Written September 30, 2005
I got up early today and ate a simple breakfast at my hostel. Afterwards, I went with Tom and Henry from Britain and Mored from France to the center of Lima. The Plaza de Armas was an interesting place surrounded by churches and government buildings. The four of us walked a few blocks down to a market that sold fresh meat and fish. I was fascinated by the constant hustle and bustle lifestyle that characterized the area, yet it was a little frightening at the same time. With so many people moving in every direction, I constantly had to stay vigilant to protect myself. I would have loved to have become invisible to take a few good street photos, but I guess I'll have to settle for the quick shots I got with my point and shoot camera.
After the market, we walked through Chinatown. It wasn't very big and I didn't see even one person who looked even remotely Chinese, but at least there were plenty of places to eat. After lunch, we walked to the bull fighting arena, but it was closed. We had to walk through some pretty dodgy areas to get there, too. After we had enough walking around, we caught a cab back home.
Downtown Lima didn't impress me. It was a big, loud, and smelly area without any major attractions. Don't get me wrong, it was still fun to walk around and observe the city lifestyle, but there weren't many great places to enjoy for an afternoon, and there are plenty of areas that I'm told are far too dangerous to walk through, even during the day. Miraflores (the district where I am staying, a few miles from the center of Lima) is a lot nicer, but there still doesn't seem to be much tourism here. I didn't go on this trip to be a tourist, but on the other hand, I like learning about other cultures, and I have yet to find a place here that can help me do that, other than observing life on the street.
I still have a lot of time before my Inca Trail tour, so I've decided to go north for a week or so. Morad and I are going to try to find a bus ticket to Huaraz, a city about eight hours north of here. There are lots of mountains and treks to take near there. From there, I'll make my way south until I get to Cuzco.
Tomorrow I'd like to find the Museo de la nacion, which has models of the ruins of Peru. Hopefully, that will fill my cultural fix for awhile.
Oh yeah, I may not be able to post anything for a few days because I'll be on the move, so don't get too worried if you don't see anything new here.