Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween in Lima

Our school had a Halloween party on Friday night.  They served ‘pisco sours’ which is a local cocktail that I’m going to be spending a lot of time investigating…just to support the local economy, of course.  We also had tiny baked potatoes and beef heart on skewers…sounds odd but it was tasty. 

So, Lima doesn’t have a city bus system.  What they do have is several minibus companies which careen recklessly through the streets, disregarding everyone’s safety, including the touts hanging out the doors incomprehensibly hollering out the bus’s destination.  This seemed like a lot of fun so yesterday, my classmate, Matilda, and I took a couple of these minibuses out to see the nearby ruins of Pachecama.  They weren’t much to see but it was a gorgeous day.

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The hairless Peruvian dog.  They live at the site and you can see what they think of the Incan gods that were worshipped here.

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There’s not much to see here as earthquakes and time have pretty much destroyed everything but it’s on the ocean and the two hour walk was great.lima 3 026

Those Incan priests had all the best views even if they did have to share with the condors.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First week in Lima

So I took a tour of Lima city this past weekend.  It was four hours and cost $28.  Kind of expensive considering that my hotel costs $25 per night and lunch is usually $2 or $3.  It did give me a quick look at the different parts of the city including the slums climbing the surrounding hills and the historic areas.        limatour 001

As with any tour, there is the obligatory museum rush through.  Found out that the oldest civilization discovered in Peru is around 5000 years old.  Every civilization has practiced human sacrifice and they cultivated the first potatoes…over three thousand varieties exist in Peru and I’ve already eaten a few.

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La Plaza de Armas is the main square and is flanked by government buildings and a huge cathedral…it’s the same layout in every Latin American town.  Got to watch the changing of the guard which was very musical but behind big thick bars and a line of riot police.

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The police presence is heavy everywhere thanks to high crime rates and the history with the Shining Path Terrorists.  Every business has iron gates that you have to be buzzed into before entering and all high end shops have a security guard, even Starbucks.

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This cool fountain in the center of the Plaza gets filled up with the local alcohol, Pisco one day a year and everyone can drink for free.

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Lovers Park, not far from my hostel holds a ‘longest kiss’ contest every Valentine’s Day.

I’ve started my Spanish classes this week and, although they’re not as good as the ones in Mexico, I’ve met some nice people and have a traveling partner for the first week or so of my trip in Peru.

Monday, October 25, 2010

First weekend in Lima



So I finally made it to Lima.  I’m staying in a cool neighbourhood called Miraflores (look at the flowers) in a hotel a block from the 80 metre high cliffs that overlook the beach.  So far, I really like Lima.  The people are friendly and it feels quite safe here. lima 005

In the main plaza, there is a book fair going on and people here seem to read a lot in the coffee shops.

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Along the paths of the main plaza park there is an exhibition raising awareness of poverty in the city.

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Look closely and you can see all the cats.  People put plates of food out for them and there are even a bunch of cat beds.

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Check out the cheap deals.  T-shirts for three dollars (they’re good t-shirts)

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I stood and watched these guys from the shopping mall high on the cliffs and then I ate some gelato….life is pretty good.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Heading out again


I’m heading back out on the road again this week.  Spent over two hundred dollars in vaccinations but I know have a ‘star trek’ quality shield around my whole body…nothing can touch me. 

First stop; Lima, Peru.  I’m staying there for two or three weeks to update my Spanish before heading out to see the rest of the country and more.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010