2 February 2014
We landed In Lima, Peru just after ten pm and were through customs before midnight which I found really impressive. I had made a promise back home to take an official taxis to Milaflores and as we drove along in our nice clean car and saw the other “taxis” (family cars with illuminated taxi signs strapped on top) we were pretty glad with our choice. as we drove along the main road near the beach, we could see the Monumento El Sadado Desconocidio lit up which looked beautiful.
Soon enough we were checking into our hotel in a very. Lean and safe area of Miraflores. I think we got in just after midnight. We were it’s starving but weren’t confident enough to go walking so decided on wonderful sleep!
The trip had started, no more easy English, we were in Peru – our pre-vacation vacation had come to an end and our trip had started!
We woke up this morning ready to eat breakfast and go check out the Catacombs at San Francisco Church over towards the city. All of our tour documents had said that our tour started officially on Tuesday night with a meeting and we flew out on Wednesday. So it was pretty lucky that our tour guide was having breakfast when we were and introduced herself. She told us that our pre tour meeting was that night and that the tour did in fact start the next morning with a city tour, including the Catacombs! Lucky for us we found that out. We met an American guy who was also on our tour and asked if he could tag along for our day of walking around Miraflores. We really didn’t have a plan so we just took off. Also we were both covered in SPF 50+ sun-cream. Which proved to be not as awesome as we had both hoped!
We walked towards Larcomar to check out the cliff top and the mall there and then we followed USA around while he was looking for a club he was after later. We ate the most delicious chicken on the Pizza Strip and tried the local beer, Cusquena. After some more walking around and feeling slammed by the heat, Jem and I decided we needed to head back into cover/shade/our hotel. Have a siesta if you will! We weren’t doing too well with our Spanish either and that was surprisingly more exhausting than you would think! It was completely our own fault though.
We met our tour group downstairs at 7 and our tour manager introduced herself and confirmed our travel insurance details and emergency contacts and confirmed that our official meeting would be tomorrow morning at 8. Jem, I and USA were heading off down the road to eat at a Peruvian restaurant called Las Tejas which was only a few blocks from our hotel. The foods was great, we tried our first Pisco Sour’s (plural for Jem and I as it was delicious) and were entertained by the guitar player/singer.
We woke up this morning and the crushing reality that our sleep-ins were well and truly over, had struck! Up at 7:30 and down for our early meeting by 8. We had a look around at our entire group (before others join us in Cusco) and ate our breakfast. Turns out I have caught the cold from the guy in the plane and it is not a very nice germ. We were also both also super sun burnt.
Our tour manager talked us through the next two weeks and all that we would be experiencing in Peru. We left at 10am to start our city tour of Lima in our super cute mini-coach. We had an additional tour guide today, in addition, I feel like a GIANT in Peru. I could easily lean my arm on most of the people here and I am only 5″9!
We toured by coach which took us back to Larcomar and we had time to get pictures at Parque del Amor (love park) which is a super cute park dedicated to love and couples. There is a small bridge near it which was once open but has since been closed in due to the number of suicides and suicide attempts. I guess the love park is like Valentines Day really, celebrated by couples and resented by the rest of society. We then went to San Isidro near El Olivar. Which was a beautiful park full of olive trees.
We saw the Huaca Pucllana, which is a clay pyramid, in seven staged platforms in the Miraflores district. It was built in the “bookshelf” style which has meant that a large portion of it has held up really well over the years (200AD-700AD). Then we made our way to the Plaza Mayor, into a museum and then made our way to the Church of San Francisco where we had our tour of the Catacombs which was really cool, although very creepy. They think around 25-30,000 bodies were laid there at some time but they have no way to accurately tell.
We were dropped off near Pizza Lane for free lunch and Jem and I were lucky enough to score help from our guide in ordering sandwiches and juices. By the way, Peru – nice work on the strawberry juice. Best juice ever! My cold has mutated into something absolutely disgusting so I’m at home catching up on blog writing and Jemma and the group are out at dinner and a cultural show as well as a night tour of the famous fountains. Very jealous but mindful that this might be my last down time to try and beat the cold. I don’t think I’m winning though!
Jemma and the rest of the group spoke quite highly about the fountain show, I wish I could have gone – might have to go back ;)!
I think what I took away from the first few days of South America is:
Peruvian people are very distinctive in features and gorgeous.
Peruvian food and I were going to become very good friends.
Pisco Sours are the tits.
I really should have learnt Spanish.
Jemma and I know no Spanish.
Oh god, why didn’t we learn Spanish?
No flushing toilet paper?
Queso is cheese. We like queso.
We had a nice little Contiki group for our Peruvian travels.
Our Tour Manager, Monica – was amazing.
Tomorrow morning we fly out to Arequipa!