Thursday, February 14, 2013
- Leave JFK @ 9:05am flight to Lima via Copa Airlines, Arrive to Lima @ 7:04pm local time
- Relax & pack for Cusco trip
A close friend of ours met us at my mother in law's house to take us to the airport. She had left a week earlier, but we needed to bring 2 suitcases for her. Arriving at JFK we got there before my SIL (who will be referred to as Osa from here on out) and Chile (who is Osa's traveling companion).
Check in went smoothly, but Chile arrived behind schedule so we had to wait about 45 minutes for him. Once he arrived we sailed through security and had a short wait to board the plane.
The plane ride was easy going. I had minor motion sickness, but took Dramamine to keep it from getting worse. I get sick with any motion so I was really nervous getting on a plane for such a long time. Our flight was about 5 hours to Panama City. We had an on flight meal. I chose chicken with rice. There was a salad & roll, plus Milano cookies. We sat in the exit section with lots of leg room. Thank goodness. We did have a stranger next to us, but he wasn't too bad. For some reason we always get interesting strangers.
Once we landed in Panama, we had a short wait to board our connecting flight to Lima, Peru. Once again we had an on flight meal. This time I chose spaghetti and meat sauce. Another salad & roll with a vanilla cookie. I had a glass of white wine to wash it all down. I didn't take any Dramamine this time around as the flight was only 3 hours. As we were arriving over Lima, the sun had set so we were able to view the city lights. It was beautiful. The lights were yellow in color and clustered where there is activity, the surrounding area left black.
The landing was a bit rough, but we made it. obviously. The airport was quiet as we made our way to customs. We landed by 7:10pm. I got my first stamp on my passport! Haven't had one since I was 12. Once we got our luggage we exchanged some of our money into Soles. The rate being 2.45. We basically were more than doubling our money! woot!
Here begins the true adventures of the trip. On the plane we were handed custom forms and we figured Chancho could fill it out for all four of us, but the woman denied our 1 form sending Chile, Osa and me to fill it out ourselves. Now, their system for making it through customs is if you push the button and a green light shines then you are free to enter the country. However, if you happen to receive a red light, that means you need to get your bags searched. So now with all of our forms filled out Chancho pushes the button first & the green light shows, but the woman sends him to get the bags checked. Osa goes next and also gets a green light, but is also sent to have the bags checked. I go through and get a green light, also being motioned to have my bags checked. Chancho and Osa are now arguing with security trying to figure out why the bags need to be checked if they got a green light. A police officer hearing the commotion approaches and Chancho finally agrees to just go and have the bags searched. Turns out all that meant was having our bags sent through another scan. They didn't physically go through our bags.
Freed from getting our bags checked we walked out into the airport. There was a large crowd surrounding the exit. I mean I felt like we should have been applauded for something. Tons of people stood behind a roped off area and up above hanging over the railings. It was a bit overwhelming walking out into this crowd. As we emerged into it, someone grabbed Osa, it being her Aunt Brenda and closley followed by her cousin Maurico. Then her Uncle Chuco. Introductions happened and then my MIL (Mama G) showed up.
I walked out onto Peruvian land it was warm. Definitely, a city, but not like NYC, a bit less developed. The luggage was loaded into Uncle Chuco's van and we jumped into a taxi. While the luggage was being loaded into the van, a woman came up and attempted to sell us some gum so she could feed her kids.
The taxi ride was like a roller coaster ride. There is no nice flowing traffic. It's more like drive as fast as you can and slam on the breaks to avoid hitting something. Hold on to whatever you can in the car so you don't go flying through a window and forget about seat belts. Swerve if you must & honk your horn. Even just for the hell of it. The driver stopped to get gas at a NGV. The natural gas tank is located under the engine in the hood of the car. They rarely use gasoline. The seal to the tank is more money so the driver didn't pay to have that installed, which meant we had to exit the car while it was being fueled so we wouldn't get fixated inside the car.
20 fearful minutes later we pulled up to Chancho & Osa's childhood home. It's a 3 story home. The bottom level is currently being rented out to a business called Claro. They sell cell phones. The front door is a double door and you walk in to a spiral staircase. It is yellow and metal. The staircase brings you up to the 2nd floor which has a seating area, 2 couches and off of that room are 2 bedrooms. Mama R and Mama G stayed in one, while Osa and Chile stayed in the other. The bathroom is also on that floor. The toilet and sink are located in the shower. It's one big room, just two different spots. The spiral staircase continues up another story bringing you to the kitchen/dining area. A small stove & refrigerator are off to the side. The wall is made up of windows looking over the main road. There is a large sink, more like a slop sink, tiled in blue. Another bedroom, Chancho's, located off of the kitchen. There is also another bathroom. The house is located a few blocks from the ocean, about a 5 minute car ride.
|View from the kitchen looking down over the main street|
|Chifa- Peruvian Chinese food|
As we headed to bed/pack for our trip the next day, Mama G realized she was missing a bag. After a small argument we came to the conclusion that we had forgotten her bag at the airport!
Chancho, Osa and I headed back to the airport to retrieve it. Once there, we found the info desk and they directed us to the Copa Airlines office, but when we got there, no one answered our knocks at the door. We went down to the departing flight area where Chancho tried to track down the luggage. Osa and I went back to the Copa offices just as they were returning. The man who helped us said we could meet him at the terminal & get the bag. They had found it. Osa & I ran to find Chancho so he could meet the guy on the other end of the airport. Chancho was then let in to get the bag. Osa and I waited for about 30 minutes watching all of the outfits on these people arriving. One woman wore all white, leaving nothing to the imagination. Another guy wore a shirt showing his man boobs. Finally, after much speculations as to where/what Chancho was doing, I heard my name being called. He had come out of another area 20 minutes earlier and couldn't find us.
Once more we headed back to the house. Finally, back by 12:30AM we could collapse into bed for a 5:00AM wake up call.
Laying in Chancho's twin bed, together, the street lights shown into the room. You could hear the honking of the cars and the combis stopping and going right outside. It was warm, as well, making for an unpleasant situation, but after the long day of traveling and a ll of the excitement my eyes closed quickly.
Quote of the Day: "So just live, have wonderful times and make mistakes but never second guess where you've been, where you are, and most of all where you're going." -Sex and the City