The streets of Lima are a cacophony of autos and buses interspersed with taxis of every colour veering and careening for any available space that appears or can be taken as traffic lurches from one congested roadway to another.
Lima is a somewhat like Athens with a dash of Havana; fine historical structures nobly standing amidst the makeshift buildings of brick and clay that certainly will not have the lifespan of its early occupants
The streets are crowded with Peruvians, a mixture of Spanish and Inca and many native groups in between. Lima, like many cities is a collection of everything that reflects the positive and underbelly of any society.
The first paragraph would best describe the three hour tour through the many streets of Lima, as we observed the locals going about their business as our group clicked pictures of their mundane routines. Mockingly and with a smile, one fellow pantomimed photographing the tourists leaning over the edge of the upper level of the doubledecker bus.
As I sat and ate my breakfast on the eighth floor of the hotel, overlooking the many rooftops, I couldn't help but reflect on the state of society. Preparing for Macchu Pichu, one of the wonders of the world - it doesn't seem we have come very far. You can tell a lot from rooftops ... most here are strewn with construction debris. No need for 50 year architectural shingles to reflect the wealth and status of the occupants - as they say .. out of sight .. out of mind.
Miraflores, the neighbourhood I am staying in is known as safe and upscale. The Pacific Ocean, four blocks away hosts many of the latest trendy stores and high value shopping for those who can afford it. The showpiece of Lima. Leather boots, pricey shirts, alpaca sweaters and turquoise jewellery (yes turquoise not jade) can be found - no deals here! But, I am sure the hinterlands will have prices that would be fitting of a retired school teacher. We will see!
Don is a former educator and having worked for a Canadian airline, he enjoys travel that is mildly