What a difference 12 hours makes - we left the dusty, rather scary port town of Chimbote at 6:30 am, and drove through alternating landscapes of sand, sand and more sand, punctuated by hundreds of poultry farms (no supply management here), a few fertile cornfields, and lots more trash, before we reached Lima at 12:00 pm.
With a population of 10 million people, Lima is the third most populous city in the Americas, behind only São Paulo and Mexico City. Navigating through this metropolis would be our most difficult adventure to date.
If you asked us what Lima looks like, we would have no clue. Our eyes were peeled on the road, opposing lanes and GPS, and for an hour and a half we navigated through the city at speeds ranging from 100kms to a standstill.
For the first 30 minutes, Bob tucked behind a diesel spewing passenger bus - the bus driver was a close cousin to Dale Earnhardt, as he wove his way through the lanes of traffic. We lost him after a toll booth, however, so we were on our own for the duration of our ride. After another hour of superior driving by Bob, we came out of the south end of Lima unscathed, heading for Paracas, 3 hours south.
Paracas is known as the Galapagos of Peru - there are more species of marine birds here than any other place in the world! We splurged for a 5 star hotel and are now safely tucked into our lodging - the first time in nearly 2 weeks we have had air conditioning! A quick dip in the pool, a couple of Pisco Sours, and a ceviche dinner - all is right with world.
Tomorrow is sightseeing day - we plan on taking a dune buggy ride through the desert, snowboarding on a sand dune, and hopping on a plane to see the Nazca Lines... Stay tuned!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
- Mark Twain