The City of Kings - Lima Part Dos

Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
Trip End Jul 06, 2011

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Continuation Day 16 January 19th - Before I continue, those that are hoping I might be going to Cuzco and Machu Picchu will be disappointed. I've already been lucky enough to see those places already, back in 2006 as well as the National Park of Tambopata and the town of Aguas Calientes. I saw no reason to revisit those sites, but instead wanted to spend more time exploring the rest that Peru has to offer.

So at Rapa Nui airport I got chatting to Stuart (from Lima, Peru) who was on my tour the day before. He told me about his evening of returning to Anakena beach and enjoying the surf and sand till 830pm!! We agreed to share a taxi with his friend when we landed in Lima and he also agreed to take me out in Miraflores for the night! How awesome is that!!

Plane was late, no-one seems to mind in South America, I finally finished Public Enemies. I started watching a couple of summers ago but never got to finish it, well now I have, and of course some more of Franz Ferdinand while having a tiny snooze.

Landed safely in Lima and very interesting to see Stuart and his friend haggle for a taxi. Normally taxi drivers have the upper hand, but these guys were so cool. Ended up saving a fortune by sharing a taxi. Dropped his friend off in Central Lima, where his family used to own a hostel but with his mum not up to running it anymore, it is now closed. Stuart and I continued to Miraflores and we quickly found my hostel.

Hostel seemed very lively, as ever, more Australians doing their best to drink all the alcohol in South America. I had a top bunk out of 5 bunks in a room. Luckily place was empty, so grabbed a quick shower, and even practiced trying to reach the top bunk, I had visions of getting in later and not being able to climb up!! Rooms had large locked cupboards so I could squeeze in all my crap.

Met Stuart outside the Hostel and we headed for the Malecon in downtown Miraflores. I was given a guided tour on the way, where to eat, where to go, what to do, what not to do. Stuart's family is from Scotland, but he is from Peru. His Scottish name is Stuart Graham, so unexpected for meeting someone in Lima. His English was excellent, probably better than mine. We headed to a restaurant and reserved some seats then headed for the bar. He ordered my first ever Pisco Sour. I guess, I only found out days later what was in it, but it was very tasty and went down a treat. For dinner, seeing as it was so late, we shared some appetizers, and we ordered the dreaded shellfish as well as other tasty seafood assortments. How many guides have I read where it says avoid shellfish? Oh well, it was covered in Parmesan cheese, so the disguise would surely make it safe to eat. We also enjoyed a couple of Cusquena beers, been a while since I had one of those! 

I had a great evening, Stuart was awesome company, he seems to have a friend in every city in South America, as his work and travels have found him travelling all over this continent. He also has friends in London, so I told him he must travel to the London and also Glasgow to see his heritage and try some haggis!

I get back to the hostel and I feel slightly disappointed in the people there. Miraflores is beautiful city at night, plenty of places to drink, eat and hang out, but everyone was in the bar drinking. I guess people have different reasons for travelling. Seeing as I had a couple of beers, I did make it to the top bunk but neglected to get under the covers or remove my clothes.

Day 17 January 20th - I wake on my camera, and my itouch, guide book and wallet! Well, it serves me right! I have a bus at 4pm, need to check out at noon and still have Miraflores to explore so I'm out of the Hostel at 830am.

I start in Kennedy Park. A small park in the middle of town, near busy main roads, but it is full of people conversing on benches, children playing and random dogs walking around. I follow the same route Stuart and I walked last night and I'm at the complex of restaurants, bars and cinemas that have been dug into the side of a cliff. I'm trying to find my way down to the beach.

I give up with the complex and follow the roads south and eventually find a dual carriageway with a steep drop cut out of the cliff to reach the shorefront. It takes about 5 minutes to find a gap in traffic to RUN across the dual carriageway and reach the stinky shore. The smell wasn't helped with some truck removing sewage or something from the shore. Sweet. I carry on heading south, fascinated with this incredibly large and dense city situated above the cliff tops.

I find my way to a stretch of beach and sit silently for a period of time. Just people watching, wave watching and watching some old dude walk past me, drop his pants and take a leak! The day is hot, there is little to no breeze and I feel my beautiful white skin toasting again. Seeing as I missed breakfast, an early lunch is on the cards. So, I slowly make my way back up the cliffs and back to Kennedy park to a sandwich sat in outdoor seating looking over the park. My tummy is making funny noises......can't imagine what that might be!?! I start to think of the adventure ahead. A couple more stops in Peru then three countries in just over a week. I'm satisfied with the pace of my trip, I'm on a tight budget and hanging around too long in one city will reduce the precious pennies set aside for this adventure.

Back at the hostel, shower, pack and check out. I have a couple hours to kill before my 15 hour bus to Arequipa, so I relax with my bags in the hostel. They have pretty cool bean bags to sit on and it gives me time to read up on my next stop, print out a couple of things and relax.

Grab a taxi to the bus station which is situated inbetween Old Lima and Miraflores and my taxi driver starts listing English football players, so I just join in. Quite a fun game really. As expected, the bus station is manic, utterly hectic. I exchange my paper voucher for my tickets, drop off my bag and relax upstairs in a small cafe.

I board my bus and great, in front of me is Romeo and Juliet, all over each other. What makes it worse, is that Romeo looks about 70 and Juliet her late 20s. At one point they move into the front seats, two rows in front of me, but with the light fading, I can see their reflection is the window in front of them, and his hand is very much up her shirt, I imagine he lost his keys or something. From then on, my gaze was out my window to the left, or fixed firmly on the TV, Blood Diamond in Spanish with Spanish subtitles and to my surprise, Avatar with English Subtitles, Excellent! Yep, they're still kissing, oh man! Get a room!

Distance walked 2.31 miles
Temp 30 C 88 F
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