I've been collecting tidbits throughout our travels, and if I forget to put them in a post, they keep floating around my inbox. So here goes, to clear out my mailbox:
Lines in the street to demarcate lanes are just a guide. Very few drivers stay within them. You drive where you can fit your vehicle - the closer to the next one the better, whether in front of you or beside you.
A very popular type of music throughout the country is American pop from the 70's and 80's.
Horns are constantly honking - warning other drivers you're there; taxis or minibuses asking pedestrians if they want a ride, by honking; telling others in front of you to get going...
It's not just McDonald's and KFC and Pizza Hut here in Peru - we actually saw a Chuck E. Cheese at a mall near Trujillo.
As we walk along the streets, we literally stand out, both in our coloration, as well as our height. Most women barely come to my shoulder, and I'm taller than most men. We constantly get double takes, especially in the northern cities where we've been for the past week. The south is where all the touristas go, and we're definitely in the off season right now. In the last 3 cities, we've been the only Caucasians we've seen anywhere. At an archaeological ruin we went to yesterday, the school kids were more interested in us, than the ruins the teachers were trying to get them to pay attention to.
The Plaza de Armas in Trujillo is self proclaimed to be the largest and "most beautiful" in Peru, but it's closed off for reconstruction. :-(
The "Love Store" - guess what it sells??................................. stuffed animals. There were several just on one street.
As we were going back upriver on the Amazon, after our last jungle lodge stay, we suddenly cut across the entire river, and sidled up to an enormous boat going downriver. One of our passengers hopped across with their bags, as the huge ship kept steaming on, and our boat kept abreast of it. I guess that's how you catch a ferry in the Amazon!
I never thought I'd say this, but instant coffee actually isn't that bad! I've had some pretty wretched coffee here, but instant was amazingly ok. Since I've got a caffeine addiction, I have to have a cup every morning, or face a nasty headache all day. So some days, I choked down my "medicine", hoping the next city or hotel had decent cappuccino! ;-)
The guidebooks kept stressing safety issues in every town/city, but during our entire trip, we've never once felt unsafe or on edge (even walking at night). I really don't feel we've been taken advantage of anywhere, even as obvious gringos, and it's been really heartening to have so many people trying to help us as we muddle through with our very limited Spanish. In the Lima airport, there was a super nice counter girl at the Pardo's Chicken who noticed that we were speaking English, and trying to figure out how to order. She took us under her wing (no pun intended), got our order in, then brought it out to us in the free-for-all that was the huge seating area.
Some last pictures from the jungle on the Amazon:
A common visitor on the walkways at night: