Peru is one of the top travel destinations in South America, and with good reason, too. It has more ancient archaeology and culture, more extreme adventure, and more colonial history, than virtually anywhere else on the continent, and perhaps anywhere else in the world. Peru was my first stop in South America. Amazing country.
Got myself a local Peruvian SIM card, to use for SMSing the folks back home, and for any local calls I might need to make. The brand is Claro (means "sure" or "OK" in Spanish), which seems to be the biggest one in Peru. Unlike with my Telcel card in Mexico, this one sends and receives international SMSes, no problem.
Chris became a good mate of mine, during my week at the Flying Dog in Lima. Chris is a Canadian, a very well-travelled guy (although he's new to the Latin world), and a producer of home-made wine. He's also a vegetarian. He's a great guy to have philosophical chats with as well.
After an afternoon nap, I met up with Antonio again for dinner this evening. However, this time there were 10 of us dining together! Seems that Antonio managed to get together a whole bunch of Lima Linux people, and at very short notice. We went to a restaurant called Norky's, which does great meats of all varieties, and we discussed all things geeky.
Today, I finally met my Lima-based friend Antonio Ognio, the king of all Peruvian Linux geeks. As an introduction to his home city, Antonio suggested that he take me to a nearby all-you-can-eat buffet — serving a wide variety of popular local dishes — and that he give me a small walking tour of Lima. Turned out to be a great day.
Antonio first contacted me over a month ago, with a Drupal support question — by sheer coincidence, this happened to be just when I'd arrived in Mexico. Antonio is the leader of the Linux and Open Source community here in Peru; and he knows everyone, everywhere, who's a part of this community.
As part of our board at the Flying Dog, we get free breakfast each morning at the D'onofrio café, which is just downstairs. However, D'onofrio's "free menu" is rather limited: either toast and jam; toast and egg; or fruit salad. Since I'm still (trying to) observe Pesach, I can only choose the latter option. And at this point, I'm starting to get sick of it.
This Swedish brother-and-sister pair were staying with me at the Flying Dog. They're both fairly quiet, although not by Swedish standards, I guess. They're also both big drinkers and big smokers (however, Maja was sick for most of the week — so she had to drink and smoke even more, in order to get better :P). These two, myself, and Chris ended up hanging out together a fair bit.
One of the few recreational activities available in Lima itself is paragliding. You can do this just down the road from Miraflores, taking off on the tall cliffs that overlook Lima's pebbly, polluted beach coast. This afternoon, I decided to give the paragliding a try. Sadly, it turned out that paragliding today was not to be.
Well, I don't have much to do in Lima, in the way of activities, but it looks like I'm stuck here for the rest of the week, for several reasons. First and foremost, this week is Semana Santa (lit: "Holy Week" — a.k.a. Easter), so it would be both difficult and expensive to get out of Lima, and to find somewhere to stay once I got out. Second, it's also Pesach this week, and it's much easier to observe this festival by staying in one spot and sitting on your backside, than it is by being on the road. And third, I'd like to see my friend Antonio Ognio before I leave, and to spend at least one day with him.
There are plenty of fun people staying here at the Flying Dog, but the only really crazy person here is one of the staff: John. Speaking a little of every language on Earth (including Hebrew), always quick with a wild greeting or a joke, and eager to party and to get drunk with the guests, we've all come to think of John as "one of us", not as a staff member.