Lima

Trip Start Jan 27, 2009
1
15
25
Trip End Jun 28, 2009


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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lima has some beautiful buildings, and the main square is packed in the evenings with people just sitting on steps hanging out etc. which gives it a lively air. Our hotel (which appeared ridiculously opulent to us at first glance but ended up having awful reception on the TV`s!) was in the downtown which was near to the cathedral, and various other government buildings. After a walking tour of these areas in the morning we headed to Miraflores for an afternoon. Miraflores was lovely, definitely tourist central though. The most amazing thing being the mall that is literally buit into a cliff, you walk to the end of the street look out over the ocean then look down and realise there is a mall underneath you. The effect is hard to describe but definitely impressive. 

Lunch was amazing, in South America lunch is generally the more substantial meal of the day and you can get some awesome deals on set menus. So for less than NZ $20 we had a delicious 3 course meal. It started out with a free pisco sour and unlimited passionfruit juice. Then my entre was Ceviche which is a traditional fish dish, where raw fish is marinated in citric acid (ie. lots of lime juice) along with pepper and red onion. It was amazing and really a meal in itself. Next was Churrasco a meal that included steak with tacu tacu (a yummy rice and lentil mixture) as well as a fried egg and salad. Finally finishing up with fruit salad not to mention a bulging waistline!!!

The rest of my time in Lima was spent `chilling`this meant  watching TV at the hotel then wandering the streets and hanging out at an internet cafe. It felt a little wasteful but by this time I had hit a wall in terms of energy and enthusiasm for intensive sight-seeing! I`ve found that in order to be able to enjoy yourself you occasionally need to take a day off and just blob no matter where in the world you are!!

Lima was also the place where we said a sad farewell to a number of our (by this stage) closely knit group. Sarah and Steve joining an intrepid tour for the rest of their time, while Jill and Ken were on a longer Geckos tour that went all the way through to Brazil and whose route deviated from our own. Our depleted numbers were bolstered through the addition of Natalie and another Patricia also Australians and also from Melbourne (I wonder if there is something about Melbournites and travel as all of the Aussies on our tour were either from Melbourne or living there!!). Both girls quickly finding their niche in our group but sadly leaving Terry as the sole male representative, losing his drinking buddy Ken was a sore blow but one he rallied from valiently and has consequently revealed some impressive skills on the dance floor including being accomplished at Jive dancing.

From Lima we headed to Pisco for a brief evening where the only thing of interest was the book exchange at the hostel and having a round of Pisco Sours in Pisco. Otherwise it was merely a stopover on our way to the Ballestas Islands which are known as the Mini-Galapagos, where we saw a multitude of birdlife including Pelicans. As well as passing a seal breeding ground, the stench and noise of which cannot be described in words! I attempted to take a video but I`m not sure how well it will come out. However, it was very exciting to see mother seals teaching their babies how to swim. I took hundreds of photos to document the experience, including photos of `the candalabra`an ancient sign carved into the rockface of the peninsula which has no definitive explanation but numerous theories. I saw it as a warm up for the Nasca lines which were next on our itinerary... 
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