A Travellerspoint blog


Tour of the city

24 °C

Tuesday 18th - and we were up sharp and off on a morning tour of Lima. As well as Millie we had another guide called Roxanne, who if nothing else was extremely enthusiastic and kept us all in line by clapping her hands if we dared to venture too far away from the flock. I felt like I was back at school at times LOL.

After visiting the ruins at Huaca Pucllana ( which pre dates the Inca's by around 5000 years) we zig zagged across the city crossing into different municipal districts and getting an idea of how vast Lima is ( population almost 10 million).

La Catedral was interesting yet sort of like Barcelona on a much smaller and less impressive scale, however we were all quite blown away when we visited the colonial complex of San Franscisco ( a convent, church, two chapels and the most amazing catacombs Ive ever seen.) The bones of over 70, 000 bodies are still there on display, having been re-arranged into ornate patterns when it was discovered in the 1950's. Have to say it was quite creepy but definitely worth seeing. We werent allowd to take any photos but I clocked one of the Aussies casually snaping his camera as he walked past so Im going to blackmail him later for copies so I can shock everyone back home.

Of course I couldnt walk past Lima's oldest pub without having a quick drink - we all ordered a few jugs of Chica Morada - made from boiled purple corn. Apparently we had the non-alcoholic version, which distressed me no end !!

Saw lots of Colonial architecture, particularly around the Plaza San Martin and Plaza Mayor, which were impressive but started to become a bit samey. We also spent a good long while in the Museo de la Nacion which gave us a taste of Peru's past and a good overview of what to expect when touring the Inca sites near Cusco later in the week. Lots and lots of ancient Chavin, Wari and Inca artifacts

Loved all the school kids parading around the museum who seemed really intrigued by us and kept trying out their English on us. Very very friendly people !!

Let the side down a bit by having a hamburger for lunch ( well, as anyone who knows me knows I have regular burger cravings and today was one of them - didnt go down well with everyone else though, who all munched their way through yet more raw fish !!!!).To be fair it was an exceptionally spanish sounding burger with raw chillies and garlic, but maybe I should've been a bit more daring.

Finally managed to get a watch this afternoon too- quite impressed with it actually, and we all headed off to the Rosa Nautica restaurant at night to watch the sunset ( its on the pier down by the beach,) and sip yet more Pisco Sours - am slowly foregtting what it was like to ever work it must be said and I found it a bit strange tonight when folk were asking me about my job and what it was like.

The meal was beautiful ( I had fresh Albacore Tuna steaks with Avocado risotto, which definitely made up for my lunchtime faux par with the burger)- one of the best meals Ive ever had, and the setting was just perfect, although we could almost have been in California and not South America. The restaurant was at the end of a pier not unlike Malibu and the clifftops leading down to it looked quite spectacular.

I gave up on the packing and went straight to bed when I got in - suffering the effects of my Pisco Sours ( Im slowly getting addicted !! Also manged to get sunburnt today - obviously the bloody Lancaster isnt working !!!

Posted by Sparkster 20:12 Archived in Peru Comments (0)


Getting orientated and discovering Pisco Sours

19 °C

After my first night in Lima I managed to totally lose all track of the days and went off for a wander the next morning thinking it was Sunday ; only realised when I got a text from Wilma saying she was at work that I realised I'd gotten the days wrong ( since when did you ever work on a Sunday Wilma ??). That meant I had to hotfoot it back to the hotel to meet everyone at our 5pm Welcome meeting.

Haver to say I was a bit lost wandering around Lima on my own - its a chaotic city with major traffic problems and a million little mini bus things that toot all the time. Just MAD !!! I really only wandered around Miraflores ; one of the better areas and still found it too hectic. But I did manage to get exactly the kind of laptop bag I was looking for before I left !!

Not going to say too much about the rest of the group ( just incase they read any of this LOL !!!) but they're all fine enough. ( read between the lines there if you so choose LOL) !!. Im the only Scottish person - the rest are all Aussies, and overall they're a bit older than Id been expecting ( but hey, I get on well with older folk so Im not complaining !!)

The big bonus is that they're all travelling in pairs so Marky-No-Mates gets a room all to himself ( hey, even I can put up with the damp musty smell of my hotel room if Im not having to share). We're meeting a further 4 folk later on in Cusco , but again theyre in pairs !!! I just love it.

Our guide for the Lima section of this trip , Millie, met us and set the scene for the next few days before answering a barrage of bizarre questions from the Aussies. Then we all got offered a Pisco Sour - the undisputed King of Peruvian alcohol (a kind of grape brandy added to egg whites and Angus Sturra bitter ( very nice !!) which prompty stopped the bizarre questions dead in their tracks LOL.

Millie then took us out for dinner to a local restaurant where she insisted we all order our food in Spanish - on her recommendation I tried Aji De Gallina ( a traditional chicken stew made with milk, parmesan, bread, chilies and walnuts). Decided I wasnt quite brave enough to try the Cerviche ( raw fish marinated in lime !!)

A few more beers and I was off to bed quite happy - the Aussies have taken to calling me "Whisky" ; dont think they believe me when I say I never touch the stuff, but obviously they do know me a bit too well already !!

Posted by Sparkster 19:09 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Flight to Lima

The joys of flying with Iberia

19 °C
View Sparksters Big Adventure on Sparkster's travel map.

Well, I started this hours ago but the internet connection in the hotel room cut out on me just as I was finishing ( isnt wireless an amzing thing ?? Im hacking into someone called Nana's wireless connection as we speak - almost makes lugging the damn laptop half way round the world worthwhile !!)

Arrived in Lima at 6.33pm local time( they're 5 hours behind the UK) and got successfuly collected after negotiating customs and getting my bag back. Compared my big blackbag to all the others being collected and decided it wasnt that bad after all - also quietly chuffed that there didnt seem to be too many rucksacks at baggage reclaim, probably because the flight was all full of Peruvian holidaymakers returning home LOL.

Quite cool to see someone waving a card with my name on it at the airport - amongst a sea of people crammed up in the arrivals area. Got collected with another girl, Emma, who seemed really nice but isnt on my tour ( she got dropped off at a different hotel in Lima). Definitely a bit of a seasoned pro ; she had the tiniest rucksack for a 33 day tour of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. I am so going to have to get the bag situation sorted !!! Anyway, will look out for Emma again as she's in Cusco around the same time as me and in Australia in January while Im in NZ.

Got to hotel around 8.30pm and its okay ( Hotel Monte Real) - seems to be in a nice enough bit of Miraflores and the girl on reception spoke a little English ( Im still paranoid about not speaking Spanish - what a complete waste of money my Quickstart Spanish thing for my Ipod was !!). Room is a bit musty though - but Im grinning and bearing it. Nothing like Froya's experience with the bed beetles LOL !!

Looks like I dont meet up with the tour guide until Monday at 5pm which gives me all day Sunday to get orientated. From the notice up in the lobby it looks like there are 3 couples, a single girl and 3 single guys on this tour so Im already excited about the possibility of maybe getting my own room ( odd numbers and all that - keep your fingers crossed !!). Either way, I think most folk will arrive Sun or Mon so Ive probably got the room on my own for a bit before I might have to move.

Wandered two blocks to a Pharmacy shop ( nothing else open) and bought some water and a biscuit bar so that'll have to do me until tomorrow - am actually far too tired to eat anyway.

Alreay decided that Im not going to moan on here - its about positivity all the way, however I do think my 11.5 hour flight of hell with Iberia has entitled me to at least one good moan. I have never flown with anything like it - like doing long haul with Easy Jet. Was all set for my own personal TV screen and all I got was a pair of headphones that didnt work and a screen so far away in the cabin that I couldnt have seen it anyway. The 'entertainment' ws a measley 2 films and a documentary - then a blank screen for 6 hours !! Trolley only came round twice with food and drinks, no duty free trolley ( so Im still watchless - need to get one tomorrow, Im lost without it !!) and far too many screaming kids for my liking. For the first time ever I hated the food on the plane - what little there was, and the toilets were just shocking; Was originally sitting next to a lovely old lady ( who spoke English) but she was in the wrong seat so got a South American businessman instead who took up all the elbow room and didnt utter a word to me the whole flight !! Tried my hardest to fall aslep and irritate him with my snoring but it just wasnt happening.

Oh, by the way, my new best friend the Snore Guard is getting tried out tonight - I look like Jaws wearing it but cant have any potential room mates sending me to coventry because they cant sleep. Will let you know how it goes (should be working perfectly by New Zealand, Valerie so dont worry !!!). Night Night Mx.

Posted by Sparkster 18:14 Archived in Peru Comments (0)


-17 °C

Not really going to say much here - as all I saw was the airport ; left London at 7.25am this morning, had an effortless check in at 5.20am which made up for my lack of sleep trying to pack and repack my bag ( I swear I didnt realise it would be this heavy - Im so not a seasoned backpacker ; they travel with bags that are full of fresh air !!).

Got annoyed at Heathrow when they confiscated all my toiletries from my hand luggage - apparently this 'Under 100ml' rule doesnt mean you can fill your bag up like I'd done with small sized bits and pieces. The guy at security told me I could only have enough to fit in one small plastic bag and that was it !!!!! DUH !!! Guess I shouldve known that eh ??

Didnt have much time to do anything at Madrid Airport, and I also didnt have any Euro's ( yup, my usual disorganisd self !). By the time I'd eventually queued at a Bureau to get some it was almost time to board. So shocking though the concept is to most of you ,I had no time to shop and boarded the plane with just a bottle of water.

Got a bit jittery when I saw all the folk checking in for the Lima flight ( hundreds of them - and they all looked like native Spanish speakers - still paranoid that everyone will speak Spanish apart form me LOL !!). Bizarre queueing system too which meant everyone seemed to be pushing in from wherever with the biggest hand luggage you'd ever seen. Almsot gave my big bag a run for its money .

Posted by Sparkster 18:14 Comments (0)

How It's all supposed to go if it goes to plan !!

( And theres probably quite a few gaps for me to fill in as well as what Ive listed !!)

Okay, this should give everyone a kind of rough idea of where I'll be going - based mostly on the flight stops from my RTW ticket.

Still panicking a bit now about my little scheduled stop in Iquique - not been able to get a bus out of there yet LOL !!

Will write a bit more later - playing about with this damn map has taken me ages and I need my bed !! Mx.

Posted by Sparkster 17:05 Comments (1)

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