The first leg of our trip has been an outrageous one.
Alastair and I arrived in Lima, went straight to our hostel, and were ecstatic to see that Peter had survived his first day in Lima without his contact lens solution (which he had confiscated on his way to Peru). He assured us that he remained safe touring Lima’s unsafe neighbourhoods by maintaining a harsh outward demeanour that he claims will intimidate all potential foes.
Before hearing any more about Peter’s first day in Peru he informed us that our remaining time in Lima was already scheduled. Apparently, Peter’s harsh demeanour was not so intimidating after all and he managed to befriend a Polish med student who in turn was acquainted with a Peruvian family that lived in Lima. It is no surprise that Peter was able to charm his way into this families home (though promising to sell his brother Ryan to the oldest sister probably helped). Alastair and I arrived around midnight at the hostel, but Peter informed us that at 9am the following morning we needed to be up and ready to meet our Peruvian family for a traditional breakfast. We had no idea what was in store for us.
We took a taxi to our Peruvian family’s home. To stay safe we would only take taxis that had the “official” taxi logo on the roof. This false sense of security was quickly vanquished upon seeing a young man selling those same taxi logos on the streets… Nevertheless, Mr. Cross followed through and we were introduced to a LOVELY Peruvian family filled with enthusiasm about sharing their fine city with us. After a delicious homemade breakfast our 2 day adventure touring Lima with the insights of our local family begin. Highlights included:
-Practicing my grade 11 level Spanish constantly with our new family. When Alastair thought that “tengo hambre” meant “dancing man” and Peter responded to a taxi driver’s Spanish with “no hablo ingles” I knew my feeble Spanish was going to be pushed to the limits.
-Learning that dreadlocks apparently originate from Peru from witnessing them on both Incan vases and mummies at the museum of archaeology.
-Salsa dancing lessons with our new Peruvian family. They said my “roots” are the reason for my natural rhythm and aptitude for Spanish. I think they are just being polite…
-Discovering that saying “soy de Canada” is misleading because there is apparently a “Canada” in Peru… That explains all the bus drivers advertising trips there…
-Exploring a local food market and trying fresh ceviche and fruits. It was at about this point that we came to terms with the fact that avoiding tap water and it’s various implications were likely not going to pan out as we had originally planned.
-Journeying to the Temple of the Sun on the coast. This included a detour to the uncle’s diesel jean factory, at which Peter was keen to make a purchase. Sadly, none were tight enough for Peter’s (Jessica’s?) taste.
-Learning that in Peru, my doppelgangers are Bruno Mars (which our Peruvian family exlaimed upon seeing an old photo of my afro) and Kalimba. Peter claims that he looks just like Brad Pitt. The Peruvians declined to comment.
-Encountering a Llama (as if any further description is required for this to be a highlight).
-Wandering a park at night at which, I kid you not, Colombian youth fill their time by performing choreographed dance routines while listening to Korean pop music. We even came across a dance battle which, it is safe to say, put Peter and my Law Show “dance” performance to shame.
-Embracing the glory of Canadian culture by belting out “My heart will go on” (Kaisha will be proud) with the Peruvians during our road trip to the coast. Nothing transcends culture like the undeniable wonder of Celine Dion.
Everything ended tonight with a fantastic climax of dancing at a couple “discotecas” in Lima. All those salsa lessons paid off and the boys had a lovely time out with the family dancing to latin music. I even got to show off my thorough knowlegde of top 40 by embracing the wonder of Rihanna when she came on at the bar.
In a couple short hours we will be headed to the airport for the next part of our journey. While Lima was mainly thought of as a gateway to Cuzco when we first planned the trip, our experience has amounted to so much more. We are so happy to have met such kind and hospitable friends and look forward to exploring Machu Pichu in the coming days!