Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time in Lima

Lima is a bustling city. Especially during Semana Santa (Holy Week) during which we found ourselves maneuvering through hoards of Catholic pilgrims in our search for the city's most compelling sites. We discovered a city with a split personality, one struggling to identify itself amidst its past as a colonial imperial capital, pre-Columbian Indian homeland, and modern-day world metropolis.

Always in pursuit of adventure, Michelle introduced us to a side of Lima most tourists don't get to see. Venturing outside of the unashamedly cosmopolitan district of Miraflores - the location of our hostel - Michelle led us on an expedition to find every attraction that managed to make it in the legend of our free tourist map. Michelle, aka Sacagawea, navigated beautifully to the first several sites, but I began to lose confidence after venturing into one area in which every other person we saw gave us weird looks and muttered something about "peligroso." Remembering the instances where I've seen peligroso used - on rickety bridges, rat poisoning, and trucks carrying explosives - I knew we should consider these unsolicited greetings with seriousness. Apparently, so did Lima's finest . . . just before we were undoubtedly about to be stripped of all our belongings, 3 city police officers approached us and insisted on giving us a mile long escort back into the "safe" part of town.

We celebrated 4 glorious years of marriage while in Lima. Dane was having withdrawals of his favorite food (pizza) and Michelle wanted to approximate our tradition of eating sushi on our anniversary by trying cebiche, a fresh raw fish dish marinated in citrus juice, so we used our anniversary as an excuse to dine at one of the fine eateries in Miraflores - the only time we ate at a restaurant the entire month in South America. The food was delicioso, and Michelle enjoyed "the flavor of Peru," Inca Cola.

Our night out culminated in a stroll along Peru's west coast for a view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Parasailor off the Lima coast

Michelle commented that the majority of our conversation on this trip had something to do with food. Most of that was probably initiated by Dane upon feeling the pounds fall off his already thin body due to all the climbing and walking (in some cases 20 km a day). All the activity did provide an excuse for temporarily suspending dietary discipline and indulging in countless varieties of street food. Dane's favorite had to be the empanadas and saltenas. Michelle's was hard-boiled quail eggs.

You couldn't pay Dane to eat this in the States

Opting for a one hour flight over a 30 hour bus ride through winding mountain "roads," we left Lima for Cusco - "naval of the world" and the oldest continually occupied city in the Americas. Like thousands of other travelers, Cusco is our gateway to the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


We survived the 27 hour bus ride from La Paz to Lima. Actually wasn't as uncomfortable as we dreaded it might be, and the money we saved instead of flying is very comfortable in our pockets.

We spent four days in Lima and are currently in Cusco - gateway to Machu Picchu and the oldest continually occupied city in the Americas (founded by the Incas). We do want to write about our time in Lima, but until then here are some pictures from our time with Alicia, as promised.

On our hike in the Canyon de Palca. Mt Illimani in the background (21,122 ft)

Dane at the mucho frio Cascade at Coroico

Trying to get Michelle in

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


We've been here for about a week and a half now. It has been soooo good to see Alicia and to see her place, her life, and her work. We have had a very full week to say the least. I'm having some trouble posting pictures, so you have one to look at and we'll post more later.

View of one of the mountains you can see from Alicia's apartment

Adjusting to the altitude of 13,000+ feet in El Alto was an experience in and of itself, but once we got over that bump, we've had an amazing time.

Just a few highlights: We hiked a small mountain with Alicia's Bolivian family our second day here (we felt VERY out of shape in the altitude). We found ourselves in the middle of some protests in La Paz (we weren't sure what we were protesting). We've had the opportunity to work at a couple of different ministries, including where Alicia works. Alicia took us to hike the Canyon de Palca with a beautiful view of Mount Illimani and she took us to Coroico for a warmer, more tropical Bolivian experience. Although tropical, the mountain cascade that we visited was NOT warm. Dane and his crazy self got right under the waterfall!

The markets here are great. They are teeming with activity. And you can get 25 oranges for a dollar! Cooking with Alicia has been fun and delicious. We've eaten Alicia's Oatmeal Whole Wheat Pancakes several times, which we usually have every Sunday night when we're home. Let us know if you want the recipe!

We're leaving for Peru today. We'll let you know how the 27 hour bus ride to Lima goes!