My wife, Carrie, and I just embarked on a six month backpacking adventure across South America.
Peru was our first stop.
During our 10 days in Lima and Lake Titicaca, I noticed a lot of things. These are them; this and that.
Tradition & the Peruvian Countryside
Women still wear traditional and colorful Peruvian clothing in everyday life. One example was a local news anchor who wore a bowler hat on air.
The countryside’s topography varies from lush green mountains to never-ending planes of desert and snow-capped mountains.
Across Peru’s lush mountainsides, you can spot tiered pre-Incan agricultural terraces. Over the centuries, these terraces have been maintained and are still in use by local farmers.
It’s great to be back in the land of bistek (thinly sliced and seasoned beef). Mmmm. Nomnomnom.
Street vendors buy big 2-3 liter soda bottles and sell them a single cup at a time.
There is a lot of Peruvian Chinese food on every corner. It’s pretty tasty.
The salsa is picante!
I probably spoke more Spanish in my first day in Peru than I spoke Thai in my 11 months living in Thailand.
It seems that every backpacker and traveler we encounter speaks fluent Spanish. After 2.5 weeks, we haven’t found anyone fumbling with English or having trouble communicating.
My wife, Carrie, is an absolutely incredibly wonderful, beautiful, amazing, inspirational, kind, funny and cute-as-a-button woman.
Upon arriving in Puno, Carrie and I found ourselves in the middle of a huge festival. We spent the evening exploring, dancing with locals and taking it all in.
On the way back to our guesthouse, we found ourselves in a particularly crowded corner. Drunk people were jostling and falling over each other and one such man found his way up against me.
When we finally pushed passed, I immediately knew something was wrong. Reaching into my previously-zipped jacked pocket, I stopped in my tracks and told Carrie, “my camera is gone.”
Fortunately, it was only my new point and shoot and not my Nikon D800, which was still safely in my backpack. Still, this was the first time in my life that I’ve ever had something stolen off my person: and hopefully the last.
It took 6 days in Peru before I found a fellow New Yorker, thanks to him seeing my Mets hat. Naturally, he was a Yankees fan and smack-talk ensued.
Taxis often have gates around the driver’s seat for his protection.
Every time you stop at a light, people try to sell you soda, ice cream, bags of nuts, newspapers and all sorts of other things.
While in the south of Lima, a guy stood on the side of the road yelling gasiosa (soda), but his bottles had no labels. So, who knows what really was in there.
One day in Puno, Peru, our taxi driver pulls over and, without saying anything, leave the cab, walks to a nearby wall and proceeds to take one of the biggest pisses I’ve ever witnessed.
The buses in Lima are full of people selling, preaching and interacting with passengers. On one particular ride, we witnessed a magic show before being offered ice cream and pens.
Lima is a huge city; it takes nearly an hour to drive from one end to another.
Mini-casinos full of slot machines are very popular in Lima.
The streets of Lima, Peru, are often serenaded by the gentle sound of multiple car alarms going off in unison.
Lima’s skyline is a fascinating mix of traditional buildings, slums on mountainsides and modern skyscrapers.
Have you ever been to Peru or South America?
What things did you notice?