A day in Lima, Peru

Normal breakfast companion in Peru...

Woke up this morning in Lima, Peru to banging on the door – scary! It was just the tour guy from The Hotel España saying the boat tour was canceled due to weather. So terrible. It wasn’t raining, but I guess it was too windy for boats. We laid in bed for a while longer, sad that our plans had been canceled 🙁 I was looking forward to swimming with the sea lions so much.

We decided to just have breakfast at the hotel which was a very good choice. Downstairs there were 2 huge parrots, one rainbow and the other green, perched upon white statues while enjoying some seeds. The green one even spoke Spanish and was the cuter of the two because he wasn’t huge and was thus less scary. We then encountered 2 turtles! They were adorable and quite huge. They walked around the area (3rd floor, mind you) and periodically got into trouble. I think they were girlfriend and boyfriend turtles as they did at one point lovingly share a leaf. We had the continental breakfast, which was just coffee, juice and rolls, but it was all very good and cheap. The parrot said “hola” a bunch and we took photos of the whole scene. Enjoyable meal and I highly recommend the Hotel España for the most novel breakfast out of anywhere I’ve been.

I love these two, sharing their leaf

After breakfast we set out to collect a water sample from the river that ran through the city. We went to Muralla Park, right on the river, but the river was blocked off and was stagnant and practically dry anyways. Boo to that. We did walk around a bit and then we decided that we should at least eat lunch at a normal time. We always try to do that but usually have trouble settling on a restaurant. This time was better – we just ate at the restaurant in the park. It was very nice, so I decided that this would be the place where we would try ceviche. Ceviche is raw fish “cooked” in citrus juice.   Dave had chicken with mushroom sauce that he liked, but I wasn’t crazy about. We topped it off with this ice cream that was orange-brown, made from a local vegetable that I had never heard of. It was pretty decent.

Yum (maybe?). Ceviche!

We decided to walk from Muralla Park to the the Plaza de Armas to chill a bit. We sat on the stairs of a large cathedral and read the guide book. Everything seemed kinda lame or far away. After reading about San Cristobal, however, which is this large cross up on a hill, a small bus with a lady yelling “san cristoballllllll!!!!!” slowly drove by…..weird. It was less than $2 for the both of us so we kinda stared at each other and said What the hell? We jumped on the bus and for the next 30 min we picked up more passengers in the same manner and then got a small tour of the city, entirely in Spanish. I think I got about 40%.

Giant Cross overlooking Lima, Peru. Looks better from far away.

After the tour through Lima to pick up passengers along the way came the drive up the giant hill to see the giant cross. We were on the side of the cliff on a road wide enough for 1 bus so when our bus encountered another bus, we had to back up and perch ourselves on the side of the road to allow for the other bus to pass. Fml. I had a window seat and I was dying while thinking about the irony (or maybe just pathetic-ness) of the 2 of us dying just so we could see this large cross. Finally we made it to the top and I wished all of the tacky stores selling Jesus paraphernalia and candles had been replaced with a bar. Man I was shaking!! I think the guy said something about meeting him back in 30 minutes but I wasn’t sure. That was about 25 minutes too long for San Cristobal btw. We saw the big cross and looked across the city of Lima. No disrespect to Peru, but Lima wasn’t really the greatest city to look out on. We saw the brown river and I think a large prison. Most of the city was brown through all of the pollution. We got some chips and apple juice and wandered….. In 30 minutes we found a bus and I asked if it was the correct one. The man said yes so we got on. Then more people got on. Then people started yelling in Spanish and staring at us. Eventually we found out that we had taken their seats. Peruvians like to have the same seats. We did not know this, mostly I think because we had outgrown this 2nd grade behavior. Oh well. The way down was a bit better because I didn’t sit next to a window and soon we were back in the Plaza de Armas. What a weird thing to do!!

After that, we went back to the hotel to pack and relax. Tonight we were going to La Rosa Nautica in Miraflores for dinner. It was the beautiful restaurant on the pier that we had seen the day we first arrived and seeing how it was our last night, we decided to splurge. We got a taxi there for a pricy S/. 30 and stepped into a different world. Clean, classy, waves crashing around the building….hard to believe this was still Lima. We were told there was a wait, so we got drinks and ordered calamari in the bar, but we ended up getting a table before our food even came. The place was great! Calamari done perfectly. I was given a menu with no prices and Dave’s had the prices….very slick! No English though. After learning words like “pollo”, this menu was impossible to read because all the words were gourmet. Finally we both found something, mushroom risotto for Dave and Shrimp Saltado for me. Everything was great, even down to the bread. For dessert we had chocolate cake and ice cream (vanilla bean – my favorite!!). So SO nice.

After dinner I got a taxi while Dave got a water sample. This took him a long time….apparently I am lucky he returned at all, the water was so rough! We made it back to the hotel at around 10ish….damn. We both showered, finished packing, then set the alarm for 2:15am. Yes – 2:15am! Our flight on Copa is at 5:30am 🙁 It was a great end to Peru though 🙂

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One Response to “A day in Lima, Peru”

  1. January 22, 2010 at 5:16 am #

    Hi, nice post! I like it!

    Your story makes me want to visit Peru someday.