Trip Start Jun 15, 2004
Trip End Jun 15, 2005

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thursday April 28th 2005
Nice flight to Lima, courtesy of Stephen, and arrive to weather that is muggy and hot, and get a cheap taxi to Miraflores, an upmarket suburb of Lima - we cant figure out why the taxi is cheaper than expected, and there is no rip off at the end - he was just a genuinely nice taxi driver.

Miraflores upon first reflection is only "OK" - Lonely Planet paints a better picture, but we find an OK hotel, and wander down to the seafront, where there is a shopping / restaurants / entertainment development that wouldnt look out of place anywhere at home, except for the major security everywhere - a Peruvian cant enter the place without having his or her bag searched.

From this development, you can look down the cliffs to the rather murky waters of the beach - looks less than enticing.

Proceed to walk through Lima a few kilometres, past the busy traffic and then catch a taxi to an upmarket shopping centre - you dont feel like your in Peru.

Friday April 29th 2005
Visited central Lima today, and the sun has broken through the cloud, so everything looks a lot better. Go to the Plaza De Armas, a nice pretty square with churches, old buildings and yellow/orange painted buildings. Walked further down to Plaza Martin, seeing Pizzaros statue (the Spaniard who first conquered Peru), and then towards the markets, where we come across some demonstrations.

Police presence is everywhere here, as well as the occassional army tank, you see water canon vehicles parked, police with riot shields all around etc. This protest was pro Fujimori, the ex president now in exile in Japan, who is running again in 2006. His previous presidency was slightly marred by the killing of protesting farmers and drug running in the presidential plane!

Markets area as ever very busy, mixed in with a Chinatown, and we then go onto see some catacombs, where 70000 bodies are buried - since rearranged in nice circles of skulls etc!

Return to Miraflores, and to a very upmarket area (security guards outside almost every apartment, and have an expensive Mexican meal that could have fed 6 people, not 2!)

Saturday 30th April 2005
Stephens last day (these two week holidaymakers!), and so spend the time in Miraflores, with Stephen being a proper tourist and buying everything possible.

He leaves at around 4pm, and so, Im alone again - quite a strange feeling

Sunday 1st May 2005
There I was, just minding my own business, hanging around the airport at 5am in the morning, and I just happened to bump into Sandy, who was on my Tasmania tour.

Back to the hotel, and I was amazed at how many people were still in cafes and bars from the night before - hundreds.

Spend the day wandering Miraflores again - though nothing of particular interest to take photos of.

Monday 2nd May 2005
Back to Central Lima, and a retour, after which we walked to the bus terminal to book our tickets to Nasca.

Whilst walking away from the terminal, a peruvian engages me in conversation, naming every english football star he could think off - and then a few seconds later Sandy´s sunglasses are stolen, whilst she was wearing them - pointless chasing after them - you dont know where they would lead you, and luckily, it was only a pair of sunglasses.

Extremely annoying to get caught though - and made us more aware of security than ever (where is that gun shop?)
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