Jane, an English girl at the hostel, convinced us to take a small hike with her up to the Mirador point on a hill east of Huaraz
. Since we didn't have other plans and thought that a hike would do us good, we started off late morning through the quiet streets, enjoying the life going on around us. We stopped for a fresh-squeezed orange juice and enjooyed the antics of a little girl and boy playing with rocks. After awhile they realized they had an audience and really started hamming it up. They laughed and played leap frog and mugged for the cameras. We continued up the hill and happened upon the cemetary where we paused to eat some popcorn (palomitas de choclo or "little doves of corn", because of the way the kernals pop).
Girl & Boy Playing
We kept on up the hill even though we were tired, except Jane, and eventually go to the top where we relaxed and plotted our upcoming trek. Jane wanted to do it without guide and just hire a donkey and do all of our own cooking and such. I wasn't super keen on the idea. I'd rather hire a guide and pay the extra to be cooked for and not have to carry everything.
A group of Spaniards arrived by taxis and snapped pictures and talked loudly, breaking our peace and quiet but soon enough they left and then a guy with a video camera approached us and asked if he could film us for a documentary he was making about foreigners in Peru. So we gladly answered his questions about how we liked Peru, what we thought about its problems and other things.
Girl & Boy Playing
Then he accompanied us down the mountain and told us that he was a mountain guide living in Berlin and that he was back here to lead a group of German climbers up to the summit of Mt. Huascaran, a 3 week climb. He was very nice and we invited him to eat trout with us for lunch at the hatchery at the edge of town. The trout was excellent but the corn with it was bland and mealy. Our server was a young boy and his shy adorable little sister trotted around with him, always hiding behind him when we tried to talk to her. Sadhbh and Zoe visited the trout hatchery but I just sat out in the sun, too exhausted to move. We took a taxi and dropped them off at Cafe Andino and I continued on to the hostel.
Zoe and Sadhbh and I went out for dinner and there was a duo playing Andean music.
When they started in with "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion, I had to take a video of it or no one would have believed it. It was like something out of a Saturday Night Live skit! The lady sitting next to us was one of the most beautiful Peruvians I had ever seen and I couldn't help filming her a bit at the end, but unfortunately my lens was foggy and it turned out not so great. Then her husband and little boy came into the restaurant and I had my dreams dashed. Sadhbh and Zoe were laughing at me!
Later in the evening our whole group went back to Zero Drama for a drink before heading over to Club Tambo. We were joined by 2 very funny guys from Northern England who entertained us and agreed to come over to the club with us. It was super crowded at the club and you could barely move.
Cemetary office with poem
I got us a table in the corner near the window which was a blessed relief from the heavy cigarette smoke. The music mix was the same as the night before, even song for song but the songs were decent enough that we enjoyed it all the same. I met a girl named Indira and asked her to dance but there was no room and even in the one dance we were getting shoved and pushed all over. It was very unpleasant and not fun at all. Barney was dancing with a girl from Lima
and the English guys were visible on the other side of the room by their height, towering over the much shorter Peruvians. I was supposed to meet Maria Jose there, the girl I had met the previous night, but it would have been impossible to find her even if she were there, it was that crowded. In the end, she showed up at 2:30 or so in the morning, just as I was heading out the door. I couldn't handle any more smoke and crowd. The scene outside was a madhouse, the street was full of revelers and it seemed to be in full swing, and just getting started. I got a "hot dog" of chorizo and walked home...very exhausted!