Category Archives: Lima

Peru Day 9: Finishing Lima

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We made the most of our last day in Peru. Today was the day to do Lima and we did it!

We Uber’d (for $5) from Miraflores to the historic area. Plaza de Armas, above, was a picturesque square, with the Catedral, Presidential Palace and other great buildings.

We started at the Catedral. Unlike the other churches, we could take pictures inside. They had an brochure in somewhat awkward English that gave us a good idea of what each section was about. DSC_0426

We then walked the streets, happening upon a parade, we know not the reason for. Here’s some video and pictures of the parade.

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Even the young ones enjoyed. DSC_0459

We couldn’t help but notice that there were riot police at every corner of the square. Not sure if that is normal for near the Presidential Palace but we sure didn’t start any trouble.DSC_0429

We happened by the Presidential Palace right at noon, so got to witness the changing of the guard. I have videos that I’ll try to add later.DSC_0434DSC_0466

Our next stop was the San Francisco Monastery and Catacombs. We couldn’t take pictures inside, but we saw a lot of skulls and bones!DSC_0479DSC_0480

Being Capitol Hill residents, we couldn’t help but take a picture of the Congress. DSC_0484

Lunch was in Chinatown. We were the only English speakers here, but it was so worth wandering into Salon CaponDSC_0491

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My only souvenir on these trips is usually a soccer jersey from the national team. In this case, we had to find an Umbro store which meant going to the Jockey Plaza mall. We found the helado store that had been recommended to Ellen. And the soccer jersey. And enjoyed walking around.

Our last dinner was a place recommended by our neighbor, Elvis, when I was out walking Colby just before we left. It was a short walk from our hotel, and just an amazing Amazon-themed menu. ámaZ was delicious. We were sitting just next to a young couple, who happened to be huge foodies who live in Crystal City. We chatted just about the whole meal, sharing stories and food. Hope to see China & Nathan sometime back home!

We fly home tomorrow, via AeroMexico with a layover in Mexico City. Not long enough to explore anything more than the airport, but we’ll make the most of that.

Thanks for reading along. As usual, I’m asking, as a marketer, for you to like or comment this post, especially if you’ve been lurking so I know who has been following along.

There will be one more post to sort through our experiences and impressions. Buenos noches!

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Peru Day 8: Cusco to Lima

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Ellen was especially glad that we were trading in 11,000+ feet of altitude for sea level. It just took a little longer than expected.

First though, we can’t say enough good things about Casa Cartegena. They greeted us by name when we came downstairs this morning, grabbing our suitcases so I didn’t have to carry them both. They had already run our credit card, so they handed us the receipt. We had arranged with OUR cab driver from the Cusco/Oly runs to take us to the airport, he was there to greet us. While he went to get the car, they ran to breakfast to bring us some juice and orange breakfast bread. Seriously, just the best experience there.

We got to the airport plenty early, checked our bags and waited. Then we heard the flight before us was canceled. Just as our flight should have been boarding, we got the news ours was canceled too, as the whole airport was closed for fog. Back downstairs to the check-in desk. Unlike in the States, they brought the luggage back and we had to recheck it. I had missed that, but luckily Ellen noticed and retrieved our bags, just as I got to the front of the line. We’ve noticed that the Peru airports are very efficient and well managed. They brought extra employees to the desks and had a supervisor available. So our 8:15am flight was replaced with an 11:50am flight. That was better than we expected. So we found a coffee shop and chilled for awhile. All travel will have some bumps, this wasn’t so bad.

Arriving in Lima, we got our luggage and met the driver our hotel had arranged to meet us. We are staying in the Miraflores district of Lima, rather upscale and nice! We took off immediately to explore the neighborhood, finding the nicest outdoor mall on the water. DSC_0396

We then walked along the Malecon and were happy to find Paddington! DSC_0401

A little while later, we found Parque del Amor that reminds us of Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona. It  really was nice at sunset.

We kept walking along the water to our restaurant, El Señorio de Sulco. We got there early, 6:30 for a 7:00 reservation, and had the place to ourselves for at least an hour. We enjoyed the attention, I told Ellen it was like a The Bachelor date when the couple has no one around them. We enjoyed a tuna/tomato/alvacado appetizer and meat dishes for dinner. Everything tastes so good here. And so reasonable.

We did an American thing to get home, we requested an Uber. Uber is big in Lima, touted as one of the safest ways to get around. We were surprised when a taxi pulled up, but the driver was great and it cost all of 7 soles ($2.10) for a 9 minute, 2.1 kilometer ride.

Tomorrow we have a full day to explore the city. We’ll start with walking tours and see what else we want to do on our last full day in Peru.


Peru Days 1 & 2: Getting to Peru

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It was a long 2 days getting to Cusco. It’s a little bit of a blur, but we had some fun along the way.

We were up at 3:15am on Friday, with a 6am flight from National. We had an 8 hour layover in Atlanta, so we decided to make the most of it. We rented a car and went to a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives place I had visited once before, the Silver Skillet. It is exactly what a Southern diner should be.

Ellen had seen that there was a Chihuly exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It was warm, but well worth the visit.

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Ellen had discovered a Delta miracle when she was booking the flights: they were offering first/business class for fewer miles than coach. We of course jumped on that, so were able to use the lounge in Atlanta and fly in sleeper seats. I watched 2 movies on the flight, Eddie the Eagle and Creed. Enjoyed them both.

We arrived in Lima just before midnight local time (Peru is currently one hour behind ET). Ellen’s suitcase came out quick, but mine was almost at the end. A car was supposed to have met us from our hotel, but didn’t, so we’re navigating the chaos of the airport around 1am to get a taxi. We did, we made it to our just-off-the-airport hotel, and tried to get some rest, ahead of a 6:30 alarm and a 9:20am flight.

Flight to Cusco was quick and easy. We got a taxi to our hotel and felt the vacation had finally started. We’re staying at the Casa Cartegena, a luxurious hotel. After being taken to our room, there seemed to be a constant succession of knocks. First, coca tea and juice. Then hotel forms to sign. Finally, a plate of chocolates. We felt welcome!

We grabbed our guide books and then headed out the door. We are not far from the Plaza de Armas, the core of Cusco. But we were just passing through, our mission was to get SIM cards (of course). Despite the employees of Movistar speaking no English, we managed through the multi-step process. I did understand that when they asked if our phones were “libre,” they meant unlocked. After working on SOPs at AAAS for months, I wanted to document the process of: 1. Buying a SIM card 2. Putting money on the card 3. Signing up for the desired data plan. Step 3 can be the hardest because of language, but the woman helping us did it for us, so we left the store with .5GB of data for $11 each.

We found a Japanese restaurant, Bojosan, and had udon soup (Ellen had chicken, I had duck). It was a great meal for weary travels also adjusting to altitude.

Cusco is at 11,152 feet, which I think the technical term is, really high! We both are taking acetazolamide to ease the adjustment. The coca tea is supposed to help too.

Having been fed, we then started sightseeing. We went to the Templo de la Compañía and then Qurikancha. The Incas sure knew their masonry!

We took it easy in the evening, part of the acclimation process. So much more to come!