|Taxi to Emtrafesac bus station (no central terminals here, each Peruvian bus line has its own station...difficult to get deals or find out where to go for onward travel). Tickets to Trujillo then decided to continue on to Lima.
Peru from the border is desolate, really surprising to see such desert conditions - looks like Niger or Chad...people living in most basic huts of reed mats or at most small wood and/or adobe brick houses. See Pics. Road is straight and paved 2 lanes. There are a few green, agric areas but largely the desert is a dumping ground in lots of places for trash...dump truck loads of ordinary garbage (vultures everywhere), trash from construction materials i.e. cement, rock, gravel, etc piles and piles. Closer to Trujillo (11 am), more agriculture due to irrigation/rivers...sugar cane, some corn, and even rice paddies. Ongoing 1 pm bus to Lima from Emtrafesa cost 55 soles ($20 US), but the bus was more like an airline inside except they DID serve warm meal, a BIG surprise...we ate before getting on bus thinking the 8-9 hour ride would not incl a stop, never expecting food service on board! We had called ahead to Flying Dog Hostel to make reservations since we would not be arr til late, then the bus broke down delaying our arr for 2 hrs more...the bus driver let us use his cell and we notified Flying Dog. They were really nice, 'No problem!'
S of Trujillo huge vistas of irrig sugar cane, even asparagus fields, corn, betw Andies and ocean...further S. oasis like place...just before Chimbote where agric was huge, carrots, cabbage, grapes, +++ all planted in deep furrows, lots of workers in the fields doing ??? Did arr about 10pm and easy taxi to Miraflores district of Lima and our Hostel.
Lima Wiki Info
Met friend Mark at Hotel Las Palmas where he had a room reserved...pretty high class place but internet not at all user friendly for my purposes. I guess it is all in what you get used to. He looks great after 2 weeks in the jungle, ha! Doing catching up before he leaves at 4 am!
We have a full day ahead getting more passport pages and hopefully, getting Paraguay visa (actually it takes 24 hours). Then next day (17th) we go to Brazilian embassy to see if we can begin that process...have heard it takes 24 hours to two weeks, we'll see! Plan on heading N. backtracking to Trujillo so that we can spend time ckg out antiquities all around that part of Peru before heading S and Cusco, Nasca, and Bolivia. Amazon not in cards for at least a month, so we've got time to handle the Brazil visa somewhere!
Things went well today...we got pages added to our passports, the US Embassy ´bunker´ notwithstanding. They were actually very accomodating, getting the pages done in less than 2 hours so we could get to the Paraguay embassy and submit our apps for visas easily before noon (closing), plus we could make a trip to the Brazil embassy before they closed and get the straight skinny on getting their visa which we will try to accomplish after we pick up our passports from Paraguay at 10 am tomor. Only 'hitch' is that it will take 5 business days to process the Brazil visa, which is OK since we are planning to head back up north to check out the antiquities there.
In the afternoon we took the city bus tour which gave us an overall view of central Lima as well as a tour of San Francisco Asisi Church down in the catacombs where some 30-70,000 bodies were buried since the church/Franciscan monastery began in 1560s. Lots of bones, massive wood interior to church, not the most beautiful but quite interesting for history and insight into monastic life there. Some 45 monks are still associated w/ the place.
Wiki Info About S.F. Asisi Church & Catacombs
Cathedral of Lima
Overall, the tour is a bit overpriced (probably worth half the $20 US we paid each!) but still, we got some value in seeing the church/tour since Lima is such a huge city it is impossible to get a good grip on it w/o some kind of help or overview like this. Unfortunately, my camcorder is not being accepted by any computers here in Peru...do not know if it is Peru or something has happened to my camcorder from when we left Ecuador til now!!! Really bummed!
Really wish we had heard about Markawasi (Marcahuasi) before leaving the area...found out about it much later and would highly recommend visiting this area!
Mystery of Markawasi