June 2008
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008, Lima

Today was mostly a travel day. Since we weren't leaving for the airport until around 1PM, joel and I slept in a bit. We were planning on staying around the hotel, but since the power in the area around the hotel was turned off around 9:15 we ended up going for a nice walk along the ocean not far from the hotel.


When trying to sum up Peru it's hard to describe the country as a whole. The three places we visited, Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu are all very different from each other.

Lima is a very large city with a lot of traffic, and American restaurants and stores. It has a very interesting climate as it has high humidity yet never rains. Because of this, many things that are left outdoors don't deteriorate as they do in a city with a more severe climate. Examples of this are the Huaca Pucllana archaeological site which is over 2000 years old and made of mud, the books in the San Francisco Monastery which are open to the elements yet hundreds of years old, and the well preserved wooden balconies of many of the cathedrals and government buildings in the downtown area. One of the things that stood out to me in Lima was the amount of security. Every home was surrounded by either an electrified fence, barbed wire, spikes, or a combination of the three.

By comparison Cusco is very different than Lima. Cusco is a much smaller city located at a very high elevation of 11,200 feet. While Lima is almost always overcast, Cusco is almost always sunny and in 2006 was found to have the highest ultraviolet light level on the planet.

As far as the this trip as a whole, it was a good educational experience. We learned a lot about the Quechua people and Inca architecture as well as the local culture and cuisines. Peru is made up of 25 different regions, each with their own culture and customs. While all of these regions have commonalties, each region has influences from the different ethnic groups that settled in these regions. This was demonstrated to us in the different styles of dances that were performed on our last night in Lima.

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