I'm at my Lima-t of Peru

Trip Start Sep 15, 2006
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, March 10, 2007

We're out of time in Peru with only one day left to spend in the capital before flying out early Saturday.  Deciding that it would be easier to spend the night near the airport, we set out on foot to find a hotel.  It wasn't the best part of town, and the first thing we walked in labeled "hostal" was a bit misleading.  I was so focused on looking at the bed the slightly perplexed lady showed us, that I missed the obvious and was confused when Cierra started to laugh and sidle towards the door.

"What is it?" I asked, feeling the weight of the pack on my back.

"Look at the wall" she said.  I looked.  A naked blonde holding her own chest in hand stared back at me from a poster frame. 

"Oh." I said, belatedly realizing I was in a place that rented rooms by the hour.  We beat a hasty retreat, and found another place nearby that at least did a decent job of pretending that it's clientele weren't involved in illicit activities.  The fact that there were rubber sheets under the cotton wasn't exactly great, but the price was right and the lock on the door secure, so we felt ok about it. 

With help from the desk clerk, we took the bus into town and walked around for a bit.  Our friend Franco from Barcelona was in town, but sick with food poisoning, so we couldn't see him, and didn't really have anything we were dying to do.  We watched the changing of the guard at the palace on the Plaza Mayor, took a hurried tour of a monastery with a guide who practically ran from one exhibit to the next, then ate lunch in a local restaurant.  I risked food poisoning myself by trying ceviche, fish marinated in onions and lemon juice instead of being cooked.  Quite strong, but very good!  The Peruvian man who shared our table seemed to be impressed that I wasn't afraid of it, and he kept up a good conversation with us all through the meal, with us stuttering through our part of it with our broken Spanish, occasionally having to stop and look up the odd word in our pocket dictionary.

After lunch, we passed an internet cafe, and Cierra decided to check her email.  Seconds after logging in, she was crying, and I was misting up myself.  Our little buddy Mikey was put to sleep this morning, just a few hours before we'd checked our email, and the thought that he was really gone was horrible.  Cierra's parents did their best to keep him going until we got back, but his body just gave out.  Cierra cried while she wrote her parents, then we left to sit in a park and she cried some more.  I gave her hugs, bought her some ice cream and chocolate in the park, and talked to her about Mikey and what a good dog he had been.  I wanted to find something to say that would make it better, but there isn't anything like that in the English language, or in my vocabulary in any of the other languages we've been dabbling in lately.  She needed to be sad for a while. 

Ahhh, it's always this way with pets.  They make our lives so happy for a while, and then, one day, they make you tremendously sad.  It's still no question about whether the whole endevour is worth it in the end, though.  I can't imagine us without a dog, just like I can't picture our little house back in Charlotte without Mikey and his pointy ears, staring out the window before turning his hose to the ceiling and barking his head off.  

My mother and father were talking about how much they loved Pogo back in October, and how they might want to keep her, but they might be out of luck.  It's hard enough coming home to only one... I don't know that we could face losing them both. 

We didn't feel like seeing any more of Lima, so we went back to the hostel and took some TV therapy, watching some shows from the US and ignoring the Spanish subtitles.  We went to bed early and in the morning, hiked over to the airport and flew to Santiago, and then to Buenos Aires.
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