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A warpus in Peru

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Well I live about 40 miles from there. So drop me a message if you find yourself in the area. Which you probably won't, because it's really not a touristy area. Unless you're just passing through.
     
  2. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Just looked up exactly where Yale is.. For some reason I thought it was in or near Boston, but I must've been thinking of Harvard.. So you're right, it seems to be a bit off the beaten path sort to speak. But I will, thanks! You/I never know where I might end up next..
     
  3. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Just imagine that they lived up there...
    Exertion probably destroyed the Incas ^^.

    Edit: And again nice pics and nice write-up :thumbsup:.
     
  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Our guide was supposedly descended from them (technically most Quechua living in Cusco would be, I guess, I'm not exactly sure though) and he didn't seem to have to exert himself at all during the entire hike.. He claims to walk it 5 times a month for about half the year during tourist season.. and he's been doing this for over a decade.. and I have a suspicion that it's far longer than that, even though he refused to tell us how old he was...

    The Inca Empire was such an immensely huge empire and it was all connected by roads and paths through the mountains. The Incas must have been some of the best high-altitude/long-distance hikers the world has ever seen! It's no wonder that coca leaves were such an important part of their culture and religion. They must have thought that the gods put the plant there for them to use to be able to navigate around the mountains easier.

    As for what destroyed the Incas, it was about 150 Spanish soldiers, smallpox, a civil war, and somewhat unfortunate timing... Seems insane that 150 people could take down an empire of 20 million.. but it happened and it only adds to the mystique of the place.

    Machu Picchu itself was never discovered by the Spanish and that's why it is rather intact - the only damage to the buildings is from the weather and erosion.. Most other archaeological sites in Peru are either fully destroyed or badly damaged.

    I should also mention that it was never fully finished - imagine what it might have looked like if they did finish it!

    Thanks. You know what? I haven't eaten yet. I sat down here when I got home from work and have been writing and organizing and editing and uploading and.. I'M STARVING.. but I promised someone a picture of a sundial.. let's see if I can find it. After that, ALL THE PIEROGIES
     
  5. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Here's your sundial dude

     
  6. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Chieftain

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    It's working now for some reason, but I'm not complaining, awesome photos as per usual.

    It again amazes me how similar the Andes mountains look in Peru and in Venezuela. Like I said, the Andes has that look and feel to them. You could copy+paste that terrain onto the Andes in Merida, Venezuela and you wouldn't tell the difference which is interesting considering Peru is thousands of miles away.

    Venezuela had those squares in every city and town too. I think it is some Spanish Colonial thing. In Venezuela however, every single main square is called Plaza del Simon Bolivar as some sort of tradition. I was wondering if Peru had the same tradition?

    Also going to South America on vacation, and actually living there are two very different things. On my vacations to South America I had the same image you had of Peru, but I was not happy living there. People think differently. I don't know if it is the mentality or the latin culture, but it all seems so maddening counter-productive and it get's to your nerves very quickly when you actually have to get things done instead of walking around as a tourist. I am grateful to be back in Canada.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yeah, definitely. Every city in Chile we went to 4 years ago had a central plaza/square named Plaza O'Higgins, named after this guy.

    In Peru the central plazas were just called "Plaza de Armas" (Weapons Square)

    Having the experience of living in the west I could never live in Peru as a commoner (for lack of a better term) either.. The opportunities, health & food handling standards, pay, living standards, social safety net, etc. are all much better here..

    The further north we went, the poorer it seemed to get.. In Mancora we saw some of the poorest neighbourhoods and crappiest shacks that people lived in.. Large portions up there were desert and it was only 4 degrees south of the equator.. So it's hot all the time and there are giant insects. It really sounds a lot worse than it actually was, but I sort of gradually got used to the poverty as we went north.

    In Lima we stayed in Miraflores, which is considered to be one of the premier upscale parts of town and contains gourmet restaurants, fancy pubs, a pretty cliffside oceanside with beaches and parks below, a cliffside mall, nice looking condo buildings, etc. It definitely felt a lot more Canadian than the rest of the country (that we saw anyway). We watched Battleship at a modern movie theatre there and ate lunch at a Tony Roma's.. People living in the district definitely live lifestyles we might consider at least middle class... so that side of Peru exists, but it is rather small. In contrast, when I was in Chile, people weren't nearly as poor. The economy there is doing great, the infrastructure is much better, people have more money, benefits, the roads are better, etc.
     
  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Some more pictures from Machu Picchu

    Here's an old Japanese lady we walked past when we were hiking uphill to the summit of Machu Picchu mountain.



    This is what she was drawing (duh)



    Too bad I didn't get MP in on the first shot, but from what I remember I felt a bit awkward about getting behind her to take that photo. I didn't want to disturb her too much either, she was obviously in her own little magical world.

    And here's some more agricultural terraces @ Machu Picchu. I like this picture, I don't know why I didn't post it earlier. Corn, potato, and quinoa likely grew here in some capacity..



    These must have looked a bit different back when all that stuff was growing there
     
  9. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Welp, Peru just rocketing up to near the top of my 'to do' list. Looks amazing!
     
  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Everyone's gotta go! :p Seriously, even just to see Machu Picchu and nothing else. It's something that just has to be experienced.

    And if you ever end up going drop me a line and I'll help plan.
     
  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    The Sacred Valley of the Incas - Part 1

    Day 9 of trip - Monday May 14th




    I didn't create this, but the red route basically follows last night's journey home, right through the sacred valley. You can see the train tracks from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, and then the rest of the red line is the bus/van we took back to Cusco.

    The Sacred Valley of the Incas was pretty much the heartland of their empire, and stretches from Ollataytambo to Pisac (Not really surprising that it was the heartland, as Cusco was the capital of the empire). There are tons of relatively well preserved Incan ruins all throughout.. and since we didn't see any ruins on our hike save for MP (the "Inca Trail" has a bunch of ruins along the way), we really wanted to explore this place.. The valley was an important place for the Incas in terms of it being full of various natural resources. It was also one of the most important corn/maize cultivation regions in the empire.. not to mention being significant for religious reasons.

    We woke up at 7am afer maybe 5 hours of sleep. and we were exhausted.. We totally should have not booked anything for the day right after the hike, so we could get some much needed rest, but.. hindsight is 20/20 I guess.. so we got up at 7 and at 8am were picked up from our hostel. What we signed up for was a day tour of the valley, with an English-speaking guide and maybe 15 other people. When we returned to our hostel it was already dark, so it was truly a "day trip".. Cost? 70 soles = $25 or so. This included an amazing all you can eat lunch at a fancy restaurant.

    The tour took us first to Pisac, and then made its way to Ollantaytambo, stopping along the way at various archaeological sites, villages, markets, a restaurant (for lunch), and so on.. I can't quite remember which picture corresponds to which archaeological site, or which part of the valley, but I suppose that shouldn't really matter to you guys. Everything is posted in more or less chronological order, so..

    Our first stop took us to Pisac. I'm not sure if that is it in the valley below, but this was our first good look at it (the sacred valley that is)



    Tourism is very important to the locals - a large part of their economy seemed to rely on it. I'm not surprised - with so many "gringos" travelling through the region they would have been stupid not to try to tap into our wallets by attempting to sell us various goods and services. Here you can see two women selling homemade hats/fabrics/scarves/etc. and a woman selling freshly squeezed juice. This sort of thing was very common in the valley. In the background you can see a small part of the ruins we were about to visit.



    Look at that mountain.. You can sort of tell that there are roads/paths leading upwards.. You can also see a lot of lines that aren't as noticable - those are terrace remnants IIRC.



    Graduate students doing their thing (who knows, they probably are). I believe they are fixing up the terraces - they slowly get damaged over time due to erosion.



    Terraces with some ruins in the background



    It's hard to see, but there are many tombs on the side of this mountain, mostly near the top. They are all empty as they were emptied by the Spaniards hundreds of years ago and tomb raiders since then.



    I like this photo



    Heading to another site. That woman you see in front of me was pretty hot & the trophy wife of the guy walking in front of her. Maybe it was just me, but he seemed rather suspicious of me.



    Walking through some ruins



    The mountains were not nearly as picturesque as on our hike, but the terrain was very interesting.



    Aww

     
  12. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    The Sacred Valley of the Incas - Part 2

    Day 9 of trip - Monday May 14th

    This picture illustrates rather well what kind of a valley this was - a large fertile area surrounded by very tall mountains. And if you look at the map in the previous post, it sort of leads from Cusco (the capital) to Machu Picchu (estate with religious significance), so I don't think it'd be a stretch to suggest that the Incas built MP where they did with that in mind.



    These Quechua women, who only a couple years ago lived in horrid conditions due to a lack of employment, showed us the process by which they turn alpaca wool into clothes. They went through the process from start to finish, first by showing how the wool is spun into threads, and then into yarn.. or however it works and whatever the proper terminology may be.

    We would often see women with large bags full of plants walking around, and this happened not only in the valley but also on the hike.. I had many questions when I first saw something like that, and this sort of explained a bit of it.. The Quechua people know the plants that grow in the region incredibly well - they go on long hikes into the mountains and/or a forest to pick a very specific plant, which might allow them to turn a bunch of wool yellow, fights some disease or ailment, or is a spice... For the colour orange they used a bug that can be found on a specific type of cactus - you squish the bug and a bunch of "paint" comes out.

    Anyway, it was very interesting stuff. It took place in a store set up by some program initiated by the government a couple years ago to help the locals in the mountains lead better lives.. So not only does it provide a unique tourist experience, and not only do you learn a lot of interesting stuff, but a lot of people with money end up passing through this thing and buying a lot clothes that these women make... so the locals end up with jobs, a stable income, good tips from tourists, and better lives for them and their families.

    I bought an alcapa scarf for my mom for mother's day (remember the mother's day celebration the day before? My first thought when that happened was "Crap, I need to call my mom".. but I couldn't. So she gets a scarf).

    Oh and.. there is a guinea pig in this photo somewhere. Can you spot it?





    See the thing carrying water down the middle of the street? That's an Incan aqueduct and one of the only ones still operating. You would often see such "channels" in Peru and until this moment I had no idea what they were for.

    Our guide was the guy on the left btw.. He carried around a stick with a Peruvian flag on it, as well as an Incan rainbow flag attached, which bears a striking resemblance to the pride rainbow, or whatever that thing is called. I think the difference is just 1 colour.. If you didn't know any better, you'd think that all of Peru was gay because those flags were everywhere. (We were explicitly told not to joke about that with locals). And if you're wondering about the guide and the flags - when we were at ruins there might be 5-10 different groups wandering around, so it might be easy to get lost.. All the guides had different flags.



    This guy is making jewellery by sanding down pretty looking stones to fit exactly inside of something he prepared earlier.. I think that part might have been out of silver (The place where this is happening at specialized in silver) so in the end an earring might be a bunch of silver with holes in it and these stones in the holes.. It doesn't sound very pretty or jewelry worthy, but I'm just not explaining it right. Either way, it was neat.



    Here's a market with all sorts of hats, knick-knacks, chess boards, gloves, t-shirts, pipes, souvenirs, etc. There was tons of the stuff and when you bought something it was usually expected that the asking price was a bit too high - and that you'd haggle it down. Everything still seemed rather cheap to me though, even though the place was very obviously targeted at tourists and all the prices were inflated.. so I didn't mind paying bit more. It might sound stupid but I was happy to contribute to the local economy.

    What I bought was a funky looking pipe, a part of which was made out of some sort of bone. I ended up haggling for it, the first time I think I haggled ever.. Figured I might as well do it once. What I did was I approached the stand that had the pipes, and looked around at random stuff but always casually back at the pipes.. I tried to look kinda 50/50 in terms of if I was going to buy something or not. She of course eventually asked me if I wanted to buy anything, and I picked up a pipe I liked (I wanted a cool souvenir and these pipes were neat).. She quoted a price and I put it down right away and started walking away.. Then I would stop and look at the pipes again and tried to look like I was really trying to think about it.. anyway, this went on back and forth like that a couple times, until she finally said "What do you think a fair price would be?" AHA! I had her. I quoted something less than 70% of what the price initially was.. back and forth we went again and I ended up getting it about 40% off overall. Not bad for a n00b, I think!

    I also bought a cool beer opener, a scarf, and a shirt that says "Coca Cola", but the "Coca" is a coca leaf. Sergei was wearing that shirt on one of the days during the hike and I really wanted one.. I did not haggle for any of these other things.. It was too time consuming and annoying.



    That tree was just giant. It provided shade for a rather large part of the market.



    We had lunch at a restaurant named "Tunupa". (If you go to the site, some of the pictures in the banner are from their Cusco location. You can scroll down for pictures of the restaurant we ate at). The restaurant was very classy and I would have a hard time not describing the food as "gourmet". We definitely did not expect anything like this when we paid $25 for the whole day! There was all sorts of food and a lot of Peruvian goodies.. I tried to sample as much of it as I could and didn't mind indulging myself at all.. There was one table dedicated to sushi and ceviche.. mmm.. Also a lot other traditional Peruvian dishes as well as food that wouldn't be out of place in a family diner in north america. There was also an amazing dessert table, with all sorts of cakes and Peruvian sweets.. That low-carb diet I did right before this trip? That was long forgotten ...

    The whole time we ate we heard music.. and we assumed that it was playing on the radio or off a CD.. but no, it turned out that there was a band playing in a clearing right behind the restaurant.



    This alpaca was relaxing by the entrance. He had a very.. "special" look on his face



    They also had parrots chilling by the entrance.



    This guy was just beautiful



    This guy not so much



    What's strange about the above picture is the rainbow in the bottom right corner.. The Inca symbol is a rainbow and this was pretty much the only photo I took the entire trip of a guy dressed up in traditional high priest Indian garb.. Strange coincidence

    After lunch we of course went to explore more ruins. These are close to Ollantaytambo IIRC. If you look closely at that mountain in the distance, you will see that it has several temples on the side and a trail leading to them.



    The terraces I took the picture from were rather extensive. It wasn't easy to get up all the way to the top, at least for me. I was friggin exhausted from the hike and my left foot was beginning to hurt.

    Our guide had some crazy theories about the Incas btw.. He made connections to the Egyptians, atlantis, easter island, God, and.. probably aliens, I can't even remember anymore. I didn't take him very seriously, and when he showed us a picture he took @ Machu Picchu, where the sun produced a weird glare that kind of looked like a face, and asked us what we could see, I loudly exclaimed: "I think that's my mom!". Turns out it was supposed to be "God". Whoops! He didn't really appreciate my comment, but I shut up after that and let him tell us about whatever without being sarcastic. It wasn't easy, but I didn't want to be a jerk.

    Here's some more precise Incan stonework/masonry/magic



    We were also showed several structures that were designed to be earthquake proof. I don't have any good pictures of those, but it was basically rocks connected in such a way that some of them were allowed to move and slide on eachother during an earthquake, preserving the structural integrity of the whole building. It was pretty impressive and I took everything this guy said with a grain of salt, but this particular thing I believed.

    After a long day of exploring ruins we eventually ended up back at our hostel, ate dinner, and watched some of the NJ vs Islanders eastern conference finals game 1 while enjoying cold Peruvian beers.. Our hostel had a projector set up in the bar/lounge area and would show pretty decent quality online sports streams.. It was usually football (soccer), but also rugby and to a lesser extent hockey.

    I forget when we went to sleep, but the next morning we had to wake up at 6am. We were headed back to Lima.
     
  13. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    This is a video of the band that played for us at lunch


    Link to video.
     
  14. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    Wow, many of those places you visited are stunningly beautiful. Thanks for posting the photos!
     
  15. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    No problem, I don't mind sharing! I'm enjoying writing this up a lot more than I thought I would - it's almost like reliving the trip all over again.
     
  16. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Arrival in Miraflores

    Day 10 of trip - Tuesday May 15th


    The two main reasons the whole trip might seem so hectic in terms of us getting very little sleep and doing SO MUCH every day is that the flights were the first thing I booked and we were planning on doing another long-distance hike elsewhere in Peru as well (this didn't end up happening for various reasons however). I gave us 3 full days of acclimatization and 1 filler day after Machu Picchu, and planned for a sacred valley tour, but figured we would do it before the hike. It seemed sensible.. and wasn't really that horrible, but by the time day 10 rolled around we were just beyond zombie-like.

    I also ended up stepping awkwardly out of the bathroom at some point (I forgot that there was a drop) this day or last and ended up in a LOT of pain in my left foot.. I felt some pain in that area before - right after the hike, but this was on an entirely new level. For the rest of the trip my left foot would hurt, and it would hurt the most right after waking up.. I'm guessing because I'd move it around at night, whereas during the day it was snug in a hiking boot with great ankle support.. Either way, I knew it wasn't broken because I could walk fine - and there was no swelling. (I'm still recovering from this btw, 4 months later.. and can't even play soccer yet.. although I did, 2 and a half months ago.. probably a bad idea .. I'm trying to be smarter about it by not exerting it in any way, anywhere until it feels normal again)

    We were still sharing our hostel room with Gary - who the night before watched the hockey game the with us.. Afterwards me and Steve headed to bed as we had to be up at 6am in order to make our flight to Lima on time. I had to book the flight so early because flights in and out of Cusco only happen in the morning for some weather-related reason... Something having to do with fog - which there was plenty of in Lima, but none in Cusco.. So I'm guessing there's fog over the mountains at certain hours, but either way we had to be up at 6am as a result. Gary had to wake up at 9.. IIRC.. it was something like that. The last we saw of him the night before he was signing up for a drinking competition involving shots...

    At 4:30am we were woken up by Gary, who was drunk out of his mind, incredibly cold, shaking, and mumbling what could have been words, but most of which sounded like no language I've ever heard of.. He must have come back from the hostel bar after it closed at 2, or at some point before that, I'm not sure, as I slept through that particular part.. He must have passed out on his bed and woken up freezing. (we were at a fairly high altitude with mountains all around us, it got cold at night). Steve woke up at 4:30 too, as Gary was making quite a scene.. I think we helped him find some blankets, or something, I can't quite remember, but eventually Gary ended up wrapped up in a bunch of crap and passed out on his bed.

    We woke up at 6am, had our bags already mostly packed (picked up the stuff we left behind when we went on the hike the night before), checked out, and asked the front desk to call us a cab. We ended up at the airport fairly quickly, had our bags "searched" (which means that they just sort of unzipped a part, casually looked inside, and waved us on our way). Our plane was delayed by 1 hour due to fog and that concerned us because I reserved a taxi to wait for us outside of the airport in Lima - with instructions to take us to Loki hostel in Miraflores... The guy was there when we arrived though, holding up my long Polish name, making it easy to identify.

    The cab ride was long and you could tell right away that we were in a large city (population: 8-9 million) I have a tendency to be on my toes when I travel, so I checked a couple times on my watch if we were heading in the right direction.. (it has a compass.. and hey, you never know). Ended up at Loki hostel in one of the nicest parts of town, checked in, ended up in a room with 4 beds total & shared it with 2 girls: 1 from Toronto but actually originally from a small island east of Madagascar (I can't remember which one) and a girl from Switzerland named Bjanca.

    From what I remember we walked to the central part of Miraflores, which was very close, ate dinner at a restaurant with an English menu & English waitress, and I broke a beer glass by accidently tipping it over.. No loss, as all the beer was already gone, but the waitress pleaded me to pay for it since she would be charged by the owners and it would be taken out of her pay. I believed her, didn't mind paying, and even if she was lying she did an amazing job serving and helping us and I didn't mind paying a bit extra. I think we left her a tip on top of that too. And now that I think about it, I have the receipt from that night as a souvenir somewhere I think. I took it with me because "Broken glass" and what it cost was on it.

    Here's a shot of one of the car-free walkways that had restaurants on both sides. And they all wanted our business..



    Peru is known for its food and is considered to be the gastronomic centre of South America.. Miraflores, the part of Lima where we were staying is very fancy (relatively speaking) and as such has a lot of gourmet restaurants, fancy pubs, and so on. It is known as one of the best places to eat in South America. We were not disappointed our first night there. I forget what we ate, but at some point I had an amazing potato salad with avocado, chicken, cheese, and some sort of a sauce.. and tomatoes! and some other things.. I forget when I ate it, but it was at that restaurant and it just blew my mind. I ate something similar @ Aguas Calientes, but this was much better.

    There was also some soccer on the TVs that they had hanging outside of the restaurant (we were on a kind of a cool roofed patio). On the left was the main street that went through Miraflores (it's basically just a district of Lima), so you could peoplewatch and observe the craziness that is Peruvian public transportation. It's capitalism taken to the extreme - there are a whole bunch of bus companies with their own routes and stops. There doesn't appear to be regulation of any sort, and all the bus companies compete against eachother, which means that there is a lot of screaming and other craziness. It might just be a libertarian's paradise, but we stayed the hell away from it. Transportation between cities was similar - there were a LOT of companies, and they all had their bus terminals in different places. Pure insanity.



    As for the game, it was South American Champions League I think.. I could be wrong but it was definitely South American football and the timing seems right.

    We wondered about Gary and if he ever woke up in time and made his flight (wherever he was off to). I had my doubts... We wouldn't find out for another couple days.

    After dinner we were pretty much ready to crash. The next day was wide open and we didn't mind that at all! By that point in time it was rather obvious we were not going to do the second hike (it was supposed to be even more challenging as the Salkantay, but "only" 50km and 4 days).. so we weren't quite sure what we were going to do, but we had 2 lonely planet guides and several ideas already... We just needed a lot of rest and then we could figure out what we were going to do next.

    We slept well that night.. Went to bed at 10pm I think.. But at 2:30am something happened. Remember the card game that we played on the hike? Yeah, that word. They were loud and right outside of our room. They woke me up and interrupted my beauty sleep.. There was a bit of a courtyard there and a bunch of seats and an ashtray. From what i could gather a bunch of British tourists were sitting there and having a rather loud and annoying discussion. Eventually they left but it made me MAD. I fell back asleep after they left and slept like a baby.
     
  17. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    Based on the size of their respective packs and the distance she is trailing behind, I'm guessing he's quite rich.

    Thanks for taking the time to document this adventure so thoroughly.
     
  18. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    He was probably all "I'm going to take you to the most expensive parts of Peru, baby", meanwhile she hates him and he doesn't even know it. Or maybe he does and is cheating on her with her sister. I'm sure there's latino soap opera like stuff going on there.

    and I could have been a part of it

    Hey, thanks for reading! I've never written out any trips this detailed before, and I really wasn't going to this time either.. but.. it just sort of happened. What can I say.. I'm totally saving all this and backing it up somewhere so that I have it forever.

    I wonder if I should do my 5 week long trip through New Zealand at some point too, before I forget everything. And Patagonia, that was 4 years ago..
     
  19. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Thanks for all the work. Nice stuff.
     
  20. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Central Lima - Part 1

    Day 11 of trip - Wednesday May 16th


    We got used to waking up really early and ended up getting out of our beds at 8am. After we ate a "complete" breakfast at the hostel bar (eggs, toast, "bacon", sausage, beans I think), we took a taxi to the centre of Lima - the Plaza de Armas. It was maybe a half an hour cab ride to the old part of town from the centre of Miraflores and took us through the business part of town as well as a couple other districts. There was the option of taking public transport instead, and that would have saved us some money, but the cab ride was relatively cheap (for us) and the bus system in Lima is really crazy.

    The plaza de armas in Lima is the birthplace of the city of Lima and is surrounded by the government palace (AKA The House of Pizarro), the cathedral of Lima, the Archbishop's palace of Lima, the municipal Palace, and the Palace of the Union. That's a lot of palaces.

    This is the cathedral.





    And the archbishop's palace



    The plaza itself has a fancy fountain in the middle, and a bit of an area with benches where you can sit down and take a break. What you might expect from a central square, I guess..





    We ended up arriving right before the daily changing of the guard.. purely by accident, really. We didn't know they do it every day at noon and kinda lucked out I guess. There were a lot of armed cops around, mostly by the government palace, but also in standby mode at various nearby locations.





    The changing of the guard occurred behind a fence, although a couple days later we saw another, much fancier changing of the guard on TV, that involved the president and his family coming out and enjoying the show and a bit of a procession or parade.



    The Plaza de Armas connects to several pedestrial-only walkways, which take you through mostly retail, restaurants, malls, pharmacies, food courts, etc. This particular one takes you all the way to the 2nd largest plaza in town, the Plaza San Martin. We would get there eventually..



    Every once in a while you'd run into a road and cars, but other than that the centre of town seemed to be very pedestrian friendly.
    There was interesting architecture all around, too.





     

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