Monthly Archives: February 2011

Some fun facts about Peru.

First of all none of this are facts but rather observations so if you find anything that is not true or offensive don’t hurt me i am just commenting on what I have observed.

Before i start to write about the arrival in peru i will tell a fun story about how aussies are everywhere and we are really easy to spot. Waiting at the airport in Santiago feeling sick as a dog i was lying down on some seats trying to keep the feeling of about to throw up at bay when i could hear 2 girls talking a few meters away. I was so sure that they were aussie but not being able to see their passports i was not 100% sure. I got up to ask if i was about to get priority boarding as i was feeling crook like i mentioned before and on the way back to my seat i asked them if they were aussies. turns out that they were and they lived in Sydney not to far away from my cousin and one of them was studying at Newcastle the year before! Left it at that when we got on the plane and that was that.

After arriving in Peru around midnight hardly able to walk, i needed to go through all the immigration stuff, but thankfully being on a chilean passport made it much quicker. (For the people who don’t know i spent an entire day in bed with vomit and the runs. it was pretty horrible i would sit next to the toilet waiting for it all to come back up or down. But i was unable to move my flight as it was already too close so i had to just deal with it.)

so back to the whole getting to peru thing once though immigration collected my bag and walked to the exit of the airport to find a little thing with a button to push to see if i had to x-ray my bag. it just let me though which i find odd that Lima airport had such a system as every other airport i had travelled though always had a check which i thought was fair enough, but peru which i heard has a lot of problems with drugs and other naughty things coming into the country just had a random check system.

Walking out of the arrivals i am shocked to see hundreds of people waiting at the exit and i knew none of them i walked through the small opening and kept walking to the exit hoping that kuki would recognise me out of the crowd as i had no memory of what he looked like. suddenly i heard a voice say “Tomi, aqui” (Tomi, Here) and there was Kuki waiting for me.

When i arrived home all i did was change into my pj’s and go to sleep. kuki gave me a sports drink to sip on which was the first bit of liquids i was able to hold down in about 18 hours and i knew i would be alright the next day.

I woke at around 9 and kuki’s mother in law made me some chicken soup which was REALLY GOOD!!!

later that day i went out with my aunty Luciana (19 years old) and 2 other cousins to a place called “Miraflores”. While walking around Miraflores i discovered that unlike Santiago which is a city of stray dogs Lima is a city of stray cats. After we finished exploring Miraflores Luci took me for a quick drive along the coastal road to show me a bit of the peruvian coast.

While driving along the coast Luci hit a pothole with both passenger side wheels and then the car started to make lots of noise so i told her to quickly pull over where safe to have a look. after a quick look it seemed that only the front wheel was flat, so i got out the spare wheel and went to work on it. But as i was starting to work on that wheel i looked at the back one and saw that it was also flat, but because it was in soft sand it was not as deformed. Time to call the tow truck! waited for about 20 min for it but  the time we got to the tyre place to fix it 1 hour had passed. Discovered that australia is way over priced when it comes to fixing this type of thing. We paid 5 soles to get the wheel fixed. that is less than $2!!! how is it possible that some Peruvian dude it a workshop in a dodgy part of town could do it for that cheap and an aussie will charge at least $20 for something that takes him less than 5 min!

spent another few days in lima until nick arrived after his epic 52 hour bus trip from Santiago. That night we went out for a quick drive though the CBD and then to a park that was full of fountains, but as luck would have it we forgot the camera and had left it had home! which was annoying because it was really pretty. while walking around the park we got to a big fountain and as we are watching it 2 girls start walking towards us and i realise i know those faces… it was the australia girls from the airport! after a second chance meeting in Lima we exchanged name and did the modern way of keeping in contact. Facebooked each other.

another of the days that we spent in Lima we went exploring the CBD just nick and i.  during that trip we discovered that taxi drivers in peru are almost like puppies in that they can’t wait for anything and that they get excited very easily.  I will back this up by telling a story.  On the way into “el centro” we got our taxi the whole time he was on the horn and going though the smallest gaps in order to get there no quicker.  while getting right into the CBD the traffic was moving about 10 -20 meters at a time in that distance we was speeding up to around 25km/h and then hard braking.  in one of those braking moments the traffic didn’t move as much as he wanted and we are pretty sure we heard some sort of bang, but he didn’t seem to mind as all taxi’s in peru had battle scars.  he was honestly beeping his horn the moment the light would turn red so that everyone would get closer together for the start when it went green again!  but enough of that. in the city we walked around and saw that there was lots of police with very big automatic guns outside the presidential palace which was a little alarming, being south america we thought something big was happening but it turned out to be that it was the day of the police officer and they were just holding something in its honour.  We kept exploring and crossed a river and walked though a market which looked a little hmmm… but not heaps bad as we continued though we reached a church looked down the street next to it turned around and went back.  Not being dramatic or anything and nick being my witness will be able to say that it honestly looked like if we went down there we would go back home with lighter pockets and maybe less fingers or hands. it was pretty scary.  we returned to the safer part of town walked around a little more, were getting ready to go to the water park and discovered that it was shut that night! that means we never got a chance to get any pictures of it =(

a few days later we got our flight to Cuzco and i will write about that more in detail in the Cuzco edition of this blog but i will give 2 tips right now. If you go to a bar in Cuzco called paddy’s just off plaza de armas and want to have a piscola (pisco and coke) don’t call it a piscola you get a really dirty look from the bartender rather call it the most gay name ever a “peru libre” or a free peru. And the other thing to remember from peru is that small kumbi busses as dodgy in that they fit at least 25 people inside a Hi-ace van and that you need to agree on a price for a taxi when you are going to the station to go to machu piccu or else the driver will try to rip you off, but again more detail later in the next post.

arriving back in Lima after about 8 days in Cuzco (i think) we stayed one more night at the pons muzzo complex (about 4 families from the same family all live on the same property in different houses) and the next day got our bus back to tacna. after sleeping, being woken up to get bag checks in the middle of no where and still having to pay to use the toilet which was a urinal open to the elements that was full of wee, we got to tacna and found a way to get to the border with chile in a taxi and spent a lot of time waiting to cross over…

Summing up Peru was pretty cool.  If we are low on cash it is no issue because they are lower on cash than you and because of that everything is really cheap. talking food for 2 people for 3 days for about $5 cheap.  Also parts of it are really pretty, i would have loved to have seen more of it not just Lima and Cuzco because Lima is just a city. at least from what i saw maybe going with someone who knows a little more it would be nicer, but for us it was just a city and it was pretty gray and browny in colour.  Cuzco was much cooler when you would leave the main street and see more of the working Cuzco that i guess most tourist wont see.  And from what everyone said that there is other cities and towns that are in the mountains and on the coast that are really cool and much better.

The Cuzco edition of this blog will be out soon and in that section the machu piccu journey will be included.

Happy reading and comment if you like or have any questions about anything =)

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