Saturday, March 28, 2009

Peru Day 1 & 2 - Lima

We arrived in Lima, Peru at 9pm on Friday night, checked in at the Barranco Backpacker's Inn, and slept for 10 hours.

On Saturday morning we had breakfast at the hostel and then met with Julio of Julius tours. We usually like to do as much on our own as possible, to save on costs and be a bit more adventurous, but it was a bit difficult in Peru. We had a short time in Peru and planes were the only realistic mode of travel, since we couldn't spend 24 hours at a time on buses. Also, things like Machu Piccu can sell out.

So we gave in and got a tour - actually, it doesn't include that much guided touring, but does include transport to the places we wanted to go: Cusco, Machu Piccu, and Puno (Lake Titicaca). It was a little expensive, but even coordinating everything on our own, we couldn't have done it much cheaper.

After figuring that out and moving to a new hostel (ours was booked for that night), we finally started seeing Lima. We had lunch at Punto Azul in Miraflores. The food was great - we had a rice and seafood platter in a tomato-based sauce, a plate of fried fish and calamari, and a tres-leches cake for dessert.

After lunch, we went downtown for a walk from Plaza Mayor to Plaza San Martin. We stopped first at the San Francisco Monestary for a tour and to see the catacombs. Downtown Lima is nice - lots of big colonial buildings and a modern pedestrian shopping street.

From there we went to Larco Mar, a very modern open-air mall on the cliffs over the Pacific Ocean. We watched the sun set from the railing.

We had some nice juice at Cafe' Cafe' - I had guanabana. After that we wandered around, indecisive, before settling at 'Sofa Cafe' for tea and an empanada, followed by a glass of Peruvian red wine. We played scrabble, which they happened to have there. We didn't keep score since it was the Spanish version and didn't match up well with English scoring. Still lots of fun!

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