Simo and I arrived in Lima, Peru for the second part of our South American adventure. It was late at night when we landed and we expected the airport to be quiet and deserted, though once we got through customs it seemed as though the circus was in town – there were hundreds of people waiting, and there was cheering as the travellers arrived. There were even people on stilts – we’re not sure why but they certainly added to the carnival atmosphere.
Through the crowd we spotted a sign with Simo’s name, held aloft by our trusty driver Eddy. Eddy spoke no English, but that didn’t matter to him, and to be fair we got the gist of what he was saying, especially when we drove through a dodgy neighbourhood on the way to the hostel in Miraflores. The car in front had stalled, and some apparently dodgy looking youths loitering nearby were enough to make Eddy feel on edge and ensure our doors were locked. Later along the journey he told us in a mix of Spanish charades that it wasn’t the nicest part of Lima, and car-jackings had occurred in the past there.
Eddy soon delivered us to Miraflores Wasi – our hostel accommodation for the next two nights, and were let in after hours by Ryan, an American student who had found his way to South America and was currently working in Lima, part-time at the hostel and also teaching English somewhere locally. As it was late we jumped into bed and fell asleep for the night.
To be honest we didn’t expect much from Lima, which was just as well because firstly I had picked up a tummy bug in Colombia and didn’t feel like doing much, and secondly, Lima really didn’t seem to have too much to offer. We did venture out for lunch and dinner, where we tried our first Pisco Sour (a lemony alcoholic beverage considered to be a traditional Peruvian specialty) and when we walked into the main area of Miraflores we were honestly surprised by how modern the city was, with huge department stores and somewhat modern buildings. Miraflores is obviously a popular tourist area as there are lots of restaurants vying for your Peruvian Soles complete with the usual touts on the streets waving menus in your face and throwing broken English phrases your way just to get your attention. We even found a frozen yoghurt shop named PinkBerry, equivalent to WowCow in Darlinghurst, so we treated ourselves to some frosty delights. In the end this wasn’t my best idea, as the dairy did not go well with my tummy bug.
In the end we didn’t get up to much in Lima, preferring instead to relax at the hostel and spend time updating the blog while my tummy got better, before heading off for our next big adventure via Cusco, to Machu Picchu.