Lima, Peru Friday, June 12, 2015
Woke with a sore foot this morning, not an uncommon experience as I sometimes get this same injury from running, but needless to say, not something I look forward too, thank goodness I brought painkillers with me on the off chance this was going to happen.
We headed out this morning to go and see the Catacombs of the San Fransisco Cathedral, we caught a taxi into the center of Lima, we got this taxi driver by the name of Juan. Told us horror stories of how the "gringos" are targeted a lot by pick pockets in the area we were heading, but as long as we stayed within about 4 blocks of the City center we should be OK. If we were to go much further than that, we would have started getting in to the slum sort of area, there is also a lot of corruption by the police around this area too (stories Chris was telling us yesterday confirm this). The taxi driver was very funny, although I really couldn't make out a lot of what he was saying, I could pick out certain words and I had an idea on what Bruno was talking about.
We were dropped off outside Congress which was next door to a Torture Museum we decided to go see. While we waited, a few tour groups were leaving and some pretended to pose for "selfies of themselves", where really they just wanted to capture a picture of them with a "gringo", they obviously hadn't see many of us white people before, I posed in the background for them and saw them laugh as they were checking out the picture and walking away.
The tour began for us, and Bruno offered to translate for us as we were taken through. We were told that back in the 1700's they passed a law that everyone had to be catholic, they would then investigate people to see if they were Catholic or not, and if you said you were and they didn't believe you, they would torture you until you confessed that you weren't. Once you had admitted that you weren't Catholic, they would then walk you through the square and people would stone you and then you would be executed. It's horrific not only to think of the amount of people they executed, but also to think how many people would have confessed just to make the torture stop.
"Museo del Convento de San Francisco" (roughly translates to "The museum convent San Francisco" was our next stop, this was pretty amazing, probably my favorite part of the trip today. I can't really explain what I liked about it, although I got plenty of pictures to try and give an idea. Bruno got talking to one of the priests, the priest had seen his Superman t-shirt and liked it, he told us that he wears his when he takes off his robe.
After I had snapped up all the pictures I could, we headed off to the Catacombs. We weren't supposed to take pictures there, however Bruno managed to grab a couple here and there when no one was looking. The catacombs weren't exactly what I was expecting and the tour guide kind of rushed us through and didn't give us much time to look at the bones... Probably because there was a group right on our tail. She did however like to mention a lot of the time that this and that had been moved due to the Quake of 1974, not exactly sure how many times she said it, but Bruno and I had a bet going as to how many more times she would mention the quake, Bruno almost burst out laughing the next time she did. Probably the best part of the tour was the Library, there was about 25,000 books in the library and a couple of thousand parchments there also, they are rather worn and obviously can't be touched due to the age of them dating back to the 1700's.
Lunch was next, way to filling. We weren't expecting too much for the roughly NZ$10 each, we ended up with a 3 course meal, some chips and a drink each, way too filling for a lunch. Both being way too full we decided to head back to our hotel before heading out again and catching up with Chris for dinner.
After a quick nap we headed back to Kennedy Park where we met Chris the day before, then headed off to a local Japanese Sushi joint. We arrived just before 7pm and the place was still closed, strange turning of to a restaurant and they don't open until 7pm. Anyhow, it was a fantastic meal, despite the noise coming from across the room by one noisy American. We sat around and chatted for a while before leaving, only to find as we left some person complaining about how they were still waiting after about 40 minutes (whoops, perhaps we shouldn't have sat around chatting over green tea all that time).
We said farewell to Chris and his friend and then headed back to the Hotel so we could get ready to head out to see some of the local nightlife in Barranco (the area in Lima we are staying). The first bar we were at was rather loud and hard to see anything, so we headed off to another bar. The music was much more pleasant and lighting was much better so we sat for a while just having a couple of drinks and enjoyed the music before getting up to have a little dance before heading back home. I have to admit, I wish I hadn't stopped salsa dancing, I just had a huge urge to want to bust out the moves, only issue is... I've forgotten how to bust some of them out, hopefully it'll come back to me in the next day or so.
Where I stayed
Hostal Gemina - Av. Grau 620, Lima, Peru
What I saw
Church of San Francisco (Iglesia de San Francisco) - Ancash Street, Lima, Peru Convento de San Francisco - Calle Ancash, At The Corner With LampaLima, Peru