Friday, November 8, 2013

Our first days: London, Lima and Cusco

Hello everybody!

So, here I am, in Cusco, writing my first real post while I am actually not in Belgium :-) One week ago, we left Hasselt, and it already seems so long ago! The day before we were about to leave, on Thurday 31/10/2013, I looked at Claudio and we both tought the same: what the f*** are we doing? We are leaving our easy life, our jobs, security, friends, family, the cats, our apartment. Oh my god, what did we do? And there I was, with nothing but my 10 kg backpack in front of me. No, we will be OK, we have to be strong, come on! And the moment passed, and we felt excited again. It was very hard to say goodbye to everybody though. Wednesday night I saw my mam, and Thursday night I said goodbye to Davinia  and Pieter. And Friday was the last Belgian/Italian lunch at my dad's place, and my sister stopped by as well to say goodbye. Everybody was great, and it was very difficult for me, but I promised myself that I was not going to cry so I didn't. Let's stay positive :-) So Friday afternoon, my dad brought us to Brussels midi where we took the Eurostar to London at 15h. Our adventure had begun!

In London, we booked our accomodation through airbnb, as London is rather expensive. We stayed at a lovely woman´s place, Ilona. She was very nice and made us feel at home. It was actually better to stay with someone, because you avoid the empty character of a hotel, where you are isolated from other people. We had a cute room, so off to a good beginning. At night, we headed to Picadilly Circus, and had a meal at Jamie Oliver's Diner. It was soooo good! We had a cheeseburger and fries, with some salad. Note that I ate a burger on day one, so there goes my veggie diet!! In my defense, they claimed to use biological meat ;) ;)

Dinner at Jamie Oliver's :)

The next day, we went into town again, to South Kensington, a neighbourhood in London. Afterwards, we went to Oxford street, as we were meeting a friend there who is studying in Oxford now. We visited the Big Ben, Westminister Abby and walked on the South Bank. It was so much fun to see a familiar face in the beginning of the trip, so we can ease into this trip better. At night, we said goodbye to Mike, and had another lovely dinner at a Turkish place. We were actually staying in a Turkish neighbourhood, Green Lanes. Super friendly people and delicious food everywhere. And surprisingly cheap for London.

Turkish salad
Oxford Street 

The next day was already time to leave. We left Ilona's place at 9AM and headed to Heathrow, which took one hour. Then we had our first flight to Miami, which took another 9,5 hours. So we landed in Miami at 17h (+6h), and then we had to wait a long 7 hours to our next flight to Miami. I fell asleep at the airport cause I was so destroyed. Then I was able to sleep on the plane again so when we landed at 5 AM I was ready to start the day :)

Marj sleeping at Miami Airport

We took a cab to our next Airbnb host, Rachel. She is living in beautiful part of Lima, Miraflores. This is the richer area of Lima. We decided to stay in this area because the center of Lima is considered to be rather dangerous, and we thought that for the beginning of the trip it would be better to stay in comfortable places where we feel safe. We will also be returning the middle of December to Lima for three days, so we'll tackle the center then :)
So we arrived in Lima and the first things we noticed was that EVERYBODY uses their claxon like crazy!! There was so much noise on the street, really old cars everywhere with lots of dirty smoke coming from the cars. Sometimes I did not even want to breath brrr. But I guess I'd rather get used to it, cause now we are in Cusco and it's exactly the same. Anyway, traffic was crazy, and our taxi driver drove through the red light, and honked his horn 25 times, but we arrived safely in Miraflores.
Our room was a bit disappointing compared to the other place we stayed in. I didn't trust the cleanliness of the sheets so I just slept in my sleepingbag for two days. After taking a shower, we went for a walk alongside the ocean. We encountered a huge mall, and went inside. It seemed like we were in Europe, very high prices and rich people everywhere. It seemed fake. No doubt that only the richest of Lima can shop here. After this, we went to the beach, and layed down a bit. It was only 20 degrees and cloudy, so not in our bikini's but in our jeans and warm hoodies. We watched some people surf, relaxed and read a bit. At night, we had an amazing dinner, and probably the best fish I ever ate in my life! So far, only good food, njam. Lima is also known to be the food capital of South America, and now I understand why! Also the day after, we had an amazing lunch and dinner.... at the supermarket :) If you are ever in Lima, go to supermarket Wong: you don't spend a lot and the food is amazing. The second day, we visited the center of Miraflores, the park, and checked out the neighbourhood.

Sunset in Lima
Please do not honk your horn all the time :)

Tasty and cheap lunch
So Wednesday we already left again, on to Cusco! We decided to take a plane to Cusco as it is only 1hour. With the bus it would have been 20 hours, so after our superlong flight from London, we were not really in the mood to travel that long again. So we were off to the airport, and it took forever to get there in the crazy traffic of Lima. At one point, we were even stuck on a railway that ran right through the road, without any stopsigns or anything. And all of the sudden a train was coming, and we were ON the rails!! I thought, omg, I will have to jump out of the taxi, but then maybe, the taxi driver will steal our luggage, but I don't want to dieeeeeee hahaha but right on time the taxi moved and I was still alive :D Our flight itself had a 3 hour delay...But yeah, that seems typical here. Everybody is so relaxed, everything takes forever. Even to pay at the cash register takes 10 minutes, when you are the only client! Luckily I am on holidays, so I can stand it. I think if they would see how fast we live in Europe, they would not understand why we rush everything so much. Just take it easy :)
So we are in Cusco now. But I will write about this amazingly beautiful city when we return from our hike next week. There is too much to say and too many pictures to upload. And the computer is sooooo slow, so I am losing my patience a little bit. So next week, there will be another uplate. Until then, hasta luego!

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