Monthly Archives: October 2012

Lima Metro

Today I tried the Lima Metro and you know it is really a pleasant surprise. It is the electric mass transit system. The Metro is available in the Lima Metropolitan Area in Peru.

The system extends to 22 km line. I rode it for just 6 stations today and then came back. The transport system joins southern area of the metropolis and the city. I started at the center of the city and went 6 stations down. You know it’s quite new as the system started working in early part of 2012. It’s fast and it’s very comfortable in comparison to the buses. It seems mostly the working people use this facility more. Getting a ticket for the journey was not difficult as I saw the English boards hanging in most of the stations.

It’s beautiful and somewhat similar to what we have in the US. Flashy bodies of the Metro with sparkling new compartments! Saw youngsters having good times in the metro. Even though people in Lima are friendly but the people riding the Metro are not so friendly. They were mostly absorbed with their own thoughts or the newspapers (yes, similar to our business people).

It took me about one hour to go and come back from the sixth station. I didn’t know the name of the station before getting the ticket and so it was like an adventure as my Spanish language skills are not yet razor sharp. It could have been better if you, my friends, were here with me. I miss you all.

I go paragliding

I am not much of an adventure sports junkie. I have done my share of bungee, and I must say I definitely am not a fan. Heights make my palms clammy and my head swims when I am up there. This is also probably why I am not a great fan of flying either! What is so great about a tin can hurtling through an open space thousands of miles above the ground at a speed that even light would be ashamed of? They should allow bus rides everywhere. Yes. Even under the seas.

I mean it. Everywhere.

I have made friends with this local vendor Rafael, who told me one day that I should definitely go paragliding. I told him I am not best friends with heights. He told me this was the only way I could make my peace with heights, by trying to sway like a lose leaf over the cliffs and plains of Lima. He somehow managed to convince me, and the next thing I knew I was signing myself up for a paragliding session.

Lima has an impressive coastline, and this Green coast is in Miraflores, where all the tourists generally flock. I found some paragliding fanatics jumping off the cliffs over and over again, and I must say I wasn’t very happy with the idea.

Not the one to quit, I however bravely got strapped on, and started running towards the edge of the cliff at Larco Mar. I silently bade the world goodbye, hoping I would be reborn as an ostrich.

Once my feet left the ground I was transported to another world. There was no honking, no mad rush at traffic intersections, no jostling, and suddenly I was swaying gently in the air, high above all the madness, and there was calm all over.

20 minutes later when my feet touched the ground, I was a different person. I saw life in a different light, and now I have plans to go paragliding at least once a month.

I finally went shopping

What does a girl do when she is happy?
She shops.
What does a girl do when she is sad?
She shops.
What does a girl do when she has got good grades in her Spanish class?
She shops.
What does a girl do when basically anything happens to her?
She shops!

So you get the drift. A girl will go shopping every week; day if possible. And me hasn’t gone shopping in the last few months! Poor me. What with all the shifting and the classes and getting used to the new country and new friends, getting a place to stay, I have not had the time to go and give myself a shopping treat.

Yesterday as I was taking inventory of my clothes, and I found my favorite blue jeans ripped! The tear had started some time back but I loved the feel of the soft jeans and never cared to fix it. And now it lies in tatters and I am looking to find something to replace it.

So I ask around, to find a place where I can get a pair and also refresh my wardrobe a bit without having to pay through my nose. And my search throws up the name Gamarra.

I am told Gamarra in La Victoria, is the place to be if I want options as well as bargain.

I reach Gamarra, and I find myself in clothes heaven.

Big brands share shelf space with local ones, and I get myself a very similar looking blue pair that feels the same even before it has been washed. This jeans definitely riding up my favorite chart!

I also pick up some nice blouses and a nice top for an evening out with my friends, and when I return from Gamarra, I am a happy woman!

Fruit market in Lima

Fruits! I love ‘em! I can live on fruits and fruits alone. Yes I would need my occasional dose of meat and alcohol, but fruits can keep me alive, and you won’t even hear me complain!

When I first came to Lima, naturally given my love for fruits, I started looking for a market where I could pick up fresh produce at a decent price. There are markets and street vendors at all corners of the streets but I wanted something bigger, where my options would be more, and I can hop from one vendor to the other to weigh out the choices that I have.

Also did I say that bargaining of late has become my passion? Haggling with vendors is pretty common here, and a good bargain can make you richer by a few soles!

That’s a lot if you ask me. I am tight on money remember?

In my search for the ultimate bargain, someone pointed me one Sunday morning to the direction of the Mercado Surquillo. It is in Miraflores, and though it is a little far from my place, a trip to this market in Surquillo is worth the trouble. It is a huge, huge market; in fact it is the largest food market in the Capital.

You want meat, you will get guinea pig to whole pig meats, you want seafood, you will get a variety of sea food. And of course, fruits. If you want some really fresh produce, you would want to walk over the pedestrian bridge connecting the market with the neighboring district of Miraflores. I found great variety and amazing bargains.

My Sunday morning fruit salad is no more a dream!