I used to drive in Lima, but that was many years ago. Today, I would not venture out behind the wheel. The traffic is so congested the cars and the motorbikes have to squeeze around each other. You have to have strong nerves. I took some pictures from my passenger side to show how close they are to each other.
As you can see from the first picture, not only the cars have to fight for space. These houses are build way up on a hill, very close together. the pictures in the middle show something wonderful that is being built to help ease the traffic. It’s an electric train. There is already one stretch working, alleviating very much the daily commute.
My friend Mayu is brave. As I have written about in another blog she drove me to the Magic Water Park and then she offered to take me to the Inka Market so I could get some souvenirs. She snuck in between the cars with her little blue one.
The little blue car in the parking lot.
The chair for me and the gas for the car.
See the yellow tube in the back? Many cars in Lima drive on natural gas. The fuel is more expensive than in the United States, so they adapt the cars to work on gas. It’s a short-term savings but a taxi-driver I talked to said it damages the motor in the long-run.
Here you can see the gas prices. Divide it by 2.60. There is 2.60 Nuevo Sol on the Dollar. The cheapest is 13.07 a gallon, which is $5.00. Do you blame them for using natural gas?
The Inka Market we went to was at the high level prices. Just as you can buy gasoline at different prices, you can have different levels of prices for you souvenirs. Needless to say, I didn’t buy very many. But for whatever price-level I had to get something for my grandchildren. Afterwards I was told, “We could have gotten this for you at half of the price at another market!” I’ll try to remember that for next time. There definitely is going to be a next time.
Has anybody ever asked you for the honor to invite you a meal? Would I let her treat me to lunch, asked my friend? How can you not accept such an invitation? So Mayu treated me to lunch and I treated Cristina. We went to an outside restaurant where my sister takes her tourist when she has her Inka tours.
The lunch menu was chicken. I haven’t liked chicken since I was twelve. No way am I going to start liking it now! So I had fried yucca to dip in “papa a la huancaína” sauce. I ordered “crema volteada” for dessert. It’s a type of custard. I never got my dessert. When the server came around and we asked for it, he apologized for not telling us that they were out of it. No way, said Mayu, you have to get some for us. Go next door, she suggested. The server came back and said that it was more expensive next door. Mayu knows how to talk to her people. The result was that each of us got a piece of lemon pie on the House.
I had been cheated out of custard the day before, I was cheated out of it now. The next day my dear cousin Milene fixed me a big plate of it. If you go to Peru, you have to try “crema volteada.” You will love it!
You will also love Lima by night.