The land of the hairless dog

Trip Start Nov 05, 2009
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Trip End Apr 26, 2010


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Flag of Peru  , Lima,
Saturday, January 16, 2010

Brrrrrrrr.....crikey it was cold leaving the steamy jungle and arriving into chilly Lima but great to see Nic for the first time in 10 weeks.

We took it easy on our first night as Nic was pretty tired after a long and tiring journey but we did get to taste our first of many Pisco Sours...wow what a drink...white rum with egg white, lime and a dash of  Angostura Bitter.

On our first and only morning in Lima we headed straight into town because there was a parade passing our hotel heading for the Cathedral, accompanied by a cacophony of totally tuneless brass instruments, as seems to be the norm in South America. We had managed to time our stay to perfection and hit upon Lima's biggest annual festival! Highlights were the amazingly colourful costumes and getting my ear licked by some guy with a white sock over his head, carrying a very dead baby llama.

We also managed to cram in a visit to some ancient ruins called Huaca Pucllana, created by the Lima Culture which date back to between 200 and 700 AD. The main structure is a huge pyramid created out of adobe blocks which was used for worshiping various gods but mainly the sea god, often using human sacrifices. It was a real shame if you were female, beautiful and from the upper classes as this would be a sure sign that you were going to meet your maker before your time was due. The structures were pretty amazing in that the blocks are laid out in such a way that they are pretty much resistant to earthquakes.

As well as seeing the ruins we also got our first glimpse of the famous Peruvian Hairless dog. They were the weirdest looking creatures and unfortunately the friendliest. I say unfortunately because you didnīt really want to touch them because their skin felt so strange but as with any ugly duckling they just wanted to be loved ....:-(. They followed us the whole way around the site weeing regularly all over the ancient, crumbling bricks as they went.

On our way back to the hotel we popped into a park for a quick siesta only to find that this was no ordinary park but the home of numerous incredible fountains including a world record breaker no less. This all seems rather strange when Lima is slap bang in the middle of a dessert and therefore gets very little rain...I guess they must be trying to prove some sort of point here.

We decided to have a sit down in front of the biggest fountain and within minutes we had been surrounded by a group of kids wanting to talk to us (hard work with our crap spanish but good practice all the same). This seemed to be a signal to everyone else and we soon had a mass of people stood around us shaking our hands and wanting to chat. It is the first time in my life that I have experienced what it might be like to be famous...very surreal. We had also managed to plonk ourselves down in the perfect spot for the evening fountain show - a light, sound, laser spectacular all projected onto the fountain itself. All very 80īs....Jo you would have loved it!

I had to quickly break Nic into the squalid realities of backpacker life so we moved from Nics $40 a night hotel to a super cheap pension in an eastern block style tower block (slight concern re. earthquakes) which only cost us $8 for the room. The view across Lima was incredible so it was worth the risk of imminent collapse of the building. It was clean and very homely...in fact Iīm convinced that it was actually someones home and they had been booted out for the night as there were clothes in the wardrobe and toothbrushes in the bathroom.

We had an early start to get a taxi to the airport so headed to bed at a reasonable time only to be awoken at mid-night by fireworks. But these were no ordinary fireworks...this is South America after all....instead of an orderly, choreographed display as you would normally expect they just seemed to light the whole lot in one explosive go...I like their style!

Now on to the jungle for us.......


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