While I was studying abroad in Ecuador, we took a week long trip to Peru, primarily to Cusco and to see Machu Pichu. Ecuador and Peru have an unfortunate history of constant war over their shared border, the most recent occurring in the 1990’s. So there is some animosity between the people of the two countries. Often, when we told someone in Ecuador that we were going to Peru, they told us that it wasn’t a nice country and not worth the trip.
Obviously, we went anyway. And we did and saw a lot of great things in Peru. However, I definitely recall that we had our fair share of ordeals, both personal and group. These ended on the day of our departure from Cusco back for Quito (via a layover in Lima). We got to the airport and we were told that our flight was indefinitely delayed due to cloud cover. Our time in Cusco had definitely been rainy/cloudy-foggy, but we didn’t expect this type of delay at the airport.
I remember we waited for hours. All morning and well into the afternoon. Luke and I even managed to sweet-talk our way into a lounge to watch this:
By late afternoon we finally got on a plane and took off, but our flight had long beforehand left Lima, so we knew we would be spending the night. Ironically, we took off that late afternoon through a thick blanket of clouds over Cusco. I’m not air traffic controller, so what do I know?
Of all of the ill Ecuadorians had to speak about Peru, they spared no words for Lima. We were told that Lima was a dirty, unsafe, boring, and unpleasant city. A city that we would have a full day in due to our new flight not leaving until the next evening. So we got ourselves to a hotel that night, and the next day we reluctantly set out into Lima to explore a bit.
And lo and behold, we actually liked Lima! We spent the morning at the beach (may have been my first dip in the Pacific ever, come to think of it – I’m not sure if my parents had ever brought me to a beach in CA on a visit or two we had made there when I was younger), then got lunch, and in the afternoon we broke into groups. Some of us went out to explore the city center, and some others went to a casino. I liked tromping around the city, and I remember that Dan from our group won a ton of money at the casino.
So if you’re ever considering Lima, I wouldn’t not recommend it.
Incidents of Travel Past:
I just found on my external hard drive a slideshow I made with all of my Ecuador and Peru photos. It is pretty good. Props if you get the title reference, “Where is Peruvía Anyway?”: