First Day in South America

Made it after almost 24 hours of travelling. First the bus from San Francisco to LA and then the flight from LA to Houston and finally the Flight from Houston to Lima. I slept lots and used the time to plan what I want to do in South America (as you can imagine, no planning had been done until then hee hee). It was great ebcasue I sat next to a lady who used to run a travel agency in Lima so she was giving me lots of advice and setting me on the right track. However all my carefully made plans have been altered now that I have spoken to Craig !!

The Lima airport experience was better than I expected but that is all relative.

The following day we were both a bit jet lagged (and I woke up with a headache). We had to do the necessary admin of travellers cheques and bus info and did a bit of a walk around.

Lima, once the Colonial capital of South America has fallen far. Yes, there are some beautiful colourful Victorian buildings and some interesting squares and churchs but the inner city is very dirty and full of street hawkers selling fruit and batteries. Gone are the days of political power – I had trouble even imagining a KPMG office in that squallor.

A smoggy cloud cover hangs over Lima for most of the year too and if you think how close to the equator it is, we found it rather Chile (I mean chilly)

Jenny had warned me about how dangerous Lima was but I suppose it is not more dangerous than Joburg city center. There was a police presence at Plaza Major the main square and the locals we did speak to were friendly and obliguing.

The most interesting things I found in Lima were:

  1. The traffic – typical third world country full of skadonks (beaten up cars) all hooting and driving all over the place. In one four laned highway there were 7 lanes of traffic all weaving in an out of each other !!
  2. The street advertising – must be an influence of the Nasca culture (see Nasca Lines a bit later) but all traffic islands are beautifully cultivate to display flowers and plants in the logo of some large company.. Hyundi, Telephonica etc all had their names in green !! Quite attractive but the only green we really saw in Lima
  3. The Inca Cola – a “gold” coloured fizzy drink tasting like Bubblegum or Creme Soda.. Craig and I are hooked !
  4. The Catacombs in San Fransisco Church – the same as in Rome, Kutna Hora, Paris etc but just brought home to me how grusome it must be to dig up bodies after 6 years to get the bones to store them somewhere !!
  5. The Museum of Gold (Museo del Oro) beautiiful gold treasures of the incas as well as fully preserved mummies.

By sunset my headache had turnned into a migraine and I was glad that Craig was there to look after me. We retired early in prepartion for our bus trip to Nasca the following day.

Oh for those of you who donĀ“t know Craig is a Graphic Designer buddy of mine from London (he lived with Cliff and co in West Ken) who has been living in Joburg for the last year. He is the one who suggested South America last December and we kept the idea in the back of our minds until it came to futition. Craig is a brilliant photographer so I am hoping the picture quality on this site will increase. I am sure you will get to know him in all the photos.

Natasha Haslam

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