Cycling Day Two: Arequipa
The van brought us further out into the countryside and we cycled around small villages, up some killer hills and some slow, steady inclined as well. We covered about 10 miles and reached an altitude of 2900 meters. Whoa, that's high!
I think I'm adjusting to the altitude alright so far. Tomorrow we head out to Colca Canyon, reaching an altitude of 4800 meters.
We arrived in Lima after a long day of travel. Jet Blue actually canceled our first flight (from Newark to Fort Lauderdale) but they were able to get us on a flight at JFK so we could still make our connecting flight to Lima. We were shuttled off to JFK via Lyft. JFK is a cluster. I remembered why I don't ever fly out of that airport.
We made it into Lima and to our accommodation in the Barranco neighborhood just before 1 AM.
We slept well and we slept in. After we dined on the meager breakfast provided at our hostel, we headed out walking to explore the neighborhood. On our way to the ATM we happened upon a free walking tour and decided to join. Along the way we stopped at el Pointe de Suspiros, the Bridge of Sighs. Legend says that if you hold your breath while walking over the bridge you get to make a wish once you reach the other side. The tour concluded with the tasting of the national drink, a Pisco sour, (but of course I did not partake).
Barranco is a manageable neighborhood with many places to eat, drink and dance. To my dismay, there are also (several) Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. Traffic is crazy bad in Lima and Barranco is no exception so we enjoyed wandering on foot.
On Thursday we took the local tram car into the city center and checked out the catacombs at the San Francisco Church. Sadly, I wasn't allowed to photograph the many piles of human skulls and femurs we saw there.
In the evening, my goal was to get to an AA meeting and then go dancing at one of the 4 gay clubs in the city. I arrived at the meeting a few minutes late because the cab driver dropped us off at the wrong church so we had to run a few blocks to get to the correct location. However, once at the correct church there was no answer on the big brown door. First mission failed. It was only 7pm and the homo club didn't open until 11... consequently mission number two failed as well because I didn't have enough mojo to stay out until then.
Work is out for the summer, and I should be elated. However, I am not feeling the freedom part of my vacation time yet. Bag disasters, plantar fasciitis flare-ups and a minor car crash lead to a full on anxiety attack. On Saturday, some guy backed into my car while attempting an illegal u-turn, even though I was laying on my horn. He smashed my headlight and bumper, but I was not hurt. (Just one more thing to take care of before I leave the country for six weeks.)
Saturday was the NYC Dyke March, my favorite yearly protest. This year, I decided to step it up a notch and be trained as a marshal, (and I convinced my pal Elvis to join in the marshal fun). Despite the car crash, I made it to the train and to the march on time to sign in and receive my official tee-shirt.
It was the perfect day for the march, not too hot or humid and it didn't pour like previous years. (Pictures posted below.) After the march and shenanigans I made my journey home. By the time I arrived home, my plantar fasciitis had flared up so badly that I limped up the back steps to my apartment. I wasn't prepared for the site when I pulled off my socks and shoes. My foot was so swollen and puffed up that I had no arch, and no visible lines on the bottom of my foot.
I spent Monday running around like a loon, getting estimates on the damage to my car ($1200), visiting the chiropractor to rehab my foot, and doing last minute things. Tuesday evening is here, my bags are packed, my checklist is completed and I am as ready as I am going to be. Our flight leaves for Fort Lauderdale at 8 in the morning, with a layover before we arrive in Peru tomorrow night. Whooooooo-hooooo, ready or not, here I go.
I have 2 months to get ready for Peru! We will be cycling a circuit that runs from Arrequipa to Cusco. I have only begun my training... My biggest ride so far has been 20 miles. This weekend, the biggest yet: 44 miles. We will be riding on the Henry Hudson Trail, it runs from Freehold, NJ to Atlantic Highlands. I hope there is ice cream involved in this adventure.
Hi, I'm Reverend J, a queer+ sober wanderer, activist, writer and ordained minister.