Peru – day one

Highlights: Monasterio de San Francisco

Pictures taken: 83

Travel: Flew from LAX to Lima

Favorite photo of the day:

I left Petersburg on Saturday, January 24th. I stayed with Seth and Kahn until early Monday morning when i flew to L.A. and spent time with Kevin doing some shopping and leaving him a few things to mail back to me.

Then a bit after midnight on Tuesday i boarded the plane headed to San Salvador, El Salvador. I had a brief flight change there and then on to San Jose, Costa Rica for another quick flight change. I arrived in Lima at about 3 PM local time (it’s the same time zone as the US east coast).

Wednesday, January 27, 2009.

I hopped in a cab and paid 70 soles for a short tour and a drop off at the Palacio de Gobierno a short walk from the Monasterio de San Francisco.

Its hot out.
It's hot out.

I took a tour of the catacombs under the monastery but was not permitted to take pictures. They estimate at least 25,000 remains are in the discovered catacombs. They would pile bodies in square pits and use lye to dissolve all but the thickest bones. In some places those bones were arranged decoratively. There is a lot more to see at the monastery though.

Mountain flag in Lima

I stomped around that area a little and then headed down Jiron de Union which is a pedestrian mall. I sat down across from the Iglesia de la Merced and was approached by a man asking where i was from. I felt fairly safe – there were police in the area and a lot of people walking by so i chatted with him a bit. He gave me an old Peruvian coin (old as in no longer accepted – it is from 1974) and eventually i offered to buy him a beer.

Iglesia de la Merced

I then started to hesitate when he got pretty antsy to go. I nearly dug his coin back out and walked away but i took the chance and went into a restaurant nearby. We had a beer and then when leaving he was given a kickback for the purchase – ah! That’s the scam. Of course, we do this in the US – especially in places like Vegas so i wasn’t put off by it.

Peter and Cusquena blanca beer

We went to a different restaurant and i ate some chicken, fries and salad. We drank a few different beers too.

His wife was getting off of work so we moved on to go meet her. And then some of his other friends trickled in. Soon we had broken English and even worse Spanish conversations going on.

Peter, his wife and friend

Mercedes, Julia, and i.

Peter earned a lot of trust by saying he thought i looked a lot like Marc Anthony.

A few hours went by and he got me a taxi back to the airport for 25 soles (and he even got a little kickback from it).

I slept in the airport a little while and will be boarding my flight to Cusco in the next 30 minutes. More soon!

zieak (2207 Posts)

Ryan "Zieak" McFarland dabbles. Beards. Making things. Travel. Genealogy. Frugality and excessiveness. Fitness and fatness. He's a PE teacher in India, usually calls Alaska home and is a happy father to two boys and the husband to a suddenly crafty wife.

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