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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Peru - 20 November, 2001

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Kamana Hotel, Lima S1202.744' W07701.840' 166 m
Finish Kamana Hotel, Lima S1202.744' W07701.840' 166 m -

Leg 1 Total:

2,751 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

3,522 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny and hot.  Cool in the evening.

 

 

We spend the day in Lima.  We are supposed to meet at 9 AM to change some money, but only a few members of the group make it (some still suffering from last night).  We cannot wait any longer as we need to run some errands, so we head off to the Bolivian embassy.  We grab one of the local taxis and we find the embassy in one of the better parts of town.  Jacqui needs a visa to enter Bolivia and we had started the application process in London, hoping to pick it up here.  When we finally get in and explain what we need, the lady disappears into the back office.  She comes back later with the bad news - the foreign ministry in La Paz has rejected her application.  We are not told the reason, and in sign language we try to explain that we are tourists and to try to re-apply for the visa.  The lady is willing to do it, but she is not hopeful.

 

In low spirits, we head back into the streets and just wander around for a while - this would be a major disappointment.  We can only hope for the best, and plan for the worst.  We grab a quick bite to eat - a huge sandwich from a small local shop for about 50 cents - and then head to the National Museum.  The taxi driver that takes us there is very nice - he notices that there is major street construction going on in front, so he gets out of the taxi with us and walks us to the museum (not sure if it is to make sure we are safe or to make sure that he had pointed us in the right way).

 

The museum is quite nice, but we do not have much time so we have to zip through it.  We get the history of Peru up to Inca times in about one hour of dashing from exhibit to exhibit.  One of the highlights is the scale model of the Machu Picchu ruins.  From the museum, we grab another taxi and head back to the center of town.  Once there, we change our money and go back to the hotel to drop off some stuff.  After a quick bite, we go do some more sightseeing.

 

Peru01_Lima_Square_C77_Web.jpg (76229 bytes)

We wander through the streets, not really going in any particular direction.  We just want to see the buildings, many of which are covered with ornate balconies and decorations.  They have been well maintained and are a joy to admire.  We spend quite some time in the main square.  We also go and check out what ever churches are open.  Most are very ornate inside.

 

Peru01_Lima_Building_C84_Web.jpg (106862 bytes)

One of the buildings is painted a bright red and has intricately carved wood balconies hanging from the walls.  It is now a government building.

 

Peru01_Lima_SanFran_C82_Web.jpg (94429 bytes)

Our last sightseeing stop for the afternoon is the Franciscan church of San Francisco.  It is best known for it's catacombs, but there is also a wonderful library and you get to tour many parts of the church.  We pay our entrance fee and go on the tour with the guide.  It is a bit hard to understand him - he has Japanese-Peruvian accent that mashes up some of the words.  But we enjoy the tour.  The catacombs are, of course no longer in use but they are filled with bones.  There are many crypts that are supposedly filled with the bones of 70,000 people - we did not count, but it seemed like a lot.

 

Peru01_Lima_SanFran_Library_C85_Web.jpg (95161 bytes)

The other rooms that we toured were also very interesting.  We could see some of the earthquake damage - the walls were all bent and crooked.  But the earthquake did uncover some frescoes that had been covered up hundreds of years ago - the plaster fell off and revealed the painting below.  The library was also amazing - filled with thousands of antique books.  Once the tour was over, we had to rush back to the hotel - we had to go cook group shopping.

 

We found a huge supermarket, and we wandered through the aisle looking for the food we needed.  They pretty much had everything, except we could not find any good chilli sauce.

 

That evening we had a quiet night.  We wandered the streets a bit - sampling some of the local food that is sold from small stalls on the street.  We greatly enjoyed a potato dumpling that was deep fried - the sauces that she had were great.  After dinner, we checked our email and then headed back to the hotel for an early night.

 

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