The Lima Effect

Trip Start Jan 25, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Backpacker's Family House Lima
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, June 24, 2010

I came for four days and left 1 1/2 weeks later. It definitely isn't the most beautiful city, especially in winter, but there is an intriguing vibe, an abundance of variety and lots of good energy.......and my external hard drive died so I had to spend three days trying to fix it - however the markets, MMA and food made it all better.

A mate of mine Jose Miguel Alegria is a professional MMA fighter in Lima. I caught up with him and lined up training in his mates backyard in the mornings while I was in town. Takeshi has some serious submission wrestling skills. He was submitting me every 15 seconds - I have a lot to learn

Spent a couple of days checking out some of the markets:

- Central Market is cool. It's not a big as I thought it would be - but has a good range of seeds, nuts, dried fruits, etc. and they have good strawberries - which was very exciting.....yes, I get excited by strawberries
- I walked across the river to Rimac, and explored around there for a couple of hours. Rimac is not a very safe area, so it's worthwhile switching on while walking the streets. The local market there is small and basic. I crossed back over the river and walked through the centre to get a bus down Avenida Brasil. On a quiet street only 7-8 blocks south of the Plaza de Armas three guys tried to rob me - two approaching from the rear, and one from the opposite side of the road. They grapped my backpack and went for my pockets, one getting hold of my ipod. I was able to get free and avoid losing anything - the cops rocking up after about 20 seconds which helped. I was unprepared for the attack - a valuable lesson learnt.
- Jesus & Maria Mercado in Jesus & Maria was probably the most interesting market I went to in Lima. It's all indoors, with a good selection of fruit, veg, seeds, nuts, etc. I even saw dates - they were very dry and tasted horrible. The suburb is pretty cool also. The market is situated next to the town's plaza, and the surrounding streets have many interesting shops and local restaurants. The market prices were not very competitive though.
- Pueblo Libre Mercado is small, and only stocks the more generic produce. I got the feeling that gringos never visit this market, as locals were particularly interested in me. It's a fearly safe area - an interesting area to walk around without having to leave the camera at home.
- Mercado next to Miraflores. The banana's were cheaper here than all the other markets I visited. 1 sole for a hand (5 bananas). It's a decent size with a good range of produce. I like this market - when staying in Miraflores it's the best choice for food shopping due its close proximity and good prices.
- La Parada Mercado, is the main fresh produce market in Lima. It's like La Hermalinda in Trujillo. I was on my way out to visit this market one morning, when Christian (the owner of my hostal) asked where I was going. When I told him he pretty much said he wouldn't let me go. I bet $1000 that I would have everything stolen off me, including my clothing if I went there. Christian hasn't been to La Parada for this reason. I think it would be very interesting visiting La Parada, but you would have to be smart about how you did it. Wearing old clothing, taking literally nothing else with you, and going with at least a few locals would be wise

Ricky (a German friend I made in Huanchaco) arrived in Lima soon after I did. Went spent a couple of days exploring the city together, eating interesting foods and generally having a good time. Loes and Sigrid ('The Belgiums' from Huanchaco) were also in town briefly, on there way to Cuzco. I caught up with them, and Karen (an American volunteer from Huanchaco) for lunch and coffee. The Belgiums told me about there traumatic departure from Huanchaco - everyone crying at the hostel. Something I have to look forward to in the near future.

I went out in Barranco but picked a bad night, not getting to seeing the famous Barranco pumping nightlife. There were night food markets which sold local cuisine. The bridge and footpath down to the beach are beautiful

Once again I had a fantastic experience at Backpackers Family House. All the staff are friendly and very helpful. They have a large plasma TV, which is necessary for World Cup viewing, and there is always a good bunch of people staying there. It's not a party hostal, but the inviting common areas and friendly staff make for a good social environment

My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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