Landing in Lima

Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
Trip End Sep 28, 2010

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

After the long flight across the Pacific I arrived in Lima, the old Colonial Capital of Peru. I was picked up by a cheery taxi driver and taken straight to my Hotel in Miraflores, a bustling suburb on the coast sitting atop huge dusty cliffs. It is the more affluent part of town, set up to cater for tourists and filled with high rise apartments and many restaurants. It was late though and it wasn't until next morning that I was up and ready to explore.

Lima is a huge city with 8 million residents. It was established by the Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizzarro when he moved the capital away from Cusco and to the coast in order to ship the Incan gold back to Spain. The old town is fascinating with many old colonial palaces and cathedrals. There is an eclectic mix of styles as Pizzaro was keen to set a new precedent in his budding empire. I particularly liked the addition of the magnificently crafted Moorish wooden balconies.

Unfortunately, many of the older structures have been destroyed by earthquakes however, one of the buildings which did survive was the old Franciscan Monastery including the multi-level underground catacombs which we were lucky enough to have a look around. It was really eerie and the bones of the rich and royal were on display for all to see.

If the first day was all about the history the second day was all about the food. Peru is becoming famous for its cuisine and there’s nowhere better than Lima to try the 'Ceviche’, raw fish marinated in lime juice. Delicious! Apparently Potatoes originated in Peru and there are more than 4000 varieties! Little wonder then that ‘Causas’, colourful potato salads have developed into an art form! I would have taken a picture to show you but my appetite got the better of me!

I finished the day with day with a Pisco Sour. The trademark Peruvian cocktail made from the local spirit Pisco with lime juice, sugar and egg whites. Very drinkable, but also very strong so I had to show some restraint as next morning was my flight into the mountains to the old capital of the Incan empire, Cusco.
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