We were down to our final time in Peru with an overnight spent in Lima. Our hotel was in a lovely section of Miraflores, but within a few blocks the area quickly became seedy. Still we felt safe to walk the streets freely during the daytime.
A pre-arranged city tour to see some of the highlighted buildings and parks started the day.
El Parque del Amor or Love Park in the Miraflores district overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the pier headlined the sculpture of a couple enjoying a passionate kiss, El Beso.
Driving through the historic district we passed the Cathedral of Lima, the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Municipal Palace.
The highlight however was a tour through the 1774 Monastery of San Francisco.
Once again I was disappointed that photography was not allowed inside. We toured the catacombs and a Hogwarts style library. Oh how I would have enjoyed spending more time browsing the ancient books lining the shelves. For me, this was the highlight of Lima.
Just outside the CGTP (worker’s party) were having a protest rally putting the police into riot gear. We kept a respectful distance. Since mothers were still allowing their children to play undisturbed, and a lone school boy walked by without paying any attention to the goings on, we too went about our day.
That afternoon we walked the area near our hotel, did some last-minute shopping for gifts and browsed through a local marketplace. Colorful, fragrant and fascinating best sums up my opinion of examining the fruits, herbs, sauces, chilies, black corn and hanging animal carcasses.
I was mildly sad to have this trip come to an end. Peru had held a hint of mystery, of an ancient lost city, fierce Inca warriors, and floating islands. I felt satisfied that we had sampled some of the best this interesting country had to offer.
Seeing Machu Picchu for the first time will remain one of my favorite travel memories. Lake Titicaca was a surprise and one I thoroughly enjoyed. The people we met along the way were warm, genuine and welcoming.
PERU GETS TWO THUMBS UP FROM ME.