11th to 15th April

Friday 11 April

We arrive in Lima in the early morning, around 7. Once we have loaded our bikes, we go quickly to our couchsurfer’s place, where we take shower. And we go to the Pontifical Universidad Católica de Perú (PUCP), to our meeting. We go to the Instituto de Ciencias de la Naturaleza, Territorio y Energías Renovables (INTE). We meet there Luis Mujica, an anthropologist, and Urphy Vasquez, an engineer working in the investigation for the rural area. Abel, a former classmate of Mick in Nantes is also with us for this meeting.

Then, we meet our couchsurfer, Andres, at the university. He is a researcher in Quantum physics, and esplains us his current experiment, about intertwined photons, and with the final (long term) objective of developing a quantic computer.

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For lunch, we go to a restaurant near the university, and finally try a ceviche.

We spend the afternoon with Abel in this area. Finally, we go for sunset near the coast. To our surprise, we arrive on a cliff. Pizarro decided to build his capital, Lima, on such a cliff to protect it from the pirates. We see the harbour of El Callao further north, and the neighbourhoods of Lima far away in the South. This city is huge!

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For dinner, we go to another typical restaurant: a Chifa. It’s a Chinese restaurant, but adapted to the Spanish style of meal. There is a menu with as primero a soup of wanton or fried wanton, and as segundo, a Chinese fried rice, or other Chinese dish.

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On Peruvian TV, we discover a new show: it’s called “Esto es Guerra”. It consists of two teams of young good-looking candidates, having some kind of stupid sportive competitions, a little like the games of Intervilles in France. But here, the girls are in swimming suit (and they are not ugly!). For every show, some of the candidates can be eliminated, the audience has to call to vote for the people they want to stay! Abel explains us that this show has been broadcasted for two years already, that all the tabloids talk about the candidates and their love affairs or little problems! hopefully this shit won’t cross the Atlantic ocean!

Saturday 12 April

We go to the city centre, to meet with Abel. He will be our guide for today too. We first go to a market for electronic device: Ju wants to repair his camera, and Mick wants to find an electronic translator. Here, the price are much lower than in the official shop. But we don’t find anything at our taste. For lunch, there are some small restaurants at the last floor of the market! and we have another ceviche!

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In the afternoon, we visit the old Lima. On the central Plaza de Armas, we see the cathedral, the government palace and the Lima city hall. The river of Lima, Rimac (which gave its name to the city), has been channelled into a square concrete pipe! it’s sad to see this muddy water running among the public works.

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And just nearby, we discover a feria of Peruvian food. Mick takes another ceviche, and Ju finally has his Cuy!

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Abel then brings us to the neighbourhood of Miraflores, at a place full of posh restaurants, luxuous hotels, and tourists. But there is a good view on the coast by night. The only restaurant not too expensive we find is a Chifa, and they have ceviche!

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Sunday 13 April

Today is another rest day. The guy who repaired Ju’s camera was supposed to pass at our couchsurfer’s house, but he never called, and was not accessible. Mick went to try some local drinks, tiger milk and panther milk (in fact with fish or meat inside).

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Monday 14 April

First thing we do this morning is to go to the centre to get Ju’s camera back. We take the bus a little randomly, and arrive at the other side of the city! instead of trying another bus, we prefer to walk the last 2 kilometres. Ju’s camera is not ready yet, it’ll be for noon. And at noon, he tells us for the afternoon. And later, he calls us because it can only be ready tomorrow. So in the end, we ask him to make it back as it was. We don’t pay anything for this, but the lens now moves a lot.

In the rest of the day, we mainly hop from one restaurant to another in order to eat ceviche. We are with Abel, and he hallucinates about the quantity we eat. We have two lunches, a big ice cream, and dinner in a few hours. But we also walk a lot. We visit the Parque de las Leyendas, which is the zoo of Lima. There are the animals from the three mains areas of Peru: coastal, mountains, jungle. We’re happy to see some condors, many pumas, macaws!

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Today, we took many times the bus. The bus system in Lima is super chaotic. There are 3 sizes of bus: the normal ones, the combis, and the custer (intermediary). And the three are crazy! driving fast, and trying to get as many customers as possible. There is the driver, and another guy in charge of shouting the itinerary of the bus, and loading the people inside (and also receiving the money). There is so much competition because there are like a hundred of companies for the buses, all competing.

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Tuesday 15 April

Let’s go for another travel in bus today. We go from Lima to Máncora, a city-beach in the North of Peru. We have to go so much North (Mancora is only 4ºS) to get a water at correct temperature, thanks to Humboldt current. In the bus we don0t have problem either to put the bikes, we only pay a supplement. It’s getting to easy!

In the bus enter also a group of 6 brainless Colombians. Probably a consequence of getting too much acquainted with Mary-Jane. After 10 minutes on the road, they start to make a scene because they want the driver to stop immediately in order to buy a lemon for one of them that is sick. At the next stop, the passengers want to kick them out! the police comes and finally they are accepted back in the bus for this time.

We stop for lunch in a small restaurant nearby! and the Colombians start again. They have no money, so they beg for food and money, and sell some plaited bracelets, in order to eat. And they won’t accept a “no” as an answer. Later on, in the bus, one of them loses his cellphone, and starts searching everywhere, accusing another passenger for having stolen it. Again, the police comes to put some order, and a second time the Colombians are back in the bus. Finally, we can sleep.

Here comes a short video to make you hungry: