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Through The Looking Glass

February 10, 2012

Lima is a like a mirror image of San Francisco, a southern hemisphere version minus the hills: the waves, the water temperature, the joggers, the climate, the fog, the tendency towards earthquakes. We really like it here so far. It’s large (population: 9 million), cosmopolitan and the people are very relaxed, although their driving isn’t. Pedestrians definitely don’t get the right of way in this city.

We’re staying in the Miraflores neighborhood, which is a pretty tony place. The houses are spacious and attractive, and there are many modern glass-and-steel luxury apartment buildings interspersed between beautiful old homes like these:

Miraflores has a lot of great vegetarian restaurants as well, which we’ve been appreciating after an assault of carnivorous dishes in Quito. We found a cute little organic farmers’ market that operates on Saturdays, selling all kinds of things from wooden handmade toys to produce to dried herbs and teas:

Miraflores is set on cliffs above the ocean, and the clifftops above the ocean have parks built all along them, perfect for a sunset stroll. The fog rolls in around 4 pm every day and cools things down. It’s summertime here, but it never gets too hot.

The waves have been pumping, although the ones at the breaks closest to us don’t have a great shape — they’re pretty crumbly and slow, which is probably why two of the breaks are named Waikiki and Makaha. We’re happy to get in the water, but are really looking forward to seeing better spots we’ve heard about, like Lobitos, Chicama, Huanchaco and Pacasmayo.

As we mentioned previously, our mission in Lima was to find a van to tool around Peru, Ecuador and Chile…and we’ve found one!!! We are about to close on a purple ’96 Volkswagen Transporter 2 on Monday, so we will post pics soon. The contract signing takes about 30 minutes, but then we’ll have to wait up to 10 days to get the registration changed into our name, so we’ll be sticking around Lima for that long. We’ll be using the time to set the van up with a bed, a 2-burner stove, and some kind of storage system for our clothes and boards. We’ve been feeling like this is the beginning of a whole new voyage, a trip-within-a-trip!
It’s taken much research to figure out how to go about buying a VW van in Peru, although the process itself seems pretty easy. We’ve been getting a lot of email help from the guy behind the blog Kombi And Me, which we found by googling. Thanks, Will! If you’re interested in finding out how to buy a vehicle in Peru as a tourist, check back soon, as we will have a detailed post on it in the next week or so.
In the meantime, we’ve been taking photos of other VW vans we see around the city. Once you start looking, they seem to be everywhere. Here’s one to tide you over until we get ours on Monday, along with a few other random Lima pics.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2012 9:32 pm

    the van sounds nice!!!
    i love kombi’s
    they still make them in brazil in the original design…

    hope to catch up with you in the not too distant future…

  2. TED LANG permalink
    February 11, 2012 11:14 am

    Wonderful photographs as always. Love the “wedding” vehicle. What is it? I supose the rust level on these vehicles is low except maybe the ones that get driven through the sea surf in the car advertisments!.
    Oh, it snowed 3 cms last night. A rare event this winter. Going down to -16 Deg C.
    Have a cool drink for us.
    Love Ted

  3. February 12, 2012 11:13 pm

    The old housed are charming. I guess the fact that you will be so independent with your own vehicle and cooking facilities makes you feel this will be a trip within a trip. I’m amazed that it is not hotter. I can hardly wait to see your vehicle!

    Its colder here but no snow so when the sun comes out everything thaws. The poor trees and garden flowers are really confused. everything is budding and growing and will probably et zapped with some real winter weather.

    Love you two.

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