After our adventure into the jungle, we decided that the time has come for a cultural change and so bought tickets to fly to India in mid April. All that is needed now is our tourist visas which should have been an easy endeavor.
Before buying our tickets, we checked online for Indian embassies and consulates and there are both listed for Quito (where we were at the time of purchasing our tickets). However, when we went to find them neither one existed anymore! This left us with quite the conumdrum as we must have a visa to be permitted into India when we fly there or we must change our tickets which will be $600. And so, after some more research and a few phone calls we discovered that the nearest consulate was in Lima, Peru.
We hadn't intended to go to Peru but the fates have decided that we must visit so we hopped on a bus and thirty eight hours later, we arrived in Lima. The route to Lima travels through the Sechura Desert in the Northern part of Peru. It's an amazing thing to see the absolute starkness of this desert with little glints of the Pacific Ocean on the horizon. In the middle of the desert, there were strange little huts built with seemingly no purpose as there wasn't a single thing around them...
Lima suprised us with its metropolitan feel and booming economy. We've spent most of our time in the Miraflores and San Isidrios areas which are both beautiful and peaceful.
These barrios sit on cliffs that are roughly three hundred feet above the ocean and so the views are amazing. There are lots of good breaks to surf but sadly, the water is fairly polluted (which hasn't stopped the hordes of surfers that we've seen out there).
We've been in Lima a week and are waiting with baited breath as to whether the Indian consulate will issue us our visas. If so, we're on another epic bus ride back to Ecuador to catch our plane to India on the 15th. If not, we've decided that we're going to explore more of Peru since we're already in the country and hope that Machu Picchu opens up soon (it was closed after massive flooding a couple of months ago).
In the meantime, we've had a great time checking out Lima. It's definitely a gem in South America and well worth visiting.