lima day 1 - big city hunting for a surfboard

  • not too shabby
  • arty statue at seafront
  • crazy paragliders
  • one more paraglider
  • desperate surfers
  • skyscrapers
  • 1st world diner
  • not such cool waether
  • church near hostel

On Sunday the 6th of July, I arrived in Peru's capital city, Lima. Not really wanting to waste my time in South America with smelly ,overcrowded capital cities, most of which remind me of European cities anyway, my plan was simple: Get to the city early enough to visit an electronics shop where I could get a new camera (mine seized working recently), find a surf shop selling cheap second hand boards, and then get the 10pm overnight bus outta there to Hunachaca - a small surfing village just north of Trujillo about 12 hours from Lima.

Unfortunately though things didn't work according to plan. Firstly, I got an email which kinda made me want to stay in Lima for a wee bit longer. Regardless, I figured I'd sort the camera and the board out. Not so easy, the camera shop I was told stocked my camera ,was closed, because it was Sunday and again because it was Sunday evening there was no way I would find open surf shops. So, one night in Lima it would have to be. What's 1 night in several months of travel anyway? Well, a lot once you start adding them up. In fact I think I am at least 2 weeks behind where I thought I'd be, mostly because of the "Ah well, what's one more night here?" theory.

Hannes was pretty adamant on partying on Sunday night. But, still feeling slightly jaded, and depressed after Friday night's partying night, which led to my (very dear to me) watch being stolen/lost, I really just wanted to chill out - I'm quite certain that somebody slipped a roofie in my drink that night because Saturday was possibly the worst I've ever felt after a night out.

So, Sunday night I headed back to the hostel (The Flying Dog) after having a 1 litre glass of beer that went down worse than.....(i could think of so many dirty, offensive things right now, but mom and dad will be reading so I'll refrain), and watched a movie on my laptop - the exciting travelling life.

Woke up Monday morning with the sole mission of getting my camera repaired and finding a surfboard to take with to Huanchaca. Wondered around the city for hours visiting different surf shops, and realised that my plan of getting something for under 150 pounds was grossly over ambitious. Nothing here is going to cost less than 250 pounds. On the plus side, this suburb of Miraflores is strangely beautiful. It's got a decent beachfront which kinda reminds me of Brighton (because of the pebble beach) crossed with some European beach city. There's a cool little mall built into the cliff overlooking the sea. I sat there for about an hour watching some desperate surfers tackling what was mostly mush due to the strong onshore winds. Saying that though, the beach looked like it could have potential, although according to one of the guys working in the surf shop, the localism there is pretty heavy - meaning I could pick up a bit of tension in the water from locals who believe the spot is theirs (wankers). 

On one end of the cliff there were some crazy paragliders, who for 50 soles (about 18 dollars) will take you for a 15 minute tandem ride across the cliffs. Might give this a bit of a go if I stay on a couple of more days. It was kinda cool going into the different shops in the mall and also into the surf shops - in some ways refreshing to be in a place where stuff isn't made of alpaca wool and the shop isn't littered with artisans and tourist souvenirs. A bit of normality I guess, but I think a couple of days of this and I'll be keen to get back to the small villages where nobody speaks English and if you want to by a hoody it will have Llamas and condors on it.

Also, the funniest bit for me and what again shows how americanised/westernised or whatever you want to call it, this place is, is the Hooters bar in the corner of the mall.

So, tomorrow is Tuesday and still no camera (using my mobile as a camera), still no surfboard, still not decided about the email I received and there is a national transport strike which will last for 3 days, starting either tomorrow or Wednesday at which point I'll be stuck here. Perhaps 1 of those 1 litre beers will go down better tonight and help me make some decisions.