May 13:  Lima

Got up at noon, but I don't know if I slept at all.  Typical 1st-night adrenaline.  Outside my room I heard a mourning dove that was doing the call wrong.  Where did I hear this before?

In the lobby I checked the G Adventures board and saw the names of my soon-to-be new BFFs.  But there are only 7 people in the group!?  I thought it was sold out at 16.  But I also remember something about this tour being a combination of tours, so maybe we're joining up with other people later.  And we're not leaving till 8:30am tomorrow!  The instructions said departure could be as early as 4am.  Nice break there.  Initial meeting is at 6pm, so I went out for some limited sightseeing.

Yep, the first photo on my trip is of dog poop.  They still have white dog poop in South America.

I thought it was mildly humorous that the center of social activity (Parque Kennedy) has a palachinke restaurant across the street, because it reminded me of Palacinke Square in Budva.

There's free Wi-Fi in the park!  I spent some time on the Internet.  Donald "Duck" Dunn is dead!  That's the Ronald Reagan or 9-11 tragedy of this trip.  Got into a Facebook discussion about the quality of the girls down here.  No, the fact that they speak a language other than English does not make them more likely to be attractive.  Non-travellers have a misconception.  When I'm in a foreign city and my eyes are instinctively darting around looking for hotties, they always bypass the locals and fall on the white tourist girls.  Actually the same goes for Hollywood Blvd.  Serbia was the exception.

What the hell?  Lima has a Dunkin' Donuts and LA does not?  Or maybe there is one somewhere in the LA area.  Whenever this comes up someone has a vague knowledge of one in Long Beach or Redondo.  But not within driving distance.

The only thing I wanted to find in Lima was the hotel where Joran van der Sloot killed that girl, and I had the directions, but there was no hotel anywhere near where it should have been.  His defense probably should have pointed out that the scene of the so-called crime is not a real place.  This would have hurt the prosecution's case greatly.

On the way back to the hotel I got an Inca Kola.  It really does taste like bubblegum.  I was getting hungry at this point (no food since the plane last night) but it was 3:30pm already so I figured I'd wait till dinner.

Back at the hotel, I rested a bit and watched Beavis and Butt-head with Spanish subtitles.  "Perro" means "bitch", I learned.

At 6pm we had our meeting.  Met Kelly from Winnipeg, Alex from the UK, Dusan and Zvez from Australia, and Miro the G Adventures rep, who wasn't our tour leader but was just there to give introductory info.  We (including Debbie and Roger who were getting into Lima later) would indeed be joining up with 9 more people in Cuzco, so it would be a full group.  But 11 of us would be doing the Inca Trail, and the other 5 doing the Lares Trek because they booked too late to get the Inca Trail permits.  I was the only one continuing into the jungle after that part of the tour.  Miro said there are campsites and toilets along the trail.  Now I'm disappointed--I thought it was more rustic than that.  I asked him why my tour is called "Amazon to the Andes" when I'm going to the Andes first and then the Amazon.  He didn't know, but he's wondered it before.  Maybe it's because things are backwards in the Southern Hemisphere.  That could explain why Al Snow (of the aforementioned Lima, Ohio) had entrance music best enjoyed in reverse.

Since the group wasn't really together yet, we didn't have our traditional 1st-night dinner.  I just went out with Kelly and Alex to El Parquetito next to the park for garlic shrimp (2nd day in a row) and two pisco sours.  Afterward we stopped in a bar, where I had 3 "choppes".  Not sure what the term means exactly, but it was 3 large beers.  Found out Kelly's a lawyer, so she's my type.  Ha!

Back to the hotel at 12am.