Happy Wednesday, ladies! I’m starting this post in advance, though not as early as I should have. But I’ll have an upcoming post about that later. I wanted to get a head start because our last few days here will be very busy, and I will be getting back in the United States shortly before this post goes live. In fact, I’ll probably be just getting to sleep when it does! How’s that for a timely travel diary? Anyway, let’s just jump into the second part of my Peruvian adventures! P.S. You can find the first part here!
March 8 to March 12: Adventures in Lima
Lima was filled with adventures. We left on Thursday night, and arrived in Lima at about 8 in the morning. After showering we preceded to rest then grab a coffee near the hostel. Before we left though, the school we’re affiliated with interviewed my friend Ivanna on her (amazing) facial reconstruction project. The local newspaper picked up the article as well. Go archaeologists!
Miraflores is right on the ocean, so obviously for lunch we decided to head there. We ate at the same restaurant I went to when I was here a few years ago. They have this dessert that supposedly a Puruvian classic, but that I hardly see anywhere, and it’s delicious. You’ll find it a few photos down in this post. Oh, so good.
We did most of our exploring on Saturday, starting with the Larco museum. I went last time, and I seriously love it. It’s such a well put together museum. AND they have the most shoppable museum gift shop I’ve ever seen. There’s also a fabulous world-class restaurant inside the museum. Oh, so good, times two.
Next was the Catacombs – and for a bunch of bioarcheaologists it was like a dream. Suffice to say, we spent the whole time fantasizing about the kinds of amazing research that could come from looking at that collection. I highly recommend you check it out, if you’re ever in Lima.
On Sunday, Ivanna headed back to the States and we loaded ourselves back on a bus to Ayacucho.
March 13 to March 19: Illness, Round I
After our return from Lima, we got into a routine so there wasn’t much exciting happening. After we got back to town on Monday, I slept for most of the day and then worked a little before sleeping more. No matter how much sleep I get while traveling, I always need a whole day (or four) of rest afterward!
On Tuesday I started to feel a bit sick. Just a sore throat, though, and we caught it early so a dose of antibiotics helped. Thursday and the weekend were the sickest I felt, but the chest congestion lasted for several more weeks.
Despite feeling sick, we did do some fun-ish things. I say -ish, because one was quite sad, but it’s why I’m here. On Wednesday, we went to the Museum of the Memories – a museum founded by the group of family members who lost loved ones in the civil war. The museum itself is quite jarring. It’s graphic, but that’s important. I won’t go into too much detail here – it’s just too much of a subject for a blog post, but feel free to look it up. Wikipedia is rather informative on the subject.
Friday I did a little exploring of my own and went to work at the local cafe. I wanted to finish a major part of my bibliography; and I thought the fresh air and delicious coffee would inspire me. Afterward, I picked up a few gifts. In hindsight, I felt the worst after these two excursions so if that teaches you anything, it’s rest until you feel better – don’t push so hard!
March 20 to March 26: The Time Crunch Sets In
This week was Chris’s birthday, but there wasn’t much celebrating to be done 4000+ miles apart. Fortunately I was able to order him something and watch him open in on FaceTime the week prior.
I really felt the pressure this week. My to-do list from the week before felt overwhelming. But, somehow, I managed to knock out a bunch of major details. And because I had gotten so much done, I was happy to go on another adventure on Saturday.
Despite still recovering from the respiratory illness, we went up even further to a town called Quinoa. Yes, like the food. Except it’s not known for food, instead it’s known for pottery. While walking through town, it seemed as if ever other building was a family-owned store, and many are. We hunted down a few key pieces we were looking for, then made some notes about some other things to order in advance. We got back to town Saturday afternoon, and I felt amazing. It was so nice to be out exploring and all the pottery was really inspiring.
I checked off quite a few things done Saturday night; and made a checklist for Sunday that I promptly conquered.
March 27 to April 2: Illness, Round II
On Wednesday we went to a just-opened restaurant . Some folks from the jungle founded it, so the flavors and cooking technique were quite different from what I’d gotten used. It was really good! Also, there was a snake. A living, breathing pet boa – and I pet him!
Thursday, I woke up with a stroke of inspiration and brainstormed/worked out some projects. That evening, however, was not so great. Around 4 PM I started feeling nauseous, and around 6 it got worse. I knew I had food poisoning, but I was desperately trying to not be horribly sick. Think: fetal position and deep breaths. By about 9, I couldn’t take it anymore. We deliberated going to a hospital because I was so dehydrated. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, so we settled for antibiotics, anti-nausea medication, and Pedialyte.
Eventually (at 4am), I managed to eat a little bit, and take the antibiotic. I was massively dehydrated and tired on Friday, but not sick. Saturday, I felt almost good as new, although still picky about what I was willing to eat. (Bread, bread is the answer.) That feeling turned out to be a cruel April Fool’s joke, however, when by midnight, I had the worst stomach cramps I’ve ever had. The good news is I wasn’t getting sick anymore, but that was also the bad news. Because all that pain in pressure just stayed there. It finally subsided around 2:30 AM – so I slept until 2:30 PM the following day.
Fortunately I was blessed with a pretty damn strong stomach. This was the first time in 10 years I’d had any kind of stomach related illness. So I’m thinking I have a pretty good chance of maintaining my relationship with one of my favorite foods. (The likely culprit was my Caprese sandwich. 🙁 )
April 3 to April 7: The Last Week
This last week was all about tying up lose ends. I finally felt better on Monday, so Tuesday and Wednesday I ran errands and picked up gifts. Then, I added a new line item to my CV. 😉 I also worked on finishing the major projects I had going that I was able to finish. For the ones still in progress, I built an outline of things that need to get done and how/when to do them.
It was such a nostalgic week. Oh man, I wish I could put it into words. Butterflies and chills – that’s as close as I can get to describing it. I learned so much and there was a very big part of me that did not want to leave. At all. Don’t get me wrong (family and friends, I see you reading this), I was very excited to be heading home. But there’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be back, and I find myself asking, “But will it be soon enough?”
I also got some amazing news this week that I’ve been waiting forever for. I can’t talk about it yet, but there will be a whole post dedicated to it. Oh, I could sing! *insert salsa dancing emoji*
April 8 to April 12: Going Home
Saturday morning we headed up the Wari site to explore and talk archaeology. If you didn’t know, Wari is the last major empire in the world that hasn’t been excavated – so we know almost nothing about it.
In the afternoon, we caught our flight to Lima. Which was beautiful, if you caught the Instagram. And we made it just in time to make our reservations at an amazing Sushi restaurant.
Sunday was about hot showers (bookended by cold water because it is HOT in Lima). And a little exploring. We checked out the MIMA museum, took a nap, then had some AMAZING ceviche. Seriously, Peruvian ceviche is one of the best foods on the planet for me. Easily top 3. And Lima is a gastro-capital of the world, so it was even better.
On Monday we got back to work. It wasn’t too bad though, considering the work meant walking around through some of the big malls with air conditioning looking for supplies. We had sushi, again, and then came back for naps. Monday evening we took one last foray where I found one of the most gorgeous dresses I’ve ever seen. Handmade, and it fit like a glove. Expect a post on that soon. 😉
Yesterday (Tuesday) began my journey home. I woke up early, packed, we grabbed a coffee, then headed to the airport. Fortunately on this trip, I only had one travel hiccup: I was assigned a seat in a row that didn’t exist. Easily remedied on a nearly empty plane. But the flights themselves were a breeze.
I finally made it back around 1:30. The puppy was so excited and surprised, it was so cool and I missed her and Chris like crazy.
I’m finishing this post sitting in the car on the way home now. I assure you, only one thing will happen between now and noon tomorrow: sleep.
Well – that’s my trip! If there’s anything you want me to expand on or talk about, just let me know in the comments below (or any channel you prefer)!