Will we survive a day in downtown Lima? Mmm-huh!

Trip Start May 08, 2013
Trip End Sep 30, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Lima Region,
Sunday, May 12, 2013

Yesterday we decided to spend the day in the historic centre of Lima. We were a little nervous about going into Lima ourselves, as Lima had this "dangerous" tag attached to it. We had planned to take a tour bus for 3 hours, however at the last minute we found out that the reviews for it online are a bit rubbish, so we had no option other than to do it ourselves.

We hopped into a taxi for the 15 minute to Plaza Major, the main square in the centre of Lima. First impressions were good - busy, but a lot of families around as yesterday was Mother's Day in this part of the world. The cathedral looked nice but was closed as it was Sunday. The first place we went was the Church of San Francisco and Catacombs. We had a 40-minute guided tour by a lady who spoke good English - mmm huh! She told us lots of interesting facts, and in the Catacombs we saw hundreds and hundreds of real human bones and skulls! Creepy. At one point, I was like "hey, it feels like I'm standing on someone's head" and I looked down at my feet and there was a skull-shaped thing jutting up out of the ground... Seriously. The library was also really interesting, home to 25,000 books but unfortunately they do not have enough money to preserve this, so I guess over time it will deteriorate so much that it will cease to exist. Sad really. 

By mid-afternoon Andrew and I were pretty hungry so decided to find somewhere for lunch. We wanted somewhere that wasn't just aimed at tourists. After a short walk we found a restaurant that was filled with Peruvians over two floors. Not a tourist in sight. Perfect.

We managed to speak Spanish well enough to order two main courses and a couple of drinks. The first meal was a quarter chicken with fries and salad, and the second turned out to be a Peruvian chicken fried rice. Not so exciting I hear you think. But honestly, one of the best meals I have ever had. The chicken was cooked to perfection, with a lovely crunchy skin and the actual chicken was super tender and juicy. The chicken fried rice was full of flavour and just delicious. It would give Nandos a run for its money, and actually makes Nandos seem pretty inferior in comparison. The bill was 45 soles, including a generous tip to the friendly lady who served us, which is just over 11GBP. So much food that we didn't need dinner either. A whole paragraph about delicious chicken... 

From there, we walked to Plaza San Martin, which is another square in the centre, then continued on for around 30 minutes to find the Magic Water Circuit - this is a park filled with spectacular fountains and a show which takes place several times a night, starting at 7.15pm. We got some drinks and Andrew had churros filled with caramel. The fountains were really lovely in the dark as they were beautifully lit up. The night-time show was also good, however we only watched for around 20 minutes before leaving as the day was catching up with us and we were both ready for bed!  

We flagged down the final taxi of the day and the driver turned out to speak perfect English! He didn't even try to rip us off which was nice.

Well, that's Lima. We survived it. Tomorrow we catch the bus to Paracas.
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