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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

PERU

PUT ON FACEBOOK 24 HOURS AFTER ARRIVAL IN PERU

My Peruvian plans have utterly fallen to shit.  Currently regrouping and did some research.

After traveling for over 24 hours straight.  Right now, waiting 7 hours for my bus to go to Lima.  Yeah, I thought I could hit Huaraz and Trujillo enroute but I was told I am wrong.  Buses no go there.  Get on bus to Lima fat boy who not speak Spanish!

Right  now I am feeling pretty cripply (lots of pain) but working on pushing through it without freaking on the nice people who can't understand why I don't speak Spanish.  

It's looking like I'll be constantly traveling for about 48 hours with little sleep and much jolting before I reach a hostel in Lima.  

I'm looking forward to the hallucinations the most.  Maybe they'll teach me how to speak Spanish.

New truncated Peru plan looks to be Lima > Nazca (big drawings in dirt) > Cusco (maybe Manchu Pishu?) then Puno (perhaps get visa for Bolivia after much research to see if $150 is worth it.)

Wish me luck.



As I write this next part, I'm sitting in what seems to be a pretty shitty hostel and drinking medium to low grade rum.  Makes me feel a bit like Hemingway.  Aside from the talent.  Money.  Women.  Fuck it, we both drink rum.

From the bus station at Guuayaquil I stood in a very long line.  It seems that queuing is not part of the Hispanic culture.  Why nobody teaches their children to 'wait their turn' is a mystery to me.  I'm taking it as 'software not loaded into their computer'.  There was one guy hopping back and forth, helping which ever of the two lines yammered the loudest.  When my turn came I ended up paying him $20 for the $17 ticket.  I figure getting ripped off was worth it just to escape his personal hell.  At that point I felt so low, sleep deprived and stupid that McDonald's seemed like a good idea.  Paid $7 for a shitty meal though it made me feel less horrible than the stuff in the states would.  Either I was physically exhausted or they make their food from better shit.

The bus station contained the usual mix of families with squalling babies, haggard looking people and downright creepy ones.  All of these are mandatory.  If they don't show up, the buses are cancelled.  There are always weird things going on.  Like the guy carefully carrying a huge watermelon.  Who the fuck needs to take a big watermelon on the bus?  Why?  A lady wearing a scalp massager as a hair accessory.  Weird, but practical.  Lots of people in overly tight clothing that should have known better, years ago.

In all of the buses I've been on within the 'Hispanic world', two things seem omnipresent - overly loud shitty music on speakers pushed far past their tolerances and unhappy noisy babies.  Bring earplugs.  Lots of earplugs.  And a gun.

I arrived in the beachfront town of Mancora and immediately got ripped off five dollars by a taxi driver who drove me about that many blocks to a place that was completely full.  To be fair, he did warn me it was full several times but I'm use to them lying to me to get taken to the place they get kickbacks from.  Checked on another few places who weren't receiving visitors that late and wound up at an all night grocery store.  A woman with the dead eyes of an ex-hooker wanted thirty dollars (US) for a shitty room that doubled as an oven.  For thirty dollars a night I could be in the UK.  Rather be in the UK.  Why people pay that much to see cinder block and corrugated sheet metal architecture when they could be in Europe is a complete mystery to me.

I've begun thinking of Peru as the 'Paris of South America'.  In other words, if you don't speak Spanish you can well fuck off.  An expat told me this is because Peruvians are shy speaking to gringos.  Don't know if this is true but so far they speak the least English of all the countries I've been to south of Mexico.  And seem the least willing to work with you to figure out what you are saying.  Hell, they do the same thing in a lot of Russian speaking countries.   Not speaking English is fine - it's my fault for not speaking Spanish but being unwilling to put forth a little extra effort to help fellow humans?  Not cool.

Haven't been able to find what I call 'value for money'.  Looking around I keep thinking "How the fuck can they charge this much for this?  Hell I could pay the same to see Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania and it is more nifty.  I don't get it.

I booked a bus all the way to Lima.  For those at home (ie geographically challenged USA residents) it means I've skipped about half the country so far.   After a fun filled seven hour layover I got to go from the beach town all the way to Lima on a fifteen hour ride or so.  I splurged and went for the 'super delux' model at 150 sol (about $50) instead of the standard 90 sol ($30) one hoping not to have any babies in my compartment.

Damned if there wasn't one in the same row.  Does the government subsidize them?  It could have been my fault the babies were crying.  I smelled fantastic.

After hour 30 of straight traveling, I started to develop facial ticks.  No idea why nor when the hallucinations would start.  Sadly, they didn't.

Eventually, I made it to Lima.  Got some research done.  Wow, Lima sucks for prices.  I'm not sure why there are some countries where lodging is more expensive in the capital and others where it is much cheaper in the capital.  This is a country where it is more expensive.

A bed in the dorm was $10 per night.  I'm not sure how that price was come up with but in most places in the world, that's about what it ends up costing you.  If you are in expensive countries it goes up to say $15 or $20.  Cheap countries, down to say half.  But ten is the average.  Be advised, you will probably get roomed with someone who snores and doesn't like to wash.  It's just how it usually is.  Take precautions such as (again) earplugs.  Or you can be like Logan and just pass out from the pain of the last 48 hours of constant travel.

Before passing out at the hostel equivalent of the 'high density feed lot', I requested the people get me onto a bus to Nasca.  After 70 sol, they did.  It's another seven hours but it is further south toward Bolivia.

I need to research a bit more on Bolivia.  Sure, I've been told it is super cheap but I get lied to more than a private detective in 1930's films.  Oh yes Logan!  It is cheap!  After going where ever they'd said I retort that a fifty dollar room isn't cheap and inevitably get either "The price must have gone up since I've been there" or "It's not?"  Note:  From my Romanian friends, I've gotten nothing but good advice so far.  Not sure what special Romanian super powers allow them to do this.  All of the countries in South America need more research.  Afterward, is South Africa possible?    I've been told South Africa is cheap...  It would be nice to have a big culture change.

Note, I finally made it to Nasca.  Rather than boring everyone with the minutia, lets just say it was a hell ride (ala Zelazny) and thus far I remain underwhelmed with Peru.  It's a 'why the fuck was I forced to leave Ecuador' type of place.  I'm going to explore around some to see if I can find stuff I like.  If not, it's Cusco, Puno then to the border town of Desaguadero to enter Bolivia.  They say I may (or not) need a 'yellow fever' vaccination to enter.  I'm going to look in to that once I settle.



TRAVELER'S TIP

For international travel, thus far Paypal seems to be kicking my bank's ass.  You can transfer money for free into your Paypal.  Unlike my bank which ends up charging me $15-$20 per transaction, Paypal seems to charge 1/10th of that.

If you're going to travel, get a free paypal card and put some money into the account.  It may charge less than your current bank.  Even if it doesn't it's another credit card for ATM's in case everything goes to shit and one credit card gets stolen.


MUSINGS

My buddy Travis shared with me an article that said some British guy visited 'all 201' countries.  If that is the current count, it puts me at 1/5th of the world done.  Even though this guy some how visited all of them on a $100 per week budget, I can't manage that.  Hell, my medicines to keep me alive may cost that.  But I'll visit what I can.  Especially since there are no other planets cheap to visit.  Sad.



HEROIC CTHULHU

For those who don't know about table top roleplaying games, here is the wiki on them.

Yes.  I am still thinking about it.  Based on more real world experiences than I can shake a stick at...  What a stupid saying.  Anyway, here are my thoughts for languages:

<=  5%  Greetings!  That's about it.
<=  10%  Farewells.
<=  20%  Various polite expressions.
<=  30%  You can request various simple things, some counting.
<=  40%  You can understand the answers people give you if they keep it simple.
<=  50%  You are up to being able to speak very basic phrases with some pantomime.
<=  60%  Basic conversation.  If people use large words, speak quickly or have a dialect difference you are quickly left behind.
<=  70%  You don't get left behind very often.
<=  80%  You don't get lost and can identify regional dialects.
<=  90%  People think you are a native speaker most of the time - or at least grew up speaking the language.
<=  100%  Totally fluent.  Anything beyond this you are just showing off.

Also with the HC system, contemplating having just a certain amount of skill dolled out.  As long as there are no charts during combat everything is fine.  This means having non-combat charts is acceptable.  Being able to raise skills by certain amounts (more for low skills, much less for high ones) may be better than 'lets see how many skills I can get checks in this game session'.

Should 'Logan's grand adventure' ever end and I'm stuck somewhere (probably due to health reasons - it is decreasing) I need to figure out a way to monetize the recordings.  Maybe iTunes and charge for some of it some small amount.  I don't need much to live somewhere.  If I'm able to make enough, I might be able to live somewhere there are gamers.  That would be a treat.



PHILOSOPHY

Why is "YOLO" only used when people are discussing doing things that are either stupid or selfish rather than grand or altruistic?  My guess, entitlement.



COSTS

660 ml water, 1.5 sol

2 comments:

  1. Logan, why don't you consider taking a break for a bit...
    Come chill in the Keys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What? The Florida Keys? For how long? You offering to host and feed me? (Can't afford the USA you know...)

      Delete

PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan | Portugal: Faro

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