palace. It is still a monastery of the Santo Domingo order, and I did see some monks! Illegally, as they don´t have much contact with the outside world, but I took a wrong turn and ended up in their part of the palace. I watched one paint this odd picture for awhile, took a photo, which he heard (I can probably say he will live ten years younger because of me, considering the height of his jump of fright!!), and was chased out into their beautiful gardens. I also stumbled into the cathedral just as the monks began to sing, and it quite a moment. They all have gorgeous voices, and the cathedral itself is massive, so it sounded amazing.
I flew out of Cuzco belatedly on Thursday, and luckily, met Sena in Lima. It was so nice to have someone there to meet, as Lima is massive and scary and dirty and confusing! We spent the day together, buying my bus ticket and wandering around, getting lost. We did manage to find a gorgeous little square, Plaza San Martin, and...drumroll please...a Pizza Hut! The pizza is Cuzco was good the few times I ate out, but nothing like this stuff. I was pretty sad after leaving Cuzco and after spending a million hours with the unfeeling robots in the Cuzco airport, so I definitely needed a taste of home! One good thing about big cities is the massive amounts of globalization (well, when you´re despretely homesick it´s a good thing at least!).
I took an overnight bus out of Lima that night--I wasn´t spending a minute there that wasn´t necessary. I somehow bought a first class ticket on the bus line Cruz del Sur, which ended up being about eighteen dollars, and it will be really hard to not travel that way again! I had a huge, comfy seat, we got snacks and meals, and we even watched a movie! Granted, it was a movie nobody ever should see--Dennis the Menace and Christmas, random huh?--but at least it took some time off of the ten hour bus ride! Riding in style definitely helped that too--unfortunately the buses in Ecuador are not nearly this fancy.
I arrived in Trujillo, Perú in one piece, and immediately found a taxi for Huanchaco, about twenty minutes away. It was so wonderful to have Linda waiting for me there! And so far, I love Huanchaco, it is definitely taking the edge off my missing Cuzco. It´s a small little beach town full of surfers and cheap restuarants and bars and hostals. I´m staying with Linda at a family´s house, it´s quite nice to have hot water! Although ironically, it´s also really really hot here on the coastal desert, so I don´t even really need the hotness. That´s life, I suppose.
After I got settled in and showered a bit, I met Linda at the pier. It´s so nice to be near the ocean again! We ended up at these ruins near Trujillo, called Chan Chan--the largest adobe palace in the world. It was massive and fun to see, as it´s completely different from the millions of other ruins I´ve visited. It reminds me of Egypt, as it is Perú´s version of the pyramids. It was a nice day, it felt wonderful after the freezing rain of Cuzco.
The rest of the day was spent wandering around Huanchaco and going to a massive mall near Trujillo--I have come to love malls and other symbols of mass consumerism. Reminds me of home.
Huanchaco is a wonderful place, I will be sad to leave. I´m still reflecting on my experience in Cuzco, and I think overall it was awesome, but I´m starting to like this whole being-on-the-road thing! Even though I´ve only been on the road about two days :). I´ll be here until Monday evening, and then off on my next adventure! Stayed tuned for another update soon, and keep ME posted on all of your lives! BESOS xxx

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