Hey all! Writing to you from Lima, Peru! I arrived safely yesterday, after a 2am departure out of Los Angles, 9 hours of flying, one layover in El Salvador, and dealing with a sinus infection and coughing on top of it! Yep . . . you heard right: I’m SICK! Wonderful, right? I guess lack of sleep and over-doing it the past few weeks finally caught up with me and I woke up this past Monday morning feeling like CRAP . . . and really upset that I would be starting off my Peruvian trip with a cold. Fortunately, I was prescribed antibiotics and now I’ve been resting, so hopefully it will be gone soon enough!
Upon arriving into Lima, my hostel/B&B had fortunately arranged a driver for me ahead of time, in order to avoid the “shady” taxis you are advised against taking upon arriving at the Lima airport. Apparently if you take a random taxi in Lima, you often will be ripped off and/or taken to the wrong area and dropped off at the wrong place. SO—I found it pretty hilarious to come out of the airport and standing there is this cute, little, old Peruvian guy with a BIG sign with my name on it! Haha! I felt SO special 🙂 I REALLY wanted to take a picture of him with his “BreAnn Mueller” sign, but I’d feel really “cheesy” if I did that . . .
Driving through Lima for the first time DEFINITELY made me aware I’m in a place COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than any other place I’ve been. Traffic is all over the place, different lanes, constant honking, cars and buses are all different sizes, types, and bright colors, most cars are completely covered with dings and dents. I watched out the window as we passed through some pretty “shady” areas with extremely broken-down housing, “huts” and buildings with bars on the windows. I also realized this is the first time I’m in a country where I personally look a LOT different than the locals—Here I am: white, tall, light hair—and surrounding me are much shorter, darker-skinned, dark haired Peruvians.
Meanwhile, the weeks before this particular trip have been more overwhelming than any other trip I’ve planned for . . . just because on top of the normal trip planning, I also have had to do extra projects at work the past few weeks (in order to finish everything BEFORE I left), and I also have been taking a programming class at UCLA and had to finish all my projects early—before my trip—and of course my usual active social life has not come to a stop . . . so it’s been GO GO GO GO GO lately! Which is why, right now, I’m totally soaking up relax time in my hostel/B&B. I’ve been told there’s not a whole to do or see in Lima, so the fact that I’m here for two and a half days gives me a little time to basically sit in bed—where I am right now—and catch up on personal stuff, relax, watch TV (yes, I have a TV in my room with cable, rare!!), and just rest up. I want to be HEALTHY in time for my 4-day hike in the mountains near Cuzco, especially because it will probably be a bit chilly up in the mountains.
Speaking of chilly . . . I found it somewhat “humorous” that I had to wear a hat and scarf to bed last night!—on top of 3 shirts and sweatpants. OK, maybe it’s not funny, but I guess it’s all part of the experience. The temperature at night right now is about 55 degrees which isn’t THAT cold, but there’s no heat here and I’m in a room with a private door and windows directly to the outside with no insulation. The guy who runs the place has been really nice and accommodating, so I feel bad complaining. But he DID say he could give me extra blankets, so I think I might take that offer!
I’m here in Lima until Sunday and then I’m off to Cuzco! Stay tuned . . .