Lima turned out to just be so awfully ugly that we shortened out stay in the city to a reasonably modest hour-long meal in a chinese restaurant in one of the various bus terminals before modifying our itinerary significantly and heading north to a town called Chiclayo, Peru. We got in around 05:00, and, as we've grown accustomed to doing, waited for the sun to rise before venturing out, then took a stinky little jam-packed van about 45 minutes north to see the famous "pyramids." As it turns out, though they may have been pyramids 500 years ago, what remains may not necessarily warrant the title, and we found ourselves looking ponderously and massive heaps of very geometric crumbling mud. Yet, not even they failed to attract a crowd of senior British tourists.
So we took another van to the next significant archeological site down the road, but fairly quickly gave ourselves up as lost, flagged down another van to Lambayaque, where we headed for the museum of the Senor de Sipan. The museum, it turns out, was surprisingly legitimate, but it did some nasty work with the San Pedro I had eaten hours before. Thus, I entered a bleak and empty, yet largely expansive world, and the very dark museum with spot-lighted golden relics spread throughout transformed into a vacuum space through which I was floating from one myseteriously lit golden sculpture to another. Not to mention, a whole posse of tiny golden and ceramic, jewel-adorned figured, built as guardians of the dead, all had a story of their experiences as a tomb guard to mumble to me. Relearning the physical bounds of this new limitless world just became too shocking, so I ended up vomiting outside.
Coming back to Chiclayo, we caught a bus to the ocean (a surprisingly hard vehicle to track down... we literally met several people who could not tell us where the ocean was), and walked out onto an old train pier, marking our first steps together over the Pacific ocean (even though we'd seen if fromt he bus window the entire day before.
Climbing over the railing, I sat on a timber that jut out, an expected result of such imperfect construction, over the ocean as the sun set, and a truly indescribable peace came over me. I can't recall ever having felt that way before, and I don't ever want to forget how it was, because I can't imagine that all people alive get lucky enough to feel as I did some time or another in their lives. Maybe it was the act of getting to the sea, or realizing that we'd crossed an entire continent, coast-to-coast. Maybe it was just sensing the reality of watching the solemn sun set over the Pacific at a Peruvian that was real in a very modest way. Or maybe, it was just taking the time to realize what it is that I've been doing these past days, and how far I'd come to arrive to the rickety pier on which I was perched above the sea.
Either way, the feeling I got hinted that everything in the world was just the way it's supposed to be, and that I'd found the perfect point on the global scale to sit my tiny body down and bring balance to it all. I could have died on that spot and had nothing to be ashamed of or sorry for. That's how I'd like to be remembered, in a living, breathing photograph of me in that spot, feeling the world around me.
If they were to make a movie of my life, the very last scene before it fades to black would be that 18-year-old unshaven dirty kid with a bandana in his long hair, hanging off the edge of a broken pier, set before the fading sun over the sea.
I know, I'll chase the feeling 10 months and and a thousand miles if I have to, but when I get to the edge of the world and that indescribable feeling transcends the body, its more than worth it. I hope I never forget that sensation or those two long hours on the pier for the rest of my life.