On my last birthday, one of my daughters gifted me with a ticket to South America. It had been one of my lifetime dreams….. and pinch me! Here I am .

Lima, Peru. We landed on a grey and hazy morning at 5 am, dawn was just beginning to peak through the horizon. Despite the rather sleepless night (squished between the window and a Peruvian gentleman), I was excited and headed for the arrival hall.

Decision number 1. How to get to my airbnb. Everyone I spoke to tried to convince to take a taxi. I was determined to travel by bus whenever possible…. but the various clerks at the desks had the last word ( i.e. They freaked me out about the dangers of public transport) and I was soon on my way to the place I had booked– by taxi.

The early morning hours didn’t give me a great impression of Lima. It was grey and a veil of pollution seemed to hang over the city. We struggled to find the place I was going to due to a partial address and I am most grateful to the Colombian taxi driver for his persistance. I suspected he was going to try to take advantage of the situation to charge more…. nope! With a smile and a wish of “buen viage” he left me at the door.

First impressions: short, stocky, friendly, chatty people, the majority being barely taller than me. They talk to everyone with “tu” the familiar form of “you”. Endearing!

After a short rest I was ready to respond to the invitation of the airbnb co-guest to company him to the big supermarket. Having decided that I was going to try to stick to a low-carb diet, I needed supplies.

Lesson number 1:  A quick trip to the corner store, enlightened me to the need to get proper supplies…. read …black coffee with 2 tablespoons of sugar… yogurt with sugar… coffee grains ….only soluble … arghhhh.

Lesson number 2: it is a mistake to plan your itinerary without asking someone from the country. Maps typically don’t show mountain ranges that stop you from going “just across”. Thus I spent the best part of my first afternoon rearranging my trip to Cusco. It looks like it’s working out (i.e. Changing dates on Airbnb)

Here are a few pics taken on that first day ( the sun had come out)

Trip to the supermarket w my two companions who kindly carried both their shopping and mine
Look what I found! Chicken feet- great for broth!
The sun came out, we stopped by the park


Visiting the water Park- Show time!


A whole row of fragrant flower shops
The pictures don’t capture the ambiance, the music created it, along with the people’s zest for life and fun. A palpable atmosphere, loved it!