So my first day in Lima was great. I met a woman on the plane, peruvian, so nice she gave me a ride to my hostel, Albergue Miraflores House in Miraflores., I’m so so glad I decided to stay here.!! I could not have picked a better place to get acquainted with Lima. The owner of the hostel , Francis, and his staff totally go out of thier way to show you around. As soon as I arrived at the hostel, I had time to meet some people and take a quick shower, as Francis found some other people who wanted to do a day tour of Lima and I was invited., So the 5 of us and Francis set out at like 9 am : First stop was Museo Larco, it contains a hug collection of ceramics, exhibits of gold and silverwork, weavings, and most interesting are in infamous collection of pre-Columbian erotic pots illustrating the sexual practices of ancient Peruvian men, women, animals, and skeletons in interesting combinations!! Very well explained tour, except that I was exhausted and almost at the end of the musuem tour I ran back to the van, where Francis was waiting for us, and I told him I needed to have some coffee pronto!!!
So we walked to have a coffee while the others finished the tour…Next stop Pachacamac, an archaeological cite 45 minutes from central Lima. This site had been a ceremonial center for 1000 years before the expansion of the Inca Empire. Most of the buildings are now little more than walls of piled rubble, except for the huge pyramid temples, and one of the Inca complexes, the Palacio de las Mamacunas( House of the Chosen Women). This was where they took the children, as young as the age of 7, to live.,THe most beautiful women had it bad though, as they were usually taken from the house at the age of 15 and drugged, and strangled and sacrificed, or given to be a wife of someone of importance. So back then it was better to be ugly!! Poor them!! Of course they considered it to be an honor to be sacrificed ( horrible!!) When we arrived to the site, there was a nice traditional peruvian lunch of some potatoes with some sauce ( like mustard) and a main course of yummy chicken and rice and more potatoes!! It was really good. We were all starving!
Next stop,the Monsaterio de San Francisco, its famous for its catacombs and remarkable library, which has thousands of antique texts, some dating back to the spanish conquest. THe church is one of the best preserved of Lima’s early colonial churches, and much of it has been restored. Or they try to, but some of the frescos are just decaying beyond repair. And they are in an open courtyard where they are exposed to the elements of the wind and cold.
The underground catacombs are the site of an estimated 70,000 burials. Crypts filled with bones upon bones upon skulls.!! There were signs everywhere to not take photos, but I decided to sneak a whole bunch while the tour guide wasnt looking without the flash and I even managed to get some neat shots of the catacombs. We also visited the Plaza de Armas, right at sunset , I got some great video footage. Also the Archbishops’ Palace, the Palacio de Gobierno is the home to Peru’s persident. We were lucky enough to see the guards changing the flags at that dusky hour, its a big affair and lots of people stand to watch. I swear we saw everything there was to see in Lima. We went next to explore downtown lima and do some window shopping. We also visited most of the cathedrals and boy are they big, old, and beautiful. We also went to see the staute of San Cristobal, all they way perched at the top of this precarious looking hill. Its a huge lit cross and it reminded of me the statue in Brasil the famous one!! It has the best views up there of all Lima. I also took video and pictures. Will post as soon as I can find a way to! On the way up to the top of San Cristobal there are rows and rows of shantytown houses, the poorest ghetto in Lima. Very sad to see this. After all this we were famished so Francis took us to Chinatown to eat Pervian-Chinese food. Its was really good. We all had a beer and ate and then wanted to sleep!! This took us back to the hostel at about 10pm! Talk about a cool tour. All for only 35 $us. Fantastic.!! I met tow chicks that are from the U.S studying in Santiago, I’m going to look them up when I get there!! Lima is the most populated city with about 15million just all crowded in here. Its unbelivable how many people, and cars, and stray dogs, and little taxis, they all drive like maniacs, no one looks before crossing the street, or follows street signs, its total chaos!!! Total!!