Peru, Day 1: Lima

Community Highlights Central / South America & The Caribbean Peru, Day 1: Lima

Hola, amigos!
The three of us gathered relatively early this morning, to enjoy the hotel's breakfast buffet. Our tour guide, Juan, for the first half the day was scheduled to meet us in the lobby at 9:00.

Juan escorted us to the tour van, since Lima is a sprawling place, with not much in the way of public transportation (except buses). We drove through several of Lima's 43 neighborhoods (each with its own mayor!), starting with San Isidro (where we are staying) and Miraflores. Juan acquainted us with the basics of Lima-- 12 million people+; there are really only seasons, summer and winter; Lima is basically a desert, with very little rain; Lima has a lot of immigrants, especially from Venezuela. With so many people, it's hard to get around. Traffic was brutal.

We drove by an olive tree park, planted when the Spanish first conquered the area. Then we had a quick visit to an ancient pyramid site, from before the Incas. Finally, we stopped to walk through the Parque de Amor:

After walking back to the van, we drove through the Magdalena neighborhood and then Pueblo Libro, with streets named for the people who participated in the liberation of Peru.

The next stop was the Larco Museum, with lots and lots of very ancient items-- textiles, pottery, metalworking, etc.

Joseph is considering a new look:

And, here's an ancient Peruvian abacus:

We also visited the erotic exhibit, which contained ancient Peruvian pornography. We learned that ancient Peruvians believed that carnal desires and experiences did not end with death:

Here's a fun sign that indicates where the loos are:

Then, it was time for the really fabulous ceviche demonstration at the museum's restaurant, resulting a well-earned and delicious snack, with sea bass and octopus:

Back to the van, for a drive through more traffic to the city center, where we enjoyed a walking tour that included a visit to the Museo del Convento Santo Domingo. The tour through the facility included a lot of interesting tile work, along with the tomb of Santa Rosa of Lima:

Then we saw a bit more of the city center:

Finally, it was time for Juan to deliver us back to the hotel.

We explored on our own, starting with snacks at a cafe:

We walked along the Olive Path and saw turtles and the mysterious site of Lima residents dressed snugly for winter, even though temps were in the high 60s/low 70s:

Finally, we found and stopped in at another archaeological site, Huaca Hualla Marca, where we could walk up to the top of an ancient Peruvian pyramid and gaze upon something that looked an awful lot like a sinkhole:

Now we are back at the hotel, for a little rest, blogging and getting ready for dinner.

Dinner update:

Quiz of the day: Google or Apple?

Joseph found a restaurant that he liked, that wasn't far from the hotel. The problem? While the restaurant was clearly listed on one "map" app, it wasn't included in the other. So, we made a back-up plan, just in case the restaurant did not, in fact, exist.

First, the three of us met up in the hotel lobby for a round of PIsco Sours. Yum.

Then, it was time to find dinner. So who won the app challenge of the day? Google. Alas.

The interesting restaurant so clearly labeled on the Apple Map had been boarded up long ago and was certainly no longer in business. Option #2 had us going to a place called Tanta, suggested by someone at the hotel desk. We enjoyed another round of pisco drinks. My favorite was the "piscopolitan." We also shared three Peruvian dishes-- a ceviche to start, then a dish featuring shrimp, egg and avocado. We also shared a Peruvian beef and patatas stir fry sort of dish. Delicious. We topped off the evening with a shared Pisco Sour.

We had planned to stop at a convenience store on the way back to the hotel, to pick up some water and maybe a package of cookies, but there was clearly something going on. Lots of people lining the streets and a heavy police presence. It didn't look sinister, but something that we probably didn't want to get involved in. We think it could be soccer related. We headed back to the hotel to get to bed. Tomorrow is an early day.

A couple of observations:
1. The people here are not only friendly, but so eager to share the greatness of Lima. The guy at the archaeological site this afternoon was extremely pleased to show off his little corner of Lima. He followed up with us several times during our visit.
2. While it's a bit of a challenge to order from a menu that is completely in Spanish, we can't help but be pleased that the Americanization/Englishization of the world hasn't quite hit Lima. There are plenty of American fast food restaurants, but the few other restaurants we have visited so far do not have English language menus. For dinner this evening, the waiter needed to call on another waiter to help us, someone more fluent in English. She was helpful. We enjoyed a delicious dinner.

Tomorrow, we are off to Arequipa!

Buenas Noches!

This featured blog entry was written by ORWAT from the blog O Reisert Where Art Thou: Peru.
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Posted Thu, Jun 06, 2024 | Peru | Comments