It’s time for some trip blogs!
This trip both started and ended in Lima. We stayed for a day on both ends of the trip to get some of the city flavor. I liked Lima just fine, but one day would have been enough. It’s a huge place that’s crawling with people and traffic is straight crazy. No matter where we went, it always took us at least an hour to get back to the airport.
The taxis and Ubers we took to and from the airport were… an experience. The traffic was crowded and pretty lawless. After six near-miss accidents in the first ten minutes, I was able to relax a tiny bit. Our group of five is a tight squeeze, even for a “sedan grande,” so we tried to sing along to the radio as best we could and not look at the remaining minutes on the GPS.
The first day we spent time in the historic city center. Even early, there were people out walking around. We stumbled upon the filming of a movie (soap opera?) in the Plaza de Armas while we waited for stuff to open. Our first stop was a tour of the Casa de Aliaga. Sofia our guide filled us in on Peruvian history and politics as we wondered around a historic home that was kept in the same family for 17 generations with a lot of the original woodwork and furniture. She explained how Lima gets sticky with humidity, but it hasn’t rained there in almost 100 years (most of the precipitation there is mist) eventhough it’s pretty overcast year-round.
(No, Josh and Will didn’t match the whole trip.)
We also toured the Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace. Both offered tours in English to explain the Spanish introduction of Catholicism to the Quechua people. I loved learning about how the Jesuits used the local symbols to explain Catholic teachings. I had no idea how much it influenced the Church today. The Archbishop’s Palace hosted a big art display with lots of old carved figurines with hair from real people. It was as creepy as it sounds. We ducked into the Basilica de San Francisco since we were in the neighborhood.
The last day of the trip we were back in Lima to explore Mira Flores. The ruins of Huaca Pucllana are right in the middle of the city. There was an ancient temple there that they rebuilt in the exact place every thirty years, leaving behind layers and layers of ruins. We also shopped around in the local craft market and caught a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.