After months and months of mounting anticipation, Aristo and I are finally off to South America.
While in an otherwise constant state of calm, Aristo is notoriously panicky about things going smoothly at the airport and asks me about 20 times that morning to confirm that I actually have the passports and didn’t leave them at home or “drop them on the road”. Despite them being sealed inside a wallet inside the bag inside the car, there is alarming concern for their whereabouts.
We do make it onto the plane just fine and settle in for our lengthy flight to Fiji, where we have a few hours of sitting around in the airport before our next flight leaves for LA. By the time we land in LA, about 24 hours has elapsed since we left Sydney, so we are tired and probably extremely smelly as we stagger out onto the streets, bags and all, to find a Chipotle. Priorities.
We’ve got a little over 12 hours of layover before we need to be back at LAX, so we catch a cheap bus out to USC and wander around while Aristo navigates us towards burrito-heaven. It feels strange to be back in a country that considers multi-pound burritos to be standard lunch size. Sometimes I miss America.
We finally arrive in Lima, Peru early in the morning after another long flight. We drag ourselves to the hostel that we booked from the airport in LA and sleep a good portion of the morning just to recover from the jetlag before setting out into the city. It’s so busy, people running everywhere and bustling about in a hurry, we instantly love it. Hours are lost just wandering. We have ceviche for dinner, and I do not think it would be dramatic to call it the highlight of my life.
We ask a local where we should go for live music and are directed to a bar about 40 minutes walk from our hostel, El Quarto Bar, but advised not to go until midnight. The jet lag is severely interfering with my ability to keep even one eye open past dinner, so we set an alarm for 1130pm and sleep until it’s time to get dressed for our night out.
This is by far the greatest bar I’ve ever been to overseas: a live Peruvian cover band playing classic 60-80’s hits. And he is covering absolutely everything. Michael Jackson, ACDC, Ricky Martin. Seriously, the list goes on. This guy has got a set of pipes.
We are the only travelers and also the only white people in the place, which makes it ten times better. Several jugs of beer later and we are on the dance floor, hip-checking Latin women out of the way and rubbing sweaty arms with very hairy men. It’s almost 5am before we tackle the walk home and slither into bed.
Lima, we love you. What an introduction to South America.