I haven’t had much time to write, but i have had quite the trip so far.
My first stop was in Lima. Wow. Talk about kicking off a vacation. My first day was quite the day. I started the day with Rafa, Trent’s friend from college, who took me around Lima and showed me some of the city. After a quick tour of downtown Lima, we headed south to the coast to a steakhouse overlooking the ocean. Yes, we went to a steakhouse for lunch. Apparently, 1pm was early for lunch, so the restaurant wasn’t very full, but we drank some Pilsens, the local cerveca, and ate a serious meal. The half portion of steak was probably 18 oz. No joke. After lunch, Rafa and I saw more of ther city and eventually he dropped me back off at the hostel.
I stayed in Barranco, a small town just south of Lima. Its known as the artist district, but I didn’t come across much art. It wasn’t too bad though. I did a lot of walking around the city. It had a beautiful central square bordered by a huge church, a library and a Dominoes Pizza. I also walked to the boardwalk which lined a clifff overlooking the ocean and saw some great architecture built into the sides of the cliffs.
The hostel I stayed in was great. An old adobe style building painted bright red with a great location and very well maintained. It cost me 10 dollars per night. The first night I had a room all to myself and the second, I slept all of four hours, so definitely got my money’s worth.
My second night there, I visited the hostel bar and began talking to some of the workers there, a Canadian from Quebec and a couple of Frenchmen. Next thing I know, a couple of more Frenchmen arrive and I’m sitting at the bar playing drinking games with 5 guys speaking French. Five beers deep (probably 24 oz each) and a shot of pisco later, I finally went to bed. At 330.
I had to get up at 8am to get ready for my 9am pickup and needless to say it was a SERIOUS struggle. Good news is, however, I met Gael (french guy) who gets to Colombia one day before I do, so we hope to meet up in Colombia.
The past few days, I have been in Foz de Iguacu which is on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. I toured both sides of the falls, the Brazilian side and the Argentinian side and it is definitely a pretty amazing site. The falls are some of the biggest in the world, but also some of the longest, and the first time I peeked through the trees at them it literally took my breath away. At times you can get right up next to them and get completely drenched by the spray, which is a nice relief as it is seriously hot and humid here.
I’ve met some really great people in the hostel here. A Canadian guy, a girl from Luxembourg, another from the Phillippines and two guys traveling together, one from Norway and the other from Sweden. Tonight I am traveling to Curitiba with a girl from Mexico as well. It’s been quite a fun group. We’ve drank a lot, laughed a lot, and met several very kind Brazilians. The Brazilians here in Iguacu are really just overall nice people and always want to engage you.
Brazil is definitely not how I pictured it thus far. First, it’s not cheap at all. Prices are really pretty comparable to the US. Also, most people don’t always know that you’re not from here until you start speaking….it’s really a melting pot for people from all over.
I haven’t been eatting well or sleeping very well unfortunately. The food here isn’t that different, it’s just hard to know what is in things and I obviously have a hard time communicating with some people. We’ve definitely been drinking more than eatting as well. They have a great drink here called a caipirinha which tastes a lot like a margarita, but with lots of fresh lime. Definitely does not help my cause to not have a hangover the following day.
Just a few days in and I’m already having an amazing time. Back home, I easily forget how great it feels to be a solo traveler, meeting new people from all over the world. Talking about life, values, interests…and gaining a sense of perspective. Out here, traveling, it all comes back and I’m completely and utterly happy because of it. Even with a hangover most days 🙂