The next stop was the capital of Peru — Lima. Peru's capital with over eight million residents, perches on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Spaniards founded Lima in 1535 and made it their capital partly for its agreeable climate, but mostly for its location as it made for easy ocean trade links to Spain. It's location is very questionable though, it is situated in the middle of the desert in a small valley surrounded by hills stopping all the smog and dust leaving the city. There's a legend, not sure how trues is that, therefore it is called a "legend", that when Spanish conquistadors were looking for a place to settle and build a harbor, incas pointed at the worst location on the shore to build the new city, that later became Lima. After Cairo, the Lima metropolis is the second-driest capital in the world, rising above a long coastline of crumbling cliffs.
We were there to speak at LAD Festival, so the week spent in Lima was quite fun, hanging around with locals and other speakers from the event. But otherwise Peru is so rich with culture and nature that it's not worth spending a lot of time in Lima. All I remember is traffic driving me nuts! I think I spent on average about 4 hours a day just sitting in the car and moving 1 mile per hour.
The greatest thing about Lima is food! Literally the best place I ate in my entire life. The standard of food in Peru is exceptional and in Lima it reaches it's peak. One of the best restaurants in the world is here -- Central, among millions of other great places where you feel like an ancient Roman, eat until you can not eat anymore, and then continue eating more.
El Cordano is a Lima institution and is one of the oldest bars and restaurants in the country. It opened its doors over 100 years ago. Since it's at the corner of the Government's Palace, all past Peruvian presidents have been customers, and it's a favorite haunt of the Lima intelligentsia and its artists and writers.
Larco Museum showcases chronological galleries that provide a thorough overview of 4,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Lots of gold!
There are couple of nice neighborhoods in Lima that are quite walkable with lots of bars and restaurants. The most interesting one is Barranco. The district is considered to be the city's most romantic and bohemian, being the home and working place of many of Peru's leading artists, musicians, designers and photographers.
Off from Lima. On the way from Lima to Cusco, planes fly over the Andes, which extends from North to South through seven South American countries, making it the longest continental mountain range in the world. This was one of the most surreal landscapes I've seen flying by.