On the journey, Oscar gave me some sage advice to avoid the discotechs and certain women, as someone with my incredible looks and physique would likely get into trouble with jealous males. Or it might have been that some women see gringos as a ticket out of here. The details escape me. We pulled up shortly after, I hauled my bags up the stairs (already out of breath) and went inside. Jamie greeted me from the desk in the office and it was a massive relief not to be on my own any more. I was given the grand tour of the office, our base of operations. It was basic, but probably to hostel standard apart from the lack of hot water, plus it had wifi and computers (henceforth the blogging!). I sat in the kitchen area and chatted with Oscar and Jamie over some good Peruvian coffee and some not so good Peruvian bread, before having a nap for a couple of hours to help myself acclimatise.
I had to get a hat for the mountains and a mobile, because the one I had brought with me was no good (damn Orange), so me and Jamie took the 10 minute stroll down into the town.
|The Office's Penthouse Suite|
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF HUARAZ - Very picturesque! Much much smaller and quieter than Lima, and although everyone speaks Spanish (and only), there are no colonial style buildings. Loads more typical Peruvian people, with tiny old women in ponchos and Indiana Jones style hats lining the streets selling grains, fruit and knitwear. Copious pan pipes and llama adorned things everywhere.
I found myself roped into buying a hat that could fold down like one of those wash baskets, and we then went to a place to eat round the corner. It had a menu in both languages! What I had was a sort of cube of mashed potato stuffed with shredded chicken and green beans. It was pretty tasty, but a little lacking. Afterwards I somehow purchased a phone that could rival Jack's in shit-ness (though it does have a torch), and we headed back towards the office, first stopping in a small bakery down the road. On one half of the shop were glorious cakes, sumptuously decorated, that looked as though they should definitely not be there. On the other half were the small bread rolls that everyone here eats, some swiss roll type things and various other cakey type products and... wait a minute that can't be right. Is that a pasty? Well technically its an "Empenada" but it is essentially a pasty, and I bought a chicken one. It was reeeeeeeally good, apart from the whole olive that I was not expecting and nearly choked on.
We headed back to the office with cake for Oscar and Janet (well, it sounds like Janet, I don't think that's actually how it's spelt but I don't know how to ask in Spanish) and I unpacked, had a beer and got to work making tags for the work on the plants we were out here for.