LIMA

We didn’t really know what to expect from Lima – many of the backpackers that we encountered in Southern Peru had not seemed overly enthused.  For us however, it was a refreshing change from the various colonial cities we had been visiting as the touristic Miraflores district was quite modern and westernised in comparison.  Not only that, it was the first time in 4 months that we had seen the ocean which was very exciting after being inland since almost the start of our trip!Lima_002Lima_008We walked down to the cliff face where we were surrounded by views of the ocean while enjoying the park areas and sculptures along the esplanade.  We passed the Parque de Amor, or Love Park where a large sculpture of a couple making out certainly gets your attention!Lima_011Lima_003Our time in Lima was also made a lot more enjoyable by our Peruvian sisters Grace and Paz who we had met in Chile where they were also traveling.  On our first night they picked us up and took us to dinner at Panchita, ran by one of Peru’s most celebrated chefs.  With no real idea of what dishes to order we left it in their hands as they ordered a selection of Peruvian delicacies for us to try.  The first of these delicacies was cow heart which I can’t say sounded overly appetising but we both really enjoyed.  Prominent other features of their cuisine include potatoes (Peru has close to 4000 different types of potatoes!!!!) and of course ceviche, yet this was to be saved for another day!  Lima_019Lima_014Lima_015After dinner the girls drove us along the waterfront and down to the Barranco District, a very modern and buzzing area of Lima full of restaurants and bars.  We went to Ayahuasca, a huge mansion-turned-bar, well, multiple bars in fact with each room almost feeling like a different venue – definitely worth a look if you are ever in Lima.Lima_025Lima_022With our second day we caught the bus to downtown Lima where we set off to explore the historical centre.  We hopped off the bus a little too early which then saw us walk in about four different directions on the advice of various locals before we eventually arrived at the Plaza de Armas, Lima’s main square.  Waiting patiently for our arrival were Andy & Laura, a couple from the UK who we had last seen in Argentina.  It was fantastic having the opportunity to catch up with them once again and we chatted about we had been up to over breakfast before continuing to explore.Lima_042Lima_034Lima_038The large, old buildings surrounding the square were still in great condition and we walked around admiring each of them before stopping for some lunch.  On recommendation from the girls we sat at Tanta where we enjoyed Pisco Sours (Peru is famous for Pisco) and I finally had some ceviche which was wonderfully fresh!Lima_035Lima_041Lima_046Lima_043Lima_045We continued on, visiting the Convento de San Francisco, a 17th century church with catacombs below containing up to an estimated 70,000 burials. There is something exceptionally creepy about walking underground through rooms containing actual human skulls and other bones.  The bones line the hallways, placed in various piles and in some instances arranged in different circular patterns – super creepy.  I didn’t take any photos as you weren’t allowed to inside the church (plus it would have felt a little weird anyway) but I have included one just so you can understand what I am talking about!Lima_048skulls_femurs-catacombsFinishing our time in Lima, we met up with Grace and Paz once more and they took us to Embarcadero41, a restaurant down on the water for one last gastronomic treat before our bus departure.  We once again left it with the girls to order some food and once again, we were not disappointed!  It was so refreshing to be trying new local food but also food of such a high quality after many substandard meals throughout our South American adventure.  Ceviche, grilled seafood, more Pisco Sours, desserts – perhaps the people that hadn’t enjoyed Lima didn’t really like to eat!  The girls drove us to the bus station and we said our goodbyes – until next time Peruvian sisters, thanks again for the good times!Lima_052Lima_056Lima_054Lima_055Lima_058

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