i am currently on a much needed mini-vacation after plugging away in the center of pisco at clearing out rubble, knocking down roofs and sledging down walls. i opted to head about 10-12 hours north of pisco for my 6-day getaway.
after a 7 hour bus trip on a super vip bus from lima to huaraz...windy, windy, windy...up up up... to higher elevations, we pulled in to the station at 5 this morning. naturally, the only super snorer on the bus sat right behind me! he kept everyone up all night, the little bugger! besides that, the seats folded nearly all the way down, everyone got a little pillow and thick blanket (more like what you would get at a dentist office than a thin airline blanket), we were served a snack by an on-board hostess (how cool is that!?!!), watched an entire curently released movie in spanish, and sat on the top of a double decker bus! eat your heart out, indonesia. these peruvian buses rock! : )
hostel is about 5 bucks a night and comes with two thick peruvian blankets for the chilly nights. nice folks but no english spoken. it is essentially a hospedaje, a family run hostel out of their home. i am staying about 6 blocks from the Plaza de Armas. I have views of the snow capped mountains and the cordillera blancas. beeee-utiful!! lots of outfitters here offer mountaineering, 2-4-10 day treks into the andes and hikes to some picturesque lakes in the high mountains.
huaraz is a cool little hilly town, and not as cold during the day as i thought it was going to be. a nice change from broken-down pisco. lots of color and the architectural style on many buildings is worth seeing. i can tell some tourist dollars have been left here.
had a lovely lunch for a buck. started off with a hearty bowl of noodle and vegetable soup, then moved on to a overfilling plate of rice (of course), and some unidentifiable but tasty meat in a red sauce with small chunks of potato. also thinly sliced red onions garnished on top. very tasty. A corn drink and a small jello rounded up the meal. i was ready to tackle the town with my full tummy!
it got dark and cloudy soon after lunch but the forecasted rains didn´t hit until i was at the market buying a wooly peruvian cap. after a thunderous boom, everyone was running around battoning down the tarp roofs over their vegetables, hair accessory shops, shoe stalls and skinned chickens hanging on hooks. while some vendors took cover, out came the vendors selling the important items: umbrellas and plastic bags. since a recommended "bueno cafe" house was closed on mondays, i dipped in to a bakery and bought two tortes in honor of my friend´s birthday, which is today, though she will meet me here tomorrow. happy birthday, rachie!! i hope i have the will power to wait to eat them with her. : )
the rains didn´t amount to much, but it was probably more than i will ever see in pisco in the 4 1/2 months i have committed myself to this project. pisco is located in the dry coastal desert area of peru and hardly ever sees rain. occasionally we have some heavy fog or mist and even though it doesn´t stick to the ground, we all jump for joy, excited at the Pisco Downpour!¨¨well, we have to keep happy somehow. it´s the little things that make us all smile.
i´ll be here in huaraz and the vicinity for 6 days before heading back to pisco. i plan to do a bit of trekking, exploring the picturesque mountainsides, catch up on my reading and my writing. i deserve the rest.
Now, i am off to find a day spa. Ahhhhh......
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