Thursday, 24 October 2013

Jungles and concrete jungles

I finally arrived in Lima after one hell of a bus ride. 23 hours on a small seat that reclined just enough to give off the illusion that it was possible to get some sleep. As we left Cusco through the mountainous terrain and winding roads, I felt a bit ill. I popped a few pills and hoped it would pass. I didn't get to see much of the country side because it was an overnight bus but there was one section of the trip where it seemed as though I was traveling directly through a cloud. I wondered how much visibility the driver must have had. Bus rides are interesting in Peru. Although the bus's themselves are more comfortable then Indian bus's, there are other concerns. Often there are reports of drunk drivers as well as even one story reporting a company wanted to save money by hiring a young boy without a license to drive. I question whether these are simply just travelers stories. This particular bus ride I would just begin to shut my eyes when we would come to a halt and 3 or 4 customs officers or police would board and shine a flashlight in the passengers faces. I sound like a whinging gringo. The bus ride was definitely not bad considering it went for over 20 hours.

Lima is definitely a lot better then I expected. All I had heard of this place is that its gloomy, boring and expensive. I was lucky enough to be staying with a friend and his girlfriend at a second story apartment in the popular Miraflores suburb of Lima. It was nice to have a kitchen to cook my own meals again. That night, my friends Peruvian girlfriend took us all out to her favourite restaurant in Lima. I tried octopus with squid ink mayonnaise, a Frito misto type dish, fish cooked in citrus with some kind of sweet potato and arroz de mariscos, a beautiful paella type rice dish. All the dishes were great albeit quite expensive. The next couple of days, I spent catching up with my friend and relaxing after being in hostels for the last few months. We decided to take the bus to mancora, a beach location in northern Peru. Mancora is absolutely beautiful. I write this by day sitting on a balcony sipping a beer and soaking up the sunlight that was so lacking in Lima. Watching birds dive headfirst into the ocean to catch fish and whalkes breaching and leaping out of the water, not even 50 metres from shore. Beautiful.The plan is to explore the neighboring cities to mancora that are less touristy, head back to Lima for Halloween and then fly to Colombia to bypass the ridiculous border crossing and extending bus rides.

Also, I have to explain the title to my last blog entry. I had been on a rather intense shamanic diet in the lead up to my ayahuasca ceremony and missed salty and well.... Unhealthy food. Anyway I bought a jar of peanut butter and for breakfast completely devoured the stuff. That jar was gone in less then a week!

Tip of the day - when you swear or say rude things in Spanish, try to remember everyone in Peru speaks Spanish...


  1. I unknowingly said something rude in Mexico many years ago and have never forgotten the shocked look on the storekeeper's face. I quickly learned not to pick up local slang from my father's Mexican fishing buddies.
    We've been to Ecuador but not Peru. Lots of discussion about whether or not I could survive the rigors of Machu Pichu. Mancora sounds like my kind of place, however.
    From the photo in your previous post, it looks like the Peruvians are closely related to the people of Ecuador, whom we found to be delightful.
    Glad you survived the bus ride to Lima. Those mountains are amazing. British Columbia native that I am, now living in Alberta, and very used to mountains like the Rockies, I was amazed at the mountains of South America.

  2. Mancora sounds and looks amazing. I wish I was there, it's unusually cold here STILL!

  3. Mancora sounds great. I'm envious of your whale viewing!