5:40 AM and we are here! After the fastest and friendliest experience I have ever had with customs, we head to our hotel. Our drive takes us from one of the grittier parts of Lima to the beautiful miles of sandy coastline along the Pacific Ocean.
Our little hotel has beautiful courtyards and a huge plumeria tree by the entrance. Wanting to experience Peruvian life as quickly as possible, I ordered a yummy stone ground corn pancake for breakfast that tasted like sweet corn bread.
Lunch was a wonderful Peruvian feast of amazing ceviche, grilled vegetables and flan.
After lunch we visited the highlights of Lima, a city of nine million people. Highlights included touring the catacombs under the Cathedral where all of the bones had been sorted and organized and the beautiful government buildings where the flags were flying at half-mast in memory of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel-prize winning author adored by all of South America who died on April 17.
The Peruvians are proud of their heritage and long history. The Lima National Museum of Archaeology chronicles the accomplishments of different Peruvian civilizations dating back 14,000 years before Christ.
Driving through the center of Lima we saw the decaying buildings and facades of abandoned houses left after the residents fled the terrorist activities of the 1980s and 90s.
We ended the day at Love Park on the Pacific Ocean. Our guide told us they hold a kissing contest every Valentine’s Day but didn’t tell us how the contest was judged.