Sorry it has taken so long for us to post but we haven’t had a lot of down time yet and also the wifi is a bit touch and go with the uploading of photos. Anyway here we are – our first post from Peru.
We arrived in Lima on the 9th of October after about 30 hours of travel time! Our troubles we ran into at Auckland Airport were quickly forgotten as we breezed through immigration in both Chile and Peru. We were picked up from Lima Airport by a taxi I’d arranged through our hostel. The drive from the airport into Miraflores, where we were staying, was very interesting. The driving was insane, the cars get so close to one another and are constantly tooting their horns.
We opted to stay in Miraflores in Lima, which is gringo central – very safe, lots to see and do. Our hostel was called the Healing Dog and it was home to ‘Pisco’ the hairless dog who was quite a character (that’s him below on the couch). We had two full days to see the sights and on day one we just walked all around Miraflores and Barranco (the second most popular place for gringos to stay). We visited the Parque del Amor (Lover’s Park), Parque Kennedy (also known as the Cat Park), and also Huaca Pucllana which are ancient pyramid ruins (AD400). For dinner we had our first ceviche and pisco sours (national drink) at a lovely restaurant, then for dessert we had churros filed with dulce de leche (caramel) YUM.
On our second day we took a taxi into downtown Lima (about 15 minutes from Miraflores). Our first stop was Monasterio de San Francisco – a massive church complex with catacombs underneath (approx. 70,000 people were buried here). It was quite eerie seeing the bones arranged in the mass open graves. We then happened to catch the changing of the guard at the Plaza de Armas, it was quite a spectacle with a band of horses and many police. We spent hours just walking around looking at all of the historic architechure and had a nice lunch overlooking San Cristobal (one of the poorer areas of Lima). We met a nice Kiwi couple at our hostel who actually live on the North Shore (small world) and they talked us into buying Peru Hop tickets. Peru Hop will take us from Lima to Cusco with many stops along the way. It’s a farily new company set up by two young Irishmen – but it has been great and taken the stress out of trying to organise individual travel between towns.