Posted by: Jessie Kwak | December 18, 2009

Chillin’ with the folks.

We’ve been a bit absent from the site for a few days on account of my parents coming into town. We’ve been on the go pretty solid since then, and after six weeks of relaxing in Huanchaco I think Rob and I have lost a bit of our traveling stamina. It’s hard work to stay on the go!

Mom and Dad flew into Lima late Monday night. We decided to stay in the neighborhood of Magdalena del Mar (just north of Miraflores), in this great hostal called Tambopacaya Backpackers. I’ll be writing more about Tambopacaya and Scott, Tambopacaya’s owner, in a later post.

Magdalena del Mar made a good base for exploring Lima (we’re falling more and more in love every time we visit). More to come on Magdalena, as well.

In Lima, we hit up some of the local sights, retracing our steps. It was fun to be able to share some of the places we’d grown to enjoy: Miraflores, Barranco (we went to eat at El Muelle, of course), and the bus system. We went to Central Lima and saw the Church of San Francisco, the Plaza de Armas, and all the rest. I also caved in and bought a fantastically impractical pair of shoes made out of Peruvian patterned fabric. They go with absolutely nothing I own, and I love them.

We had intended for that to be the end of our Lima adventure, but after getting all packed up and heading to the bus station we were told that no buses were leaving for Pisco. Why? Problemas, said the harassed young woman at the front desk. She wouldn’t tell me any more.

Mom and I went out looking for more information and found out that there was a protest in Cañete, a little south of Lima, and they had blocked the entire Panamericana Highway. As that’s the only road south we had little choice. We went back to Scott at Tambopacaya.

This gave us the opportunity to visit the nearby neighborhood of Pueblo Libre the next day, visiting the National Archeology Museum and Simon Bolivar’s house. The museum was extremely thorough, passing through the progression of cultures in Peru from the Chavín to the Inca. We hired an English-speaking guide, which was helpful since most of the signs were in Spanish, and they didn’t cover nearly the amount of information that our guide provided. I thought I knew a lot about Peru’s ancient cultures, but this museum taught me a ton.

We ended up taking an overnight bus to Nazca, counting on the protests in Cañete to add a few extra hours to our trip so that we didn’t arrive at 4am. But apparently things are better now, and we still arrived at 4am this morning, then waited in the lobby of the hotel until our rooms were available at 7:30.

What’s Nazca like? I’ll give you a better idea in tomorrow’s post, when I’ve had a chance to see it when I’m not exhausted and way to hot and hungry and cranky. We’ll be flying over the lines, of course, then going off to see the aqueducts in the afternoon. Tomorrow night we’re off to Arequipa in a full cama bus (über-cushy reclining seats!). Keep an eye out for more dispatches from the whirlwind trip with Mama and Papa Kwak!

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