Posted by: robinson2000 | February 25, 2011

Back on the Pacific Coast

22nd – 24th February – We didn’t have much time to spend in the beautiful coastal resort of Trujillo as we had booked the Inca trail for early March. This meant racing towards Cusco which was still many miles away. We had arrived late in the afternoon on Sunday and had already booked up a night bus for Monday night to the capital city of Lima. With barely a moment to inhale we were checking out of our room on Monday morning and getting our beach gear ready for a day on the sands. The sun was blazing that day so after an hour of sizzling in the rays we hired a body board and a wetsuit and hit the surf. The waves from a distance looked great fun but once I had paddled out a few hundred metres to where all the experienced cool looking surfers were, the waves were massive. As I fought against the currents pushing me inshore the waves were towering over me, baring down on my tiny body board like a heavyweight boxer squaring off against a small child. To avoid getting barrel rolled head over heels, back to shore, or getting forced down onto the rocky sea bed below, you had to force the board down below the powerful waves and hope you pop out clean on the other side. All the hard work and potential drowning situations were worth it once you caught that perfect wave and it sent you hurtling towards the shore at what felt like light speed.

Trujillo had many excellent restaurants to dine at, but the one we chose for lunch that day, called “The Chill Out”, was run by an eccentric often scary looking “I had too many drugs in the 60’s” British guy who we caught muttering obscenities under his breath to the customers on more than one occasion. To make up for the Basil Faulty style customer service from the owner the restaurant did make excellent authentic Indian curries and huge burgers to satisfy our hunger and prepare us for another night on a bus. We caught a taxi to the bus terminal just before 10pm and boarded a behemoth sized double-decker bus. The journey was pure luxury compared to some of my previous experiences in India or China as we had front row soft plush seats on the top deck with acres of leg room. The night passed quickly as I nodded off after an hour and woke up feeling unusually refreshed at 8am the following morning as we arrived in the heart of Lima.

Lima is a vast sprawling metropolis of a city, containing a third of the country’s population and also one of the worlds biggest squatters camps with 350,000 people. We jumped off the night bus and bundled into a cab to the suburb of Miraflores which lies 15km south of the city centre. Miraflores is Lima’s social centre and is also known for being a safe area for relatively rich looking gringos’ like ourselves. We found the Flying Dog Hostel just opposite Parque Kennedy and attempted to check in. Unfortunately it was to early so we put our bags into storage and checked out the local food market that sold the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus, then walked a few blocks to Huaca Pucllana, an ancient pre-Inca pyramid built entirely of mud bricks and sea shells. Luckily it never rains in Lima so the pyramid has survived for hundreds of years. As we toured the site we saw some llama’s, alpacas and the first hairless dog that I had ever seen (pity it was frothing at the mouth). We spent the rest of the day watching Champions League football in an Irish pub and catching up on some sleep.

The following day, feeling energized we hit the center of Lima and explored the traditional heart of the city which has been practically rebuilt after an earthquake levelled it in 1746. The main plaza (Plaza de Armas) was stunning, along with the Cathedral and Palace. Other highlights included the Catacombs under the San Francisco church and the Museo del Tribunal de la Santa Inquisicion, where we tagged onto a tour group being led by the most incompetent tour guide ever, who bumbled and stumbled his way, often lost through the museum.  

Tomorrow we head to Nazca for the  Nasca Lines.

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  1. Nice post. I don’t expect Paddington but where’s Archie the bear? Hope he’s OK!

  2. […] to explore the nearby town and while Ben and Spice visited Huaca Pucllana – a pre-Incan pile of dirt, I sat in a Brugge-style café and sipped on an ice-cold Cusqueña […]

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