Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chile con Kulhas- Recaps Part 1


Wow- I don't even know where to start, y'all. Our South American adventure was just under a month ago and it was truly an incredible experience. The country was beautiful and the scenery exceeded (even) my expectations. Breathtaking views from these places you wouldn't even expect around every corner. Small Chilean town? Beautiful views. Terrifying, smelly bus ride? Beautiful views. Jet lagged induced euphoria. Beautiful views. By the end of the trip we were spoiled and coming back to smoggy Southern California... yeah, well vacation doesn't last forever.

But that being said- I have no idea where to start on the recaps for this trip! You may recall, we decided on our Chilean adventure because we were looking for a trip that would challenge us mentally and physically- so really an expecting or 'once in a lifetime' trip.  Our trip was centered around a five day backpacking trek (no, not the drunk post-collage European kind) hiking across a national park in the Southern tip of Chile. And it was hard. However, we loved our experience so much that I wouldn't be surprised if our future wanderings include some of the more rough and tumble elements that we struggle-bused through on this trip. That being off my chest, I guess we can start with the recaps. Yes, the whole recap session may be as jumbled as the last 2 paragraphs. I decided to split the recaps up by chunks of time- so here we go with the beginning! 

After working all day, Andrew and I met at home for a last minute check of our packing and headed to dinner with friends and a midnight flight out of LAX. Of course being the overeager travelers we are, we got to the airport WAY too early and hit up the airport bar.No judgement zone-this was all with the hope that we could get on the flight and pass out. It worked. I couldn't even stay awake till the free meal service. I was OUT to the world. If you know me, you will know I believe in utilizing all the free things offered- so this was a big deal. My husband, however, was eating like a king, drinking wine in the middle of the night, and even took a little nap just to wake up to order some more of the free whiskey. Maybe he was trying to get out of the trip? He will never tell...

Then the next thing we knew, breakfast was being served and we landed in Lima, Peru. You may remember that we had an eight hour layover in Lima and up to a couple days before we headed there we had zero, zilch, nada plans on what to do. Well, it was a good thing that we eventually came up with a significant list of all the things we wanted to see, because travel in Lima was more challenging than expected. Over enthused and under hygiene-nated, we popped over to get a taxi from the airport and, I kid you not, disgust was on their face when we said we DIDN'T want to go to Miraflores. To be expected, Miraflores is a tourist hub in the suburbs of Lima and is supposed to be beautiful! But this was our down and dirty adventure- we didn't want to go to a suburb (that was Andrew's whiskey talking)- take us to the center of town!

Once we got in the cab, hilarity ensued. Our cab driver was wonderful, but (probably rightfully so) incredibly safety conscious with the two of us gringos in the back seat. I remarked in MUY broken Spanish about how beautiful the buildings were and he proceeded to pull out the translate app on his phone and inform us "the building that you adore cannot sleep outside in." Ok. Promise. Won't be doing that anytime soon. Also your punctuation is almost as bad as mine. The translate app made another couple appearances especially when my camera was out and pretty much laid it out there that apparently hoodlums will come out of the trees, gutters, and are costumed as old ladies to tackle me until they steal my camera and dignity. Happy vacation!

Didn't detour us though. We had our sights set on visiting Plaza Mayor with its beautiful architecture, some church sights, and pisco sours! And we were not disappointed! It was really an interesting place to visit. Known as the birthplace of Lima, the large square had these beautiful yellow buildings with a grassy square in the center. We popped into the Archbishop's Palace of Lima and it was overwhelmingly decadent. The building had beautiful high ceilings, an incredible staircases, and a chapel on the second floor that could rival most churches I've ever seen. Also, there were guards everywhere. And we may or may not have gotten rushed out of the chapel for accidentally taking selfies with the flash on. I won't admit to anything- it was altogether embarrassing and an accident. But I'm not admitting it!




After the palace, we were in dire need of some food. And ceviche had been calling our name. We walked through endless side streets until someone spoke magic to my jet lagged ears- free pisco sour with ceviche. Ok. Vacation win. And for a dingy side street with an easy ploy- it was literally the most incredible ceviche I've had in my whole life. And it was served on a sea shell. Delicious.



On a raw fish high, we headed out to do some more walking and seemed to be surrounded by some German dignitary group that was coming out of every government building we walked by. It was like a clown car- more and more people were streaming through doors, windows, who knows! It was  a beautiful walk around town and on certain blocks you could feel the socio economic level change within a few houses. It was surprising and very real to experience this as an outsider who didn't speak the language or know the geography of the area, but you could feel the shift. What I respected and admired from the city was the vibrancy of the life everyone lived so fully. The buildings were painted the brightest shades- even without windows or (what appears here) to be basic needs. The people lived loud and laughed hard in streets and restaurants. And the city felt like a unique place- not that it could be any city, but that it was Lima.


Our wanderings were cut short by the need to rush back to the airport for our next flight, but other than thinking our cab driver was trying to kill us due to some... interesting driving choices we made it back in plenty of time. Although we didn't have enough time to properly explore Lima, it was a nice break up to the 18 hours flying madness. I wrote for too much already (and didn't even get to talk about the BLOCK LONG dentist chair store front) but Lima was just the first stop on our adventure.

Can't wait to share more,
S


6 comments:

  1. Chile looks so beautiful! I love the architecture in South America. Sounds like you had a great time!

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    1. Thanks, Evelina! It was a great time- we were pretty jet lagged and crazy in Lima, but I can't wait to share more!

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  2. This looks gorgeous! I am ashamed to admit that I hadn't even thought to consider Chile -- and also that I'm too afraid to use long layovers to explore in fear we'll miss our flight!

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    1. The long flights are a total buzz kill, but it is GORGEOUS! And the people are so warm :) Don't miss your flight though- one of the airports we were at had 4 gates TOTAL.

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  3. That ceviche looks amazing! Can't wait to hear about the backpacking!

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    1. Thanks, Rose! I'm still trying to work out the no-reply thing! BUT THANK YOU ;)

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