As far as a culture shock and change of scenery goes the city of Santiago has nothing on the city of Lima.
Leaving the airport was a step straight into a type of life I have never experienced before. Everywhere there were colour splattered, box shaped, half-finished buildings that could have been made of cardboard. Walls missing, windows with no glass, no roof or a second or third level that literally just stops halfway up the wall or staircase. The slums, my travel mate whispered under her breath.
Soon the urban scenery began to show occasional building materials more sturdy, brick here and there. Eventually the brick got more and the cardboard like exteriors less. But still they remained square and still kind of unfinished.
It’s fascinating and startling and colour blocked and intimidating and just when I start to really begin to over analyse the absolute square-ness and incomplete state of almost everything, we drive into an open highway and the misty shrouded ocean that meets the edge of Lima comes into view, wiping the thoughts away. En route to Miraflores there is a stark contrast between the first 25 minute of Lima and the next. You should check it out for yourself.