Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Apartment!

We've been in our new apartment exactly a week and we really love it. It's just the right size for two people (especially a couple). It's so nice to be out of the hostel, we were getting extremely claustrophobic staying in a room with 10 beds. LOKI Hostel is known as a party hostel, and yes it is a fun place to party, but not really a fun place to live for a month. The lack of personal space was really taking a toll on us and I felt really bad for Arielle because she had to work at her computer in the hostel bar (it was the only area with Wi-Fi) every weekday. We have a much more stable internet connection here at the apartment and other nice amenities such as gas stove and oven, cable tv, and comfortable bed and furniture. It is located about a quarter of a mile from the Plaza de Armas on the hill, there are a couple nice parks in the neighborhood and a few corner stores at the end of our street for when we run out of milk, bread, or beer. There is a commercial area about four blocks from our place that has a couple supermarkets, hardware and home amenities stores, and dentist offices. I'm sure there are many more relevant things in our neighborhood but we haven't really explored as much as we'd like too. We do finally feel settled and that we're making a home for ourselves here, now all we need is to get our and do more. I'm posting a video Arielle made of our apartment so everyone can get a feel for where we live, Ciao.

Sickness :(

Its been about two weeks since my last post and I apologize to those who have been waiting but I do have somewhat valid excuses. Until now I have not felt that great, first I had altitude sickness, then I had a parasite and a stomach infection for a couple weeks, then I got a cold. And FINALLY I feel good again, just in time for my birthday and Peruvian Independence Day (Read: Many days) celebrations. As for being sick, I'd rather not know exactly what type of parasite or infection I had because I'd probably just have nightmares about it. What annoys me the most is that I have no idea how I got a parasite in the first place, which makes me a bit paranoid about the food around here. This has caused me not to eat as much as normal and Arielle says I'm losing weight. But things have been getting better, I ate at a nice restaurant the other day called CHI CHA and it was incredible, 5* status for around $20USD, not bad. I'm looking forward to the festival this weekend, they always have lots of good-looking food on display by vendors lining the streets. I'll try to overcome my fear of street food for this special occasion, and I'll take pictures, promise.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some Pics from Cusco

Establishing Ourselves

The last post ended on a bit of a negative note. Fortunately I am in good spirits and have positive news to tell. Last night Arielle and I put a deposit down on an apartment that we'll be moving into on July 22nd, ( ) here is the web address of the place. Its fully furnished with all utilities included which makes our life much easier. Imagine trying to buy furniture and all other household items at a market where no-one speaks your language and you have to communicate having these items delivered to a hidden apartment.....somewhat complicated. Yes I do know it could be done and to some extent I am lazy, or unmotivated or some other negative adjective, basically in the end it would have cost us much time, effort and cash to get a cheaper apartment up to our standards, and we'd rather spend our time enjoying ourselves, selfish aren't we! So we're super excited about that, we feel pretty stir crazy at the hostel now and are itching to get out, only one more week!

On another note, I went to try to get a job teaching ESL yesterday. It went well, the academic director I met with was very nice but unfortunately there aren't any current positions available. She told me that there are expected to be some vacancies soon and she will contact me if anything opens up or if they could use me as a tutor or in some other capacity. I'll be going to some other schools in the next week or so to hopefully line up some work teaching, wish me luck.



So, after spending a couple days in Lima, walking around the Miraflores neighborhood, eating ceviche and exploring the grocery store, we decided to get a flight to Cusco, our final destination.

The flight was short and sweet, once rising above the Lima haze you're able to see the Andes mountains poking above the clouds. We're soon flying above the mountain peaks and after an hour we start descending. The city is in a bowl surrounded by mountains so the plane must descend and turn 180 degrees very quickly in order to hit the runway. It felt like an amusement park ride, somewhat sketchy, but all the Peruvians on the plane seemed calm so I figured it was normal. The altitude is 11,500 ft. and you can really feel it when you step off the plane. In fact three weeks later I still feel it. I'm not getting headaches anymore but I still get out of breath easily, especially after walking the 3-4 blocks uphill to get to our hostel (This is where we're staying by the way - ). We arrive at the hostel and discover that it exists almost as an island inside Cusco, a self sufficient entity that survives in and of itself. That is clearly hyperbole but stands to prove a point that one could spend many days or weeks without ever venturing more that a block from the hostel. With the bar (where I have been bartending in exchange for accomadations, free meals, and 40% discount) as it's heart, and only Wi-Fi spot in the hostel, you could see why it is the most common place to be seen, eat, work, or compute in any way. Needless to say it gets a bit old.

The Beginning

I'm starting this blog a bit late, precisely 3 weeks late, but a lot has been going on and I have just felt unmotivated to type for hours. So here I am trying to make up for lost time, and hopefully I'm not leaving out too much of the story.. here goes.....

We got in at night, around 9pm, to Lima and got picked by someone from the hostel we'd reserved. Immediately after pulling out of the airport we got pulled over by the police and we had to pretend that we new the cab driver so we wouldn't get fined.....yeah, off to a great start. The cops let us go and we began the drive to the hostel. The city is always overcast and hazy this time of year so the drive was grey but I like the cliffs of Miraflores that overlook the ocean. There are also lots of parks that line the oceanfront which are nice. The hostel was small but there was a bar so we figured we'd get a drink. After a couple beers and a few conversations with random travelers we decided to head to sleep, it had been a long day.