Monday, August 1, 2011
Who wants to trade immune systems?
Hey hey chicos! Yesterday we returned from our travels to Celendin. We traveled with Cesar´s best friend Wesley. It is a 3 hour journey and we had to do it on a budget. That being said, we decided to travel there with the family who owns the workshop where Cesar works in their huge van which seats like 15 people legally and a whole ton illegally, but since it was a family thing there was loads of space and only about 9 of us. So, we got a free passage there, but the problem was the journey killed me, I vomited so much and felt DREADFUL, like maybe I was going to die, Cesar said I´d probably live and I guess he was right! We arrived on Friday morning and I was in a state so we went to eat, I had lamb and rice which was great until about 1 o clock in the morning when I upchucked it all. Anyway, in the afternoon we went to see the motocross. AHHHH. I should explain why that is scary and exciting at the same time. The safety tape making you not cross the track is very close, so close that the possibility that a bike would land in the audience after a jump is well, likely. When I arrived I noticed LOTS of police standing along the track and I thought it was an uncessary number....until a man fell off his bike and the crowd RUNS ACROSS THE TRACK TO THE MAN to see what has happened WHILE THE RACE IS CONTINUING. I almost had a heart attack. The bikes are racing around, dodging people because for them clearly it is more important to win than not kill anybody. So, the police were trying to keep people back in the viewing area and stop the bikes but nobody really seemed to care. Even when the man had been carried off in an ambulance, people ran across the track like it was a game of lets see if we can be killed today or not. It is obviously not good for my western heart to watch these races. We decided to walk back to the town from the track which took about an hour but saved us roughly 1 dollar. hahahaha. oh boy. The van which took us to Celendin and to the races had already returned to Caxas so we had the suitcases and backpacks with us, it was great, we looked like tourists (although, I always look like a tourist). When we got back to the main square we discovered that we had come on the wrong day, that this was the only night there was no live band playing. So, we meandered around town, found a hotel (which I stress is lucky because in FIESTAS (independance day parties) it is really hard to find one. They charged us 50 soles or about 17 dollars for 2 beds. We thought that was expensive, because the room was simple with no tv and the shower was COLD. ICE COLD. It was funny listening to Cesar and Wesley scream when they were taking their agonizing turns in the shower but not so fun when I was the one screaming. There is cold water, and then there is COLD water. Mountain fresh freezing cold. In the night we hung out in the plaza (main square). I saw my host family from before and they gave me a ride in their brand new car, which is very nice I might add! We went out for supper but it took them about an hour to bring the order and Cesar´s food never arrived, so we weren´t very impressed. I learned how to play billiards, I suck. In the night we went to a club where there was a live rock electronica band, it was ok but then I felt dreadful like I would pass out so Cesar had to take me back to the hotel, we left Wesley in the club with his new friends... I spent the night puking my guts up, it was awful, and we missed the party. Who wants to give me a better immune system?
Saturday was better, I woke up feeling so weak that I thought my DUST FILLED hair was soft, Cesar quickly corrected me. I couldnt get a comb through it. We went out for soup and then luckily found a combi aka collectivo or big van that would take us to LLANGUAT , 1-2 hours further away. I was not exited about the trip because I felt dreadful, but we paid extra so I could sit up front, so I actually didnt feel nauseous. I should add that arriving to Celendin I had taken 2 gravols, but that didnt do it. The Combi was packed, you can see in the picture, there werent many seats so they were sitting on buckets and other people, after the pic was taken we picked up more people still, I guess there were about 20-25 people in a space which would carry 8-10 in North America. I was up front though, and there were 4 in a space for 3, which isnt bad, I couldnt complain because I felt ok!! We arrived at LLanguat for 17 soles, or about 6 dollars, which was ok. Then the fun part! The natural hot springs and river. The day was boiling hot, so it was beautiful to swim in the rapids (I hit my head on a rock for being an idiot and not keeping my head about water...I also didnt realize the rapids were quite that fast!). In the picture you can see Cesar swimming. Imagine a beautiful mountain scenery and a blue river with a couple of ice cold beers and sunbathing on the rocks! This is the life! We made friends with a party of 10 who had rum and coke, and they looked after our stuff while we crossed the river (this involves us all holding hands like a group of preschoolers haha) and went in search of the mud. There are pools of boiling hot water like in Yellowstone National Park, and a little boy was scooping out mud with a long stick. Supposedly if you apply mud to your whole body it helps you to maintain a youthful appearance. I reckon its a scam, but its fun anyway! The problem was, the mud didnt come off easily. We walked on and found the place where the boiling water enters the river, and there are natural hot springs which you can bathe in, we hung out there until the sun started to disappear and then headed back, obviously the air felt freezing cold to us then! Plus we had to cross the now cold river, it was always cold but with the sun out it was okay. We thanked out new friends and headed back the road. We walked uphill to the village and bought some local fruits and waited for a truck. We met an old man who literally smoked 15 packets of cigarettes in the six hours since the combi dropped him off, his arms were in dire condition! argh. He told us there would be no cars and we´d have to stay there in Llanguat. We didnt fancy the idea and went outside to the crossroads. Luckily, a grain truck passed so we climbed the ladder and sat on a piece of wood they´d put along the trailer. It was a lovely, it didnt make me sick because it was open air. 2 hours later it was FREEZING COLD, but until then it was great! hahaha. That is the way to travel! They charged us 10 soles, or about 3 dollars to Celendin. That night we were planning on going to see Agua Marina, a Cumbia band in Celendin, but the cost was 20 soles EACH, that is 20 dollars for the three of us, and way too much. Luckily there were lots of people in the plaza so we hung out there. When we tried to go back to the hotel, we found that the owner was in the party, what luck, and we were locked out. Worst luck for Cesar and Wesley who were suffering for need of a toilet. Shortly another lady came who was a guest there, and she was very angry, rightly so, one cant just abandon their business! We phoned, but the owner was drunk. Well, if you cant beat them, join them right? We convinced the lady to come with us to the main square, its not good to be alone in the street at night, and we found the friends we had made in Llanguat! We hung out with them for a couple of hours until the owner agreed to come out and let us in his hotel. What great service! Might I add...to cut costs we had downgraded to a room with just one bed. 25 soles. We removed the mattress from the bed and used our suitcases to make it longer, thereby all able to fit half our body on the mattress and the other half on the suitcases...ingenious way to save money! I wish I had thought to take a picture! It was cold so we slept with jackets on as well! Yesterday we went out for natural juices mmmmm yum and took a taxi to Cajamarca...expensive, but what can you do? We got a flat tire and Cesar helped boost another car on the way. The taxi was great, he had all 80s music in English, and Abba in Spanish...wooohooo! We were in almost in Caxas when Wesley was like...hey lets go swimming! So we got out of the taxi in Banios Del Inca and went to the pool...which had a water slide! It was great, because we were disgusting with hair full of dust and having worn the same clothes almost all weekend :) While in the pool there was...drama! A grumpy old woman working there was yelling at a girl about my age for wearing a t-shirt in the pool ( you have to wear bathing suits). Apparently, the lady at the counter had told the girl she could wear the shirt if she didnt wear her bra. The grump told her she had to get out, or she´d call the police. The girl persisted. The police arrived and did...nothing. At this point the woman was in a right state and yelled at everyone to stop laughing, she said one goes to the pool to swim and relax (like we can relax when the police come in...), not to have a bath. I felt bad for the grumpy woman, she must have been having a bad day, or suffering from menopause. We returned to Cajamarca and Cesar went to do some work while I slept, and we had planned to go out but were so exhausted we ended up sleepig. And now I am 21. woo hooooo, I am old. Hopefully, we will go out later, some friends have called and invited me out for dinner later, so that should be nice!
Thanks for keeping up! love me xxxx