Lima, Peru Thursday, June 11, 2015
Woken this morning at 4am by Mr. "I can't sleep" Bruno, to be fair he wasn't intentionally trying to wake me, and he was able to do some research on things to do here in Lima (translates to Lime in English). I managed to get a bit more sleep and got up at about 7am (midnight back home in NZ) for breakfast. A little weird getting up for breakfast when everyone back home is normally in bed.
After breakfast we decided we would take a look around the area we are staying in to see what's about, but before leaving organised catching up with a friend of mine who is now living in Lima, I wasn't even aware he was living here until last night when he saw on Facebook that me and Bruno were here and contacted me.
We headed out to Parque Municipal first and took a look around the side streets before taking a bit of a hike down to the beach and along the motorway, while there wasn't much to see in most of the places, it was interesting to see that there were a lot of buildings which look like they were abandoned during the build process. At first I thought perhaps a Tsunami had taken them out and they had never been repaired, but there hasn't really been a large one here since 1996, and even then that wasn't probably enough to cause any major damage to the mainland.
After an hour and a half of walking we decided to head back to the hotel so we could get ready to head out and catch up with Chris. Bruno decided to count the stairs on our way back so we could get a rough idea on how many we would possibly need to climb in Machu Picchu, we ended up walking up about 356 stairs, he seems to think there are roughly 2,500 stairs should we decide to hike up early morning... At 2,430 meters at altitude I might just catch the bus.
We headed off to Parque Kennedy which is where we agreed to meet Chris. I was amazed to see so many cats there, around about 200 abandoned/stray cats which just hangout in the park and relax in the sun, the locals seem to like heading down there during their breaks and look after the cats, some even take them home and then return them a little while later. I guess they are kind of the local community pets.
We found Chris, he was so happy to see a couple of Kiwi friends and really enjoyed being to able to speak English at normal speed, turns out that the last time we were altogether was back in October 2010. Before we headed out he took us into a church called "Parroquia Virgen Milagrosa" next door to the park, it had some great windows although the church was probably nothing compared to some of the churches out there.
He then took us for a walk around the area, via some markets and then around and about with some for some general site seeing before heading out toward the beech where we would walk around the parks.
Upon arriving on the coast we first noticed the Paragliding, it seems to be the tourist thing to do around here, for about NZ$110 you get to fly around for about 10 minutes and get a video of your flight too, so it's not a bad price, think I might have to do that while we are here.
Continuing around the parks we came across Parque del Amor which is apparently their park of love, a huge sculpture in the middle of the park of a man and woman making out, coincidentally, right next to the park is a walking bridge right above the motorway which they have had to put barriers up to stop people jumping, I guess a park called the Park of Love wouldn't sound so nice being right next to a bridge of suicide when things don't go right.
Off to lunch we went to Don Maminos, the food was pretty good, I tried some Empanadas for an entree, if you don't know what they are, the best way I could describe what it looks like is a bread roll with meat inside, but they taste way better than how that sounds; think of a pie, but so much tastier and way healthier. On to the main course, for me and Bruno it was crispy chicken, Chris had the Beef Kebab and his friend Massiel had something that resembled a Chicken Caesar Salad.
Finishing lunch off we made our way off to see some ruins called 'Huaca Pucllana', there wasn't really much to see there, but the fact that they didn't even realise the ruins were there until about 35 years ago was interesting, up until then people use to sit on it and eat their lunch and ride over the top of it on their motorbikes. The ruins originally served as a ceremonial and administrative center for the advancement of the Lima Culture which developed in the Peruvian Central coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. The ruins had been completely covered by dirt and sand over the years. The people have now slowly removed this to reveal the mud and clay bricks. They have even turned part of it into a stage where they can do performances, while I can picture it making the setting for the performances nice, I think it kind of ruins the place a little.
After walking 21.5km today we figured it best be good to head back to our hotel, we said goodbye to Chris and decided we would catch up again tomorrow for dinner.
Back at the Hotel, a little bit of time to rest before Bruno headed to the gym and I thought I'd try and get through some of the blog, instead I made it part way through until Bruno was back and we headed to the supermarket for dinner, between us we a team entire Roasted Chicken and some rice for around NZ$10, $5 each isn't a bad price.
The Casino was our next stop, after being to Vegas I guess Bruno and I were expecting a little too much, we were met by security on the door who got out their metal detector wand and scanned us down before allowing us to enter, upon walking in we saw the poker machines and figured yeah that's normal, we walked down the stairs, saw more poker machines, after walking around the entire room (which didn't take long as it seemed about 5m x 10m in size) we realised that's all this casino had, we put down a little cash (about NZ$10) and was there for about an hour and a half, so it was a rather cheap night.
Well, time to hit the hay, going to be another long day tomorrow I think.
Where I stayed
Hostal Gemina - Av. Grau 620, Lima, Peru
What I saw
Municipal Park (Parque Municipal) - Between Av. Pedro de Osma and Av. Grau, Lima, Peru
Parque de Amour - Lima, Peru
Huaca Pucllana (Juliana) - General Borgono Street, MirafloresLima, Peru