Oh Lima, Oh Lima...

Postcard of the Ossuary at San Francisco Monastery
Presidential Place Downtown Lima
There used to be a time when I would wake up & the crack of dawn & just go go go until the cows come home, but that’s not me anymore.  It used to be from getting to point A to point B in my travels as quick as possible & said that I’ve done that, but that has change. I’ve learned over the years on how to enjoy myself rather than cranking in all the Lonely Planet has to offer with plenty to do on my return to that specific country. I decided today to take a wee bit of an adventure into Downtown Lima via the Metro Bus system, which was spotless, clean & easy peasy to use.  I thought about walking, but didn’t realize that it would take three hours when twenty minutes via bus would be easier on the legs.  Lima is massive, reminds me of Beijing in a way cos you don’t realize how big it is until you actually set foot & embark on a new section of the city. Well, Downtown looks like any other Central Business District (CBD) that I’ve set foot in, which is not my cup of tea.  I’m not one to go into corporate & the business world to see the thing that’s calling me there to say that I’ve been to a city & have explored it. Well, Downtown Lima is colorful for sure with old buildings that reminded me of the ones I say while watching the Motorcycle Diaries. I made the trek this morning to go look at the catacombs, yes that’s right I said catacombs.  I’ve been fascinated to go explore them for some reason, the ones in Europe that I think some National Geographic photos inspired me in back issues.  The ones in Lima are located at The San Francisco Monastery & Museum.  I first went into the main chapel to explore it before setting foot in the museum section.  Funny, how I ended up on a Spanish speaking tour for seven soles this morning with a wee group of school kids.  One of the kids said “hello” to me to practice his English. I say “hola” back.  I was not allowed to take any photographs inside the monastery.  The place was massive.  It was built in the 1600’s & has survived several earthquakes. The convent’s library is world-renowed that possesses about 25,000 antique texts.  It reminded me of something out of Harry Potter & realized that old libraries for film sets must have inspired Hollywood. Of course this place was pretty amazing to check out with its other notable possessions, thirteen paintings of the biblical patriarch Jacob & his twelve sons in the refectory that was done by hand by the Spanish master Francisco de Zurbaran.  “The Last Supper” painting by Diego de la Puente shows typical Peruvian ingredients & meals, instead of European dishes in the famous painting of Leonardo Da Vinci, which shows guinea pig, potatoes, & chilies that has been seen throughout the works of the Peruvians. The monastery also has an impressive paintings gallery.  The first cemetery of Lima was the Catacombs located below the monastery that contain an ossuary & some secrete passageways that are said to connect to the cathedral & the Tribunal of the Inquisition.  It wasn’t until 1808 when the city first used cemeteries, this place is covered with bones & skulls & it was in 1943 that the catacombs were discovered & is estimated to contain 70,000 burials. There’s one area in the catacombs that is a big circular chamber filled with skull & bones so beautifully.  I really wished that I could have taken photos at this point, but I had to settle for a postcard instead.  After my adventure to the catacombs where I had to watch my head, I walked along the main park in front of the Presidential Place that is inspired by French neo-baroque architectural where the guards were chatting on mobiles & had riffles load in their hands. I also made my way browsing threw some local stores before I caught the Metro back to Miraflores.
Cevichie at Punto Azul
For lunch today, I went to the famous restaurant in Lima for seafood, Punto Azul Punto Azul.  I of course had an order of mix cevichie that had mahi mahi, octopus, squid, mussels & shrimp.  Yum, yum, yum.  However, I didn’t realize how big the portion was & it could have easily feed like four people.  The people next to me asked me what it was & found out that I inspired them to order the same thing.  The portions of this restaurant are huge & I mean huge.  There’s people waiting in line to get into the place cos it’s that famous.  I was glad to get there when I did or else I wouldn’t have been a happy camper.  Lunch today only cost like twenty two soles & it was well worth it.  I tried to go last week, but they were close. 
I found myself enjoy the playa after a long & I mean long like twenty blocks walk each way to go watch the surf.  I had to hike down a cliff side to get there.  The ocean was rough today & there was a strong current.  I ended up at the local famous surf beach where everyone is out trying to get you to take a surf lesson with you.  The beach was all rocks too. I basically took a wee siesta.  I will admit that the ocean in the Galapagos was much warmer than Lima.  Over all another lovely day in Lima. Can’t complain really, just took advantage of doing something that I wanted to do for a change.  Well, it will be an early night cos I got to leave at four to catch my flight back to the States & of course go threw Customs in Miami the gateway of Latin America.  Well, I won’t be in the snow for much long cos in under two weeks I’ll be back in the Sunshine State on the Gulf Side enjoy some sunshine.  Peru has been mystical, peaceful, beautiful, blissful & home for sure. I’ve quite enjoyed my time here.  Again, I didn’t do everything that I’ve set out to do, but that’s ok, there’s always next time. 

Fruit Cart

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