Tired after a day’s travel I spent the first night in the airport, asleep behind a line of trolleys. It was slightly disconcerting to wake up a couple hours later to find the airport deserted and armed night guards on patrol. Turns out the airport closes between 1am and 6am – anyway fighting a growing need to go the toilet I managed to keep a low profile.
During the day I toured Lima, quickly ticking off the historic centre before heading west through the town. Take a left just after Plaza Bolivar and you’ll land yourself in Mercado Central: here 1000’s of street sellers and little markets sell you everything from light bulbs and quail eggs to popcorn machines. Throw 100’000 people into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a true Peruvian market. For lunch I had my first Ceviche, now this really is Peru’s signature dish! A cool mix of white beans and delicate raw fish with kick of chilli and and the acid prickle of a lemon marinade to finish.
The 10km walk back to Plaza Norte in the dessert heat was probably a mistake but fascinating none the less, taking you within site of Lima’s favellas. This is where as many as 4million people now reside, piled onto the hillside and crammed into dwellings.
I’m on a 20hour bus now for Piura, in the north of Peru. From there I will head to Guayaquil before taking the mountain pass to Riobamba. I’m on the hunt for a shower now too… haven’t washed since 2015!