Thursday, 20 November 2014

A postcard home from darkest Peru

It's 6.30pm in Miraflores, the upmarket district of Lima, and the city is beginning to beat.

It's cooler now, after the humidity of the day, and the constant fog that grips the capital of Peru at this time of year appears to dissipate.

We make for the seafront and the shopping mall.
This is the latest film on show at the local cinema...
As darkness falls, masses of buses - most of them truncated, clapped-out and full of passengers - trundle by.
People wait at zebra crossings for the pedestrian lights to turn green.
There are hundreds of cars, many of them honking their horns despite signs everywhere shouting out silencio over a backdrop of a crossed-out trumpet.
The streets smell of popcorn, perfume, something like Jeyes Fluid, cat pee in the park (full of felines in the flowerbeds) and garlic. Police sirens whirl and clack and a cyclist shouts at a pedestrian (my husband) for stepping out in his path.

There are clothes shops selling alpaca designs and bridal wear, casinos and lots of bright lights. There are shiny new buildings, old ones and lots in between.
It's a young city, Lima, with eighty percent of its nine-and-a-half million population under sixty and fifty percent under thirty. During the day, they're busy working. At night, they come out and socialise.

And, as the youngest by far on this trip of a lifetime I've won with Saga in a travel writing competition, I fit right in.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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