George and I spent two days and three nights in Lima. Having first only booked two nights we quickly changed to three as we both immediately liked the feel of Lima.
Lima doesn’t always seem to get a lot of credit from other visitors. It sits in permanent mist for nine months of the year but we happened in the short spell of good weather and no doubt that helped our favourable opinion of the place.
On our first journey out of Lima Wari Suites and the artsy neighbourhood of Barranco to the historical centre of Lima (some 8km away) I was well prepared to be attacked, robbed, mugged, strangled or possibly sexual assaulted as I had been warned against by my fellow countrymen. Alas, nothing so sensationalist happened and there appeared no threat along the way. We opted to take the local bus rather than a taxi. For me it’s part of the fun, although I know not everyone feels the same way about being cramped up next to the armpit of a sweaty foreigner¹. For George it’s because it was cheaper and she’s a skinflint.
The bus was clean, efficient and the part I found most fascinating was that the locals queued to get on the bus. A people after my own ordered British heart I thought.
We did the normal tourist things in the centre of Lima which included:
• watching the changing of the Guard ceremony where the soldiers did a seemingly obligatory silly walk, curiously, whilst the band played the Titanic theme tune, is Lima going down I thought to myself?
•a trip in a jam-packed mini van full of pilgrimaging locals up to the giant cross of San Cristobal overlooking the city
• a look around the Santa Catalina Cathedral and the morbid catacombs underneath, with thousands of bones and skulls alarmingly placed in small alcoves.
Who doesn’t like a double dose of Catholicism on their holidays I ask thee?
Our guidebook told us no trip to Lima is done without a visit to the Hotel Bolivar for a Pisco Sour, the famous local beverage. So dutiful to the book, off we went. It was seriously strong, two of those and you would be off your rocker. I’ve been told they vary throughout the country so I suppose I’ll have to try more throughout my journey, for quality control of course, that’s my excuse anyway…!
¹ By no means am I suggesting all foreigners are sweaty and have stinky armpits. It is merely my opinion that public transport tends to attract people of a highly perspiring nature