Peru welcomes first timers
With a lot of good luck and a $230 rt ticket Heidi and I left LA for our first south american adventure. Two surprisingly comfortable Taca flights, two Spanish dubbed children's movies to aid our broken Spanish, and two meals only consisting of carbs later, we arrived in Lima.
Following strict instructions from our lonely planet Peru book we immediately sought out a currency exchange station. Placed directly straight out from customs we transferred our US currency to the rate of 2.455 soles + 3% commission. Thinking we did a great job avoiding the exchange rate of 2.26 in LA we are quickly educated that if we took a few steps closer towards the airport exit we'd find an exchange station with a better rate and no commission.
Continuing with the guidance of our book we hire Yani of Green Taxi to take us to Pariwana Hostel in Mira Flores. Extremely friendly, English speaking Puruvian local, who quickly turns up his favorite house tunes while giving us the low down on all disco techs in town. His local insight, positive attitude, and love for Dr. Dre chronic 2001 made us feel like we were in for a great first night. Next we checked into our first hostel ever, Pariwnna Hostel. We immediately look to each other and think to ourselves we've fallen into the gem of all hostels. Free wifi and Internet, world cup elimination soccer games on the agenda, and a rooftop bar with some of the lowest prices in town.
It's only 10pm and our bellies are craving it's first authentic Peruvian meal. So we head to the beach. We stroll through a beautiful park lined with beds of flowers and home to countless stray cats that apparently purr in every language known to man. I share my hatred for cats to Heidi while snap a photo or two of her unsuccessful attempts of playing cat lady. A few smiles and some pointing on the menu later we dig into our first meal at La Lucha. Pollo Piña con Queso sandwich, papa frites, and two fresh juices later we are pleasantly stuffed.
The night ends with a few heated games of ping-pong on the rooftop and a 9 solas massive cold Cusquena. I win as usual but not without over hearing a few other Americans chat about their Fleet week experience in San Francisco the week before. Thousands of miles away from my normal life, yet I stand a few feet away from others who were sharing the same experiences I had last weekend in SF. Oh how small the world really is sometimes. I felt like I was reliving a scene from The Beach, I just hope not to end up like Daffy. I climb to the top of my bunk bed in our 10 person backpacker room and pass out.