We arrived in Lima late at night after an awful flight and staggered into our apartment and bed. After a good night’s sleep it was lovely to wake up to an expansive view of the Pacific Ocean far below us.
Our apartment is on the top of a building that itself stands on top of cliffs above the Ocean. The cliffs appear to be made of crumbly sand which is not terribly reassuring when you realise that our building, like all others here, has marked safe-zones for when earthquakes occur.
Our major effort for today was seeking out a supermarket where we could get some groceries. It’s experiences like having to buy your water in bottles because the tap water is too dangerous to drink that really make you realise how lucky we are to live in a first-world country where we simply don’t have such worries at any serious level.
This was even further driven home to us today as we read about the Inca Empire being conquered by the Spanish. It appears that the population of the Empire was between 4 and 34 million people. The vague numbers are not because the Incas didn’t know how many people there were. The Incas had excellent censuses and kept good records, but within a short period of the Spanish arriving there was simply no one left who could read the records. What is pretty clear is that, also within a few years, the population had been reduced by about 95 per cent thanks to waves of diseases for which the Incas had no immunity.
Anyway, talking of lucky, this afternoon we played 500 on our rooftop terrace while eagles and paragliders slid past within feet of us. It was a spectacular introduction to Lima. Not, I have to say, how most people in this city of 8 million live, but a nice slice of it.