It is hard to believe that we were in Australia a month ago. Since we have been back in Perú we have quickly returned to our normal work schedule. Craig has been busier over the last two weeks than he has for a long time. So busy, in fact, that we don’t have a lot to write about, but then that is why we are here, to work and serve, not to be tourists. However, we did manage one night at the National Theatre to hear a Beethoven piano concerto and a Brahms symphony.
So as not to bore you too much, we thought we would share some interesting facts we found about Lima from a travel agency. We have included them below with our own editorial. Bear in mind they are aimed at the casual tourist, not at those like us who live and work here……..
Lima is the capital city of the Republic of Perú and is located in the central coastal region of the country. The city is part of an elaborate ecosystem that includes the Chillón, Lurín and Rímac Rivers. The city has a scenic view of the Pacific Ocean. [This is only true if you are standing on the cliffs above the beach, anywhere else in the city forget it.] Below are some facts about the city.
1. With a population of about 9 million people within its Metropolitan area, Lima is the fifth largest city in South America. [It’s pretty crowded here, the four other cities don’t sound too appealing. Sometimes we think that all 9 million people are on the roads at the same time.]
2. Lima is the second largest desert capital city after Cairo in Egypt. The city is located on a desert strip between the Pacific Ocean and Andes Mountains. [Most of the city is just plain dirt, dust, bare and barren hills and mountains with houses and dwellings built in every spare inch of the place where the dirt doesn’t move, but surprisingly if you add water things will grow. Scattered throughout the city are green strips and nice parks. We have come to find a certain element of beauty in the starkness. We hate the dust and dirt.]
3. A third of Perú's population call Lima home. [And they are all on the roads at the same time.]
4. Lima occupies an area measuring 2700 square kilometers and has a coastline that extends for 80 kilometers. [To quote a friend of ours, ‘It’s a big, beautiful, ugly city’ and it can take you all day to get from one side to the other. When we went to the theatre on Friday night it took over an hour to go 8 km in a taxi.]
5. Lima is connected to the Peruvian highlands by a Central Highway that traverses through scenic countryside. [Scenic countryside includes cliffs that drop off the side of the road; unmarked speed humps in the middle of the country road; watch out for trucks, bikes, dogs, moto-taxis, busses, and also people — sometimes all at once. One of the scariest things that happened to us was ending up in the dirt on the wrong side of the road trying to miss all these things at the same time. There are also disturbing little memorials on the side of the road where people have been killed.]
6. Lima, being a desert city never experiences proper rain. Rather, it experiences some drizzle. [if you are lucky. It’s not even really drizzle, more like standing in a cloud on the ground.]
7. For the tech-savvy tourists, there is free Wi-Fi at Parque Central de Miraflores. Note that the internet connection might be unreliable. You are better off in a per second-billing cyber cafe. [Who cares? It probably won’t work anyway. We are constantly amazed at the newtwork of wires and jerry-rigged electrical stuff that people put together to get things to work. P.S the dictionary definition of jerry-rigged is — made in a quick or careless way : not built or designed well. That’s Lima.]
8. Lima is home to Peruvian gastronomy exploits. Here, you will feed like royalty at very little charges. [Gastric explosions, not exploits! However, it is true that there is a wide range of styles of food, much of it very good and cheap. But, don’t eat the lettuce, strawberries, broccoli, or any fruit or vegetables without washing and soaking in chlorine first. But we are spoiled for mangoes and avocadoes. Bannanas cost 80 cents Australia per kg. Eat street food at your own peril—think worms in your head or gastric explosions!]
9. Lima was founded by a Spaniard conquistador called Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535. [It is fairly old by Australian standards. It has lots of interesting history, including museums, churches, old buildings, old cars, and of course all built upon the legacy of ancient civilizations.]
10. Lima was called La Ciudad de los Reyes which is translated as "The City of Kings." It became the capital of Viceroy of Perú until Perú gained independence. [Lima has had a long and at times troubled past, but currently is enjoying more stable times.]
Lima is one of those interesting cities that one wishes to stay forever. [Maybe not, but many people from all over South America come to Lima and don’t leave, for work mainly.] The weather is good [if you like it hot, humid, no wind, and never rains, we look forward to four seasons again], the food is awesome [usually, but they don’t have Australian chocolate or vegemite], the people are friendly [absolutely], it has lots of fun activities to engage in [there is always something going on and places to see if you want to] and is next to the sea [only the beach is, but watch out for tsunamis and follow all the signs that say run if you see one.]
If you want a holiday experience that you will never forget, then choose Lima [correct]. The city will give you something to talk about for generations [really? that long?]. While at it, make sure you take pictures. [We have lots of those] Destinations like this make you want to live longer [if the pollution doesn’t kill you first—all those cars, lead petrol, no wind, heavy clouds, dust….] and experience more just like it. [Sorry, but we couldn’t resist making comment on these last two clearly and blatantly promotional paragraphs by a travel agency looking for customers.]
So, whilst we are not tourists, we are really enjoying the oppoturnity to live and serve in Lima, Perú at this time in our lives. It also makes us appreciate Adelaide and Australia.