23rd August 2010
Peru was fascinating and very different as a holiday destination. I dont know what I expected but these gentle, smiling people were a delightful surprise. Lima is a tired place, some told us many areas were particularly dangerous – near the airport for instance. But we experienced no problems and witnessed nothing unfortunate happening to anyone else.
The food was also surprising! There was an unexpected Japanese influence so we had spicy sushi for instance! And sea urchin with onions and chillie! Strange but true! They also eat guinea pig there but I definately didnt try that… guinea pigs are pets, not dinner!!
While the people are poor and really have very little, there are small parks with some beautiful wild birds adding little bursts of colour and life in the strangest places. There was a park covered in olive trees that were planted more than 500 years ago… i dont think they still fruited but they were still nurtured and cared for by the locals. Small bright red birds flitted through the contorted trunks and branches.
Beggars and street traders were present everywhere, most of them were people trying to sell meagre vegetables or herbs to make a basic living. Some sold tiny boiled quail eggs, their shells blue and speckled brown. Others were more imaginative. One day stopped at a traffic light a tiny woman – less than 4 feet tall – wearing what can only be described as an ‘I dream of Jeannie’ outfit suddenly appeared and shimmied and danced in front of the car for a few moments before quickly moving to the window to ask for a few ‘sol’. How could we refuse!?
6th April 2010
Hard to believe but very sadly there have been more mud slides in Peru. So terrible for the people there. Machu Picchu had reopened and now is closed again. I’m sure they need tourists but its hard to feel enthusiasm when you know you’ll be visiting a natural disaster area.
Coincidentally, there has also been an earthquake in California. Well, probably not that surprising as they have regular earthquakes there (San Andreas Fault?) however not as serious as the impact of the Peruvian tragedy and I’m sure the Californians are more used to dealing with these situations even if they’re equally unwanted.
We’ll keep on with our travel plans for now while keeping an eye on the situation.
We’ve planned a trip to Peru this year. Never been to either Central or South America so it will be fascinating.
Hoping to visit Machu Pichu (assuming no further problems with mud slides).