Sunday, April 12, 2009

When our R&R goes awry...

We had 4 1/2 days off this weekend for Semana Santa or Easter vacation. Wonderful! Great! Over a month ago, we decided we were going to take a road trip south and have a beach getaway. We were a little weary of the 4 hour car ride with Maximo, but that ended up being the least of our problems.
We left school at 12:45 on Wednesday, ran home, scooped up Maximo and headed south. John started driving and soon after started taking long blinks that made me nervous, so we pulled off the road and switched. After adjusting seats, baby paraphenalia and our huge bag of snacks (or entertainment for Max), we were on our way. I hadn't driven 5 km when I got pulled over. UGHHH. I'm don't want to get into the whole thing with driving and the police here in this post (I'll save that one for a rainy day), but here's an abbreviated version of what happened.
First, the police officer asked me for my identification and then commented that our car hasn't been inspected. The car inspections were canceled before they got to our number last year, I guess they started them back up again, unbeknowst to me. Then he started commenting on the dark tint on our car windows (I know we are breaking the law with this one). I was really frustrated at this point in time; I just want to get where we need to go and start vacation. At about this time, Max started to scream, which may have worked in my advantage. I tried to explain to the guy that I didn't know the inspections started again, and "What can I do now?" and then... I STARTED CRYING - in frustration, that my precious vacation was ticking away on the side of the PanAmerican Highway, because I was tired from not sleeping enough, and I just wanted him to stop jerking me around. I didn't want to play the game. If he wanted a bribe, then fine, but I didn't want to go back and forth about this. He then started to get all flustered with me crying and kept telling me to "Calm down, Senora". He then said as long as I took care of the problem as soon as I returned from my vacation, he'd let me go. I slipped him 20 soles (about $7) and we were on our way.
As soon as I drove away, I couldn't make eye contact with John. I was just crying to a cop and got out of a ticket. Did John think that was my intention? Or did he realize that I was just at my breaking point? We didn't discuss it. Maybe he didn't realize I was crying because he was tending to Max and he zoned out with the Spanish.
Anyhow, at about 5:30 we rolled into Paracas, our first time there in over two years, before the HUMUNGOUS earthquake that turned most of the beach town into rubble. We found our hotel fairly easily and walked into the reception...
"I'm sorry, there is no reservation for you."
"But, look, I paid the deposit, here's my receipt."
"Sorry, you didn't re-confirm."
"Re-confirm? No one told me I had to reconfirm. I confirmed and PAID."
This is where I totally started to lose it and started CRYING AGAIN!
"Look, we drove here four hours WITH A BABY for our vacation."
"I know that, Senora, but you didn't reconfirm. We do have a room available for tonight, but we're fully booked the rest of the weekend."
"I have the email correspondence, let me show you. Do you have internet?"
"We don't have power right now."
"No power?"
"No, and you didn't reconfirm. We do have a room for the night."
"No. Is there anything else in town? This is our vacation. We came all the way from Lima."
"You didn't reconfirm. It's a holiday weekend. There is nothing."
This is when I lost it, and started speaking in English...
"We will NOT stay here. This is ridiculous. We're traveling with a baby and you won't even attempt to help us find anything!"
John buts in and starts yelling in Spanish... $#%@#%John buts in and starts yelling in Spanish... $#%@#%John buts in and starts yelling in Spanish... $#%@#%John buts in and starts yelling in Spanish... $#%@#%$&@#$*@#(%@#$@#$*@#(%@#$@#$*@#(%@#$
Then a man walks up, from where, I don't know, and tells us there's a room at the hostal down the street.
Fine. I'll look at it.
We enter the Hostal del Piratas (Pirate Hostal). There was 1 room left only for Wednesday night. It was getting too late to head back to Lima - the PanAmerican Highway is dangerous enough during the day - it's horrific at night.
So we checked into our $22 dollar a night, clean, king-size room, then ventured out for dinner.
It was almost dusk and this was when we realized the WHOLE TOWN HAS NO POWER. We ask someone and they say it's until 8:00pm.
We have dinner at a beachside restaurant which was good - we enjoyed fresh fish and chips.
The only problem we had at dinner was the stray dogs walking on the boardwalk. Maximo is used to petting all the dogs when he goes out in the neighborhood, and couldn't understand why he couldn't go up to all the mangy dogs walking around.
It was almost pitch-black when we walked back to the hotel. Fortunately, the lights in our hotel were on and it was only 7:30... they must have been using a generator, because no one else had lights.
After it taking almost 2 hours to get Max settled down and asleep (our window opened up to the terrace with the bar - it wasn't too loud, but our room had white curtains, so it wasn't very dark), we settled in for the night...
To make a long, miserable story short, we slept no more than 2 hours due to being EATEN ALIVE by mosquitoes.
The next morning, we got up, had breakfast, went to the national reserve, which I had planned to explore each day, finding different beaches and nooks along the coast, then headed back home. Max did surprisingly well in the car, especially since our ride home took an extra hour or so due to two MAJOR accidents and a major detour because they made both sides of the highway southbound to help with traffic flow to the beaches.
So, this was how we spent our last vacation in Peru... Sigh...
Here are some pictures from our short trip.


Michelle said...

Ugh, sorry to hear your trip was such a bust. :( I hope you can salvage the weekend and enjoy your time at home.

Teresa said...


Celia said...

Reminds me of a botched trip to Iquitos. I was in desperate need of a holiday (and much closer to my breaking point than I realized!) when our plane almost touched down...but didn't. Damn fog.

I feel your pain.