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Lima in 24 hours! Stephen hangs out with a local Reggae band, try some unique Peruvian food and check out a tent on wheels.

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- If you had a choice to pack up all your things and paint a picture of the world we live in what would you do? You ask yourself, what I have to do is. ♪ Baby let me follow you down ♪ ♪ Follow you down ♪ ♪ I'm all in pieces ♪ ♪ Just waiting for you to come round ♪ ♪ Round ♪ ♪ To sing you this song ♪ ♪ Baby let me sing you this song ♪ ♪ And cigarettes and these hard fingertips ♪ ♪ Are what I'll sacrifice ♪ ♪ To let you read this ♪ ♪ Song ♪ - [Stephen] We find ourselves living on this planet we call home yet we are so disconnected from it all. We feel like complete strangers. The pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of love the pursuit of adventure and the pursuit of freedom. My name is Stephen Friedman and this is the story of Chasing the Sun. Arriving in Lima, my first impressions were I arrived at night so there were just a lot of flashy lights, a lot of casinos and restaurants and just really busy. It was quite late at night and there was so many people on the road busy driving and there was so much going on. And I'm like wow, I didn't really picture Lima being like that at all. We are on top of the mountain and pretty much the south of Lima, the city. You can see how dense it is, about 10 million people. There is, just as far as I can see, buildings and developments taking place. When you think of South America, you don't really think of how big these cities are. Especially in the capital, you don't realize how massive they are. - [Harold] Lima is a very multicultural city. Peru is a big country. We have a different regions like, the coast, the highlands, the jungle. And Lima is a place where all this different cultures of people meet and mix. And Sundays especially is a very easy day, a free day for almost everyone because most of the people work from Monday to Saturday. And they have Sunday for the families and to hang out. So downtown Lima is getting more attention. More people is going. There are cool things to do and to see so it's very traditional to go downtown Lima on a Sunday. It's less traffic too. I'm Harold Koechlin and we are in Lima, Peru. - [Stephen] I think when you travel, it's always good to have someone that can show you around and I've been really lucky to hook up with Harold. He knows the ins and outs of this area. So many people so it's been a really great experience seeing Peru with Harold and also getting to know him. He's a really really cool guy. - [Harold] Lima is a very unique place. You have many things to do here. If you get to know the right people, you can realize that there is many people that are real friendly and they receive foreign people with an open heart. I think Lima is one of the best places to come and visit because you can surf you can climb, you can do mai tai. You can eat very good. You can do many activities. Also you can travel through Peru. Lima is a nice place but in Peru, we have wonderful places to visit. - [Stephen] Lima is the third largest city in the Americas just behind Sao Paolo and Mexico City. The city was founded in 1535 so you can feel the rich history and tradition here. Around 1/3 of the Peruvian people live in Lima so there's something for everyone, young and old. The one thing that always is fascinating is when you come to a country that you had just read about and seen a couple documentaries on and actually experiencing certain things and especially cultures and things and seeing that folk band on top of this big mountain with the big Jesus Christ statue above them and several other statues all situated on this mountain peak. And singing their traditional, local music. It was so hard to describe the music they were singing. It was kind of like a techno folk, if you can describe that. But it was just bazaar in all honesty. I never ever thought I'd wake up that morning and witness that. Surreal moment, I don't really know if it was real or not. It was just bazaar. - [Harold] Lima is a very big city. You know it's the capital of Peru. And it has grown very quickly in the last 20 years. It probably has more than triplicated the population. So it's something that hasn't been planified so well. So there's a lot of lack of infrastructure especially in terms of big avenues and highways. To get in and out of town takes you at least one hour and it's not that far. Yeah it's good to live here, South and outside of town. - Here in Peru, the transportation for short distances is mainly motor taxis. And they cost around one sol, one sol 50 maybe two soles and everybody uses them and if you need a ride to the surf spot, to the market or somewhere. It's a cool way to make some money and people like it. They are proud of their tools. - So if you want to get around in Peru the cheapest and easiest way is a motor taxi. It's quite an adventure all on its own. Things are pretty pumped out. This is reality, man, this is Peru. This is how you get around and feels pretty weird, feels like I'm in a tent in all honesty. Feels like I'm in a kid's tent and there are so many little ornaments and stickers. Have to admit this is one of the most unique things about Peru are these motor taxis. This is kind of an emblem of the public transport of Peru and I'm in a tent with wheels. - [Stephen] You actually see some of these driving around. You see people with surf boards on the roof, people with grocery shopping, like chicken, you name it. This is like the main thing to get around. You literally can put a whole family in here and just enjoy the ride. - [Stephen] The ride on the other hand was... It was different. I couldn't see anything so I had no idea where I was. You had tons of chahutas and things happening around you which you cannot see them. And maybe that's a good thing because driving on the roads in Peru is one of the most I can't even describe it. It's crazy, it's one of the weirdest structures of road rules I've ever experienced in my life. There are actually no rules. When you think you're actually gonna hit someone, you don't, you kinda just have to go for it. Any hesitation and you're in trouble. - Barranco is not that young but it has a very young spirit. Barranco is like the bohemian neighborhood of Lima. It's right next to Miraflores. It has a lot of art gallery places, a lot of bars, live music, and restaurants and it's very nice. It's like a sleek trending for the artist and people that like to be in town. They need to be in town but they want some kind of peace and not be in the middle of the city rush. - [Stephen] Barranco is alive with incredible restaurants like this that serve a variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes. Also noticed there's a lot of interesting art here. But the main reason I came to Barranco is for the music as Lima has a progressive music scene and Barranco is where a lot of the bands are based. So I really wanted to come see it for myself. Harold's friends Nina and Ben are in the process of putting a band together and up until tonight they had just been collaborating online. So this is their first official band practice. Seeing something blossom right before your eyes, whatever that might be, is a beautiful thing as I'm sure we all can agree. - Nina call me we play and I like the stride, like reggae. I like mixing but a cool and relax so we start working but we know each other like many time so we record here in my newest studio and make it. But now is the first time before play together to record and I like it. And my name is Ben. - [Nina] My name is Nina. I'm part of the band. We are not sure about the name but we have foreign guests who thought that it's gonna be Nina and the Green or something like that. We are right now at our recording studio right here. This is where everything happens. And we've been doing this for about four months already. And this is Barranco which is a very picturesque part of Lima and as you can see, we have have the view here of the Bridge of the in Spanish. Yeah, I really like Peru, it's amazing. You have the highlands, you have the jungle, you have the sea and it's really good cool people here. - When I heard about Nina and her band and she invited me to come and see her perform and do her recording and things like that for her new album that she wants to release. What I envisioned is what I experienced. Something rustic, something royal and something like from the ground on up. It was the coolest studio I've ever been in. The music was real and that's what music is all about. It's all about getting that moment that you can just basically escape and I felt like I was in another place, another world when I was in that studio. It was fantastic. - [Ben] This is the house like my grandfather. Now it is the house of my mom, my family with my brother and here my family is very artists. We like to try to make different things so here in this house, many people have make music and the art through painting or . Many time this is like an old house. - [Nina] Yeah we all have space in our houses but I don't know why we always end up here because it's cool. It's relaxing, you can see the sea over there. And plus Ben, who is the best bass player, he has all the things here and the instruments and how to, the connections and everything. So we like coming here. Well it was pretty tough in the beginning because it's tough to find musicians that you click with and that you can count on because basically they can tell you, okay let's make music and you jam something but then there's nothing constant. So the songs are flying around and you don't progress. But you have to find the right people. It was a search that took three or four years until I found the people that I like working with. - [Ben] In this moment, it's like a new era. Many bands small, bigger bigger so we have many music. Here in Barranco is one of the oldest hoods in Lima and always have music, traditional music here for program music. And now it's like many bands of new fusions so I always like reggae. Many people around here like reggae but we have another thing like cumbia like we know, DJs also hip hop, all these kind of fusions. - I don't play an instrument so for me whenever I wake up at 12 or 1 am in the morning I have something in my head and I grab myself and I record it. And then I give it to the guitar player that was here before or to Ben and we try to make something out of it. Or also there have been times that we've been all like three people together, Alejandro, the other guy, me and we were jamming and the song was born. So it depends. Sometimes we have that and sometimes I have the song here in my mind and I say hey guys listen to this and then it grows. - Here people are very proud to be from Peru because we have a different flavor of all around the world. You can see it in our food but you can see it in many things in our culture. If you travel in other places, different culture. Different meals, different dance. It's very interesting to be here. I like it because I can take all this come from Peru and mix it with other things. But you know in the global world, everybody and their internet is connected now. And we can hear the music from England and other places like their music. So we mix it up. The demo we are recording here. We are now just recording. We have to mix it, we're going to make some videos. And we're gonna start to play. We want to work first the music on it. - [Stephen] What I found really unique was the fact that it was actually the first time they've ever played together and it just clicked. Everything just worked. It was like a puzzle piece that just connected to create this beautiful picture. I could have witnessed the beginning of something massive. I hope for them that everyone around the world gets to hear them. And also gets taken on that journey that I went on because they're really really talented bunch of musicians. If I look back at when I was a young child and think of all the places I will travel to in my adult life, the things I will see and do and the cultures I'll be lost in, I think observing everything to detail and not assuming the sky is blue and the grass is green on the other side until you see it for yourself. As naive it is, I've grown as the years grace your face, as the wrinkles appear around your eyes like a map of moments that educated and expanded your mind. As it's further beyond the books and the pictures you've read and memorized as a child. We will all be left with memories in the end. And they should be cherished.