Friday, February 21, 2014

Preparing for Huacachina

Today I woke up with clogged nostrils, so I decided not to go to work.  Sickness continues to pursue me and hinder my running here.  I was also exhausted from the long week, so a few extra hours of sleep was greatly appreciated.  After I woke up I texted my friends in the clinic that I wouldn’t be in today.  After a few minutes, Katherine called me to inform me that I’d chosen the perfect day to not come to work.  When she and Michelle showed up at the clinic, the front gate was locked.  They knocked and the front guard let them in.  Apparently there was some kind of strike that I didn’t know about, so the place was only staffed for emergencies.  A few doctors, someone in the ER, some people in the sala de partos since babies just keep being born irrelative to the changes of the surrounding world.  They were told they didn’t have to be there today or tomorrow because of the strike.  It’s very strange that I heard nothing of this while I was working this week.  Apparently everyone knew to not show up to work today but didn’t tell me.  This turn of events caused us to want to leave earlier and maximize our weekend time on the coast.  We tried to see if we could catch a bus to Ica tonight, but it was impossible.  The last bus left at 5PM, which was too early for us to manage with Spanish classes and the like.  Katherine, Michelle and Rani are leaving tomorrow morning on a cheaper bus.  They’ll arrive around midnight and stay in a hostel.  I thought for a while and talked to Samir, and we decided to take an afternoon bus that was more expensive.  It was one of the 3 companies recommended to us by our families, so we know it will be good, comfortable, and safe for the journey.  The trip to Ica takes 14-18 hours depending on the bus, so comfort and safety are very important.  Samir and I will arrive at 8AM, which will be perfect for starting the day after a good night’s rest.  With the money we save for not needing a room that first night, the nicer bus that also includes a meal is only $10-15 more than the one the girls are taking.  Sounds great to me! 

I’m so excited for this trip.  We’ll visit the famous Nazca Lines, Huacachina, and perhaps the coast a bit as well.  While in Nazca, we might visit the largest sand dune in the world.  Huacachina is the home of sand boarding, which is exactly what it sounds like.  You board or ski down sand dunes instead of snow.  What a cool extreme sport!  There are also some buggy rides and whatnot in the dunes as well that we might check out.  The coast has the Islas Bellestas, which have been called a “poor man’s Galapagos Islands” in several tour guide books.  That sounds like a place I want to visit, right? 

The evening was spent figuring out tickets with Samir and working out trip details with Katherine.  While I was waiting around the plaza, one the sales people I’d seen before came up to me to try to sell some hats.  I wasn’t very interested, but she kept going.  When she started lowering the price I started listening.  I got her down to 5 soles for a hat (under $2), and I decided that it would be the purchase.  It could be good for me or as a gift, and the price was unbelievably low.  Samir and I went to the great Israeli restaurant for dinner, then I headed back home.  I need to get my rest so I’m ready for the trip!   I will warn you, the blog will probably be a little behind next week.  I won’t have anything up before Tuesday when I return, since my computer will not be joining me for this trip.  

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