First Days in South America

When my friend and I flew into Lima it was dark, about 10pm. We had met a group of people on the plane that were traveling around South America for the first time too. Once we landed we followed signs to Immigration, since this was my first time being a different country (apart from going to the movie theater in Canada once when I was little) I didn’t know what to expect. I got up to the counter and handed the lady my passport and a piece of paper I had to fill out on the plane. She said something that I didn’t understand. “Que?” And then I understood through my broken spanish and her broken English that she wanted know how long I was to stay in Peru and I said 30-40 dias? Should have said a lot longer just in case but she stamped my passport uruptly and wrote 60. So I have 60 days in Peru.

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We went to baggage claim and grabbed or bags that I didn’t fully beilive would be waiting for us, bought some Peruvian Soles and headed out to ground tranportation. We walked out and found a sign with my friends name on it and jumped into the car with our driver. As we were getting into the car all the stories about taxi cab drivers stealing young girls flooded though my head. Nonetheless we made to our hostel. All we can see of Lima was lots huge billboards and tiny taxis rushing this way and that. We heard constent honking and the cars barely would squeeze by one another.

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The hostel was in a huge concrete building with a metal door that you had buzz the front desk in order for the door to open. Once inside we checked in and fell fast asleep. The next morning we had decided to go to Miraflores which was soppose to be a nicer neighborhood and where would stay for the next couple of days. A taxi would be about 25 soles where as the local bus system would only be 2 or 3 soles. We decided for adventure and took the bus.

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The bus system has no marked routes there is just a guy swinging out the door yelling out places the bus was going. We jumped one and was making our hour venture for Miraflores. Once on a man asked with a thick accent where we were going, we told him and he said 24 soles! And we just shook our heads pointed to the price on the bus and gave him 3 soles. He didn’t bother us anymore. We finally made it to our new hostel after Sarah got us lost pretending she knew the way.

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My impressions of Lima:

1. It was very dirty
2.It was very grimy
3. Very dirty

It was so smoggy that for three days while in Lima we couldn’t see the sun the sky was just grey, at night it never got completely dark just a dull grey. All the buildings were built ontop of one anyother irregularly and at different time so because of this the many little shops and resturants looked really small but you would go through a corroidor maybe around a corner or two and there will be a huge patio open to the sky or with a bamboo cover on top. I also noticed that many of the building were never completely cut off from the outside. Like our hostel had a little sitting area that if you looked up there was no roof and to get on to the roof you would just take the stair that went up and out to the roof without a door. I thought it was really cool and I liked the design. There was so many restaurants and types of food to choose from that you could spend years just trying them all and never make it that far. There is also a cat park! In the cat park there lives 20-40 cats that are very friendly that just hangout. Many people read in this park and the cats will just lay by you and cozy up. And think my friends Dara would never leave this park if she found it. While in Lima we met many really cool people that I will remember for ever and some that see again in the next town.

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We ended up canceling our last night at the hostel and left early to Ica , Peru because we really wanted to get out of the city. We traveled by bus which was really nice and made it to an oasis in the middle of a desert outside the town of Ica. This is where we were told to camp:

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You will make it to the Oasis and you will see a light in the trees just above the road, under that light you will see a table and there will be a guy from Mexico there he speakes really good English, he will let you camp for 5 soles. And thats what we did.

In the oasis there are lots of birds and a pack of dogs that roam the streets chasing cars. They were really friendly so I gave them a french fry once. When in a place thats surrounded by sand the thing to do is ride dune buggies and go sandboarding. The duebuggies are a blast! They go so fast up and down the dunes and the dunes are very large, almost like mountains. Sandboarding is a blast as well!

After the Oasis we will head to Arequipa the ancient city…

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4 thoughts on “First Days in South America

  1. Jess, what an amazing adventure so far. It sounds like it started out with some serious culture shock, but the cat park, oasis and sand boarding all seem like such unique experiences! I’d definitely live in that park, or maybe one day I’ll just make one!!! Haha, I love kitties so much! I’m glad to hear that you’re safe and sound and out of the dirty city, and I’m looking forward to seeing and reading about what you’ve been up to since! I’m sending love and hugs and safe wishes and good energy – xoxox – Dara

    1. Thank you Dara! It so nice to hear all that from you 🙂 I will be making a new post very soon! If you make a cat park I would spend all my time there.. I have no idea how all those cats just stay there in the middle of the city they seem to be well feed and well loved though! Much love from Peru!

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