January 10, 2006

Discovering Lima - Part Dos

Well, I´ve stayed a bit longer in Lima than originally anticipated! What was going to be 2 nights has turned into four, partly out of necessity, but also as I began to feel a bit more familiar with my surroundings, I thought it might be nice to stay on.
Lima is a beautiful city, and it´s a bit depressing to see how poor its inhabitants are. The highlight for me was probably visiting the Fransiscan church and catacombs. It´s not in use by the friars anymore, which is a pity. One interesting thing that our guide pointed out to us were the bends in the walls. He explained that because Lima often experiences earthquakes, many of the buildings are constructed from adoebe, which doesnt fall under pressue, but bends.
Today, I walked to the San Isidro district - I tried Ceviche, which is a local delicacy, and it was delicious. I was a bit iffy about eating raw fish, particularly with all the food and water warnings for tourists, but it hasnt had any bad effect hours later. Because I walked an 8 mile round trip today, I got roasted. Well, my arms did anyway. Wont be forgettnig my sunblock again! It´s typical, the day before I have to haul a 75 litre ruckscak around, my shoulders get fried!
It´s now about 8 oclock at night here. Although it´s the summer, it gets dark quite early here, and darkness descends very quickly. The sunsets are amazing. This evening I stood in the PArc dAmor at the top of Miraflores and watched the sun, a giant ball of fire, sizzle into the sea. The colours that it left in the sky were so beautiful, and of course my camera has run out of battery!
It really hits you how lucky you are when you visit a city like Lima. We are so educated at home - I suppose sometimes we think we´re not because we are constantly comparing ourselves to our peers, but when you come face to face with the people here, you realise how different your life is. And they treat you like you are royalty because they just see a giant ambulant dollar sign (with very sunburnt arms ) . You pass little orphans on the street who look so miserable and you´re afraid to pull our your wallet in case it invites an avalanche of little Peruvian waifs al with their hands out.
Have a touch of a sore throat today, so I went to a pharmacy first thing this morning to try and nip it in the bud. I didnt really know how to ask for lozenges in Spanish, but whatever I did say, I sent the pharmacist and the cashier into hysterics. I probably asked for spermicidal cream or something, by accident!! Hehe
Well, its back to the hostel now, to re-pack, charge my various pieces of equipment, (naturally, the plugs in the room dont work!) and book a taxi for the morning. I´m a bit nervous about havnig to go to the bus depot in downtown Lima, but fingers crossed everything goes according to plan.
Nazca, next stop!

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