Getting about in Lima...

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
johnstar
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Getting about in Lima...

Postby johnstar » Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:13 pm

Hello all,

Im a British guy and ive been in Peru for almost 3 weeks now and whilst i love it, the climate and the people, food etc, i still havent got round to buying a streetmap and granted its quite easy to remember routes, id like to travel a bit further out and am considering buying a pushbike as not only will it be a lot more pleasant and comfy than taking those hot overcrowded buses but it'll give me exercise and allow me to properly see more of Surco, San Isidro, Miraflores etc and save money too of course. From what ive seen so far the general driving here is dreadful so i'd like to explore myself....

I actually saw a few pocket street maps in Wongs for 30 soles but they had 2000 on the cover which is possibly way out of date even those there probably isnt that many changes to the present time. Anyone know anywhere in Surco to buy decent up to date pocket maps and also pushbike/mountain bikes??

Ive seen a number of shops close to el parque de la amistad but none are what im looking for.

If anyone can point me in the right direction then i'd be very grateful.

Muchas gracias

John


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Postby Corsaire » Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:25 pm

Welcome to Peru John. I´ve also been 3 weeks here. I´ve already been riding my mtn bike through Jesus Maria, San Isidro, Miraflores, Chorrillos and Barranco, a nice way to see Lima from a different perspective as long as one stay away from major, higly traffic roads. We could partner up during this upcoming week if you like to try La Molina, etc.
I was born here, but been liiving in the States for 17 yrs, so spanish wouldn´t be a problem, plus I´m already familiar with most roads around here.
As far as bikes, if you want something cheap just to beat around I´d suggest Luna Pizarro Ave, near Grau ave where bikes is all about, just don´t expect high end quality. Now if you want a better bike try Best Bikes near el Ovalo Gutierrez in San Isidro.
Let me know,
Brian
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Postby johnstar » Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:59 pm

Yeah sounds good to me Brian, i would like to spend more time next week travelling about and as the heat has dropped a touch it would be much more pleasant. Im not looking for an amazing bike, in fact anything fairly comfy and rideable will do, im not so fussed about how it looks, just want decent tyres and something stable...i will try and get to the places you recommended on Monday or Tuesday and although i speak Spanish, its not quite fluent at the moment!

Good Advice, Thanks )
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Postby cajun jamie » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:06 pm

I wish I would have had a map today. I went with Kevin and Manu to el centro. We did Mesa Rodonda, Polvos Azules, Barrio Chino, and passed through el hueco.

It was really fun and we loaded up on stuff.
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Postby johnstar » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:58 pm

haha, well i couldnt possibly venture too far without a map, and sure enough ive just paid 50 soles for a "Guia 2000" map book which is not exactly like the A-Z's of the UK jaja, as more than half the book is Street Indexes but i think this will be good enough once i get more familiar with Lima beyond Surco!
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Postby Corsaire » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:18 pm

I wish I would have had a map today. I went with Kevin and Manu to el centro. We did Mesa Rodonda, Polvos Azules, Barrio Chino, and passed through el hueco.

Sounds like you guys walked the walk and talked the talk today, specially in that "Hueco", I was once there a few yrs ago, and even someone like me looking peruvian and all had mine right up my throat, if you catch my drift.
Kudos!

Brian
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Postby naturegirl » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:24 pm

I know there are online maps. try guiacalles. BUt the best way is to just walk around and ask people. Street names change so often it'd be hard to find a good map.
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Postby americorps » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:33 pm

I find the fear of el Hueco, Mesa Rodonda, Barrio China, Polvos Azules, Grau, Wilson and Gamarra to be WAY blown out of proportion.

I have gone to one or the other nearly every weekend for nearly 2 years now and except a couple minor pick-pocket attempts (failed) have never had any problem. I have NEVER felt in any danger.

I find it to be more of a class thing, the more fortunate afraid of the poor.

With Jamie and me today, we did not even get the Gringo price. 2 Soles for DVDs and 20 soles for a watch.

Also, within this year Gamarra, Mesa Rodonda and El Hueco have been cleaned up, cleared of many illegal vendors and had their electrical systems upgraded. Gamarra is practically Disneyesque these days.

I simply laugh at those scared to go there.

That being said, I do take precautions...like one should anywhere. I also would not go after dark.

The only time I have ever been mugged in LIma was in a very nice area of La Molina right outside a Wong in the broad daylight.

Further, the customer service I get at Polvos Azules is much friendlier than anything I have ever received at Polvos Rosados and miles better than Saga/Ripley.

Speaking for Ripley/Saga, they have the new Firestone 2008 maps of Peru for about S/ 60
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Postby naturegirl » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:41 pm

I have gone to el mercado central and abancay alone as well, and felt fine. Of course, I'm not going with jewelry or anything that would call attention to myself.
Corsaire

Postby Corsaire » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:52 pm

It helps to go as low profile as possible and of course, speak the language.

Brian
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Postby curlyguy18 » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:03 pm

I've taken a lot of gringo friends to Gamarra and Polvos azules and we've never been pickpockted. Like naturegirl said, don't wear any flashy jwelery or anything that draws attention. I think it also helps to not look so foreign, as looking too foreign (if you know what I mean) makes you too much of a target. We've never been ripped off either. You would think they'd try to rip the gringos off but they actually don't. Nicer places like the inca market and stuff will try to suck them dry.
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Postby Kelly » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:16 pm

I find that vendors at Polvos Azules treat me very fairly when I'm with my kids. When I went with my sister and nephew, we LOOKED like tourists, and we got treated like tourists by maybe 50% of the shops.
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Postby Mommyof2Angels » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:30 pm

i really had no clue that these places were even dangerous..either that or i am really blind to my my surroundings. I seriously dont judge a book by its cover.

In saying that, I went to Grau and bought my son a walker and a push type bike thing for infants and toddlers. I never even thought twice, and i was treated normally. I have blonde hair and blue eyes and i DEF. stand out, lol..I even had brought my COACH bag to peru and i carried it with me...well, my father in law insisted that he hold it..i think he would have preffered i just left it behind to be perfectly honest.

I also went to Polvos Azules and that place kind of freaked me out a little bit...I got some sunglasses and an immitation Chanel bag ( that everyone raves about here in the states...little do they know that it was only 50 soles! hehehe!) i think that the overall feel of Polvos Azules was clausterphobia..there are too many things jammed indoors.

It may have helped that I speak/understand Spanish like a native..People asked me if I was from Spain everywhere I went.
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Postby Mommyof2Angels » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:34 pm

oh yeah- another place that i went to was "La Ochenta"..Anyone ever been there? I bought a really decent pair of sandals there for 3 soles...I also bought a pitcher with 6 glasses and a plate for 15 soles(a set). They have really cheap prices there.

I did get ripped off in Miraflores quite a few times.... :evil:
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Postby johnstar » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:08 pm

Well i started this topics about buying bikes so i'll finish it....

I went over to a nice little bike shop on Avenida Aviacion in Surco, and picked up a brand new mountain bike for 250 soles, which for me was a bargain although unfortunately may attract the wrong kind of attention if i have to ride it through unsafe areas!

I know there are some lovely routes in Miraflores and San Isidro to cycle round and i intend to explore those and many others over the coming weeks.

Thanks to all, JS
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Postby cajun jamie » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:40 pm

What type frame was it? Iron or Aluminum? I am looking for a mountain bike, preferable aluminum. I need light. I will check out Best Bikes in San Isidro, but was curious to know what you found.

Where exactly was it and what exactly did you buy?

Cheers,
jamie

Well i started this topics about buying bikes so i'll finish it....

I went over to a nice little bike shop on Avenida Aviacion in Surco, and picked up a brand new mountain bike for 250 soles, which for me was a bargain although unfortunately may attract the wrong kind of attention if i have to ride it through unsafe areas!

I know there are some lovely routes in Miraflores and San Isidro to cycle round and i intend to explore those and many others over the coming weeks.

Thanks to all, JS
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Corsaire

Postby Corsaire » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:56 pm

A bit of advice from someone who's been riding bikes consistenly for the last 4 yrs. Whatever you do don't buy a full fledge Mtn bike, the clunky looking ones with fat and knobby tires UNLESS you're dedicately planning to ride on rough, dirt or unpaved roads. Riding knobby fat tires on paved roads is doable but very inefficient and feels very clunky. Or you could get a hybrid, sort of like a mtn bike but w/o the big rubber knobs and it'll give you the best of both worlds. Or just get a mtn bike but ask the rep to get the option of swapping tires if you'd wish.
I personally do most of my riding on paved roads, so knobby tires are inefficient and unneccesary for me.
Also, unless you're doing stunts. you won't need all those sphisticated shocks mtn bikes come with these days.
My 0.02
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Postby johnstar » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:03 pm

Interesting comments Brian, well ive had my bike for a few weeks now and i only ever ride on the footpaths as its simply too dangerous in my opinion to ride on the roads as ive already seen some of the worst driving ever especially around Ovalo Higureta, drivers seem to be very impatient and therefore i always wait at every single junction and take my time crossing even though its frustrating to lose momentum and time.

It is undoubtedly a great way to travel about and as soon as i get some gloves for comfort i'll explore some more.
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Postby cajun jamie » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:29 pm

Good points. For 10 years my bike of choice was a 1995 Cannondale M300 rigid frame aluminum. I paid $650 in 1995. I sold it to a friend when I moved to Peru. This bike was super lightweight, and a dream to ride. The only drawback was the rigid frame, so I used a suspension seat post.

Today, I don't think you can buy a Cannondale for under $1000 USD new. I really want an aluminum frame.

About the tires, I have seen many people go hybrid when they mostly do street riding. I think I would have destroyed the tires, bike and my bottom had I had skinny tires the other day. The bottom stretch of the malecon is brutal on a bike.

jb

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Last edited by cajun jamie on Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Corsaire

Postby Corsaire » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:36 pm

John, you ain’t kidding. Riding in Lima streets takes the ‘keeping your wits about you’ to a total new dimension. Perhaps, that explains why most of the time we see riders on the sidewalks, they have almost no choice. I was one of them just trying to survive, but I hit the roads whenever safety (an oxymoron?) allowed it. Got to take your time and see what the others (the drivers) want to do before pressing on, riding very defensively is priority.
La Ciclo Vía in Avenida Salaverry is good but watch out for pedestrians, another is taking the down hill road at the intersection of Jesus Maria and Miraflores to la Costa Verde highway which leads to La Herradura, all the way to the end. All in all, there are lots of back roads you can use to cut through the chaos; it just takes time to find them. I should know I used to ride when a young lad, all the way to El Callao.

Brian
Corsaire

Postby Corsaire » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:47 pm

About the tires, I have seen many people go hybrid when they mostly do street riding. I think I would have destroyed the tires, bike and my bottom had I had skinny tires the other day. The bottom stretch of the malecon is brutal on a bike.
jb
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Nice bike.
Add a suspension to the saddle, take off the tire knobs and you have the perfect bike for Lima, unless hitting dirt. No need for skinny tires mate.
I also have a Cannondale, roadie, a Six13, half carbon, half Al.
Brian :)
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Postby Corsaire » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:50 pm

On the subject. I think the bike would solve most of the traffic chaos we're having nowadays (besides going green) if people bike commute to work.
But from there to reality is total different story. Limeños are not ready for that.
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Postby cajun jamie » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:58 pm

Corsaire wrote:On the subject. I think the bike would solve most of the traffic chaos we're having nowadays (besides going green) if people bike commute to work.
But from there to reality is total different story. Limeños are not ready for that.
BB


Well, if you could convince a few people that the carbonated gas in Inka Kola does not need to be stirred out to prevent throat cancer - and that clean air is good and all of that black gook in the air is actually bad....

You may be on to something. :D
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Postby cajun jamie » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:06 pm

Today I rode up the malecon and over to Best Bikes. The bikes looked nice and there are a couple decent models starting at about 750 soles. There are some nice, high -end bikes, but something caught my eye.

There is a bright yellow Cannondale in the back, with the ugliest and messiest welds I have ever seen. They look as if the frame rusted, was spot welded, then painted over.

Either Cannondale is getting sloppy or that isn't a Cannondale.

But, the shop was nice and biking through 6pm rush hour is really a rush!
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Postby Corsaire » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:55 pm

>>>There is a bright yellow Cannondale in the back, with the ugliest and messiest welds I have ever seen. They look as if the frame rusted, was spot welded, then painted over. <<<

I wouldn’t be surprised if Limeños are already making “Cannondales” in their back yards. Prior to coming to Lima, the movie 10000 BC was about to be released or was already on US theaters, don’t quite remember, and soon after arriving I visited a cousin who was already watching it with subtitles and all on his DVD player! dude I was like WTF…and he commented happily that “Jumper” (also a new release) will “soon be out”. I just cracked up and he couldn’t quite understand why.

Brian

:shock:
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Postby cajun jamie » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:01 pm

Corsaire wrote:>>>There is a bright yellow Cannondale in the back, with the ugliest and messiest welds I have ever seen. They look as if the frame rusted, was spot welded, then painted over. <<<

I wouldn’t be surprised if Limeños are already making “Cannondales” in their back yards. Prior to coming to Lima, the movie 10000 BC was about to be released or was already on US theaters, don’t quite remember, and soon after arriving I visited a cousin who was already watching it with subtitles and all on his DVD player! dude I was like WTF…and he commented happily that “Jumper” (also a new release) will “soon be out”. I just cracked up and he couldn’t quite understand why.

Brian

:shock:


Brian,
You up for a ride tomorrow? Are you in Peru?

Cheers,
jb
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Corsaire

Postby Corsaire » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:15 pm

I’d love to but I’m up here already, in some near future perhaps CJ, but I’ll take a rain check.

:D
Brian
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Postby cajun jamie » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:24 pm

Cool, Corsaire. Next time.

I talked to a colleague today who has a Peruvian bike mechanic friend who's going to help me put together an aluminum mountain bike for 600 soles. I'll post how this turns out.

jamie
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Postby Corsaire » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:59 pm

Cool. Let me know. I'm meeting the ridinng buddies this afternoon up here for a hammerfest, hopefully I won't get dropped.
:mrgreen:

BB

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