Peru: Lima

So begins the epic tale of my adventures in Peru… and the journey there, which began with a nice sunrise at Logan.

Sunrise at Logan airport

The trip started with an early morning flight from Logan to Miami, where I had a wonderful five hour wait. There wasn´t much to do there, aside from wander around and sleep on some of the armless chairs along the walk to Terminal E. There were plenty of impressive clouds as is probably normal in such a tropical place. Afternoon thunderstorms and showers are probably the norm, though I missed the one that particular afternoon since it happened as I was dozing.

Clouds at Miami airport

The flight to Lima was uneventful, with very little to see out the window since it was largely dark and over ocean. I filled out some forms that were mostly in spanish. I think the translations weren’t quite right, but my tiny lonely planet dictionary wasn’t quite up to helping me. Upon arrival, I was tired enough to get ripped off, paying American prices for a taxi to the hotel. I made it there safe however, and found I had an upgraded room for the night. It was late but I couldn´t resist using the spa bath before getting some sleep. The other feature of the upgrade room was an alarm clock, no other room for the rest of the trip had one.

I had the whole next day to myself, and used it to sleep in, and wander around the tourist center that is Miraflores. There were paragliders using the onshore breeze and coastal cliffs, and kids playing soccer on the beach below. Watching them play makes it quite clear why South American football teams are so good when the kids are as good as anyone I´ve seen. In the evening I met up with the rest of the tour group, and our leader Tito took us to dinner. After dinner, some Cusqueña, and Pisco sour, and then some more beer it was then end of my first day in a completely new continent. My travel buddy Michelle arrived late in the evening, and thankfully doesn’t mind that I was stil out having beers when she arrives.

Our group went to the center of Lima in the morning, catching a local bus. The local buses (colectivos) are simply vans, that are everywhere, with a guy shouting the destination out the open door as they pass. The taxis are almost exclusively old Corrolla wagons, Toyotas are very popular here. The other taxi vehicle is a little Daihatsu. Petrol ranges from USD$3-$6 a gallon, so only small cars are affordable for most people. Upon arrival at the center of town, we walked past San Martin square, and saw the bar where the first Pisco sour was apparently made. More walking took us past some old churches, and past some government center where the guard was changing under the watchful eye of yet more guards with big guns. Unfortunately the museum we were hoping to visit was closed for the day, but it was still a worthwhile excursion to see some of Lima outside Miraflores.

In the afternoon we went for lunch in the tourist mall by the beach. Good food and a great view of the ocean. After lunch we wandered along the beach again, and had an afternoon rest. In the evening we had some great avacado based food, and a drink at a nice corner cafe, at least 50 meters away from the most touristy bits.

The Lima coast in Miraflores

The next day was the real start of the trip, travelling to Puno. We flew to Juliaca via Cusco, and then went by bus to Puno. We arrived kind of late in the afternoon, so it was about time for dinner when we arrived. This was the point at which I realised I was without my wallet… probably lost when I took some photos of mountains we flew over.

Some mountains from the plane

We went and had dinner, and the time after that before bed was spent on the phone trying to cancel my AMEX and VISA. I was mostly successful, getting it all sorted by the next morning thanks to a helpful flatmate.

After breakfast it was time to head out onto Lake Titicaca. I´ll put that in next! The Lima photos are here.

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