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Colin and Sue’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 21 Sep 2006

Location: Lima, Peru

MapArrived safely in Peru. Lima is not quite as easy as Quito - we´re staying out in the suburbs about 15km from the centre so sightseeing involves a death defying taxi ride in ancient cars, no seatbelts and completely mad traffic. There´s no clear right of way at some intersections so drivers just "go for it" at which point I shut my eyes, although Colin has a morbid curiosity and has to look.

Just like Quito, the centre is full of armed police with back up water cannon and tear gas to hand. There was a demonstration yesterday and all of a sudden, the main square was blocked off by police. We took a view to leave rather than investigate - the taxi driver was inventive with the route back, following a VW Beetle across forecourts at times, it felt like we were in yet another Italian Job remake!

The colonial centre is impressive, unfortunately the Government Palace and another palace are closed at present but we did visit the San Francisco Church and catacombs - very impressive building with, not surprisingly, lots of bones and skulls in the catacombs. Considering the Museum of the Inquisition this afternoon (cue Monty Python jokes for us older people).

Off to an expensive and nice (we hope) restaurant tonight for ceviche (fish marinated in lime juice etc). Not too sure we can dress up enough - when we booked last night, one of the other diners looked most distastefully at me (Sue) and that was in my smartest gear!

Leaving the big city tomorrow for Huaraz - in the Cordillera Blanca (of Touching the Void fame) for some mountain scenery and trekking.


Decided to skip the dungeons and torture (ie taxi rides) and go for a walk along the cliffs, watching the surfers and paragliders doing their stuff. Hard to believe we´re still in the tropics as it´s positively cool, although unlike the Limeños we don´t think it´s winter coat weather. Apparently it´s grey and overcast here for half the year - the guara effect, so the sea blends into the sky - rather reminiscent of the North Sea (always sunnier in Southport of course). That´s enough of the English weather obsession for the moment.