Eventually I did go out, however, and I really stayed out – I don´t know where the time went but I only got back to the hostel at about 8 o´clock. As for what I did with that time, well I´m not really sure – I spent a bit of time walking around getting pictures of stuff as it was my last chance: the plaza with all the horrid pigeons that are encouraged by the people selling grain to little kids so they could feed them; the cobbled streets and market stalls; the witches market with the creepy-as-hell llama foetuses (apparently if you buy a new house you should bury one under it to give you good luck). It was very enjoyable, and I´m so impressed that my camera has managed not to run out of battery yet considering that it has been charged only twice in the whole of 7 weeks. Yay Nikon.
Other than that I naturally spent hour upon hour searching for things to spend my money on (having got more money out from my debit card, oopsy) and being much too picky and much too stingy as usual. I´m very happy with my purchases anyway, though I sort of wish I had bought more (but at the same time there´s no point buying things for the sake of it – it´s a very circular argument). I have no idea how I managed to spend sooooo much time on the simple task of shopping, and by the end I was definitely sick of going round and round the same few streets, embarrassing myself by going back into shops that I´d already been into and refused the prices, weighing up the pros and cons of merchandise that was almost exactly the same in every place. It was tough, man.
At last I decided enough was enough, and headed back hostel-wards, figuring I´d pick up something for dinner on the way. Once again it took me ages to decide – lunch is always easy because there´s a market with a whole section of cafes doing soup and a main dish, but these are all closed by dinner time: in the end I wandered down the street a bit further and found a whole load of street food vendors, so ended up having a very satisfactory 50p dinner of a whole plate of pasta with meat, veg and potatoes – man I´m going to miss it here. Once I got back I spent a good amount of time rearranging things so that I could fit all my shiny new purchases into my bag. I have to say it was a struggle. Also I have discovered a small rip in my rucksack: finally some proof of the amount of use I´ve got out of it. Hooray!
So I´ve had the last supper, I´ve drank my last cup of coca tea (and given away the very large amount of coca leaves I had left, making the security guard very happy I think), I´ve packed my bag and I´m pretty much ready to be back home in sunny England.
My flight is at 3 in the morning so I have a lot of waiting around between now and then. It doesn´t quite feel real that I´m going home, and the thought of spending 36 hours travelling to get there is really not all that appealing right now. It´s got to the stage where I either want to stay here longer, or just be back already. Wish me luck, and let´s hope my baggage manages to get through the 3 different flight changes I´ll be having to make. Good Lord.
Goodbye South America. I will definitely miss you when I´m gone.