I have no idea what Lima is actually like. Callum should write this post, though all he’d be able to say is that he took care of me when I was really sick and so got to know the pharmacy, grocery store and other pharmacy really well while we were in Lima for our 2.25 days. He took a brief walk along the beach and saw some para-gliders but that’s about it. We think we’ll have to go back. I did rally for a bit the evening of our second night and for the five hours or so we had to kill on the third day, enough to do some market shopping. The shopping in Peru (and Bolivia) has been basically the same everywhere we went. Every single shop sells the exact same thing across these two countries, and for similar prices, though Cusco seems to be the most reasonable for Peru (perhaps La Paz for Bolivia). You have to be wary of prices—as with any country where bargaining is the order of the day. The sellers will quote some outrageous price which you should immediately counter with half or even a third of what they say. They will scoff and appear greatly offended but prices will magically go from 100 soles ($40 AUD) to 30 ($12) if you act uninterested and start to walk away. I am terrible at bargaining because I feel guilty for not just giving what they ask. I do wish there were set prices that are clearly advertised rather than having to go through the whole bartering system. Callum has no problem putting something down and walking away and saying things like “There is NO WAY it should cost that much.” We get by together.
I wanted to include this little post because I feel like it’s important to wrap up Peru. Peru has been a wild ride and so, so enjoyable that we want to come back some day. We have learned a lot about how to navigate Peru and feel we’d do much better a second time around. Also, there is much to discover in the northern and central parts of Peru as we have basically only seen the south. Both of us have said to each other that the highlight was definitely hiking to Machu Picchu, mostly because it was so hard and rewarding at the same time, and because we met some amazing people. People we hope to catch up with later this year. I would say overall, the scenery we saw was a highlight and some of the meals we had were delicious. You should go to Peru! Highly recommended. Especially if you like trekking, and, even if you don’t you will still find it worthwhile.
Overall we are keen to come back to South America. The other countries that we kept hearing about from everyone were Columbia, Ecuador and Chile. I also really want to see Paraguay just for kicks as that’s where my momma was born. So we’ll be coming back one day.
Final Tip: don’t eat the ham and cheese croissants on the Peru Buses. That’s what did me in for about 4 days. Callum did say that it smelled like poison, but I was so hungry. Never again. Buy your own food from a grocery store before your bus rides. Or just eat chips.
Our third country done and the end of continent #1 for this trip!