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Published: March 9th 2009
Crushed by Air
I drank some water in Cusco and sealed the bottle. When I landed in Lima that plastic bottle had caved in.
Who knew air could feel so heavy?! I am back in Lima and for the first few hours I felt like my half-empty water bottle....slightly crushed by the air pressure at sea level. When I was sitting in the cab it felt as if there was pressure on my eyelids, making me want to close my eyes. All of my body was slumping, in a dozy way, as if I had taken strong tranquilizers. The feeling wasn´t bad, perhaps because it was accompanied with that tropical heat sensation when you get off the plane and feel the humid hot air and you can´t wait to peel off the jeans, socks, sneakers and fleece vest.
My skin loves the moisture and heat in Lima. The mountain air was dry, so much so that my legs and arms were flaking more from the dryness than the sunburn.
My lungs feel full, sometimes too full.
When I got to the airport in Cusco I was lucky enough to stand close to two people from Mexico who could speak English as well as Spanish. I have to comment about the great travelers that I have met, and everyone´s generosity with time and language and advice.
Star Peru plane was late so we were put in earlier LAN plane.
Somehow we find commonalities, and in this case we ´north americans´stuck together. I couldn´t speak Spanish so they were my interpreters and in the que I was included in their party. When we weren´t keeping up with the flight changes we were sharing travel experiences and humour.
There was a commotion at Star Peru counters; the plane was delayed and they were seeking other alternatives. A few minutes later they announced that they would take our i.d.s and registers us for the LAN plane leaving ten minutes earlier than our flight. There was a stressful period when we were ushered to another counter and our bags were processed and it seemed that we would never get through security to get on that plane. But we did, and I got a window seat.
I made it to Lima with plenty of time to find my name on a sign and go to the Servas home. There, I met two people from Doncaster, England, in the neighbourhood of Barnsley. They are just beginning their Peru trip and they leave for Cusco on Monday. I am giving them my bug spray which I did not use, just in case they run
Bye Sacred Valley
It was a clear day so I took several photos of human impact on dry mountain environment
into mosquitoes in MachuPicchu after the rains. I had read one travel blog about such complaints and I should have paid attention to the time of year of the blog.
I am happy to lighten my baggage. The tropical heat has me looking at my clothes and wishing I packed more skimpy cotton things. I´ve taken out the wool poncho and Peru tablecloth and the few trinkets that I bought in the Sacred Valley. They are in a plastic bag and I will leave them here in this Servas house until I return in April. Hmmmmm, should I ditch the fleece vest and pair of jeans, too?? Naw, I might run into some cool nights as the weeks progress.
Last night we went out late for supper, to a Chinese restaurant near downtown. The cab drive reminded me of Miami, windows rolled down, warm air flowing, people hanging out in the streets. There are several million people in Lima of Chinese decent. The food was delicious.
While at the buffet table a lady approached me to ask if I wanted to teach English at her school. It took me by surprise until I realized that I was
A few metres away from Servas home.
the only blonde with blue eyes in the restaurant. For a second I thought I must be still wearing that teacher look...oh, no. I chuckled and told her that I was flying to Argentina the next day, but if I could I would love to visit her school. She sat at our table for awhile and we exchanged email addresses. I offered to give her contact details to any teacher in my school who might be tempted to come to Peru for a few months. I told her that I was returning to Lima in April to fly home, and if I came early I would teach a few classes. I did this in Istanbul and Odessa and had a blast, and I know it is important for students to hear the language flow from a native speaker. Strange coincidences, eh? Returning to Lima to a home where I can store some baggage and maybe return to do a few days of school visits....seems good fate. Another sign things are jiving, the main street besides this street is named Canada.
I spent the afternoon with Roxanne and her family. She is a Servas day host and invited me to
Peru Airforce Club
Had lunch here with Servas day hosts, my meal was the Peruvian raw fish in lime juice. It was delicious
dinner at the Peru Airforce Club. I met her parents, father is member of airforce and mother is English teacher, and her two children. Roxanne recently married a Canadian and will be moving to Toronto in the autumn. I answered as many questions about Canada as I could for her and her children.
(Photos will be uploaded later, when I get to faster computer)
POSTSCRIP I landed in Buenos Aires with no sleep on plane so I am hoping to get to bed soon.
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