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  • Day273

    Lima, Peru

    July 17, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Last stop South America.

    Well here we are. Our last day in Spanishland. I'd wonder where the days went or how the time passed but I needn't. It's fresh as a daisy in my brain and recorded right here for my impending mental deterioration. And it's been an absolute hoot!

    We've found some lavish accommodation in the nicest area of Lima, readjusting to a Peruvian version of a western lifestyle; hot showers, hamburgers, french fries, Starbucks and dogs on leashes. We planned nothing for our darting visit to Lima. Our only business was packing and exercise and business like that can only be done after a good night's sleep, a delicious meal and a strong cup of coffee, of course.

    Wining and dining aside, Lima has a malecon (or boardwalk) worth writing home about. For a city reputable for nothing good, Lima has an absolutely world class boardwalk. Running along the clifftop between two or three of the city's wealthiest suburbs is a stunning exercise haven. They've paved 8-10km of pathway through immaculate maintained gardens and lush green lawns that could put most golf courses to shame. The pathway splits, weaves and joins with turnoffs to lookouts and the like. Amongst the beautiful gardens are playgrounds, rotundas, seating, workout stations, tennis courts, volleyball courts, football fields, a parasailing club, skate park, bmx track, popcorn stands and a noticeable void of traffic and intersections. It even runs over an underground mall! The view of the coast and pacific ocean is nothing short of spectacular and the expensive real estate lining the land side appears unintrusive. It's an outstanding stretch of green space which we thoroughly enjoyed with a morning run and a rather lengthy afternoon walk.

    Other than that I don't have much to report on Lima. We had some fantastic ceviche, delicious mexican and generally steered clear of the cheap and nasty food which we've been living off for the last few months. I even convinced Cat to join me in one of the numerous KFCs for some dirty bird.

    It's been a fantastic last few months but if I said we wish we could stay I'd be lying - at least for now. Western comforts are calling and they're long overdue. Since arriving in Colombia we've spent over 270 hours on buses covering at least 15,000 km, not including tours and van rides. That's only a few thousand kilometres short of driving from Auckland to London (18,000 km). No mas, por favor.

    We've had a decent crack at our list of must do's, ticking off the big tickets like Torres del Paine, Colombia, Huayna Potosi, Death Road and if I must - Machu Picchu. In between we've met some awesome people, worked some awful jobs and filled a silly amount of time both walking and eating. Balancing the good and the bad has been hard work, but after some time travelling I think I'm in a position to say it's the best way to do it. I'm sure Cat will agree that a hot shower is so much better off the back of a few icy cold ones, right Cat?

    We'll no doubt miss the cheap food and board that is so readily available in many of these countries. We'll miss the activity and vibrance of the cities and the frequently changing scenery and company. Cat in particular will miss the hoards of cats and dogs which leave her weak at the knees at least once a day - especially the two puppies I had to drag her from to get to the airport on time.

    We've been in Spanish speaking countries since January and our Spanish speaking skills have progressed from naught to about the ability of a four year old, on a good day. Although I've really enjoyed learning and embarrassing myself in front of almost everybody I've spoken to, I'm really disappointed with myself for not knowing more. Fluency would have made this a completely different trip for many reasons. Hopefully we'll pick it up again sometime in the future but for now I'm chomping at the bit for an English speaking country.

    Travel in a second language at speeds like that requires a lot of research and a lot of bookings and I definitely couldn't have done it without Cat. She's a google master, bookings.com genius and Trip advisor legend. Her incapacity to be underprepared is astonishing and her ability to sniff out a hostel deal or swish mexican restaurant from the slums of the world is superb. She's the one who's been proof-reading all these posts so we have her to blame for any outstanding errors, or to thank for the lack thereof. Oh, and while we're at it, she's also not bad company.

    From Lima, we've got three flights to Vancouver, detouring through Ft Lauderdale (third time at this airport) and Chicago (second time). Here's hoping all goes smoothly. Adios América del Sud, Holà Canada!
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