Pisco, Peru: population: about 86,000. Pisco is a town on the coast of central Peru. It's generally a nice place, the majority of the city is clean, and they have a new mall, granted it's not big, but it's new. My first impressions are that I like Pisco, but then, just this morning, I walked into the city center looking for a restaurant serving breakfast. I found a few. My first question for each was "What kind of coffee do you have? Instant or filtered?" They all replied, "instant". I turned around and walked out. In one restaurant the waitress said, "filtered" and pointed to the coffee machine so I said, "Great, give me a cup of coffee, black." And she asked, "What? We have cappuccino, frappuccino, crapaccino, etc." I asked for Black Coffee, simple regular black coffee. She had no idea what I was asking for. I couldn't get her to understand that I wanted only regular unadulterated black coffee. I turned around and walked out of there. So, I'm eating mixed nuts for breakfast and drinking water with lemon. I suppose it is healthier. Then this evening, I went to the mall to the big grocery store to buy two bottles of water with pineapple flavor. It's the only store in Pisco I have found this water in. The two bottles came to around 8 soles (Peruvian money) and I gave her a 20 sole bill. She said it was too large for only 8 soles and she couldn't accept it. I said, "Seriously? The difference is only 12 soles, you have that in coins." She said something about the policy for amounts under 10 soles and not accepting bills of 20 or higher. I couldn't believe it and left without buying anything there. What a stupid policy, especially when the store is jam-packed with customers waiting in long lines.
So, I think you can figure out I do not much care for Pisco, Peru. Therefore, no more writing about it.
Pisco has a desert climate. The average daytime high of 24° C (75° F), and the night average low of 17° C (63° F). The city's elevation is barely above sea level. Pisco averages 26mm (1 inch) of rain per year.
So, my impressions: Pisco is a decent enough town to visit for a day or two. It's a typical beach town—sand everywhere, dust blowing everywhere, and the street lights are not bright and are generally on only one side of the street if they exist at all. There are many streets that have a distinct odor and it's not a pleasant smell. The beach is not anything special, especially when compared to just about all of the northern Peru coast. During my two-night visit, I saw enough to satisfy my curiosity for the rest of my life, I won't be revisiting this town.
This is my goal: to find a new place to live. So to reach that goal I am traveling most of South America, visiting the countries of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, passing through Argentina, visiting Paraguay, passing through a bit of Brazil, and finally visiting Uruguay. I have a list of towns, about 70, that meet these qualifications: Cities with average day temperatures of 22-28° C (72-83° F) and night temps of 14° C (57° F) and higher; and a population between 28,000-300,000. I analyzed climate and population data of around 700 towns in the countries mentioned above and then pulled out the ones that meet the previously mentioned criteria, which leaves about 70. My preference leans towards towns of less than 100,000 people. And, now that I have visited more than 30 towns/cities, I've decided I will probably want an inland town. I love the beach and walking in the warm water, but, getting sunburned is just too easy, even on a cloudy day. At least, here in Ecuador. I've also decided that any town with more than 100,000 population will be too big. I've decided that any small town/city (less than around 80,000 population) that meets the temp specifications and has a supermarket and ATM is one worth considering to live in.
My goal is to visit the towns and discover which one calls out to me - "Chip, Chip, make your new home here, this is your new home town". That hasn't happened yet, but the six towns listed below are very close to giving me that feeling. At any rate, I am not visiting tourist attractions or archeological sites, etc, those will have to wait for another trip through South America.
At this point in my journey I have four towns on my Top 10 list - San Vicente de Cañete, Tingo Maria, Moyobamba, La Merced, Peru, and Catamayo and Puyo, Ecuador. In my travels in Ecuador, I visited 31 towns/cities. At this point in my journey through Peru, I have visited 19 towns/cities.
Next up: Ica, Peru.