Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lima, Peru 11-14 Nov 2011

Desert all the way from Piura to Lima
We arrived in Lima the capital city of Peru after 15 hours of bus ride, the first noticeable thing in Peru is  that the country is very dirty, there are rubbish all along the highway from Piura to Lima and there are lots of houses that are made of just straws or bamboo along the road. It reminds me of India but not as bad as India.

We arrived in the morning at 7am, we can’t go to the couchsurfer house as she has left to work, so we left our luggage at the terminal and went for a tour to the central of Lima. After finding a map of the town we headed to the central, it is still dirty even in the capital city, we can smell urine along the walk way, it is quiet disgusting. We were surprised by the buildings here which look similar to European. We visited the big park near to the terminal first to find ourselves a map then we went to explore the town, first the Blue church, then Plaza San Martin where there are lots of book stalls, walked along the shopping street to arrive to Cathedral de Lima and The Palace, finally at around 3pm we decided to go to the couchsurfer house. We were both tired from 2 days and nights of travelling and no shower.

Marianna whom Francois couchsurfed in Canada has moved to Lima, here she agreed to host both of us for the weekend. On the weekend, she invited us to join her for a manifestation where they protest about the fact that women in Lima often get verbal abuse by men on the street and treated like they are prostitute. They demand for more respect or to be left alone. We walked for about 20 blocks with the group, they shout, cheer, play music and distribute notice to people on the street. It was a peaceful manifestation. It was a new experience for me.
Marianna brought us to a popular place for lunch, it serves pescado cerviche, basically fresh fish marinated with lime and sea food dishes. I had fried seafood with fried rice, ummm it tasted great! After lunch we went walking along Barranco area and the sea side, it looks like Miami to me, beach front condos with sea view, nice parks and walk way for runners, cyclers and blading, pretty much an upscale area for the rich. The weather here can be extremely cold even tho it is at sea level, the wind from the Pacific Ocean always brings cold breeze to Lima and the city never had much rain.

On Monday, I went to the Bolivia embassy to check if I can get my visa process before leaveing to Huaraz, I called them on Friday, the guy told me to come and just bring my passport. Sounds a bit too easy, obviously! When I arrived a lady told me I need to provide them with my itinerary to Bolivia, proof of transport to and out of Bolivia, latest bank account statement, hotel reservation, photo and passport! Sucks! I can’t provide them anything but my passport so nothing was done. I asked them if I could do it at the border town of Bolivia at Puno and if I could get it in a day. She said yes. So I leave the Visa thing for the end of the Peru trip.
We spent a great weekend at Lima, Marianna was a great host and a friend. We left to Huaraz at 9pm on a 8 hours Executive bus, the bus was really comfortable with 3 large seats per row.  I was hoping to have some good sleep in the bus the chill kept me awake. :-(

Lima - Couchsurfing

Taxi from IItsa Terminal to Couchsurfer house – S10
Metropolitan bus ride – S1.5
Bus from Lima to Huaraz – S45 (Executive)


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