<<  Lima, 27-Feb-2015  >>

Welcome to the New World

Gateway to Peru: Lima. Surprisingly green, clean and monumental. And passing 500km north through Peruvian coastal desert

Although I thought I knew what to expect, Peru took me by surprise. Both Lima and the road to Trujillo.
I expected Lima to be a dusty, ugly, ramshackle city. It turned out to be a quite pretty city, with modern, posh neighborhoods looking like if someone kidnapped them from Los Angeles. From the airport we headed to Miraflores district where our hostel was and I could hardly believe my eyes. I could swear I was somewhere in South California. Modern high-rises, perfectly maintained lawns, people jogging and even hordes of people with personal fitness trainers! Sure, we were in the most posh district of Lima, but I would never expect that a district this posh and modern and US-looking can actually even exist in Lima.

Also the center of Lima positively surprised me. Itís nice and itís quite grand. The colonial buildings and palaces are in much better shape I assumed them to be. Some of them would bravely challenge even Madridís best. It was here that I started to realize that Iím really on a new continent, a continent I had never visited before. It didnít look like Asia at all (I expected some developing-world similarities). It looked like US mixed with Europe but mixed in a unique blend, unlike any other I had seen before. And I felt satisfied. It was good that I felt that I was somewhere new.

When we left Lima and the bus went through Limaís suburbs, I ďfoundĒ the Lima I was expecting: dusty, ugly, ramshackle city. Indeed Peru is country of contrasts.

The 10 hour ride across "dark desert highway" to Trujillo was a total love affair. It's been a long time since I have seen something really this new, unlike anything I've seen on my trips before: dramatic, brutal, raw and simple beauty of an ancient world, before life had emerged and conquered the planet. Just the desert and the ocean, at their awe-inducing best. Stark, lunar and horrifying beauty of a coastal desert hit me right in my heart.
Sorry for crappy quality of some of the photos, they were taken mostly by a phone through tinted windows of a fast moving bus.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak