Take a bus ride the length of New Zealand without stopping. Just for good measure, before starting your journey take another bus from Wellington to Taupo, just to make things interesting. That’s what we came face to face with as we traversed from Cuenca (Ecuador) across to Guayaquil (Ecuador), where we got a direct bus to Lima (Peru). It was tough going, but meals on-board, wi-fi and of course Celina’s witty remarks kept me sane. It was a personal best for me, 35hours to leave one place and get to another by bus. Even at the best of times Cel doesn’t like the long bus rides, but she survived this one pretty well – the sleeping pill might have helped!

 

Peruvian Coastline

 

Lima – The Capital with Canons

 

Peruvian Coastline

Unique coastline as we approach Lima, some serious sand slopes

We were hoping Lima would be the promised land for Canon camera’s, after our unfortunate theft in Quito. We were in luck, with 5 minutes of checking into our hostel, along with Tony our kiwi travel-pal, we were pointed to 3 different stores that would sell them! Tony was also looking for a new camera so the next days activity was planned, camera shopping. The hostel itself, Dragaonfly, is situated in the Miraflores suburb of Lima – a new area with plenty of western wonders (shopping malls, McDonalds, supermarkets etc). While not really being authentically Peruvian, it was going to be perfect for our needs. After a decent nights sleep in a completely flat bed (as opposed to the reclining seats of the bus) we woke up to a sunny Lima that promised to shine Canon dSLRs.

It didn’t take long before we had our eye on the prize, an exact replacement for the camera that had gone walkabout in Quito. Tony insisted on shopping around to get the best price, a smart move, I was simply too excited that we could actually buy a replacement never mind the price! After casing out the other joints, who offered nothing better in price, we returned to the original spot to make the purchase, getting another 5% knocked off as we were buying a camera each. Success, we were back on the road with full photo taking capabilities. The rest of the day was spent wandering around Miraflores, chatting and sampling some of the famous seafood at one of the local restaurants.

 

Lima

Canon dSLR back in action! Only fitting for it to be a smashing pic of Cel

 

Saga, Lima

Saga Mall – the saint that delivered us our new Canon. Fitting name really.

 

Lima Historic Town

 

Lima

Proud fan after the ABs beat Aus, celebratory donut in hand

After all the excitement of buying a new camera, it was only fitting that we take it out and give it a good bashing with photos of everything we saw. As per usual, there was a ‘historic centre’ in the city so we thought it would be a good place to hit up. Taking a bus from Miraflores (a pretty efficient system) and stopping on the way to buy a donut (reliving my craving from when we were in Asia), we hopped off in the historic centre 30 minutes later. It didn’t take long before we started to see the characteristic buildings with their colonial façades. We were lucky enough to stumble across a parade, not quite sure what it was for exactly but there was an endless stream of performers dancing their way around the main square. We stopped to take in this impromptu cultural event, quite glad to be ticking off the cultural stuff early and without too much effort! While at the parade, we were stopped by a group of students who asked if they could video us individually, asking us questions in English about their city, what we liked about it, if we had tried traditional food etc – turns out it was a university project and we guessed it was to prove they could speak English or something. We were glad to be helping out the locals on the other end of the camera.

 

Lima Historic Town

Cel getting into the parade atmosphere

 

Lima Historic Town

Bit of traditional dancing to cap things off

 

Lima Historic Town

This guy was loving his role in the parade

 

Lima Historic Town

Some pretty sweet costumes

 

It was around lunchtime, so we stopped off for a ‘Menu del dia’ set lunch menu where you get a starter, main and dessert, along with a drink for around $5USD. We celebrated the ABs victory with a glass of red wine over lunch, these things are important to do when on tour!

 

Lima Historic Town

Happy, although getting hangry as we look for a place for lunch

 

The lunch was good and gave us enough energy to try and get into the cultural scene some more. The perfect vice was San Francisco Cathedral, built in 1774 housing a set of catacombs which was Lima’s first cemetery back in the day. Still very much showing it’s previous use, we saw stacks and stacks of bones and skulls in the underground tunnels and pits. Thankfully we managed to tack onto the back of a free English tour so were able to learn and appreciate some of the history of the place. For me the most impressive part was the library, which really showed it’s age. It contained a huge set of old (not quite sure how old but they were pretty dusty) books, antique reading chairs and a pair of spiral staircases that led up to a 2nd level landing that contained even more books. The sort of scene that would have been perfect for a Harry Potter film…Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos in the Cathedral so you’ll just have to make up your own visions from my descriptive words.

 

We made our way back to the bus terminal via Lima’s own Chinatown. The place had it’s very own Asian feel and was fittingly busy with people everywhere, markets full of dead animals and shops selling anything you could possibly imagine. The smell of raw meat and poultry eventually drove us away from the area, but it was a unique experience in the heart of Peru’s capital.

 

Lima Historic Town

Beijing or Lima?

 

Lima Historic Town

Chicken markets in Chinatown

 

Lima Historic Town

Fish markets in Chinatown

 

Lima Historic Town

The local scene

 

Lima Historic Town

Chicken Heaven

 

We felt as though Lima had looked after us well, nothing could surmount the highlight of replacing our camera particularly given how close we were to starting our Inca trek. The suburb of Miraflores had given us our dose of western society that you sometimes crave when miles from home. It had also given Cel a dose of shopping that she often craves too. A good stop-0ff to recharge the battery, take in some Peruvian culture and prepare ourselves for the big walk!

 

Lima Historic Town

Never short of a taxi or two in Lima

 

Alarms were set, plane tickets were printed out and trekking dates were double-confirmed. We were as ready as we could be for what the Peruvian highlands could throw at us. Next stop Cusco at 3,400m.

5 Comments

  1. Clambering about Cuenca « BrendonFry.com says: August 30, 2012 • 16:58:44

    […] for me and Thai green curry for Cel. It was a short but sweet visit, we had to make our way to Lima, Peru given the looming trekking deadline. A mammoth 36hr bus journey ensued, it was gruelling […]

    Reply

  2. Sara says: September 20, 2012 • 22:25:07

    Hi!
    I googled a little bit and found you blog. I have just got my camera stolen in Qutio and are in desperate need for a new one. I’m heading to Lima next week, and are therefore woundering: what kind of cameras did they sell? I would like a great compactcamera, preferbly canon snapshot s100. Do you think they will have them? In quito I havn’t found a good enough compact camera yet.
    I would really apprciate your advise,
    Sara

    Reply

    • brendonfry says: September 20, 2012 • 22:52:39

      Hi Sara,

      They have all the kinds of camera’s you will want in Lima. We replaced our Canon dSLR there and saw plenty of compact camera’s too. You need to look in the suburb of Miraflores in Lima. The shops that had them are ‘Ripleys’ and ‘Saga Falabella’ they are both big modern department stores and you should find what you’re after at either of these places!

      Best of luck.
      Brendon

      Reply

      • Sara says: September 24, 2012 • 20:11:33

        Hi and thank you very much for your answer!
        I’m looking forward to replacing the stolen camera with a new one in Lima (and holding on to it like crazy!).
        It’s a nice blog you have and I will look for tips since me and my boyfriend almost are taking the same route.
        Good luck with your trip aswell and thank you again.
        Sara

        Reply

        • brendonfry says: September 24, 2012 • 21:59:50

          No problems – glad it helped. We know the feeling about holding onto it like crazy – our never leaves our limbs these days!

          Thanks for the comment about the blog, nice to hear that’s it useful for others out there. Let me know if you have other questions during the trip, happy to help.

          B

          Reply

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