Journey home adios South America 6 Dec - 9 Dec

Trip Start Sep 09, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Friday, December 24, 2010

cafestrong>Monday 6th December

Booked my bus to Cusco for 100 bolivianos about £10 back to bargain prices...will leave at 8.30am tomorrow morning and that gets me into Cusco around 6.30pm. I'm just hoping there will be someone at Rupa Rumi hostel, by 172 Tanda Pata, I sent a few facebook messages to Nilton to confirm I would definitely coming on Tues and Weds but not heard back from him, but assuming all will be ok. Spent the day visiting the Folklore Museum and did a tour of San Francisco Cathedral - climbed to the top of the bell tour. Also bought a pair of sunglasses for 20 third pair since arriving in South America, they keep falling apart, thank god they are cheap.

Managed to avoid the 2 torrential  downpours we had today. Even though it is spring/summer it is now also the rainy season here in La Paz. I know it rains in England, but I really couldn’t handle living in a climate where it rained for nearly half of the year.   I paid for my accommodation earlier today so that I didn’t have lots of local currency left over. I then saw Rodrigo and he said he was going to let me stay for free as I was a friend of Katharina’s! I got a free chocolate toberone instead…spent the evening updating my blog. OMG I think I am going mad. I re-booked into what I thought was the Ali Ba Ba Palace Hotel last night….email J with the good news, he told me to double check he he….so I did and horror of horrors, its the bloody Ali Ba Ba Beach Resort that I have booked AGAIN…..Noooooooooooooooo. So I have had to cancel again and need to wait for the refund. Finally I find a good deal at the Ali Ba Ba Palace. It’s with Travel Republic, who I have used before. But I check, double check and treble check it is right before I book it. I swear though, I am just days away for 40 and I’m sure my mind is going and I have aches and pains just about everywhere, how on earth will I make it to 50 at this rate????

Tuesday 7th December

So I am on my way back to Peru after over a month…feels like I’ve never been away. Journey was ok but immigration took ages and was pretty unorganised. No-one knew what queue to line up in, inevitably it was the wrong one to get our exit stamp, we then had to queue up for over an hour to get our entry stamp into Peru.  Finally on our way. Even though Bolivian buses are supposed to be the worst in the continent this was one was actually ok. We had regular toilet stops, as well as snacks and some half decent films. I had read the book Eat, Prey, Love some time before coming out to Peru and was gutted that the film was released just as I departed. So not had a chance to see it until now, couldn’t believe it but they were showing it on the bus…usually we get some violent kung fu rubbish. So it was great to sit down, relax and watch a proper movie. However I didn’t think it was that good, not as good as the book, apart from the gorgeous Javier Bardem - yum, Penelope is a lucky lady…far better than Tom!

Got to Cusco a bit later than expected around 8pm.  Got a taxi straight to San Blas and Nelly, one of the cleaners, was there to let me. Not that I expected a fanfare but there was no-one around, I though Nilton may have popped up but no, so I just freshened up and then went out for my last alpaca meal and was in bed by 10! No TV this time but the room has 2 floors and 3 beds to choose from, I go for the double bed. The first time I can stretch out in 3 months…as I’ve been confined to single and bunk beds for the duration of my stay in South America.

Wednesday 8th December

I have been meaning to visit the Museum of Pre Columbian Art for sometime as it was recommended to me and is just a short walk from San Blas, so on my last full day that’s where I head. It was 20 peso and was well worth the entrance fee. It was very professionally laid out, with explanations in both Spanish and English, and housed an array of gold, metal and silver jewellery and artefacts, very interesting. I then wondered into town and noticed that the Real McCoy was showing a champions league game in a couple of hours, so before that I treated myself to a back massage and a pedicure all for 20 pesos.  I have a big knot on my left shoulder I think its from carrying the backpack and sleeping on the buses. The masseur said I am stressed - don’t feel it but travelling in non-first class style can be stressful at times I suppose.

Went into McCoys to say hi to Sally (owner) and Jess, and Dan the Astrocartography guy was there too, so I spent a couple of hours chatting with him. I told him about Egypt and Alexandria. He lived there for a couple of years, and has friends he can put me in touch with, so must keep in touch with him. I was really looking forward to going to the pub quiz that night but Doris had cancelled it at the last minute. It was the first week without Mary who has returned to the USA for Xmas, so really disappointed. So no plans for the evening. I end up spending 3 hours in the internet café added a couple of more entries to my blog, but its slow going I’m still more than a month behind. I have a friend who is travelling by bicycle from the UK over to Thailand in aid of promoting awareness of AIDS. She manages to update her blog weekly, don’t know how she does it…

Thursday 9th December

Although I am looking forward to seeing the family and going to Egypt in someways I don’t want to leave as I am mentally in travel mode and just not interested in being in England right now, especially as it is so cold. I would love to spend more time in South America visiting other countries. would like to see more of Chile and spend more time in Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls. Katharina and others tell me how fab Brazil is and the beast beaches are in Uruguay, K is off to Cuba and Mexico in January so very jealous of her, but maybe in another lifetime I will make it to all these other places.

Plane is at 3pm, Lewis the other cleaner at the hostal helps me with my bags to the main San Blas plaza to flag down a taxi to the airport.  I had checked in online, a website recommended you sit on the right side of the plane going from Cusco to Lima as there are great views of the Andes on the short flight. There were only a few window seat left but I managed to get one, and although it was cloudy we still got to see ice capped mountains.

I need dollars as in Peru there is a domestic departure tax of $5 and $30 for international, they charge you to get into the country too!  Lima airport is pretty good, there are some nice shops and I treat myself and my brother to a bottle of Pisco…can’t wait to attempt to make my own, but will probably never be as good as the ones in Cusco, for my money the best I tasted in South America.  The longest leg  of the journey home is the 12 or so hour flight from Lima to Madrid. I spot a young couple with a young baby at the airport…and guess what they are sitting the row ahead of me - it cries all night long. So no sleep - this is worst than the bus!

But eventually I get to Heathrow,  I’m the last off the plane and by the time I get through immigration my backpack is already on the conveyor belt ready to be picked up. And there I am back to where I started with a kiss from Dad at Heathrow  who is waiting to take me back to Worthing…it’s like a dream, did the last 3 months really happen - Yes they did and I had a great experience, but here’s to the next part of the adventure.
Just under three months in Egypt my fifth visit in just over one year. I will be spending Christmas with Alaa in Luxor…attempting to cook some kind of tradional dinner and then we will be in Hurghada with Jay, Claire and Ellie-Mai for New Years Eve, Alaa’s birthday on the 1st and my 40th on the 4th.  I am then signed up to do a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course in Alexandria, northern Egypt in February.  Happy Days :)
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