September 17, 2006

Lackluster Lima
Lima, Peru

Cold concrete and grey skies.

The stretch of countryside between Máncora and Lima is brown, dead, and desolate—ugly. I'm glad the majority of my 20-hour journey south was in the dark, there wasn't anything worth seeing anyway.

Miraflores

I'm staying in the Miraflores district of Lima, at a nice hostel that's much too expensive (not unlike this entire part of town). My first impressions of the concrete jungle that is Lima makes me want to leave—grey, unattractive, dirty, chaotic, and full of bad drivers… like a Los Angeles freeway. I was telling some folks that I've seen a lot of beautiful places, but Lima is not one of them. Colombia and Ecuador set a high standard for capital cities that Peru can't compete with.

This massive city sprawls all the way to the Pacific coast, where I witnessed a collection of brazen individuals playing dangerously. I was walking along a cliff-side road above the shoreline, when I noticed a paraglider floating so close to the surrounding high-rise buildings; I thought he was going to try land on the roof. I watched as the crazy guy skilfully played with death.

I decided to try and follow him as he sailed down the coast, becoming more and more curious as several other paragliders appeared around me. Eventually I came to small patch of grass where a group of thrill seekers was either in the process of taking off or landing. A constant breeze chilled the air.

Watching these people takeoff was probably one of the most interesting things I've seen in this town. It's amazing how they just float off the grass, over the cliff, and soar above the coast.

Nothing is really captivating me in Lima this particular moment, so I see no reason why I shouldn't keep on moving south. I've got a general path in my head that I'll probably stick with, taking me through Ica/Huacachina, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and into La Paz (the capital of Bolivia). I hear social scene in Cuzco has a tendency to trap people, so I'm curious to see what that's all about. Perhaps it has something to do with the yummy national Peruvian (alcoholic) drink I tried the other day called pisco, made from white grape brandy (pisco), egg white, lemon juice, syrup, crushed ice, and bitters—tart, but good.

Comments:

Matt

September 18th, 2006

Hey - if you're interested - I know people who spent time in Bolivia and Machu Picchu. I can try to track them down and get some info if you'd like. Let me know…

ChrisN

September 18th, 2006

I enjoyed the Barranco district of Lima when I was there in 2004. It was worth a walk around. There are a number of historic sites scattered through the city worth visiting - assuming you are into that.

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