Thursday, July 13, 2006

I had mentioned the haze which covers downtown Lima Peru earlier, so I thought I would give you a visual of what I was talking about. From this picture, you might just think it is fog or mist coming off the Pacific Ocean...but you would be wrong. The entire city has that same grey sky until you get about an hours drive away from downtown. Luckily for me, the first place I stayed for 3 months was a little town called Canto Rey a ways outside of Lima, one of the last towns before you head into the Andes mountain range. Although it was far out of Lima the air still wasn't exactly what I would call fresh. The town basically was two main roads which were paved, plus several dirt roads surounded by little mountains or cerros. This is where I will begin telling some of my experiences and things I learned from a wonderful people.
Arriving in Peru, I soon realized I had no idea of what to expect. The city of Lima had a white hazy smog hovering over the top of it that never seemed to leave. My first impression was that it was just a foggy morning, then I quickly came to realize it was nothing more than good old fashioned smog that was there to stay. My next impression came from the city itself. I do have to say I was impressed with the roads at 5:30 in the morning. Not a lot of traffic, and nothing too strange except for the random law enforcement people on the side of the roads with their automatic rifles in hand. It wasn't until later in the day I came to find that the city of Peru and all over Peru was filled with taxi cabs and busses. It is pretty rare to find a common person with their own car that they don't double as their taxi business, however there are those... driving in Peru is another story, nothing like the united states. If there is room, it is a lane... driving in Lima just might be the most exciting and adventerous thing you can do when visiting Peru. They have little cars called tikos which are like the american geo metro, but smaller and busses which are driven as if they were the same size and sports cars driven by Dale Earnhardt jr. I never knew a bus ride could be so exhilerating. I once saw a bus which had creamed through three different cement telephone poles and had the top completely torn from the bus. I don't know what happened to the passengers, but I can only assume. To say the least driving in Peru is something else... well I think I have rambled enough for one day.
Seeing how I spent quite a considerable time in Peru and saw so much in my 20 month stay, I thought I would take the time to go back to the beginning of my trip. The first day I arrived in Peru, I came to a small airport early in the morning. I was have asleep after a long flight on a cramped airplane. I initially started my trip from Pheonix AZ, then was flew to Texas where I changed planes and was reunited with a friend of mine. From Texas, we flew to Florida and finally on to Peru. This final leg of the trip is where reality set in that I would be going to a 3rd world country, when my gaze fell upon an older woman with what appeared to be a very shoddy outfit, and skin that had become very wheatherd from many long days working in the sun. Then shortly after being seated on the plane, I was asked by the stuardist to change my seat because a woman that did not speak english wanted to sit next to her child. I willingly agreed until I got to my new seat and found I would be sitting in a cramped middle seat for the next 8 hours, when I had just given up my nice isle seat where I could stretch out my rather long legs. My boyish giddiness of going to a new place had just been replaced with a sour taste. However, I love adventures and new experiences so I was still thrilled to get down to Peru, and get to know these people better.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I thought I would start off by showing a few images of people in Peru and give an idea of the dress in the more provincial parts.
While in Lima, you will find the dress of peruvians not too different from that of people from the U.S. however, once you head out the bigger cities or into some of the tourist cities where they have maintained their dress for many years, what you see in these pictures is very typical.
Get to know Peru

I lived in Peru for about two years a little while back. I don't think that too many people really know a whole lot about peru, the people, or the sites in peru. I thought I would take the opportunity to remember why I fell in love with Peru and educate other people and help them to know Peru better as well.

P.S. if you would like to get to know me a little better, you can visit Spencer and see a couple pictures of me.