A day in the capital

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
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Trip End Aug 29, 2010


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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

From Huaraz we headed south to Lima, the capital of Peru with a population of 9-10 mil. The majority of the ride to Lima went through a bleak desert landscape, vacant of any noticeably flora or fauna. The towns along the Panamerican were spattered with mud huts covered with thatch or tin sheets.  The roadside houses were usually painted with the symbol and slogan of one of the 2010 provincial government candidates. To our initial confusion the symbol of the desired candidate has a huge red X through it, meant to represent the act of checking the box.

Once in Lima, we followed our newfound French-Spanish friends to a hostel in Lima´s city center, Hostel España. A quirky place, one described it as a ´rambling old mansion´. It´s a gigantic building, with 20´+ ceilings, old 19th-century portraits covering the walls and vines growing throughout the spiraled staircases. At breakfast we were accompanied by a macaw, some other parrot that talked and danced the whole time, cats and a yet to be housebroken limping dog.

We did all the touristy things in Lima. Highlights included the Monastery of San Francisco that houses an outstandingly eerie collection of catacombs in its basement tunnels. The bones from over 25,000 people were buried here and the dusty tunnels go on forever.  Initially the dead were covered in limestone but then once reduced, the large´sturdy´ bones were sorted- leaving room after room of pelvises, femurs and skulls.

From the monastery we grabbed sandwiches filled solo with thickly sliced ham and topped it off with a pie de limon. From there we sought out the terrace of the Gran Hotel Bolivar and split a pisco sour (a cocktail with pisco, fresh limon juice, egg whites and bitters), the cocktail of choice in Peru.

After some more touring about in the city center and chinatown, we took a taxi to Miraflores, an upscale neighborhood on the coastal cliffs of Lima.  Here we splurged on a fancy dinner of prawn stuffed kingfish, paella and sangria. Overall, despite the smog/fog that drapes over the city everyday (year-round) and the insane amount of people and freakin´ crazy taxi drivers (who honk at anything and everything for any duration of time), we had a wonderful time seeing some of Peru´s history that has been preserved in buildings, culture and mindset of Lima. -R
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Comments

Jeanne on

So glad to hear you are both well and having a fantastic adventure. The trek (from your previous blog) sounds amazing. Even Lima sounds interesting.
Have fun and stay well!
Love, Mom

Charley and Rondi on

You two are the hardest of the hard core travelers that I know!!!! To see the catacombs and breakfast with the maccaws puts you right up there. Yeah! Got your postcard of the highest peak in Peru; you are adventure. Love, us

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