Lima and Llanganuco...hello Peru!
Trip Start Aug 03, 2007
88Trip End Aug 01, 2008
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It feels like the month of October has gone really fast in comparison with our previous 2 months of travel. We arrived in Lima, the capital of Peru, via plane on Oct. 2 and were warmly greeted at the airport by Emma and Pacho, family friends of the Andersons. Duane, James' dad, has worked for many years in distribution of the Los Angeles Times and has quite a few Peruvian friends. Emma and Pacho at one point lived in the U.S. but now they, along with their 2 daughters, are living in Lima. They made us feel so welcome and we are glad to have spent some time with them. We got to tour downtown Lima at night with them (oh my, quite an experience!), share a few meals, and help James ring in his new year of life on Oct
Jumping into big city life in Peru means embracing and surviving the roads. The traffic is crazy in some places and the style of driving is best described by us, at least, as total chaos. Cars cutting each other off, making turns across several rows of traffic (including LARGE buses), and a lack of stop lights meaning everyone seems to decide when they think they should have the right of way. There are stop lights, of course, but not nearly enough by my standards! And to be a pedestrian among all this madness means you have to be REALLY CAREFUL about crossing streets. It is truly scary. Fortunately, being in Central America for a couple months prepared us a bit for being more cautious about walking on the streets (pedestrians do not have the right of way).
While in Lima we also had the chance to meet up for lunch with a gal who is a friend of a friend of ours from San Clemente. Sarah has been living in Lima for about 5 years working for a Christan ministry called Word Made Flesh (their website is www.wordmadeflesh.com). She spends time investing in the lives of kids who are living on the streets and we loved our time with her, being encouraged and refreshed to hear about how God is changing lives in Peru. Thanks for spending time with us, Sarah!
The Llanganuco Lodge is located 40 minutes up the mountain from the nearest small town and is in the process of being built. It currently consists of 2 private rooms (each with a bathtub!!!!, duvet comforter and great mattress, and private balcony) and a dorm room. We were going to stay in the dorm room but were easily swayed to stay in the private room when we saw the bathtub were offered an "end of season" discount! The owner is a young English fellow named Charlie and the manager, Brett, is an Aussie
The altitude unfortunately was a killer for me the first day. We arrived at the lodge which was at 11,500 feet and then almost immediately did a hike up to a glacier which was another 1200 feet...putting us at almost 14,000 feet a bit too quickly. We have read much about high altitude hiking and how to prepare yourself by acclimatizing and I thought I would be okay but apparently I am not quite as tough as I thought! Headaches, stomach problems, and fatigue can be some of the more common side affects of altitude sickness and I definitely had my share of them that first night! Word to the wise...it is a good idea to try to relax and take it easy for a couple days when you first get to a high altitude about 9000 ft or so...just to make your life a bit more enjoyable!
However, we had an incredible experience at the top of our hike. We climbed up a valley to a place where mountains continued to loom over us and ice had fallen down from a glacier
Our second day of hiking led us to a gorgeous lake that offered amazing view of some of the nearby snow-capped mountains set against the blue sky. We loved our 2 days of hiking in Llanganuco and wish we would have had more time there. We highly recommend the lodge and the surrounding mountains to our friends who are looking for adventure as well as some peace and quiet!
To wrap up this blog, James' 30 birthday was one to remember. He started it in Lima with a delicious birthday cake and then flew to Cuzco (south of Lima) to end it with a yummy dinner and more birthday cake and coca tea. (Yes, we carried leftover cake in tupperware all day to enjoy it again later that night!) Coca tea is a big deal here in Peru and does wonders for counteracting high altitude malaise.