Quick family selfie with Mom, Dad, and Sean before getting into the security line (miss ya Carter!).
I’ve been awake the majority of the last 23 hours, but I made it! 0/0 would recommend an overnight travel itinerary that ends with a four-hour layover before a 5AM final connection, but I have to give the staff at Avianca props for keeping me well-fed and as comfortable as an economy flier can be.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the company I was in throughout my flights. My parents and abuelitos really amped up the scaremongering before I left (“Watch out for distraction techniques!” “Keep your purse under your jacket!” “Don’t trust anyone!”) but it quickly became clear that going into “Chicago mode” as my dad calls it, wasn’t really necessary.
On my first flight, a Colombian woman kindly informed me that the third person in the row had gotten an upgrade, so we could put our stuff in the middle and have more room to stretch out in our own seats; after my third flight, I charged my phone next to a stranger’s while she snored gently across some seats, utterly unconcerned about the prospect of having her phone stolen. Then, an older man asked me to watch his bags for a few minutes while he went to the bathroom, and my taxi driver, Raul, brought my suitcase all the way into the hostel and made sure there was someone at the check-in desk before leaving. I’ll have to remember to keep track of his card so I call him at the end of all this and tell him how my time here was.
Since getting to the hostel, aptly named Home Sweet Home for someone who is about to keel over, I’ve been able to slow down to nearly a complete stop.
I love that it’s so simple and colorful.
Maria, the hostel owner, showed me to my room, and then told me that breakfast is upstairs everyday from 7AM-9AM. Upstairs? I wondered.
Oh, wow, okay.
After breakfast, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sprint to the bathroom a few times (apparently it’s a thing that happens when you’re adjusting to altitude). But, I’m pleased to report that I’m feeling better already and have plans to explore the city after a quick power nap. I’ve got that weird post-long-haul-travel feeling going where it feels like several days have passed, when in reality this time yesterday I was still at home making last-minute preparations. So weird.
Stay tuned! First real excursion into Arequipa coming soon.