The city where it never rains!

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Apr 12, 2011

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday 8th
We left gorgeous Cusco and flew to Lima, finally back to sea level.  Our arrival marks the imminent end of our "Coast to Coast" Gecko tour. After lunch Alan and I opted to do the Lima bike tour.  We were picked up and taken to the top of a bald hill overlooking the sea and the city. We tested our riding skills going downhill on the loose dusty road.  I was a bit nervous since the last time I rode a bike was probably the sight-seeing bike tour I did in Paris in 2003!! So I was a bit slow and wobbly to start with but soon got into the groove.  From a lookout we could see a distinct cloud reaching out from the sea coming over the city and then disappearing, quite strange. Apparently it's almost always there AND it never rains in this city!  But it can get to 100% humidity!  We continued down to the coast and followed the road along the cliffs. We stopped at a few parks and the MiraFlores area shopping centre which had outdoor escalators.... because they can!  It was good to get my legs working on the bike as they are still quite sore from the Inca Trail.  At dinner Alan and I shared plates of Ceviche Fish and the Peruvian version of Paella.  Ceviche is raw fish and cooked prawns and octopus marinated in citrus and it was divine!  I will have to find a Peruvian restaurant in Melbourne!
Saturday 9th
We all went on a boat tour today which turned out a little different to our expectations.  We were thinking island beaches and sunbaking but we never actually landed on any island at all, just went past them!  They were steep and arid anyway.  The highlight was getting to the sea lion colony, after we got lost and eventually found our way through the fog (that cloud that I was talking about).  The sea lions were so cute and funny.  They were curious and wanted to play with us.  Only Alan and I from our crew wanted to get into the water with them, so we got wetsuits and huge life-jackets and then plunged into the surprisingly cold water.  I was soon distracted by sea lions right in my face.  I loved it!  They came right up to us, grunting and leaping about. Fantastic!  I didn't stop grinning.  They were like puppy dogs wanting to play and interact with ME!  Such a pleasure. 
For dinner, Ciro took us to MiraFlores and we chose an el fresco restaurant.  It was a beautiful mild night.  A great day!
Sunday 10th
We had our final meal with Ciro at breakfast, which was officially the end of our tour, saying warm goodbyes to our wonderful guide.  I wanted to go shopping but it is Sunday and Election day in Peru!  All the shops were shut.  Sally, Dean, Alisha and myself decided to go to MiraFlores to go to the shopping malls there, hoping they would be open.  Alan was busy organising his tour to the Nazca Lines.  On arrival, the shops were shut! so we had a coffee and strolled down to the seaside arcade.  We ate lunch and were served Pisco Sours in coffee cups because it's election day and alcohol is banned. We played some arcade games (Sally and Dean smashed Alisha and I at air-hockey) then we wandered back to the main city centre, where the malls were finally open.  I bought a hoodie and a pair of jeans.  Back at the hotel, I packed my bags to go home and managed to stuff those jeans in!! The other Gecko tour turned up at our hotel so they decided to come out for dinner with us.  While we waited for them we had some Pisco Sour starters in the hotel Bar, where they were actually invented!  They're so tangy and sweet and sour and delicious!  Then I had more Pisco Sours at dinner, so by the time I got back to the hotel and got picked up by my airport transfer I was slightly SLOSHED!   I gave everyone hugs and rushed out minus my mobile phone which was charging.  Somehow I remembered it when I got into my taxi and had to rush back and get it and say goodbye all over again. 
So this is it, time to go home.  I'm pretty excited! 

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