Goodbye Peru

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  , Puno,
Monday, July 5, 2010

After 51 days it was time to say goodbye to Peru, the first country in South America of my trip.
While I am writing this my bus is driving past Lake titicaca, magical view, reeds (this word always makes me think of Allyson :) am I writing it wrong?) in the front, an enormous lake, and in the far back mountains.
Time for some lists, as I love making them so much, as a little tribute to my days in Peru.

First the bad...

- my hiking shoes. Even though I tried very hard to find the "perfect match", during the Salkantay trek me and my 8 blisters felt we weren't made for eachother anyways. Afterwards even more, noticing the weirdest smell (sorry guys to confront you with this), not a feetsmell but a chemical one... Coming from the special waterproof liner of the shoes. This smell was pure evil, I swear.
After scrubbing with every single cleaningdetergent I could find in the apartment, and putting them in the washing machine through a warm cycle and both shoes filled to the rim with detergent, still I thought if I would put my feet in them, my feet would be disolved by what caused the crazy strong chemical acid smell coming out of the shoes.
Luckily for Maria-Lousia, wise older woman, who adviced me to get "acido borico" in the pharmacy. And YES it worked! I wanted to tell you guys this just in case you ever needed it :) Just sprinkle a little of boric acid in the shoes, add a bit every day, and after a few days the smell is gone, even this extreme, yaay! Magic! And it's super cheap. I was seriously thinking to throw the shoes away, even went lookign around for new ones with Dileep (and noticed almost all shoes sold here are fake)

- cough....: Not really solved this yet. I think it started when I arrived in Cusco. The air is really dry here, that high up. I ate a giant pot of pure honey (mmmm :) ), and 2 different coughsirups from the pharmacy. Now I am trying an antibiotics treatment, sadly enough, but I couldn't talk to people anymore without bursting out in coughing. I dispair only going to a wetter climate will help me, which I do am planning to do anyways in maximum 2 weeks from now (jungletime!).

- cactusses: don't walk into them. I decided to do so and those 10cm long needles are stubborn to pull out (ok they only got in about 1,5 cm, still! damn barbs). One needle decided to go 2cm into the space under the disk of my knee. I pulled it out, but the next days I could walk less and less on that leg. So my teacher Eleana (love her!) took me to the pharmacy where I bought a magical cream which made it all heal. Pharmacy's are your best friend here! (but not for coughs)
About pharmacy's, if you need pills they will open the box of the medication and give you the exact amount of pills you need! So handy! No 50-pills left anymore! I think we should take an example of this :)

- even though so many people told me you don't need this in South-America, I am very VERY happy I took a sleepingbag. A tiny one that is. Not only for couchsurfing on dirty or unmade beds, also to keep me warm on nightly busrides, and in the Salkantay trek I thankfully didn't have to rent a worn-out one from the company. Also the silk liner has been my big pall for years thanks to the advice of my mom :)
- baby whipes: as there are often only (very) cold showers, I've been thankful for babywhipes as a temporary solution many times. Also to clean up messes from leaking deet-bottles, or just to refresh your hands/face after long dusty busrides.
- Platypus drinkbottle: great! Gets smaller the more you drink, and if you're done, you just roll it up and stow it away. Also gets a lot of comments from the locals being curious to what it is, great icebreaker for conversations.
- And as I brought up the topic, Icebreaker shirts (merinowool). Thank you Barbara!!! This was one of the greatest tips I ever received in my life. You are right, I wore one of these shirts for 3 days of heavy sweaty hiking, and 2 nights of sleep in it, and no smell whatsoever. Really. Others also test-smelled he armpits (brave) and had to agree! I live in those shirts :) Wonder why I even took other ones.
- thermical pants: great to sleep in in cold nights and to add under regular pants in cold Andes-mornings
- my daypack and vliz-shoppingbags: so so useful, every single day...

- Found my favorite fruit ever: Tuna! And then discovered it's actually fruit of a cactus, cool :)
- in stead of having steady public phones, people stand in the street swinging with mobile phones which you can use and pay them per minute for it.
- kids work, hard. Begging, cleaning shoes, and even being the assistants at local small busses, hanging out of the door yelling the next stops.
- shops walk up to you. I bought my new toothbrush in the local bus.
- palta (avocado) is soooo delicious here
- you always get potatoes (mostly in the shae of fries) with rice here. Starch overdose! :) But they have hundreds of varieties of potatoes, very odd ones amongst it. Also, potatoes origine from this area.
- very young kids take long busrides all alone in the packed local combi-busses. They know exactly which one to take and where to get on and of, while being only 5, and I'm having a hard time with this :) Once the bus I was in was driving away and this very young buy ran behind it crying loudly, the bus stopped and he got on, all alone. So cute! So mature, except for the crying cause the bus left without him :) I don't think I'll ever forget the image of seeing this boy running behind the combi.

This is it although I am forgetting a million and one things.

Peru, you've been great.

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