Published: December 20th 2010December 19th 2010
Changing of the guards
The purple blur between the palace and the fence is guards, honest.
Probably safe to assume that unless I say other wise we had a lazy start to the day. Not tomorrow obviously as we have a taxi to catch at 05:00 to get to the airport in time!!!
No DEET yet and we haven't used our mosquito nets. Still taking the Malarone, but feels unneeded for now.
First stop today Plaza San Martin
to look around. Then a walk through the shops (bought t-shirt) to get to Plaza de Armas
and the royal palace so we could watch the changing of the guards. A lot of pomp and ceremony (and armed guards), but very impressive to watch. Lasted about 30 minutes. The changing guards were very disciplined, the band and guards guarding the guards not so much.
More walking and across the river behind the palace we found the less touristy area of Lima. Chris bought Football shirt (£2.50), Gareth got hat (£1.50). Lots of shops selling pirated material. Wore bags on chest but didn't have any trouble. Not sure about presence of police with armoured cars and belt fed machine guns.
Lima is very concerned about the environment. Lots of hints about it on the tour yesterday
Lima for locals?
and a public gallery of achievements so far near the palace. Lots of places (here and other SA countries) wire energy savings bulbs into candle holders.
Walked back past palace to find city in chaos for Peru version of Harry Chrisna, lots of locals chanting and marching in the street. Not sure why. Locals in Peru (well, Lima) are (on average) short, dark skinned and over weight. At 5'7" I can see over most peoples heads.
Wandered the streets looking at shops and running into random religious parades (more Harry Chrisna clones?), ended up in the Plaza de Italia
with bottles of local soda (Inca Cola) and cakes (Chocoman?). Back to where the taxi dropped us off to find a taxi but kept bumping into suspicious Lima folk (it's not normal for strangers to be friendly!!!). Diverted to Parque de la Cultura
, but never made it as we stopped in Centro Civico
(purple Father Christmas) and the park next to that before heading back to the hotel to refresh for dinner.
The Taxi back to the hotel makes my pug look in good condition. This whole country is filled with cars in worse state than mine and
About 40 people (guys, gals and kids) dancing(?) down the street chanting. All to the sound of angry car drivers stuck in traffic.
everyone drives like me on a bad day. Comforting to know.
Dinner at an Italian near the hotel in the hopes it'll be cheap and we can avoid a late night. The meal (2 pizza's, 1 calzone, 2 beers, 1 Fanta and 2 deserts) came to £20 for all three of us. Does that count as roughing it?
Back at the hotel before 21:00 (nine o'clock). Checked out as we can't do it in the morning. Played a few hands of cards in the garden to unwind and enjoy the mild evening (there's tables and chairs on the grass).
Wake-up call is in 6 hours
There are more photos below