Sunday, February 22
Today I left Lima. When I woke up this morning, I was more excited than ever to get to my next destination but it was 5 in the morning when nature came calling and the thought of traveling mortified me.
I basically spent the rest of the morning in the bathroom. Many people warned me about this and again, just like the sunburn, I never thought it would happen to me, after all I never get sick. Sitting on the toilet, hunched over, I try to massage my belly, anything to take away the pain. It feels like there's a snake going through your stomach, twisting and turning through your intestines, and just before it settles -- you make a run for it! No joke, whatever it is that you get here shows no mercy. I won't go into too much detail for fear of losing friends but you get my drift. The minute I got up I felt the snake again and I had to sit back down. Luckily I made it to the airport without sharting and ran to the bathroom as soon as I checked my bags. I was in bad shape - hair not done, sunburn, no make-up, big puma pants with a jacket, my college cap, a black backpack, and my heavy as hell laptop. I briskly walked around the airport trying to find the closest seat to the woman's stalls. To make things worse my flight was delayed 3 hours so after emptying the tank I curled up in a ball in the corner of the airport and slept with my hat pulled over my eyes. If someone stepped on me, so be it... I had no energy.
"LAN Peru 021 to Cuzco boarding passengers rows...." I shot up and power walked to the gate. I knew I had a comfortable seat by the window up front. Perfect to fall asleep and no one sitting next to me - double perfect. The plane was in the sky no longer then 5 minutes when I passed out... next thing I know the captain is announcing our arrival. My stomach felt the descent earlier and I looked out the window -- arrival? Where? All I could see was mountains - big monster mountains that slopped up and down and around each other like they were playing a game of tag. We passed through some clouds and again more mountains, twisting and turning like the snake in my ... never mind. Where were we going to land? That was my only question.
Then the plane took an abrupt nose dive, swooped left, and maneuvered around the curve of another mountain, through a cloud and WALAH... Words will never describe this part so I won't even try but "Majestic" comes to mind. This little town held protected by mother earth in all its beautiful shapes and forms, nestled somewhere between the Andes and heaven, hidden like a wonderful secret that I just uncovered.... Cuzco.
The plane continued to descend and as we got closer to land the little town stayed little -- it was very odd. Normally, a person lands in a city and the town grows bigger, louder, more like Chicago or New York. This town was still small, despite its recent popularity, it hasn't lost its charm yet. The airport had one lane and, just like in the movies, we walked down a staircase that fell onto the runway. A little man with a hat ran up to the plane to help us off, our baggage was wheeled over to this half outside/half inside baggage claim area and security was no where to be found. There were no television sets propped around the terminal displaying nothing but bad news 24/7, there were no annoying "show my your ID 20 times and take your shoes off 18 times", and I didn't see one person with a cell phone in their ear... it was just Pura Vida (Pure Life).
I need to rename this blog.