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.
Getting to downtown Lima from Miraflores is very easy, as there are combis (minibuses) going up and down Av. Arequipa all day. Av. Arequipa is the long, wide, straight boulevard that connects these two important areas. This afternoon, I hopped on a combi into the downtown area, and checked out what there is to see around there.
Tonight was an experience like none I've ever had before: a seder night in Peru. With the help of my dad, and of my rabbi back home in Sydney, I had organised to go to the Chabad House here in Lima. In fact I ended up going to the rabbi's house, which was probably even better. Seder in Peru is in many ways the same as it is anywhere else in the world — except, not quite.
So far in my travels, I haven't really done the whole buy-groceries-and-eat-frugal thing. It's been cheap as it is, eating at restaurants and at hot-food street stalls. But with Pesach coming, I decided that I have to stock up on some unleavened supplies to keep me going for the next week. So this morning, I popped into a supermarket in Miraflores, and did some basic shopping.
Clearly, the lack of loose change is not something specific to Mexico, but rather, something that's widespread throughout the Latin world. Today, on my first day in South America, the no tengo cambio saga reached maddening heights of frustration, as a taxi driver refused to accept a 50-sole bill from me.
This is quite a nice hostel, with a bunch of very friendly staff, and a crowd that's generally really warm. It's not the most exciting place I've ever stayed at; but I get the feeling that the crowds come and go (there isn't a huge crowd here now), and that it's pretty hip by Lima standards. Because I kinda got stuck in Lima during Semana Santa (Easter), I ended up staying here for a full week.