July 07, 2009

Peru 2009 - Days 1 & 2

Alright, alright, a little patience everyone...here come some trip reports! I know some of you are anxiously waiting to here from me. So here goes. I will try not to bore you with to many details - but there are a lot of great stories. Let me know your thoughts!

Day 1

Got up around 6am - had to be at the airport by 10am to meet the team and check in. Everyone showed up with luggage in tow. Looking around it was hard to believe the day had finally arrived. We had been meeting as a team for about 3 months in preparation for this trip...and it was finally here!

We grabbed some Burger King and headed to our gate. Everything was going according to schedule...until we got to Miami. We landed in a rainstorm, and they closed the ramp. So we sat on the tarmac for about 1 hour (it may have been longer). They finally let us off the plane, and we headed to catch our flight to Lima. It was delayed. We finally took off around 6:30pm. Here we go!

The plane landed in Lima at 10:30pm (local time - they are 1 hour behind us). When we got off the plane we were greeted by airport employees wearing masks. I guess the fear of unknown diseases was a real thing there. We made it through immigration and customs...only Brad was stopped at customs. A quick scan of his bag and they let him go. We found our bus, which had been pre-arranged, and headed to the guest house where we would spend the night.

Day 2

Breakfast was fresh baked bread and jelly. This is the typical breakfast in Peru. The bread was amazing. Then we headed to the bus station to get ready for the 8 hour drive north to Huaraz, where we would spend the majority of our time. We had several 1st class seats, which were downstairs. The coach seats were all upstairs, on the second level. The view from the front row what pretty crazy, like a ride at disney world. I enjoyed sitting downstairs just fine. The chance for motion sickness upstairs was to great for me.

They showed movies, served lunch, and played a rousing game of Bingo...yes, Bingo! I almost won...maybe next time?

After about 3 hours heading north up the coast we took a right turn and began our ascent. We would travel from sealevel, over the first ridge at about 14,000 ft, and arrive in Huaraz at 10,500 ft. We began taking ibuprofen to help with the altitude.

The scenery was gorgeous. The coast was barren, very desert like, very sandy. As we began to gain elevation, the vegetation began to appear, We started to see creeks and rivers flowing. And when we crested the big mountain we saw the Andes mountains right in front of us. It was absolutely breathtaking! Words and pictures cannot do justice to what we saw. It was amazing!

One big change we had to get used to was the time the sun sets. At 6pm it got dark. We pulled into Huaraz at 6:30pm. We were met by Rachel (her husband, Ade, would be our guide). She took us to the hotel to check in. Then we went to her house where she had prepared the most amazing chicken soup for dinner. It really hit the spot. We headed back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

No comments: