View towards the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range near Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Beautiful photos of Peru

I know you are expecting us to show you beautiful photos of Peru. And hopefully we will live up to your expectations one of these days, but it won't be today!

Yesterday was our first full day in Lima. We are staying in a nice place with a very friendly local family who do not speak any English.

We got up in the morning, and Juan had already left for work. Raquel was here, along with one of the two daughters (16 and 20?). We sat and had a hot drink with them and talked about our plans.

We had arrived late so of course hadn't had a chance to buy any food. Raquel offered to make us some breakfast which we happily took advantage of. There was no money discussed, but we will play it by ear and see how many meals we are invited to join them for and offer some payment at the end of our stay.

The area we are in is decidedly non tourist, which is exactly what we wanted. We like to see how the locals live. In fact, during our outing yesterday we did not see any other foreigners at all. (Other than a quick stop in the airport).

We wanted to find a Scotiabank ATM, a grocery store, a local market, a Claro cellular office, and somewhere for lunch. We discussed some of this with Raquel, and she gave us some direction but I neglected to put a pin in our map for the Claro office.

And, we traveled light so I did not bring the camera, nor our wifi cellular hotspot. When we go out exploring, we only bring the bare minimum of what we might need for the day.

But, I still had our cell phone for photos, and the maps.me app for offline directions.

A typical street in the area where we are staying.

At the local market.

We found a Scotiabank ATM, but neither one of us liked the look of it. Yes, it was on a busy street outside a Scotiabank branch, but there were a lot of people just hanging around. Yes, there was also an armed guard, but when neither one of us liked the idea, it was good to go with your instincts. There are lots of Scotiabank branches here.

I found another one across from the airport and we headed that way.

Near the airport.

We found the bank, and took out 300 soles ($117 CAD, $89 USD). Not much, but then we do not pay any fees by using a Scotiabank ATM so there is no benefit to taking out more than we need.

Next was to try and find a Claro cell store for a local SIM card. We were so close to the airport we decided to go there to use the bathroom and the free wifi to check if there was another Claro store nearby. It turned out that there was one in the airport itself, but the girl there said we needed to go to a customer service center so we will do that when we are downtown today.

Lots of traffic around the airport!

Yikes.

We then walked back towards home and a large supermarket grocery store. But just after we left the airport we came to a side street that had a lot of small restaurants on it and they were all very busy with what it looked like were people who work at the airport. Again, no tourists at all.

We went into one that had an empty table, and the girl brought us a menu.

She brought us these snacks.

At first I thought they were peanuts. But they are a special variety of corn that is roasted or deep fried and it is called "cancha" here. Crunchy, with lime and a spicy sauce they are quite good!

We ordered our meal and it came with a choice of starter... we both had the salad.


Starter salad.

I had the chicken.

Ruth had fish soup.

The meals also came with a liter jug of juice... it was a mixture of apple juice and water.

The total bill for everything for the two of us was 18 soles ($7 CAD, $5.35 USD). Yes, that is for both of us. For everything. No tipping is expected.

It seems that houses in this area do not include any yard space. So some people make their own gardens out of the street itself!

A homemade garden out on the street.

We found the big grocery store and bought a few things. Then to a market next door to buy some oranges and strawberries. Four mandarins and a half kilo of strawberries for 3.6 soles ($1.40 CAD, $1.05 USD).

On the way back, we stopped in at a "ferreteria"... a hardware store, and bought an adapter for Ruth's laptop. The outlets here are two prong only.

We had walked 12.7 kms (7.9 miles) and our feet were done. Our new Oboz hiking boots are taking a while to feel broken in, a problem we never had with new Merrells boots. But, hopefully soon.

Temperature was high 22C (71F) low 15C (60F) with mostly overcast skies but no rain.

Today, we head to downtown Lima.

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18 comments:

  1. Watch for quinoa growing in some of those urban gardens. It comes in a variety of colors, and is very pretty.

    Lima in general did not seem to be very picturesque based on what we observed during our visit. It's quite culturally interesting, however, and the food is terrific, well, other than cuy. Just could not bring ourselves to do the cuy! 😆

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    1. Thanks for the heads up on that, we will keep our eyes open for it.

      You are totally right, Lima really isn't a pretty city and is very dusty and dirty for the most part, although we did enjoy our day downtown yesterday and saw some nice architecture. It is very interesting culturally as you said and yes so far we are enjoying the food. It is much tastier than the food in Colombia but still not as good as the food in Mexico. If we see cuy on the menu, we will most likely give it a try.

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  2. I agree that when you don't feel right about something, listen to your feelings. Besides that you needed to walk more to break those boots in!!! Be safe!

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  3. What an adventure, how long will you be in Peru. Looking forward on all your postings and pictures, as always.
    Stay safe

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    1. We are in Peru for a total of twenty days. Thank you for following along on our adventures. :-)

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  4. Did you not try breaking in your boots before leaving Ottawa?

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    1. Of course, we tried to... but we only bought them just before we left Ottawa.

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    2. Yes, it's not surprising that it may take awhile to break in a new pair of a new brand of boots for both of you. I hope you have some good hiking socks, but even if so, it is important to start slow. I know that's not feasible under the circumstances, so hope you don't end up with any serious problems from the long distance walking in new boots. Good luck!

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    3. That's the thing though Emily, we never ever had to break in our Merrell's they were always perfect right from the moment we first put them on. These however need a little working in and we are definitely working on that. I have good hiking socks but Kevin doesn't have proper ones, although the ones that he does use are thick socks, not thin ones. He said they felt better yesterday but we didn't walk quite as far yesterday.

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  5. You'll find some great museums along with great architecture in Lima. Along the coast, in some of the upper class neighborhoods are some fancy restaurants. I didn't eat there but had a glass of wine at an outside patio and watched the view. Check online for cultural activities happening this week.

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    1. Yes, there certainly are and we don't have time to see all the museums but we did however see some beautiful architecture downtown.

      We are headed to the coast in today's adventures. I highly doubt we will be eating at any of the fancy restaurants either. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any cultural activities happening in Lima at this particular time. We will see if anything is going on in Huaraz during our week there though.

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  6. I hope you DO go to tourist areas in that country because that's what you don't want to miss while there. But from Lima you'll have to take buses. Personally Lima is the only part of Peru we would choose to skip! But you guys will have adventure wherever you are. Just don't miss the Sacred Valley and of course Machu Picchu.

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    1. No we aren't planning on going to Machu Picchu. As much as we would like too, it is where everyone goes and now is becoming an endangered area because of overtourism and that is why there is talk of totally shutting it down to give it time to rejuvenate and we just don't want to add to that. There are so many beautiful areas in Peru and we want to show people that there is more to Peru than just the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. I am sure that we won't be the least bit disappointed with where we go in Peru and what we see.

      We agree though that Lima is not a place that we would enjoy visiting again. We did however enjoy our day downtown and found it very nice and very interesting but to us it is just a big, dirty, dusty city.

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    2. I agree with your environmental concerns - however, in retrospect I think you'll regret not taking the time since you have quite a few days left. Last time we were there it was very crowded, but I don't think this is the high season yet. To be so close and not see Machu Picchu is like going to Canada and not seeing Victoria!

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    3. Know, I don't think we will regret our decision. Even since we have been here we have talked to people who are heading to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, we really don't think it matters what time of year you go there it will be busy and everything gets affected by this. Prices are higher for everything and more crowds, more English is spoken and we just don't feel that we would get the "real" experience like we will get in areas where very few tourists go and we have no doubt that we will be "Wowed" by the scenery where we are headed. As we have said many times before, we aren't normal, lol!

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  7. Enjoyed reading this as usual. Be safe.

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