|Start location:||Lima, Peru||[umap id=”33055″ size=”t” alignment=”right”]|
|End location:||Cajamarca, Peru|
|Min altitude:||113 ft / 34 m|
|Max altitude:||9022 ft / 2750 m|
Had a hard time getting to sleep last night… might have taken 10 minutes. No problem getting out of bed in the morning, though, at 5am. The hot shower was great (after I cleaned out the pigeon poop – somebody had left the window open) and the day was off to a great start.
Breakfast was… modest. Four slices of toast with butter and marmelade, bad OJ, and “coffee” – concentrated syrup to which you add hot water (and lots of sugar to soften the edge).
Good sign: so far I’ve heard not a hint of complaining from the group. Some groups I’ve traveled with (nationalities withheld to avoid offending people) would have spent the entire breakfast complaining about the breakfast, the thin beds, the street noise, lack of sleep, etc. Everyone in our group is extremely laid back and relaxed about stuff. I’ve also gotten compliments on how lightly I packed! Made me paranoid at first that I must have forgotten something!
11:11 Hotel el Portal del Marques, Cajamarca, Peru
We made it here just fine! I am now enjoying my first cup of mate de coca (tea made from coca leaves)(yes, that coca)(I’ll get more of a buzz from the sugar than the coca, though) in the peaceful courtyard of the hotel.
I sat next to Jorge on the flight. He was from Lima and was flying to Cajamarca for two days on business. He saw my camera and asked if I was a professional photographer. The conversation quickly turned into looking at photos on his iPod. Roughly 1/3 of the photos were of flowers in bloom and another 1/3 were of his wife in front of flowers in bloom. Great guy, fun to talk to.
I tried not to be rude, but I had to occasionally turn away from his photos to watch the 22,000 ft mountains passing by outside my window. Awesome stuff.
After we dumped our stuff at the hotel and freshened up a bit we headed out for lunch (lomo saltado, couldn’t pass up lomo, a bowl of asparagus soup, and a Pilsner Callao beer) and a 4+ hour city tour. Cool things to see, and our guide Juan was great, but by the end we were all really dragging – a couple had actually gone back to the hotel before the end, and we all mutinied to demand a water and potty break before reluctantly summoning the energy to see the cathedral. We have, after all, been traveling for quite a bit, and we are suddenly at 9000 ft elevation, so cut us some slack, eh?
I got my first souvenir, a wool hat! And it is not pink. Or it is, whatever. I’m ok with that.
Another pit stop at the hotel and out for dinner – I kept it modest with a tortilla patatas and asparagus (update from the next day: yeah, my pee still smells like asparagus) and another cerveza because I saw some awesome looking flan on the way in and I needed to make sure it tasted as good as it looked. It did.