Monday 30 April

I’m still not quite sure I can believe what happened last night but I’m walking around the hostel with a stupid grin on my face.  You’d have thought Liverpool had won the league, I’d had an all night sex marathon with Zooey Deschanel and Eva Green, and red aniseed balls were on sale again at the corner store down the road.  Life felt pretty damn good.  I’ve never had so many high fives.  I felt like a varsity American football jock whose girlfriend had given him a whipped cream bikini.  It was only a kiss.

I’m starting to make plans to move on.  Although Lima has been very good to me these past few days, my liver doesn’t share the sentiment, and tomorrow is May 1st.  Just over two months to get round what else I want to see in South America before I’m Europe bound.  If I spend much more time wasting away on the couch, I’ll waste away on the couch.  As tempting as it is to stay here until the weekend, the time has come to search for new pastures.  By pastures I mean sand dunes.

Today however, is apparently Dutch queen day, or something.  I know this only because of the poster that says ‘Dutch queen day’, and the hostel bar littered with orange balloons.  I’m still tapping away on the laptop at around 11pm in my room, but within a couple of minutes of being pestered by girls to join the shenanigans, I’m once again getting out of my gourd.  Then things take a turn for the hotter.

I’ve contemplated describing what happened in great detail, staying true to my ethos of total honesty, but with the events of the passed few days coupled with my recent form, I’ve decided it best to simply deny all accusations and merely speculate as to my whereabouts and events of the next couple of hours.  This is for two reasons:

1.  Nobody likes a smug bastard
2.  I think I’m in love

Perhaps when I come to write a book about this journey I will be free to divulge as much information as I like, with no care for the consequences.  Of course nothing could have happened at all and I’m merely penning suggestive fiction; dear reader; because I have sod all to write, squeezed from the fruits of yet another messy evening.  You’ll never know.

(Incidentally that love part is poetic license).

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What angels look like

Sunday 29 April

It’s just your average hang over day coughing my lungs up, sweating out booze and wasting away watching movies from the comfort of the sofa.  The same hot sun in the same blue sky that I can just about see out the window.  The same topics of conversation by people too tired to move, cracking the same jokes, killing time until we can have the same night again.  Nothing was out of the ordinary, nothing unusual, everything in its right place.

Then she walked in.

I’ve occupied my usual corner in the TV room, tapping away on the keys, not doing anything remotely productive.  My head is raised from the screen when quite simply one of (if not the most) beautiful girls I’ve ever seen floats past wearing the kind of summer dress you see on a siren dancing in a sun kissed corn field as part of an advert to encourage tourism.  The laptop is cast aside, and as shabby and smelly as I look, I give chase to ensure my eyes have not deceived me.  They hadn’t.

I’m not ashamed to admit I turn into a stalker.  You would have too.  A friend is ending herself laughing at my attempts to check out the mystery girl with my hood up incognito.  Who is she?  How do I talk to her?  Is she talking to her boyfriend via Skype?  Why am I lurking behind a pillar?

Of course as ever when any attractive girl walks into a hostel populated with penis, it isn’t long before she’s aggressively surrounded, accosted, smothered and flirted at to within an inch of her life.  When you see a girl of this calibre however, it’s a whole new ball game.  But it isn’t mine.  I step back and watch the masses assemble at her and her friends table.  “Let the games begin” quips one.  You can play them my friend, but I’ll just tell it like it is, be myself, and see if I can obtain the unobtainable.  For most at the table, she would simply be a smoking hot girl to try to have hostel sex with.  Not for me.  Not this time.  This time I’m interested.

A few casual passing comments and I’ve ascertained her name is Ali, she’s Australian (damn) and she is every bit as beautiful close up as she is from a distance.  This is what angels look like, and looking into her incredible eyes is almost spiritual.  I’m struggling to speak, like a dentist has injected my tongue with anesthetic.  I can’t spend more than a few minutes there for fear of totally fucking it up.  I opt instead to go and see The Avengers.  My competition declines:

“Are you coming to the cinema?” I hopefully inquire.  “Errrr…naah…” he slurs back.  “I think I’ll wait it out here.”  (Wink).  You little Machiavellian bastard.  I know what you’re up to.  He’s got 90 minutes plus trailers on me to do some serious spade work.  I stick to my guns, and head into town, praying he overcooks it and peaks too early.  Hot girl or not, it’s the Avengers damnit!

The queues are too long and we can’t be bothered to wait.  It’s probably a good thing as all I’m wittering on about is this girl.  For the entire walk home, I bore my companions stupid with my anxious ramblings about how Mr Stud has probably already had her in the shower.  Twice.  It comes as welcome relief to discover he’s taken himself off the field by smoking too much weed.  Things are somehow working in my favour.

She is nowhere to be found as folk are getting ready to hit the liquor again.  I wander to their room, Dutch courage building after a couple of beers.  The door closed, I don’t want to barge in in case they’ve all gone to bed, so I enter the bathroom to the right to see from that window if their light is still on.  Yes I know it sounds creepy but I genuinely thought it was courteous.  At least until I’ve thrown the toilet door open to discover them putting make up on in the mirror.

Stammering some kind of stupid apology and beating a hasty retreat, I’ve enough time to notice she is wearing the most incredible pale lilac pencil dress.  I proceed to regale my sighting to friends, stumbling over my words at just how incredible she looks with “you thought she looked hot before; wait till you see what she’s wearing!”  I’m bitterly disappointed to discover she’s changed into jeans, and with a boozy boldness I suggest she changes back into what she was going to wear.  She then tells me it was a towel.

Somewhere in my idiotic error there is a compliment.  She’d look good in a bin liner.  The lesson learned from this is she really needs to buy herself a lilac pencil dress, and I need to get my eyes lasered.

Along with her lovely friends Sib and Courtney, the four of us stay up the whole night putting the world to rights.  They have a flight to catch to Costa Rica in the early morning, so they decide no sleep is the best option.  With no other guys around and my awkward flirting seemingly making an impression, I’m not going to miss my opportunity.  She likes Radiohead.  We dance on the bar to Idioteque.  She’s into intelligent horror films.  She’s fun.  Wonderful to talk to, with not a trace of inflated self worth.  Did I mention she has the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen?

It looks like all I’m going to get is a stunning smile and a peck on the cheek goodbye.  The other two girls have gone to pack, and I’m left to lose myself in the kind of moment you only get in movies.  She could make me do anything with one glance.  I walk away towards my room and consider myself lucky I’ve met her.  Then something takes over.  I stop.  Turn.  Walk with purpose, and with a confidence I’ve not had in a while…well…lets just say for the very first time; I’m really looking forward to Australia.  I just need to get more comfortable with having my shirt off on a beach.

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Out of burgers

Saturday 28 April

Is it possible that after so long going through a bad drought while traveling that I’m going to pull three nights in a row?  No.  Of course not.  Don’t be stupid.  My little purple patch and run of form comes to a crashing holt eating a horrible piece of chicken in a McDonald’s at 4 in the morning.  They’d run out of burgers.  How is it possible for a McDonald’s to run out of burgers?

My attempt to kiss my pretty Danish companion is met with a polite refusal.  Maybe because I had a bit of chicken stuck in my teeth.  More likely she was totally unattracted to me.  For the first time in three days I retire to bed alone.  That makes me sound like an total stud, but I’ve been trying for two months so give me a break.

In case you’re wondering what I did during the day; I can’t remember.

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Friday 27 April

My quarry from the previous evening has checked out early and is nowhere to be seen.  Must have been something I didn’t do.  In her place are two good looking English girls, who precede to ruin all my hopes by admitting they’re lesbians.  Another massive sausage fest at the hostel and the only two hot girls are gay.  My only hope is to ply them with booze and chance my arm at a three-some.

I can feel myself slipping back into the party hostel debauchery.  The Point is pretty notorious for late nights, and considering they have a chain of digs throughout Peru, I could be at this a while.  So much for my health streak and training for the Inca hike.  They also serve some decent grub, so there is little reason to leave the comfort of it’s walls if you’ve ‘done’ Lima.  I’ve not done Lima by a long stretch, but I’m hung over so leave me alone.  I’ve returned to dark territory, yet a territory I know well.

It’s all kicking off once again as the bar fills with the regulars.  Martha and Helen are teasing all the guys in the place with the obligatory demands to make out, and they’re only too happy to oblige.  It’s not until we’re being shuttled to the club in the taxi I hear this:

“Stuart; we’ve got something to tell you” the voice giggles from the back seat.

Apparently I was the only one who didn’t know.  The whole damn bar was in on the joke, the whole damn day, except for me.  I never really thought of myself as that gullible, but fair play to the girls for talking a good game, with the wool well and truly over the eyes.  I feign mock horror, convincing the two of them I’m extremely pissed off when in fact I’m obviously utterly delighted.

We’re inside a club called Help, but for once I’m not needing it.  I’m still playing the fake anger card, so Martha asks what could they do to prove they’re not lesbian.  She’s moved in close, and before I know what the hell is going on she’s kissing me.  Then I’m kissing Helen.  Now this sort of thing has never happened to me in my life, but you’d better believe I was enjoying it.  Cat with the cream.  It was boding well for the holy grail…

It transpires Helen is ‘kind of’ seeing someone back home, which basically puts the kibosh on that plan.  As I’ve made a more forward play for her, I’ve realised I’ve cock blocked myself yet again by going for the wrong one.  I’ve lost count how many times I’ve had a couple of irons in the fire, and I can’t really make my mind up which to go for.  The end of the night comes, I’ve hesitated, and then all the earlier possibilities are snogging the faces off other guys, leaving me to walk home alone with my dick in my hand.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.

With the holy grail slipping away as we’re escorted to a burger joint at my request, I munch down on what I think is beef in a roll and contemplate being a twat.  Many guys would have no problem jumping to another girl the instant they’re turned down, regardless if they’re best mates.  I tend to take issue with this, and I’ve never been very good at the so called “scatter-gun” effect.  Ask 100 girls for action, one says yes; it’s a result.  It just feels cheap, smacks of sleaze, and I can’t handle the rejection. This is why I gave up being a crap actor.

Tonight however is a different story, and in no way would I be choosing ‘second best’ if I did go for Martha.  To be honest it was practically the flip of a coin anyway, both being very attractive girls.  I wanted them both.  At the same time.  So here I go then, tossing the napkin in the bin and walking alongside her flirting shamelessly.  No shame.  Devoid of shame.  Sans shame.  I crush the rising pangs of guilt, silence the voice in my head saying “stop being a nob head” and blatantly demand to kiss her again.  “What the hell; I’m in Lima” comes the response, which results in her leaving my room sometime in the early morning.   Nothing happened.  Honest.  I know because Applebury wakes to see the eye bleeding horror that is me in full frontal nudity with not a blanket or a girl in sight.  I am my own worst enemy.

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Drunk Sex

Thursday 26 April

I’ve set aside some time today to try and work on my website, which involves copying and pasting every entry on travelpod.  That’s currently 209 posts.  In order to undertake this mammoth task a basic requirement is a fast internet and a lot of time.  Time isn’t a problem, but finding a hostel where people aren’t stealing my precious bandwidth is.  HQ Villa is littered with laptops, and people on the laptops.  One dude is actually hogging the web speed by playing World of Warcraft.  What a little bastard.  Paddy is moving on, and so must I.

So the boys on tour comes to an end.  At least for now.  Paddy jumps into the first cab and speeds away, I flag down the second and get fleeced 20 Soles.  I miss him already.  I know I should be doing my best to learn the language, but at the moment it’s useful to have a fluent speaker around just so you don’t get stiffed by the gringo tax.  I have no negotiating skills at all, so pretty much stuck with the first offer or not taking the cab in the first place.  “20” mumbles the guy when I ask him how much.  I stick my stuff in the boot, climb in, and ask again.  In the time it’s taken me to dump my gear, the price has gone up by 5 soles.  25 he unashamedly barks.  I glance at the crucifix and rosary hanging from his rear view mirror.  I wonder what he would have thought about such blatant robbery.

As usual the driver has no idea where he’s going even though he claimed he did, and we have to ask a dozen different folk before arriving at The Point hostel.  This includes a detour around the beach roads, and reversing the whole way down a very long street.  Eventually I’m handing my passport over to the extremely attractive girl behind the desk and checking in.

I can hear him before I see him, which is usually the way when it comes to Applebury.  He’s like a force of nature, blistering through rooms with gusto, pomp and circumstance.  He’s one of those guys you either love or hate, but most, including me, find themselves loving him.  We met in Medellin, Quito, and now in Lima.  Three countries, ten nights out, about to be four more.  Here we go again.

Surrounded by beautiful local girls and I end up going with a Scot.  Albeit a very attractive one.  She is staying at the hostel, but I’ve left the group to case around the massive club we’ve been brought to, hoping the kilt swish will get some attention.  Of course it does, but I’ve got to the point where I’ve had too much to drink to have coherent conversation.  A pretty girl is talking to me but my chat is slurred and brain confused.  It’s somewhere around this point that I make a bee line for the pale girl in the red dress and plant my lips on hers with no messing about.

I’ve got to the point where sex after drinking isn’t going to work.  It might, but it’ll be a horrible messy exertion of effort where I won’t give a good account of myself and pass out immediately when some kind of woeful conclusion is reached.   Consequently I’ve fallen into the habit of stammering something along the lines of “I want this to be good, so let’s wait until the morning.”  Of course by then the alcohol has worn off and drunken passion is killed because my breath is like an old sock draw full of ash.  Then there’s the condom.  Condoms and me don’t get on.  I’ve fallen out with them.  We’re not on speaking terms.  At this point though of all the things that could go wrong the problem is not having one.  No female contact whatsoever for the best part of three months and the moment the opportunity arises I can’t do anything about it, as the one aging johnny in my wash bag has gone missing.  I’m left with ruing what might have been and an inebriated fumble in the dark.  Romance isn’t dead.

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