Hello, we are in Lima! We took a 1 hour flight from Cusco to Lima via Taca Airlines. We arranged for our hotel to pick us up, and after waiting 15 minutes, the driver, Ricardo, met us at the airport.
We asked how long it would take, and he said about 35-40 mins. depending on traffic. I think it was about an hour, and Ricardo needed to take “short cuts.” There was a ton of traffic as it was about 4:30 pm on a Thursday when we hit the road. We were exhausted when we got to our hotel as door-to-door on this travel day, it took 5 hours of traveling. I had a major migrane that evening due to the traveling, being super tired, and possibly the change in altitude.
We're here for 6 nights to check out Lima and eat!
Observations thus far:
- Lima is super traffic-y, as our driver said Lima has 10 million inhabitants
- There is limited public transit (limited subway), so the traffic problem is compounded; there are similarities with Los Angeles
- Bicyclists are daring!
- Drivers LOVE to honk – the honking is incessant
- We are staying in the posh district of Miraflores – the coast looks like Santa Monica by the ocean and PCH
- Watch out if you are a pedestrian, and you better run!
- While Cusco and Ollantaytambo had lots of dogs in the street (not necessarily stray), there are lots of cats lingering in Kennedy Park (local park in Miraflores)
- We went to a restaurant today, and they charge 10% for service (which our waiter was trying to tell us it wasn't for him, but the kitchen staff — to get more tip?) and 18% for IGV tax (general tax) = sticker shock! At another place we went to, I guess these 2 items were included in the menu prices
- A peculiarity is that outside of banks, there are people with large wads of cash (USD and Soles) so that you can change money. Just out there on the street – wads of cash and a calculator – counting them. Apparently they are registered and legit, but you can still get screwed changing your money this way
More observations to come…