After 9 years of yearning...

Trip Start Jul 31, 2006
Trip End Aug 24, 2006

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, August 2, 2006

As the title of this entry suggests, the idea of a Peruvian experience has been infiltrating my thoughts for the last nine years. I blame my first year university class, ARKY 205, for this craving. Ever since I encountered a picture of Machu Picchu in the required textbook, Iīve been smitten with everything that is Perú. Opportunity finally arose to make the long trip down here, and I capitalized.

I arrived in Lima early this morning... about 1:30 a.m. Fortunately I made it quickly out of customs and was able to pick up my backpack right away. Now the part I hate most about travelling is when I arrive in an alien country and am required to negotiate my way to my hotel. (I blame Bangkok for this. Having a cabbie stop in the middle of Bangkok, nowhere near my hotel, and tell me to "walk, walk, walk" was a traumatizing experience.) As a result, I made sure I had a prearranged ride to the hotel. Like a beacon of light, my name - quite literally - arose from the crowd when I exited the gate. I have never been more happy in my life to see a complete stranger. With a minor amount of fright, I made it to my hotel, ready to sleep the rest of the morning away.

Beep beep... siren siren.... rev rev...
Thatīs all I heard this morning. The volume of traffic whizzing past my room kept me from sleeping in too long. As a result, I forced myself up and decided to take Lima on.

After getting advice and maps from the front desk clerk, I decided to mosey on down to central Miraflores (which is the more affluent part of Lima). But to tell you the truth, I was so concerned about potential pickpockets, I never really took the time to take in what I was seeing. I had read enough accounts of robbery in Lima that I didnīt want to become one more victim. However, and maybe because it is Miraflores, I didnīt see one sketchy character. Everyone just went about their business.

Later that afternoon, I was picked up at my hotel for a "City Tour". Although the colonial buildings were fascinating, I havenīt been overly enthralled with Lima. Maybe itīs because I donīt actually feel like Iīm in Peru. Or maybe itīs because after so many years of wanting to come down here, Iīve built up my expectations and subsequently put Peru on a pedestal. But at this point, to me, Peru is Lima... and Lima is just another big city.

With that said, I look forward to seeing more of Peru outside of Lima. Tomorrow, I meet my GAP Adventures tour group in the evening. And then the following day, we head to Pisco that afternoon.

Hasta luego!
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