We were up and out the door at 0630, headed for the city this morning. We were thrilled to be part of “the miracle.” Lima has NO rainfall, period. Until early this morning at any rate. We awoke to puddles dockside, and also on the streets. Our tour guide told us we had brought “a miracle” with our ship, which is another sign of good fortune. Houses here do not even have roofs for two reasons: One, it never rains here (like once every 10 years according to our tour guide); and two: If the house has no roof, then the owners cannot be taxed for property tax, because the house is “not yet finished.” You gotta love South American politics. There are 43 governors in Lima (one for each DISTRICT here) and one “Boss Governor,” who is a very popular woman, according to our guide. She was speaking this morning while we were touring The “Mayor Plaza,” and there was a crowd of people outside her office sitting along the streets watching her on T.V. The locals remain very friendly and love to practice their English with the touristas. As our Busscar passes along the streets, kids all smile and
waver at us. When we wave back, or stop to speak with them, they just laugh. Lima is spread out for miles and sits right at the base of the Andes Mountains, which were covered in mist today. We will return here following our cruise to begin the second half of our trip next month. We toured past the Presidential Palace, replete with many armed guards, street police with batons and riot shields, and a “community relations vehicle” (SWAT Truck with a water canon on top) parked closely nearby. Lima is a bustling city of 8 million, but the streets are clean, and there is a ton of economic activity happening here. No matter what the wealth of a given neighborhood, one sees people busy doing something everywhere. As in the other countries we have recently visited, the cost of fuel here is about $6 for an imperial gallon, so only about 30% of the people here drive cars. The remainder rides on all sorts of various modes of transportation, and getting through the city streets if an act of Kamikaze craziness. We stopped and tried some “Inca Cola” (national drink of Peru) which is real tasty and reminded us
a lot of crème soda in the States. After touring the Plaza Mayor and Cathedral Lima, we headed out to the Miraflores (see the flowers) District and the Parque de la Cultura, which is where all of the rich foreigners live, and the various sections of the city do have their unique distinctions. Following a final stop at the “Park of Love” we spent some time shopping for Alpaca and Llama wool, as well as other tourista stuff. We cast off at 1400 sharp and threaded our way through the traffic out to the sea. As we have been sort of hanging around ports for the past few days, we have not had a 1200 bridge and mileage update, but best guess at this point is we have probably covered about 6,000 miles. We are steaming 177 degrees true at 21 knots through pretty rambunctious seas this evening. However, we continue to see many very small boats quite a ways from land fishing at all hours of the day.
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