Here I am in a mountain town in the Andes. Snow-capped peaks skirt the dusty town center, which is humble, and grew on me pretty fast. The effects of the altitude, though not as high as Cusco, are definitely noticeable. I am staying in a 15 sole a night hostel, which doesn´t include breakfast, but does include a private room. It´s been great to recharge. Tonight I´m going out to a bar called 13 buhos (13 owls) which should be a good time. It´s been awhile since I´ve gone out dancing, and the last time I went out I went alone, and ended up finding amazing people. People keep telling me how freeing it is to travel by yourself, and sometimes I can´t help but feel more lonely than free, but I am reminding myself of how blessed I am. People also tell me about wearing my money belt, and being careful as not to get harrassed, robbed, ripped off, taken in or taken out. I am definitely practicing, living, and learning discernment and good judgment, but I am also practicing some other things. Like trust, and having faith in humanity. It´s worked out for me so far, to be a safe, smart, trusting traveler. I listen to my body, which is pretty smart, although incidentally in high-altitude towns if you tell me to ¨trust my gut¨ I will burst out in laughter and then I might burst out in something else entirely. :)
I get more comments and whistles on the streets here than I did in Cusco. Maybe this is because in Cusco there were more grings to choose from, and my ratio was better, or maybe this is a sign of what´s to come further north. I´m not sure, but we´ll see. So far the dudes have been using a combination of blanca, flaca, and chica. The first couple of times I just breathe and walk on by, but by the fifth old creepy dude, I am silent and scowling. Overall the people here in Huaraz have been super nice and helpful. It´s so funny to me that now I am always classifying people and their behavior, attitude, etc. with where they are from, much more-so than I would do in the states. From an anthropological standpoint, how much does where we are from shape us? What about the culture of where we are from? The lifestyles and the customs.
Stayed in a lovely hostel in Miraflores, Lima. It was super-comfortable, the owners and staff were fun and friendly, and they had a clean equipped kitchen, two computers with internet, two tvs with cable, hot-ish water, couches, and breakfast that included a fruit of your choice! I keep toying with the idea of opening a hostel. It would be fun, and challenging, and you would get to meet people from all over and be a part of their journey. I keep thinking my mother hen self would thrive in this situation, where I could give people advice and answer their questions about their travels. I am also becoming a hostel expert. I would have lots of hooks in the bathrooms (so your clothes don´t get soaked) and a bountiful book exchange. I would have a patio and a guitar and a breakfast with a little somethin´more than bread and jam. It could, one day, be sweet.
We´ll see. I´m off to take pictures of the mountain sunset and find dinner. I hope this finds you enjoying your summer, wherever you are!