I think I remember liking Lima

Yay! I'm in Peru!

After six days in Santiago with our own apartment and relatively not much to do or not wanting to do much, we hit the streets of Lima with a renewed sense of vitality. Perhaps knowing that we would soon be home took our moods to a more positive level. I think that it was mostly that Lima and Peru, in general, is a really interesting place.

We didn't have any luck couchsurfing in Lima but we didn't try very hard either. While it was our favourite way to travel it also became a chore to search for compatible hosts and compose individualized requests to each potential host. Instead, we stayed at a hostel in Miraflores, a popular area in Lima.

The hostel had a friendly and helpful owner but also some (ok, only one!) unwanted guests. The morning after we arrived, Jay was in the ensuite bathroom when I rolled to my side in bed and found myself face to face with a cockroach! OK, I'm exaggerating just a bit. The c-word was on the floor and I was on the bed but STILL it was closer than I wanted it to be. Now, normally this is when I would go into hysterics and scream for Jay to get rid of the thing...and that's exactly what I did! However, I then usually insist that we pack up our bags and move on but I guess I've matured? grown accustom? I'm not sure what has happened but I no longer needed to vacate the premises. And that, my friends, is how traveling around the world has changed me. haha...just kidding.

Once I recovered from my scare and showered, we set out to explore the neighbourhood. Not far away was a historical site, Huaca Pucllana, which was used from 400-700 A.D. as a ceremonial and administrative center. We were able to get a peek into the grounds even though it was closed for the day and Jay went back the next day for a guided tour. It was quite a sight to see all the small, handmade clay bricks stacked into pyramids and platforms.

Huaca Pucllana

in Miraflores

Another day was spent wandering in downtown Lima. It was extremely hot and sunny so we took a cab from Miraflores to the Historic Centre of Lima. Hailing a cab in Lima is easy and once you know the going rate it is easy to negotiate with the drivers. We say 10 pesos, the driver says 12 pesos and you say no, no, 10 (that's what the hostel guy said we should pay) and the driver says 12 and starts driving...so you pay 12 and get out at your destination, thankful that you made it in one piece.

The Historic Centre of Lima is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, much to the pleasure of Jason. Another one to add to the back of his travel notebook and eventually this blog (see previous entry). A hint of the city's colonial past is evident in the main square and a few surrounding blocks. It's quite beautiful.

Historic Center of Lima - Plaza de Armas

Cathedral of Lima

Plaza San Martin

After several hours of exploring the historic centrer and scouring bead stores for my friend, Emily, we had worked up quite an appetite. Luckily for us, Lima is very vegetarian friendly. We would pass vegetarian restaurants on the street by accident. In almost every other city we've been to, if we wanted to find an exclusively vegetarian place we would have to ask someone or find it on the internet first.

Jay looking forward to his vegetarian delights

View of the Pacific Ocean from Lima

We squeezed in one more stop just before sunset, sat in Amore park and strolled along the coastal path high above the highway and beaches below.





We aren't quite done with this blog as we haven't even finished our accounts of South and North America. However, we are home and I have been going through things like: Where we went. I also noted other things that I like to keep track of. I am a little bit of a freak that way I'll admit. I'll start with the obvious: How many countries and cities we managed to visit. Now in order for me to count a country/city the consensus seems to be to count it if you slept there. Also, I debated whether or not I should count all of the countries we stayed in while in the U.K. as separate entities or just as one country. Well, if you ask any Scotsman they will give you your answer. All in all we visited 26 different countries, 27 if you include Canada, and 65 different cities and towns with populations as diverse as Tokyo's 32.45 million to towns like Trinidade and Anafi that I estimate to have a population of 200 to 400. Here is a break down of where we went, in the order we went there:

I) Canada -Vancouver (1)
II) U.S.A. -New York City (2)

New York's Guggenheim Museum

III) England -London (3)
-York (4)
IV) Scotland -Edinburgh (5)
V) N. Ireland -Belfast (6)
VI) Ireland -Drougheda (7)
-Dublin (8)
VII) Germany -Berlin (9)
VIII) Netherlands -Amsterdam (10)
IX) France -Paris (11)
-Bordeaux (12)
X) Spain -San Sebastian (13)

Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum near San Sebastian

-Barcelona (14)
XI) Italy -Rome (15)
-Naples (16)
XII) Croatia -Dubrovnik (17)
-Split (18)
-Plitvice (19)
-Trogier (20)
XIII) Switzerland -Geneva (21)
XIV) Hungary -Budapest (22)
XV) Greece -Athens (23)
-Delphi (24)
-Santorini (25)
-Anafi (26)
-Rhodes (27)
XVI) Turkey -Istanbul (28)

Istanbul's Blue Mosque

-Denizli (29)
-Izmur (30)
-Goreme (31)
XVII) U.A.E. -Dubai (32)
XVIII)China -Hong Kong (33)
IXX) Singapore -Singapore (34)
XX) Malaysia -Malaka (35)
-Pulau Penang (36)
XXI) Thailand -Bangkok (37)
-Koh Chang (38)
-Koh Maak (39)
-Chang Mai (40)
XXII) Cambodia -Siem Reap (41)
-Phnom Penh (42)
-Sihanoukville (43)
-Koh Russi (44)
-Kampot (45)
XXIII) Vietnam -Phu Quoc (46)
-Can Tho (47)
-Da Lat (48)
-Nha Trang (49)
-Ho Chi Minh Cit y (50)
XXIV) Japan -Tokyo (51)
-Shimizu (52)
XXV) Brazil -Sao Paulo (53)
-Rio de Janeiro (54)
-Trinidade (55)

Igreja de Santa Rita in Paraty, near Trinidade Brazil.

XXVI) Chile -Santiago (56)
XXVII)Peru -Lima (57)
-Paracas (58)
-Ica (59)
-Cuzco (60)
U.S.A. pt.2 -Los Angeles (61)
-San Francisco (62)
-Sonoma (63)
-Yosemite (64)
-Fargo (65)

As far as the usual "What was your favorite?" ...I don't think I can answer that. Far too many good times and very few disappointments. Honestly, disappointment is probably too harsh of a word... The overall feeling of "When's the next time we will be in 'X' " outweighed the
negative aspects. So suffice to say, nothing truly bad happened to us. I mean, sure, we got swindled in Istanbul and trying to get to Phu Quoc and I even had my wallet pick-pocketed in Cuzco. But we never felt like we were in danger.

We also added to my previous list of coveted UNESCO sights which I will recap... quickly. Once again, in order of appearance:

1) Statue of Liberty, New York City, U.S.A.
2) Tower of London, London, England
3) Old and New Town of Edinburgh, Scotland
4) Giants Causeway, Belfast, N. Ireland
5) Bend in the Boyne, Drougheda, Ireland

Passage tomb at the Bend in the Boyne

6) Palaces of Potsdam, Berlin, Germany
7) Rietveld-Schroder House, Utrecht, The Netherlands
8) Left and Right Banks of the Seine River, Paris, France
9) Palaces of Fontainebleau, Paris, France
10) Jurisdiction of St. Emilion, France
11) Works of Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain
12) Vatican City, Vatican City
13) Rome's Historic City Center, Italy
14) Naples' Historic City Center, Italy
15) Pompeii's Archeological Areas, Italy
16) Dubrovnik's Historical City Center, Croatia
17) Diocletian Place, Split Croatia
18) Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
19) Trogir's Historic City Center, Croatia
20) The Banks of the Danube, Budapest, Hungary
21) Athens' Archeological Areas, Greece
22) Delphi's Archeological Areas, Greece
23) Rhodes' Medieval City, Greece
24) Istanbul's Historic Areas, Turkey
25) Pamukkale & Heropolis, Denizli, Turkey
26) Goreme National Park, Turkey
27) Malaka's Historic City Center, Malaysia
28) Ankor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
29) Lima's Historic City Center, Peru
30) The Nazca Lines, Nazca, Peru

Nazca lines "The Hummingbird"

31) Cuzco's Historic City Center, Peru
32) The Lost City of Machu Pichhu, Peru
33) Yosemite National Park, U.S.A.

That's 27 countries and 33 UNESCO world heritage sights for an average of 1.222 sights per country in, as the song states, 525,600 minutes... Well, quite a bit fewer than that, closer to a paltry 432,000... as we had to cut our trip short 93,600 minutes or 2 months.

We will be back with more posts, I promise. And funner ones too!