Heading South

Trip Start May 03, 2011
1
65
129
Trip End May 10, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hostel Kokopelli

Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population fast approaching 9 million, Lima is the fifth largest city in Latin America, behind Mexico City, São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Lima is home to one of the largest financial hubs in Latin America. Today, around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area.

We headed south to Lima on a flight from Panama City. We had almost forgotten what it was like to sit on a plane and Copa Airlines gave us a meal and free drinks which is unheard of on the budget airlines we were catching throughout Europe.

We arrived in Lima and were greeted by our taxi driver who resembled a grubbier version of Onslow from Keeping Up Appearances (dirty fingernails, dirty hair) need I say more? We got into Onslow´s cab which surprise surprise was falling apart and he took us across Lima. We gripped onto the seats for dear life as the seatbelts were bust and he drove like he had a death wish (we have now realized that this is normal driving in Peru). Lima didn´t look great on the drive from the airport but improved when we approached the MiraFlores area where our hostel was situated. In an effort to keep costs down we had booked a double room not realizing it was a double bed. This caused much drama from the girl in the hostel who had clearly led a sheltered life. We asked if there was a twin room available but as there wasn´t it didn´t matter and we would sleep head to foot. The girl kept talking about the "matrimonial" bed like we would burst into flames at any second from God´s wrath. She then proceeded in Spanish, to tell anyone that would listen that two guys were sharing a bed. The hostel was a typical party hostel full of annoying, student types who partied in the bar, literally all night. Unfortunately for us the bar was right near to the “honeymoon” suite and so not much sleep was had during our two day stay.

On our first night in Lima there was a football match being played between Peru and Chile and everyone in Lima was absolutely buzzing about this match. Everywhere was playing the match and there was a great atmosphere on the streets. Peru were losing throughout the game and the eventual score was 4 2 to Chile. In the UK this would have caused a near riot but not in Lima. Everyone still carried on partying and smiling and enjoying the game even when it became clear that there was no chance of them winning and the partying went on into the night.

The rest of our time in Lima was spent exploring the Miraflores area of the city which was right near to the coast and we also took a trip inland to the business district of Lima which had some wonderful churches and old municipal buildings.

We had a good time in Lima and this was a great introduction to Peru and we would give Lima a 7 / 10.
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