Originally posted: August 10, 2009 Location: Acton, MA, USA
I tried to update right before leaving Peru but the website went down, so I’ll just recap my last week there. I flew to Lima with no problems on Monday, dropped by the ministry to tie up some loose ends and headed to Mira Flores. I met Conrad and Alli there, and we bussed out to Ica that night. It was a long bus ride with some really weird movies showing, but eventually we made it and took a taxi to Wacachina. We stayed at La Casa de Arena Dos, the house of sand two. It was nothing great, but it did have some delicious pizza.
Tuesday we took a very slow day, wandering around Ica a bit before going back to the hostel and relaxing all afternoon. I was feeling tired so I lay in a hammock and read Conrad’s book “In Cold Blood”, by Capote, while Alli and Conrad climbed on the dunes, which were in our backyard. At one point while I was reading, I heard something munching so I turned around and saw a huge turtle just chilling right behind me! It was very surprising, but the turtle was clearly more scared of me than I was of it, and it promptly pulled its legs in with a loud clatter. After a little while it continued on its way, trying to climb a wall or two and slowly moved out of the yard.
Wednesday we walked to the oasis that Wacachina is built around. It’s basically the reverse of a deserted island; we were in the desert, and the little pond in the middle was trapped. It was lovely sitting on the beach (in the shade! I learned my lesson…) and reading all afternoon, before our adventure of dune buggying and sand boarding that evening. We went back to the hostel and soon piled in to this contraption that looked like a roller coaster car of some sort. We drove off to the dunes, and drove all around the dunes, and it was great! Kind of scary at times, but really fun. Every now and then we’d stop to go sand boarding, which is basically snow-boarding but well, on sand. You have to wax your board every time you go down cause the sand wears down the board quickly and you don’t go as quickly. We started out going down on our stomachs, and then progressed to standing up. I fell a lot, but just backwards and it didn’t hurt. Conrad had an intense wipe out, but even he was fine and ready to go down again. It was really exciting and lots of fun to be speeding down a sand dune on your stomach (as most of us preferred to play it safe). A few people had snow boards and carved down the dune, but they were in the minority.
After our sand boarding we loaded into the dune buggy again and went driving around the dunes some more before heading back to the hostel. In all it was a 2 hour adventure that left us breathless and grinning and absolutely covered in sand. I took off my shoes and poured out a mound of sand from each, and had sand in my ears for days. But it was so worth it.
Thursday we packed up and took a bus back to Mira Flores, in Lima. We dropped our stuff at a hostel and got dinner at Larcomar, a very touristy shopping area by the ocean. It was a nice last dinner, and then we saw Harry Potter 6. I really enjoyed it; we watched it with Spanish subtitles, in English. We tried to get down to the beach after but were unable, so we went back to the hostel until I left around 1am for the airport. I didn’t want to have to pay for a hostel night I wasn’t going to use cause my flight was at 7am, so I just left early. I went with another intern and we hung out for a little while before checking in. After finding the right gate we napped for a little while, then boarded.
The flight was fine, and I even managed to sleep a little. We landed on time in Miami and I was off to customs which, unfortunately, was nearly a mile away (at least it felt like it). I walked for a solid 10 minutes to find it, if not longer, with the help of moving sidewalks. No problems entering the country (phew) and then I had to pick up my luggage to recheck it. This did not go as smoothly, since my luggage did not come out on the conveyor belt where it was supposed to, but instead was put on the side. Nerve wrecking, basically, as I had a limited amount of time to catch my next flight and time was getting short. I dropped my luggage off to be checked again, had to go through security again, and finally was on my way to my gate. I got there (D40, far away from everything of course) just as they were starting to load. 20 minutes later we were taxiing out of there; if I had been any later, I would have missed it and been stuck in Miami again…but I didn’t, much to my relief. But I did get to sit in front of the screaming child who kicked my chair, that was unpleasant.
Finally, after a very very long day, I landed in Boston and was met by my parents at the gate and they helped me find my luggage. Traffic was light and soon enough I was home, with some veggie pizza we picked up on the way.
Since Friday, I have been readjusting to the climate and culture, and so far so good. I’m trying to give myself a break to relax and recuperate before starting in on my Israel plans, but time is shorter than I’d like. I’m leaving for Israel around the 30th and there is a lot to do before then.
I am planning on continuing my travel blog for Israel if you would like to stay tuned for more of my traveling adventures. I don’t think I will update as often, maybe just once a week, because I am hoping to have a more stable lifestyle and that there will be fewer changes to report.
Until then, I’ve got reading and sleeping to do!