Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Just Like Home

August 29, 2012

Today is the last day we spend the jungle... and really, that's an over statement because we get up only to get ready and head to the airport. We are only heading back to Lima with Mark and Dane as the others have a different itinerary than we do. A few are staying behind longer and others are heading out to the Inca Trail or otherwise.

Unfortunately, we spend a good chunk of the day in transit.

We arrive at the airport of Puerto Maldonado and we realize that we've had it really lucky with the humidity and it's only now starting to heat up. We sit outside of the airport with Mark and Dane to just relax and decompress a bit more before we have to head into the airport to get through security. I crave Inca Cola out of a glass bottle.

The flight back was a connecting flight that stopped in Cusco briefly to pick up new passengers who are heading to Lima. We only see Cusco again from our seats.

We arrive in Lima in the afternoon and the day is overcast and cool. Our bus picks us up and takes us back to the same hotel we've stayed in before (Hotel la Castellena). I don't like it when days are spent in transit because nothing really comes out of it. I mean what did we accomplish? I didn't even manage to snap any photos because the time spent in the airport was uneventful.

Arriving at the hotel was a relief because we get to decompress. Mark and Dane are heading out the next morning and tell us that they've had a great time and we'd reconnect via email once we've all returned home.

Like most days where it's just AW and myself, we're out exploring and looking for something to eat. The thing is, we're still in our outdoorsy outfits and not in any particular fashion to be walking into any fine dining establishments. That's the thing about being tourists though... nobody really cares because they already know you aren't one of them (although in Peru, there is a very high Japanese and Chinese population). So, we decide to check out their mall: Larcomar. This mall is really neat because it's open to the outside and it overlooks the Pacific Ocean. At night, the view is stunning.

We check out Vivaldino. A fine dining establishment where we're (yet again) under-dressed.

The wait staff are friendly and humour our poor Spanish and help us select wonderful meals. Living by the sea must have its benefits... since we each had a poo-poo platter of seafood, each. Clearly we got way too greedy.

After spending so much of our time in the very cultural places like Cusco, the Sacred Valley and the Jungle, Larcomar is a flash of Western lifestyles with families in malls eating at Chilies or purchasing clothing at Western style shops. It's a little disappointing but, I'd say we recognize that this is part of the idolization of Western lifestyles. We have such bounty and unusual norms. We're kind of removed from nature and simplicity of it all. The ironic thing about it is that AW and I have come out this way to experience the native culture and ways. Instead, we see exactly what we'd see at home.

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