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Published: January 27th 2007
We arrived in Lima exhausted; it was a very noisy red-eye flight that allowed for little sleep. This was combined with both of us fighting colds. We headed to the HI hostel in the Miraflores section of town. They allowed for an early check in, which was wonderful. We immediately crashed until the afternoon. Once stirring, food was our primary concern. The hostel only serves breakfast, so after inquiring with the front desk we set off towards a café. Walking towards the café the streets were deserted and most buildings have tall imposing fences with spikes on top. It is a nice section of town, where each wants to protect what is theirs. The café food was simple yet delicious.
The next day we bought our ticket to Cuzco from a local travel agent. Agents always want to sell you the tour and look at us like we are crazy since we tell them we do not want one. In walking to the agency the Miraflores area was teeming with energy as people hustled about, making Monday very different than the deserted Sunday. Afterwards we headed to central Lima to check out the sights. We had the taxi drop us off
at Plaza de Armes, which is a park square surrounded on the north by Palacio del Gobierno (Presidential Palace), on the west by Municipalidad de Lima (City Hall), on east by the Cathedral and the Palacio Episcopal (Archbishop's Palace). We walked a few blocks to the Convent of St. Francis, a 17th century complex, which is home to thousands of pigeons that rest on the ridges of the façade. From a distance it looks like the baroque church is polk-a-dotted with black spots. Maybe the Peruvian restaurants should serve pigeon on a stick, like they do in China and it seemed to eliminate the problem there. The locals shouldn't think it is strange after all they serve guinea pig (Cuy) in all most every restaurant. On the way back to the hostel we experienced what should have been a very scary taxi ride, but SE Asia, Russia and China must have desensitized our fear of small cheap cars weaving in and out of over congested roads.
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