Joe and I spent our first two days in Lima exploring the city. We were directed by the owner of our hostel to head towards the main plazas of the city which were most friendly to “Gringos”. It was when we got lost on our way back to the hostel that we realised why. Poverty is clearly a big issue in many parts of the city and with that comes crime. Two bloody 6ft+, white, ex-Waitrose employees walking down the street in the less affluent neighbourhoods clearly causes quite a stir with pretty much every person on the street looking at us as we went past. A few commented the odd “blanco” or “gringo” and others sidled up quite close to our pockets but nothing of consequence happened. The police presence is also very abundant, rows of cops with full riot shield gear line many of the streets. I even caught a glimpse of one striding around confidently with what looked to be a .44 revolver (Dirty Harry style). Despite this, there are plenty of positives to balance out Lima. The food and drink is great (a highlight being the fruit sold at stalls on the street, of which there are many). I decided to purchase a Pisco Sour, the drink most synonymous with Lima, and was certainly not underwhelmed. I haven’t researched the ingredients to this drink but I can only assume that it consists of 90% ethanol and 10% lime. Get a few sips in though and it starts to go down as smooth as a pint of Ringwood Best at the White Hart Poulner on a warm Sunday evening. Much of the architecture is also very impressive and the mountain range around the city very picturesque. We decided today to take the coach to Cusco (the nearest city to Machu Picchu) tomorrow as there truthfully just isn’t that much to do in Lima. We approached the ticket desk and were asked to provide our names and passport numbers. I had forgotten my passport but this seemed to no longer be important so we wrote down our names, she printed the tickets and we were on our way. A few steps down the road however, we realised that the woman at the desk hadn’t quite been able to work out our admittedly very foreign names. And so we venture to Cusco tomorrow as new men: ‘Lounce Micmanus’ and ‘Jhoseph Roos’. Joe has gone out to find a gym, hope he makes it back.
You can read more about Loz/Lounce’s travels on his personal blog: https://loztheblog.wordpress.com/