As people have asked me to keep them informed of my trip I thought I would set up a blog which I can update on my travels so here it is.
It all started with an emotional farewell at Newcastle central station where I got on a London-bound train to get to the airport, where I stayed overnight before starting on the long flights here to Lima. it took me around 24 hours in total since leaving the heathrow hotel before Arriving here in Lima, Peru.
At the minute I am in Kusillus hostel in Miraflores, Lima which is more touristy, but by far safer than the rest of the capital. On the way from the airport to here last night I found that the peruvians seem to love Rod Stewart and Abba as that seemed to be pretty much all they played on the radio! The roads over here are pretty crazy with what appears to be no sense of lanes or speed...or crossings which I found out earlier today! They also have these crazy mini vans called "combis" which the locals use for cheap transport. They are possibly the oldest, funniest vans I have seen as they overcrowdedly chug and bounce along the roads!
Today I was woken up nice and early (6am Peru time) to the noise of the builders outside my patio...oh yeah in the hostel I have a private room which comes with a little private patio too, not bad for $15 a night. I even have a hot shower which surprised me even more!
Today I decided it was time to go and explore and see what Lima has to offer and I wasn't disappointed. The streets are pretty crazy but everyone seems friendly and so far have not came across any problems. As I only brought dollars my first mission was to get it changed in to nuevos soles, the local currency. Bureau de changes, or cambios, aren't very common so the easiest way to change money is with the little guys in green jackets outside banks who change your dollars. I was more than sceptical to begin with but apparently it's the norm so with my non existent Spanish managed to get a good deal on money to keep me going for quite some time! My next task was to hunt for food, and after hearing the reviews of some of the food I was a little apprehensive but managed to get a decent cooked breakfast and a drink for around £3, so not too bad.
Walking round the streets you see some really strange things, such as a classic old cathedral with an extension made of corrugated iron, not what you expect but funny all the same! The only downside to Lima is that with it being the capital the roads are very busy and Peruvian drivers LOVE to beep, which can be pretty annoying after a while! this also means that after around noon Lima has a bit of a smoggy haze hanging around.
Tomorrow I have a 6 hour bus journey into a more rural area of Peru called Huancayo where I will be volunteering with Expand Peru for the next month! It will be good to get in to the countryside and more rural areas of Peru as I think spending too long in the capital would be exhausting!
I will keep you updated with how the bus trip goes as if it's anything like iv witnessed so far of Peru, I'm in for a fun trip!