Peru 2005 Day Three: Lima

by Kara on July 24, 2005

Boy feeding pigeons. Lima centro, Peru.

Boy feeding pigeons. Lima centro, Peru.

We took a cab downtown for 6 soles (about $1.85) and walked around looking at all the government buildings and churches. We went to the Museum of the Inquisition, which is free, but only with guided tours. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any English tours scheduled for that day, so they told us we could just wander around on our own. I hadn’t really been aware that the Spanish had brought the Inquisition over to South AmErica as well, but since all the signage was in Spanish, we didn’t learn too much about it. They had plastic dummies in various stages of torture, which was incredibly creepy, but not as creepy as the underground dungeons. I could have managed to walk through them on a tour, but since Stephen and I were alone, I walked about five feet into the dungeon and had to run back upstairs before I had a panic attack. I am nothing if not a wimp.

After walking around and taking lots of pictures, we sat down on the one empty bench in the main plaza (Plaza Mayor). We quickly discovered why it was empty. We only noticed it was under a street lamp when a pigeon pooped on my head. Pigeons are evil. We walked down from Plaza Mayor along a pedestrian mall. The mall actually had a cathedral and I let a teenage girl sell me a picture of a saint and a little cross for 1 sole (about 31 cents US). We found a grocery store, so I ran in and bought a can of Peruvian cat food – Ricocat – for my friend who collects cat food can labels from all over the world. It was a whopping 37 cents US, since I bought the flavor (sardines and chicken – yum) that was on sale.

Upon our return to Miraflores, we were chased by several people wielding menus and allowed ourselves to be enticed into one of the restaurants. Nearly every restaurant in Peru seems to offer pizza and pasta along with more traditional Peruvian foods. The Peruvian food was quite good, especially the Aji de Gallina (chicken with a sauce made from yellow potatoes and nuts, among other things), which Stephen had that evening. We did, however, have to limit ourselves regarding what we could eat – no lettuce, for example, because it is washed in tap water. We were always very careful to brush our teeth with bottled water, as well.

Another interesting thing was that toilet tissue was supposed to be thrown into the trash bin rather than the toilet. It is amazing how difficult it is to remember to do that, when I’ve been doing it one way my entire life. When we were shopping for our trip, I bought some travel packages of toilet paper from REI. Stephen laughed and asked me if I thought they wouldn’t have toilet paper in Peru. Well, sure, they had it in our hotels and at restaurants, but we encountered many bathrooms without toilet paper. We both wished I had brought more in my backpack.

Check out more of Stephen’s pictures of Peru.

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