12-23rd October 2016
Peru is another place I am fairly ignorant too. It’s not a short list so it’s not much of a surprise. Never the less, I had heard they eat Alpaca here. If I knew what an Alpaca was I might be surprised by that. The only other nugget of information is that Machu Picchu is here. Somewhere. For some reason you have to go to Lima and then to Cuzco and then trek somewhere else to reach it. The start of an adventure for sure
## Let The Parties Begin
In both Lima and Cuzco I stayed in a Pariwana hostel. I don’t usually name them but these are exceptional. They also host awesome parties if you’re up for it. With a clean shirt and time to kill I was up for it. Our night’s out consisted of:
- Pre-gaming with a drinking competition.
- Trying not to lose our phones in a not-completely-safe area (which I did) and
- Weaving your way past all the girls who are only 16 or 17 to find yourself someone closer to our ages to dance with (which I also managed to do thankfully! Some of the other guys weren’t so successful mind you).
## You’ve Got a Secret Smile
Our biggest night out was a local club in Lima by the sea front. I was wearing shorts and there was a dress code. I didn’t have ID when they check for your ID. It wasn’t a great start. I told the guys I needed a plan. Then I saw one as clear as day. The prettiest girl outside had just arrived. I approached her and asked “how would you like to come in the club with me”. She replied “that would be great” and my arm gently went around her. I quietly explained I didn’t have ID or matched the dress code but told her not to worry and follow my lead.
The first bouncer asked for ID. I explained I didn’t have any. He didn’t smile. I then explained that we were entering together and that she did have ID. He let it go. The second bouncer wasn’t so generous. He said no. I again explained that we were together. If I gave the receptionist 50 real (I’m not sure if this is an entry fee or a no-id fee) I’d be allowed in no problems.
The receptionist stopped me once more. Looked at the bouncer and he waved us through.
I thanked her and then went to join my friends. Being the first one on the dance floor I garnered a few smiles, a few laughs and a few glances. That’s OK by me. Before long the girl’s friend came over and said the girl I came in with would like to dance with me. Fantastic. I said as much and we started to fill the dance floor up as other people then felt more comfortable too.
All went well. We moved around the dance floor, we both found other dance partners to boot and then I saw her. The most visually stunning Peruvian my eyes have ever landed on. She was a fair few meters away on the dance floor. I caught her eye. I smiled in such a way that it could only have been meant for her. As another guy approached her, she returned the smile to me.
I bade farewell to the people I was with and slowly moved toward her smiling. She parted from the gentleman who was talking to her and came my way too. We met in the middle and danced.
The dancing got closer, but I told myself this wasn’t going to be a hook up. She was stunning but looks aren’t enough to me anymore. Is that a good thing? Or just a self-composed constraint? I’m undecided. We’d hover close. Our mouths would open and almost brush before we’d take turns in pulling away. This was my test to myself. Not as powerful as David v Goliath or anything maybe but a personal tribunal. It was getting hotter and hotter but neither of us pushed it.
Then she said “why don’t we step outside”. So we did. We sat on the couches and talked. That’s when I found out she could carry a conversation. Tell a joke. Ask a meaningful question. She told me that she’s not usually attracted so much to someone. That she doesn’t normally know who to dance with. Her favourite song however is “you’ve got a secret smile” and it was smile from a few meters away that drew her in. I became more attracted to her. I pulled her closer and we cuddled and talked. Then I told her that “I need to kiss you” and she leant towards me and I leant in too.
Flying in a few hours meant nothing would come of this connection. I would just have to change my flights and see if I can pick up with this secret smile later. I’m not often so sad to be leaving a place. Today I am. Still, Machu Picchu awaits.
## The Journey to Machu Picchu
After an exhausting time climbing MP the suggested itinerary of walking back along the train tracks didn’t seem so appealing. I casually strolled to the train station hoping there was a way out which didn’t run off with too much of my money.
There was a train leaving shortly to Hydra Electica and an American and a Brazilian who were in the same boat as me. I was, again, in luck. We hopped on the train and aside from being a bit rocky, we all wished it would keep going and take us to Cuzco.
Eventually we stopped. The girls had a tour bus going back to Cuzco. Someone told me I might be able to find a tour group and pay the driver so I can hop on. I asked the girls, they said we could try it. My luck ran out. They were full and I was now in my shorts getting bitten alive by these odd bugs. I stood there for a moment unsure of what to do until the girl shouted out “what are you doing, go find a bus”. It was good timing. The next tour group I asked on the way to the bus did indeed have space. All the way back to Cuzco. Practically to the door of the hostel. All for a fraction of the cost of the train.
Now there’s nothing to do but to go find that secret smile.
Oh, and go to the best seafood restaurant I’ve ever been to.