I spent a restless final night in the United States wrought with dreams in which my carry-on pieces were too big and my cameras were confiscated by Peruvian customs. Mike the taxi driver arrived right on time and I asked him to take a few photos of me with my overweight baggage (see above). Due to a recent overweight luggage embargo in the city of Lima, I had to wear my knee-high snake boots on the plane. If you ever want to turn heads in Houston, Texas – wear snake boots. They are like lingerie for hunters. Some of my favorite comments from airport and TSA officials were “Those would go great with a mini-skirt.” and “I love a woman who is prepared for duck hunting season.” When asked by a flight attendant about the snake boots, I assumed a straight face and replied, “That movie Snakes on a Plane really freaked me out.” The joke was wasted on her, but the people behind me giggled.
I arrived in Lima on time and made it through customs without a hassle. Since that time I have been taking care of business in Lima and talking about the economy, baseball, and Michael Jackson with various taxi drivers in Spanish. These topics seem to be universally associated with the United States. I’ve found everyone to be incredibly kind and helpful and am excited to travel to Cusco in the morning to start the first leg of my journey.
Below are a few pictures from my tour of Huaca Pucllana, ruins of the Lima culture that reigned in Cusco between 200 and 700 A. D. The ruins were fascinating – they were built in a “bookshelf” style to withstand earthquakes. In the photos, I tried to capture the juxtaposition of these ancient ruins in the middle of the bustling city.