Ceviche for lunch on our first day in Lima. Ceviche israw fish oxidized with lime juice and onions. Miraflores is a sight to behold. It's the high end section of Lima which caters to tourists and the upper echelon of limenan society. It is rare to see homeless people on the street and children don't hassle you with factory made bracelets. Why? Lima takes its image seriously. The city of 9 million does not want to have a reputation of being dangerous, impoverished, or uncomfortable. Artisans and vendors exist in Miraflores but only in stucco compounds designed for year round use as Inca art markets. Street vendors selling food have squeaky clean stalls--still peppered with ads for soccer and gambling, but clean. The idyllic facade is maintained by the police. At each intersection on the edges of Miraflores, one policeman (who surprisingly appears to be unarmed, rather than the usual semi-automatic rifle) sits in a plastic lawnchair in the shade of a tree or weedless flourishing corner garden. They are friendly and shepard the tourists when asked for advice or directions. Yet they also shepard beggars and street vendors-- i.e. they don't let them in Miraflores, which lends the district an air of exclusivity, to say the least.
Peruvians do not take holidays lightly. I bought two soroche pills today for the inevitable altitude sickness of our 8 hour bus ride to Huancayo tomorrow. Credal, the altitude sickness (soroche) pill, is composed of Zinc Acetate. There are no listed side effects to the drug online, but one warning did say that "Crespa is made from zinc acetate, so if you are allergic to zinc acetate you should not use this drug". When looking online, it appears that the drug has a stronger placebo effect than a physical effect. It is composed of zinc and various minerals which helps boost the immune system and regulates your breathing which aides in restful sleep despite the thin air of Huancayo's 3259 meter elevation.