Lima > Pacullpa

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Apr 03, 2011

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lima to Pacullpa
Arriving in Lima in the evening, we went for Sushi in a posh restaurant. I had tried this increasingly popular delicacy time and time again, never really liking it but always being told that I had to try it in a proper restaurant I can now officially say that I don't like sushi.
The first full day of Lima was spent walking around the very nice district of Miraflores, searching for Stieg Larrson books. Miraflores is one of the richer neighbourhoods of Lima with beautiful squares and streets. There is a shopping mall that is on a cliff, overlooking one of the beaches and full of many western stores that we had not seen in a long time. After a successful day of laundry, booking bus tickets and book hunting, and general walking a celebratory Starbucks was in order to congratulate our productive day. In the evening we decided to venture to some of the less touristy nightclubs in Barranco where we were either stared at for being gringos or for our atrocious dancing. Whilst we were walking down one of the streets a car burst into flames right next to us. It was a bizarre moment as suddenly people infront of us start pointing and shouting and then running away.
The second day was spent going into the centre of town, passing the poorer downtown neighbourhoods on the way. You could spend the whole time in Miraflores thinking that was Lima, but it's always good to see the real city. Arriving in the centre I visited the highly reviewed Museum de Inquisition, which used to be the Spanish Inquisition's headquarters in Lima. I have to say after it being the one thing I wanted to do, I was disappointed with it. Although you can't blame them for not having a tour guide in English, there wasn't much to see apart from dummies in various torture equipment and you didn't get a feel for it because there was nothing else to add atmosphere. After a walk in the Plaza de Armas we stumbled into another free tour, this time for the Mayors Palace (overlooking the main Plaza). Here we were separated as an English group and were told facts such as the Inquisition publicly executed people in the Plaza. Leaving the centre there was a wedding with a military band and parade.That evening I chose to go for a chinese, and it was a good choice! The food was excellent and the portions were huge -  the massive plate being piled high and twice the size of your standard wok!! As we were eating some kids broke in through the side of the restaurant and started asking people for money. They could have only been about 5 and found it fun running away from the waiters as they tried to throw them out. It was a stark contrast between our plates piled high – more than we could ever eat in one sitting and the children begging.It was our last night in Lima and so we visited more clubs, getting back at 6am. Little did we know that this was that last thing to go right for some time.
I woke up early at 9, and took the time to get ready for our 20 hr bus journey to Pacullpa. It was a hot day and so was wearing loose trousers and a t-shirt – however it didn't take long to sweat through them. Arriving at the bus station for 1pm, we waited an hour for our loosely worded cama (posh) bus. The bus had reclining seats with the chair infront  reclining all the way into my knees and my chair reclining at will. We were given constipation-designed food for lunch – however no dinner.As we left Lima through the poor northern area and travelled through the mountains we were stuck behind many arctic lorries and overtook a few of them on blind corners. All this was in vein though as we suffered an approx 6hr traffic jam leading us up to midnight. As we settled down to sleep for the night with cold air blowing against my sweated t-shirt I suddenly realised that I had been an idiot and not taken a jumper with me. After freezing for several hours and even resorting to putting a book under my t-shirt for warmth, I gave up on sleep until sunrise where I slept for a few hours in the morning.After waking and passing beautiful forest and jungle terrain the bus stopped for the second time, this time queueing in a local village. We found that the reason for this queue was that the president of Peru was opening some grand waterworks or something and that we could get off the bus and watch from afar. We watched from the clifftops near the village with some villagers and mitary snipers. We finally arrived in Pacullpa after 27hrs on the bus.
After arriving at Pacullpa so late in the day, we had to now look for a boat to Iquitos for the following day and so went straight to the docks. Going to one boat and speaking to the captain it looked like the price was 120 solace for a hammock space in the only shared space. Leaving the boat and walking back through the muddy dock we startled a pack of dogs which started barking, One of the dogs even bit the back of my knee. Thankfully the dockers came to the rescue and got the dogs away (I've had my pre-rabies, however I don't think further treatment was needed as the dog wasn't foaming at the mouth and the bite never actually punctured my trousers let along the skin – I think it was more of a warning bite). 
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