Well, still alive and made it to Rio in one peice. Thought I'd recap my last 2 days in Lima.
Tuesday we ate ceviche yet again. Delicious, too much seafood now though, I think my bowels are not liking me for that, for all those curious people...haha... Anyhow, my host in Lima Marco had 2 more couchsurfers arrive Tuesday from Ohio, and after ceviche we went to Marco's parents house. For some reason, garage doors are really intricately carved, I don't get it, must be because there are walls or gates on most houses so it's the only thing you see...Needless to say, the inside was really nice, felt like a grandparents or great grandparents house with all the nice things...ha.
We walked around central Lima later, and visited Iglesia San Francisco. Our tour was in Spanish...I needed to be 2 feet away from the guy to catch half of what he was saying haha. Nonetheless, I didnt learn a whole lot, but there were thousands and thousands of bones in the catacombs below the church, something similar to a cemetary.
Then, somehow, we managed to meet up with Luz, a Rotaractor, in the Plaza de Armas. She is 23 and doing some sort of pharmacy/medical thing. She didnt speak a lick of English and was incredibly chatty, so that was a bit of a trip. Marco wanted to take the Ohio'ans for Anticuchos (grilled heart), so I had that for the second night in a row. Renzo, president of rotaract valle escondido, met us up at the anticucho place, so then there were six of us. So Luz & Renzo had a suprise for me they said, which was they took me to a Rotary meeting. We took two combis to get there, one of them half broken, a total riot.
The Rotary meeting was at a CHIFA (Chinese) Restaurant. A combination of chinese & peruvian food, haha. Tasted like US chinese to me. I explained to the group in Spanish what I was doing, where I was going, and tried to talk about Rotaract in Chicago, etc, in Spanish. In the end, they presented me with a gift of a bottle of Pisco, a liquor used in making Pisco Sours. Awesome!
Wednesday I walked around the neighborhood Barranco with Marco, nothing spectacular, but relaxing. Then we went to a mercado to buy the ingredients to make Pisco Sours that evening :Limes, Eggs, Syrup, and Bitters. Two more couchsurfers showed up from Germany, so we made Pisco Sours for all that evening. One of the Germans had been travelling all over S. America for months, so she gave me so good advice on Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and even Easter Island!
So today I flew from Lima-Sao Paulo-Rio. Had to change airports in Sao Paulo, a bit of an adventure. There was a free airport transfer that I found after talking to about 3 different people. After I finally found it, the line was massive, and they said there was only 1 bus every hour! Great. I had a long layover, but the line was crazy. The girl in front of me had a huge backpack, and she looked like a bit of a gringo, so I asked her if she spoke English (she was from England & had been travelling for 4 months). There was a definite yes, and I asked her if she wanted to split a cab. Her flight was leaving in less than 2 hours, and it takes about an hour to go between airports. We went in to get some Brazilian Reals and hopped in a cab and got stuck in the great Sao Paulo traffic. Had some good travel conversations, and she got to the check in counter about 30 minutes before her flight left, I think she made it, but I had a good few hours, so I was ok. We exchanged info because she is going to be in Buenos Aires while I am there.
Finally I made it to Rio, my host Brian picked me up. We spent 20 minutes trying to ge this car out of the parking lot. Like a game where you have a car stuck between two parallel walls the width of the car, yeah that was fun, in 37C weather, so we were dripping wet. Brian lives in Flameco in a 1st floor high rise near the beach, a great area. Within 10 minutes they asked me if I wanted to be in the Carnival Parade in the Samodromo in the Rotary float on Saturday & Sunday. I said heck yea!!! Wow, that was a stunner for me, once in a lifetime chance. His mom actually speaks some Spanish, so that's how I have to communicate with her.
On the horizon: Futbol game at Marcana Stadium Saturday, and some blocos and meeting Brians friends. Should be an entertaining 7 days here in Rio. I'd upload pics, but I gotta take a nap, running on 4ish hours from the two flights today.
Oh, I forgot, I had a 45 minute conversation in Spanish with the taxi driver to the Lima airport last night! It was awesome! His son is a mechanical engineer so he gave me his card and I gave him my email address, and he said his son is also studying English, so he may email me for practice. Really nice taxi driver.
Phew, I am pooped, but someones gotta do all this. It's hard, I know.
Here are my photos from Lima: http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?id=31400194&aid=2117000