The left half of my face was swollen from three bug bites. Smiling felt awkard. Everytime I found myself looking in the mirror, my fingers would unconsciously squeeze the swollen skin, now heating from the inflammation.
As we were packing, I couldn´t find the Lonely Planet. Thinking we might have left it at Manuel´s (Mayra´s fiancee), we scheduled to go there in the evening...for the third night in a row. We found it later...in Sucharit´s shoebox.
Walking around Central Lima, we ran into many people ready to convert our dollars into soles. Sure, they looked tacky in their neon green jackets that read "$ Euro", but we got more for our buck from them. One of the converters jibbered something in Spanish, followed by "Shah Rukh Khan....Amitabh Bachan" He then pointed to Sucharit and said Shah Rukh. Now that´s funny.
The place we saw for breakfast caught my eye, not because it stood out, but because I wouldn´t have noticed it otherwise. A sweet-natured Chinese woman said that they didn´t have veggie options, but she would be glad to make them for us. And what a meal it was! I left feeling fully satiated...the food here just keeps getting better and better.
The pastel yellow cathedral right by our hostel beckoned me everyday, but we kept pushing it to the evening and didn´t go. That wasn´t going to happen today. The catacombs (underground mass tombs) would have been impressive, were it not for the strategically arranged bones, creating perfect lines and circles. Besides, I was trying not to think about how claustrophobic the whole place was.
By now, the weather had reverted to yesterday´s state - gray and dismal. And yet the color stood out from a distant mountain´s barrio. This was one of those scenes that I could never capture on film or on paper...it can only reside in my memory, and I just hope I don´t forget.
The bug bites on my face were not giving up, making it look like I put blush on one side of my face with my eyes closed. We took a bus to Huancayo at 10 pm. Even though it was the cheapest version of Cruz del Sur, it was still luxurious by my standards; plush seats, a blanket, a personal tv...plus, we got the front row on the top of the double decker. I fell asleep watching a Spanish dubbed, English subtitled version of "Christmas With the Kranks." It really is Tim Allen at his worst.