As we depart from Peru and head into Bolivia, just wanted to jot down a few impressions I gathered in the limited three weeks we spent here...
Police/security presence is massive. Everywhere you turn there is an officer or armed gaurd of some sort, and it’s not unusual to be eating lunch beside a man with a rifle. I am torn as to whether this makes me feel safer, or has the opposite effect.
The people are friendly and trustworthy. In most places I’ve traveled, I feel like a gringo ATM machine that the locals are just waiting to rip off. It’s an understandable fact that doesn’t bother me tremendously – I figure I’m a visitor in their country, and they will benefit from a few extra bucks more than I will miss it. But I’ve found Peruvians to be very honest with me the majority of the time. Taxi cabs have charged, what I have later found, to be fair and correct prices. Shops and stands have quoted the same price I overhear them telling locals. Our hostel in Cusco let us to check out without paying a dime (long story), allowing us to pay our seven day balance after returning from Machu Picchu. It’s a nice feeling being able to trust most people we’ve come into contact with.
Stray dogs are EVERYWHERE. They must breed like crazy, we pass about 100 of them on the street every day. Their chorus of barking keeps us up at night.
The sky is astoundingly beautiful. I can’t stop talking about and/or taking pictures of it. The deepest blue I’ve ever seen, with explosions of giant stark white puffy clouds. It might pour down rain all morning, but at some point each day it opens up and it’s glorious.
Street foods... I could probably devote a whole entry to this. In Lima especially, there are some really common street foods served on every other corner that I came to enjoy.
- Marcianos: Long plastic pouches filled with crushed fruit/juices and sold for about 15 cents along the paths leading to the beaches. Like a peruvian otter pop.
- Picarones: Deep fried rings of deliciousness, served with a sugary syrup drizzled on top. It’s amazing watching the women make them, a handful of liquidy dough expertly formed into a circle as she drops it into the bubbling oil. The flavor/texture reminds me of sopapillas.
- Papas con huevos: All along the beach and the surrounding streets, you see these carts everywhere. They plop a boiled potato and a boiled egg on a tiny styrofoam plate, cut into quarters and coat with some kind of creamy yellow sauce. You get a mini toothpick fork to eat it with. Simple and delicious.
- Ceviche: They can’t get enough of it. I however, do not partake in such delights of fishiness.
That's it for now. I shall return if/when I think of more.