When Life Gives You Lima, Peru

It’s been a whirlwind of a week and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still recovering a bit, mostly from sleep deprivation which can lead even the sanest person to commit a heinous crime, or simply fall asleep in weird places. Thankfully I’m the latter.  But it was undoubtedly worth it.

Just coming off a week long stunt in Peru with my best friend and getting settled back into everyday responsibilities again and reflecting on a whirlwind week. I like to travel, okay, I really love to travel, but we did a lot of traveling in the span of seven days.

Kick off with a flight to Lima with a connection in Mexico City, and my very first taxi ride.  A flight to Cusco followed by three hour long bus rides, a slow moving train, a bus ride up a mountain, which may or may not have threatened our lives – then rinse and repeat in reverse.

Lima was wonderful, once we figured out how to cross streets with confidence and accepted their intense driving habits, we were good to go. We found some lovely places to eat, marveled at the cat sanctuary in Mira Flores, gazed at the Pacific and cursed the cinder blocks that were our beds for the first few nights. We walked all over the city and took in everything it had to offer. In all honesty, Mira Flores reminded us strongly of downtown Los Angeles, except you shouldn’t drink the water.

We were able to take some amazing tours during our stay. My favorite was easily the Monastery of San Francisco. The amazing architecture aside, which we would marvel our entire time in the country, the inside was breathtaking as well, hand carved domes overhead, the chapel gave me goosebumps having never been into one so extravagant. The catacombs were absolutely fascinating, walking down only the first level surrounded by the femurs and skulls of the dead whose families believed being buried under the church would give them a greater chance of making it to greet St. Peter at the gates in their afterlife. Oddly enough, someone had even taken the time to arrange the remains into geometric patterns. I’m honestly quite thankful that we visited the catacombs before making our way to the chapel above, looking down into the grates on the chapel floor and seeing skulls and several bones below me without any explanation would have definitely received quite the reaction.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take pictures in many of the most captivating things to see at the monastery, but are sure to stay in the archives of my mind forever.

We were also able to spend a little bit of time in the plaza across from the Presidential Palace, where it was made very clear that we take the first amendment for granted here in the states. Police were ready almost everywhere preparing for those looking to speak out, which seemed to be largely in part to their upcoming election.

We also made our way to the bougainvillea draped Larco Museum filled with pre-Columbian art in the Pueblo Libra District. While very interesting, it no way compared to the knowledge and presentation of said knowledge that our guide demonstrated for us. He was a wealth of information on all things historical and current with the happenings of his country.  We wished terribly that he was able to be a part of our entire journey, but we’re so thankful for the little time
he was with us.

Lima was lovely, but the next morning we would wake at an ungodly time to head to the airport to take on Cusco and then the climax of the trip, Machu Picchu.

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Written by ashleighrenay

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