I know I'm repeating myself, but I can't get over how awesome it is to have no jet lag. After the last two Asian trips, I had to drag myself around for days, barely alive. But this time I am as fresh and perky as a young daisy. From now on, I'm only going to fly to destinations in the same time zone.
It's been a busy week though; getting back to reality with work and kids and unpacking and yardwork. I haven't had time to do a complete trip summary, but I'll start.
We spent the first three nights in Lima (well, two nights for those who missed the flight in Toronto!). I really didn't have high expectations of Lima - or any expectations for that matter. I was just focused on getting to Machu Picchu. As I've so often said before, life is better with low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Lima is a pretty cool city. That being said, we stayed in the tourist district where everything is clean and safe and pretty. We drove through other parts where that wasn't the case. But our hotel was a few blocks from the ocean and there was lots to explore. There was a steep cliff down to the ocean with amazing views, but Dale and I wanted to put our feet in the water. It took a while to find out how to get down due to the language barrier, but eventually we made it. There were tons of surfers but I didn't think the waves were that big.
|a fitness club near the beach|
The pace in Lima - and most of the trip - was much more relaxed than the last two trips. I'm not sure why - maybe it's because of their laid-back South America mentality. Whatever the reason, I liked it. We were almost always back at the hotel by 4 pm and had lots of free time to explore on our own.
We saw Lima's Plaza des Armas, where we saw the Government House, a cathedral (including catacombs) and other buildings that I no longer remember the purpose of.
Wooden balconies were a big thing in Lima. The reason for them is that at one time, women were not supposed to be seen and couldn't go outside. So balconies with little slits and holes were built so that they could sit and look outside without being seen.
The highlight in Lima was visiting a Peruvian Paso horse hacienda (ranch) just outside the city. Paso horses are a special type of breed that are known for their unusual and smooth gait. They did a little show and demonstration for us, and then we got to ride them. I'm not exactly an experienced horsewoman but it did feel pretty smooth. Riding in a car is still smoother though. It was a beautiful place, with lots of trees and flowers and a gorgeous spot for our outdoor lunch.
|A museum in Lima. The outdoor spaces were a lot more interesting to me than the exhibits inside.|
Fun fact: it never rains in Lima. There's moisture in the air and sometimes it drizzles, and it's often overcast or covered by a grey fog. That would get depressing, but I found it interesting that it never rains. The roofs are flat and there are no eaves troughs or drainpipes and no drainage in the streets. We saw the downside of that one evening when we saw shopkeepers working hard to sweep water out of their shops after a water pipe burst. The water eventually runs down toward the ocean but I think they would have appreciated having a drain nearby.
In our spare time, Dale and I went to a couple of great restaurants. On the plane to Lima, I sat with a professional kayaker who was heading home to Peru and he gave me some recommendations. We checked them out and it turns out the professional kayaker did not steer us wrong. We tried ceviche, a popular Peruvian dish that's like a salad with raw fish and lemon or lime juice. We really liked it. While I'm talking about food and drink, I should also mention the pisco sours. I don't know if Peruvians actually drink it as much as we think they do, or if they just pretend to because tourists love it so much. I can't even count how many pisco sours I drank in those 12 days. We were often given free ones at shows or when we checked in to a hotel, plus at almost every meal. They were powerful, but they served them in pretty small glasses which was probably for the best.
Okay, that's all I've got time for today. Due to a lapse in judgment, I'm running a half marathon tomorrow morning. Thank goodness for no jet lag. Did I mention that already?