Lima Peru

Trip Start Dec 31, 2011
Trip End Jan 17, 2012

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Well we all have arrived safely in Lima. The flight was nice. Arrived in Lima around 10:30 pm and then spent the next 2 hours in a long hot and sticky line to clear immigrations. Luckily our tour guide and bus with all the other passengers didn't leave without us. Got to the hotel in Miraflores around 2am.

We got up at 8am for breakfast and an introductory meeting with all the rest of the tour members (there are 15 of us total). It is a very interesting group and everyone seems very nice thus far. Our tour director is Ruben Aragon and he seems very nice and informative. During the intro meeting we were served a traditional Peruvian drink: Pisco sour. YUMM. The gnomes also enjoyed the drink. After the group introductions we went for a walk to a local restaurant (Vista al Mar) with the group. We tried Papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a yellow sauce,rice and french fries), causa rellena ( mashed sweet potato cake with veggies in the middle), Lomo saltado ( beef stif fry) and saltado de pollo ( chicken stir fry), and flan. All very yummy! From the restaurant we boarded the bus to downtown Lima where we stopped at the Larco archeological museum. A family bought a ranch and found all these archiological pieces of pottery andother artifacts buried right on their property dating back from apprx 2000 bc. Very facinating stuff. Enverthing was found in really good condition. There is even a section for erotica :) From the museum we went to the main square in downtown Lima where there are some really neat buildings (mainly government as well as a church). We then walked over to the San Fransisco Monastary which was very interesting, especially the cataombs underneath full of femur bones. After the monistary we went back to the hotel to freshen up and then headed to dinner in the bohemian section of Lima (yummy sea bass and of course a pisco sour). Walked around for a little bit before heading back to the hotel for a little sleep before our next adventure.

Today we gott up and drove to a sqatters settlement in southern Lima called Villa el Salvador which was nominated for a nobel peace prize for all their social and community work they did to improve their society and improve health and education. We stopped and got to speak with several of the women who help run their section of town and meet some of the children, we also supplied them with some propane for their community kitchen since they had run out. From there we wrnt to Pachicamac- an archiological site with many ancient pyramids from several different societies. From Pachicamac we drove through more of Villa el salvador and stopped at a wooden furniture market - one of the towns main business. After the furniture market we went to lunch and had more good food: grilled octopus, squid, tuna, shrimp and scallops. Good thing we are doing lots of walking otherwise our clothes wouldnt fit us anymore! After lunch we were on our own to explore. We walked down to a mall in Miraflores that is located right in the cliffside over looking the pacific ocean and walked up to an market that sells native Peruvian crafts from all over the country. We topped off our last nightin Lima eith a nice dinner and tryed some more local Peruvian dishes: beef heart kabobs and cuy ( guinea pig) as well as several other dishes. Everything was excellent. Of course also had another pisco sour - this one quite large and strong so please excuse any typos since I am typing this after the drink on my nook :)

Tomorrow we are up at 6:30am to head to the airport and off to the sacred valley: Pisac and Urubamba as well as Macchu Picchu.
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