Firstly, I judged Lima too harshly. It does have a bad reputation for crime and being a bit dirty and boring. (Yay for Lima). But the area I'm staying in, near the Historic Centre, is actually very nice. It doesn't have the excitement of Rio, or the beauty of Buenos Aires, but it has charm. Just across from my hostel there's a wide park with European-style lampposts, a large art museum in a beautiful old building, and a row of street vendors selling everything from corn on the cob to churros. Lima is also famous for its food, so I'm going to take a wander over to the river later and see what I can rustle up. It's also the second driest capital city in the world, after Cairo.
So here are some other observations from today:
Summer is drawing to a close here, but it's still not as hot as I expected it to be. I'm now further north than Rio, where it was boiling hot. The sun is intense, but it's only hitting about 27 degrees. I'm sure the Amazon will be a different story though.
Lima is not as cheap as you want it to be.
A lot of people look Peruvian. As in, the Quechua look - dark skin, dark, wiry hair, relatively flat noses. Don't quote me on this, but I've heard about 45% of Peru's population have close blood links with the indigenous population of the country.
The fashion is generally quite chavvy. It's like Peru is aiming to be a nation of Miami gangsters and Hildas from Ugly Betty.
Tess Daly's twin is on TV here.
Every city I've been to in South America has the same street names. They're either named after dates, countries, cities or people. The amount of Venezuelas I've walked down is insane.
People seem to think car horns are respirators. Give it a rest, people!
Avril Lavigne is still alive, apparently.
The green man at pedestrian crossings actually runs. Amazing.
Evidently it's acceptable to put a small woman in a metal box on stilts in the middle of a busy road intersection, and give her a yellow flag and a whistle to direct traffic. That's what London's doing wrong!
Hopefully I'll have more of a chance to explore Lima next week, but to be honest I'm not in Peru for its capital city. There's a lot of excitement coming up in the next few weeks!