Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Last day in Lima

<p>Went to some precolombian ruins in Lima's San Isidro district. "Ruins" doesn't really capture it, they have rebuilt the whole thing so it's now in absolutely perfect condition. It's a 20m step pyramid from which one has a perfect view of the residential towers all around. Spoils the impression completely. </p>
<p>San Isidro also has a large golf club in the middle, and extends all the way to the sea. It's evidently quite rich, except who would want to live in glorified office towers? The BMW density is very high there. </p>
<p>Lima doesn't really have a beach. It has a neglected stretch of mud where sea meets land, but it's hard to get there because a freeway runs alongside the shore. Next there's a steep cliff, and the city begins up there - with a very nice park. First place in Lima we really enjoyed. Trees, lawns, lots of flowers, free wifi, and sea views. Behind that, more residential towers, oh well. </p>
<p>This is the last post from South America, promise. I'll be on the road for a while, and in a few days I'll post from Indonesia. Back to the real mission of this blog, finally! </p>

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

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Lima continues to fail to amaze. Tried to visit some Inca ruins outside town, but they were closed and a look over the fence didn't impress. The nearby freeway, oil refinery, slums, and dirty beaches with dead birds that vie for the discriminating traveler's attention made Lima look good again so we returned.

Which takes a while because Lima has no real public transport system. There's a number of competing bus companies that serve major streets, with a guy shouting destinations out the bus door like a souvenir vendor hawking Inca masks. There are no schedules, marked stops, or reliable connections. But we found our way. Can't praise GPS units with preloaded OSM maps enough.

No pictures worth showing today, so here's some more liquid bubble gum in three-liter bottles.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lima is useless.

Ok, it serves to stow the third of Peruvian who choose to live in this city. But there is very little to see or do here. It's main property is size. We chose to stay in the Miraflores neighborhood, which is a little less ragged and dangerous than el centro, but it's not very interesting either. And even here houses have huge fierce-looking barbed fences.

There are no sights to see in Lima, so I'll just show some generic colonial-looking white building downtown.

Machu Picchu picture

That last photo was taken with my friend's iphone. Evidently iphone take photos upside down and then set a flag telling the viewer to turn it around. Some viewers do that and some don't. Blogger doesn't. So here it is again, after Android treatment.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mucho Pictures

Machu Picchu is 400 meters above Aguas Calientes. It's the #1 tourist attraction of South America. It's an Inca city on top of a mountain, nestled between two other mountains in an incredibly scenic way, as if the Inca designed it as a tourist attraction 700 years ago. The Spaniards who looted the rest of the continent never found it.

We got up there early in the morning, but for the first two hours we saw exactly nothing because of dense fog. I suppose there's a reason the forests up here are called fog forests. The buildings all lost their roofs but were otherwise intact, and we explored the city for hours. They let tourists roam freely, except where guards are posted; they create tiny one-way zones around them.