The semester's started full-gear and I've barely had time to sleep with all the starting up and catching up being thrown at me. So I figure I better start writing before all memories of my backpacking adventures through South America are replaced with political data and theory and a swirl of economics terms I'm not quite sure I understand.
My trip started in Lima. I landed relatively fresh from NYC sometime in the late evening and nabbed a cab to my hostel in Miraflores, one of the richer & safer neighborhoods of Lima, where I had booked 3 nights through New Year's to explore the city.
It turns out I didn't need nearly so much time - if I'm being perfectly honest, I found Lima to be relatively unremarkable. From a touristic point of view, it reads as a generic Latin American city (with better food, but that's Peru in general). Not so for my hostel companions, however - there was plenty of revelling, which I opted out of my curling up in the corner with my book like a scared kitten.
Solo travel lesson 1: Lone introverts do not do well in large party hostels. (Not the time to challenge your anti-social tendencies in a big way.)
That's not to say that Lima is a complete dud - there's the food, as I mentioned before (although a word of caution to vegetarians - I was all too happy to break my self-imposed dietary restrictions for ceviche), some interesting ruins, and of course the sea. The highlight for me was New Year's Eve, when a girl I met on the plane from Houston invited me to her friend's NYE party with an insane view, and the whole city exploded with fireworks for nearly half an hour. But unless you plan on staying and partying, don't give yourself 3 whole days to explore - they are better allotted elsewhere in this beautiful country.