Friday 31st Nov
Left Bristol at 22.30. Absolutely freezing.
Saturday 1st Nov
Arrived in Gatwick about 1am. Slept for a few hours. Take off 8.15.
Arrived in Atlanta at about 14.30 local time.
My first experience of the states
I felt very foreign in America! Even though i knew to expect extra friendly service, it really freaked me out.
Arrived in Lima at 23.00. Was feeling tired and aprehensive so spent a ridiculous amount on an official, safe taxi. What a waste of money! Saw loads of casinos on the way into Lima. The driving is mad, they dont indicate or pay attention to lanes. However, they make up for the lack of indicating with near constant use of the horn. Honk to say hello, if you see another vehical, pedestrian or animal, or just because you can. I talked to the taxista about la comida peruviana.
Arrived at Jossy's house in Miraflores. Its a flat in an impressive block with views over the ocean. She had told me that she wouldnt be back till Sunday and so I was to collect her key from the desk. However, the porter seemed to know nothing about the key. I was so desperate for a bed because it was past midnight, and 5am according my bodyclock. I was just looking in my guidebook for a hotel when he found an envelope with my name on it and the key inside. I was so incredibly relieved.
Sunday 2nd Nov
The clouds in the morning are incredibly thick so I couldn´t see much from the window. I slept until quite late then ventured down to Larcomar shopping centre and up Av. Larco. A few men asked me the time, a ploy to start a conversation with a gringa. One guy latched on to me and I ignored him and went into a shop. Having read about so many scams etc. I didnt want to talk to anyone! Found crossing the road quite difficult at first as they ignore crossings and there often aren't many traffic lights.
Monday 3rd Nov
Braved the public buses and had an interesting journey into the centre, saw quite a few old colonial houses. The buses are mad and you can get on and off wherever you like. They are also very cheap, 1sol 50, about 30p for an hours journey into the centre. I was so paranoid about my bag that I think a guy put his hand on my leg, and I only realised when he got up. After that I tried to sit on the side with single seats! I arrived in the plaza de armas just in time to see the changing of the guards.
I looked around the cathedral and saw Pizarro's tomb. Saw a beautiful sunset which I painted from Larcomar.
Tuesday 4th Nov
Went to the Monestario de San Francisco. It has really beautiful baroque architecture and a library with huge hand written books. You can also go down to the catacombs and see lots of bones.
Wednesday 5th Nov
Met a guy called Brendon who was teaching for a couple of months in Lima. He took me and another girl to an orphanage in San Martin where a Swedish girl was volunteering.
Started talking to more Peruvians and became less suspicious of everyone. OK, they may want to sell you things but they also just want to talk and are generally nice and friendly.
Thursday 6th Nov
Went to Huaca Pucllana, had a guide just for myself. I found it really interesting. It's a pre-Inca settlement where they worshipped the moon and sea and sacrificed young women. It was built with adobe bricks in a way which would withstand earthquakes. I met Brendon in the park in the afternoon and watched the paragliders over the sea. Talked to a Peruvian guy who thought Obama would start the third world war and signified the beginning of the end (according to Nostradamus). Indeed, apparently he predicted 'Great power given to the dark one from slaves come,
The Aryana will not be satisfied thereby.' (http://www.dailysquib.co.uk/?c=117&a=1300)
Friday 7th Nov
Went to the orphanage again. It was a clear sunny afternoon with a rainbow in the sky. Moved into Friend's Hotel. Had a dormitory all to myself. Met a couple from Bristol.
Went out in the evening with the volunteers and some peruvians. We went to a casino called Fiesta where they had a salsa show which was amazing. I danced with one of the performers -incredible! Went on to a club in Barranco where I continued to dance salsa and drank mojitos! A fantastic night which ended with a walk over the puente de suspiros, you hold your breath and make a wish while you cross it. On the other side was an amazing view over the ocean.
Saturday 8th Nov
Went to the suburbs with Brendon, Jarmy and Ines. Had a strange day, the highlight of which was going to the University where we saw students rehearsing a traditional Inca dance with sticks. Had ceviche for lunch, a traditional dish with raw fish which i was to regret in a big way.
Stu arrived in the evening.
Sunday 9th Nov
Woke up with a very dodgy stomach. Ventured out for a drink, tried eating some rice, unsuccessfully. Dragged myself back to the hotel and slept all afternoon.
Monday 10th Nov
Finally left Lima, got a bus to Pisco