's got it all! (by MAPG)

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
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Trip End Feb 19, 2010


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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, October 31, 2009


Lima's size strucks us from the very beginning. In a normal city, the bus drops you off not far away from downtown, and you can find proper accommodation within minutes on public transport. Not in Lima. It took us two buses and almost an hour to get to Miraflores, our
destination, and that on a 11 PM traffic. Transport is offered everywhere in every kind of format. But the most popular are the mid-size buses operated by a team consisting in driver and a shouter. It's obvious what the driver does, although most of them are tamed racing drivers. As of everything else is the responsibility of the shouter. He gets people on and off the bus, remembers everyones destination, collects money from the passengers getting on, and even pays for some kind of statistics. Think that easy, try doing that in an over-crowded Lima bus on a hot day. It simply works and these buses are the backbone of the entire transportation system, serving the 8 Million big city. It simply works because it's all privately held, no state interfering with supply and demand.

The first impression about Lima, was that of a busy, noisy, dirty-La Paz-like city. But as there is a huge difference between Cuzco, Peru's cultural capital, and Sucre in Bolivia, this difference persists for the capital cities. Soon we found ourselves in the middle of a modern business / shopping district, packed with state of the art cafes and
restaurants, just minutes away from the ocean. Don't expect to search too much for the tall residential buildings along the coast, you'll find numerous. Miraflores tricks you into believing you are not in South America. The deja-vu is backed up by the prices. More on Miraflores and the surroundings where captured by para gliding GT in her 15 minutes flight right off the stunning coas. seen from 100 above sea level, Lima stretches as far as the eye can see.

I agree that not entire Lima is a mirror of Miraflores, but wait until you find the newly renovated downtown (around Plaza Major). But don't get carried away by the impeccably refurbished buildings, just blocks away you'll be in the middle of a busy market, selling everything in
any style.

Like any other large city in South America, Lima also possesses a darker side. But which city doesn't? It's more about the level of security, and in Lima we never had the shivers experienced
in Rio or Salvador de Bahia. Lima is struggling with it's Latin American heritage. It's strive to development makes us even more curios about it's shape ten years from now.
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