It's been a long day! Between jet lag and walking the streets of Lima for eight hours I'm tired!
Got up around 7:45 a.m. and got ready for my tour of Lima with Peruvian Local Friends. This eight hour walking tour will start in the Barranco district then heading to the city center.
My guides for the day were Sandra and Alonso. Both were born and raised in Lima, lived in the states and returned back to Peru running a great tour business.
We started walking to the plaza to catch the Metro to central Lima. Along the way Sandra pointed out the various styles of the homes, giving info about the memorial obelisk in a small plaza, and telling about clubs, dining and shopping in Barranco.
We soon came to a park which the first church in Barranco was built. Near the church was a statue of Chabuca Granda and Gustavo de la Borda on a Peruvian Paso (horse). Chabuca is known for her fusion of Criollo and Afro-Peruvian music and Gustavo brought the Paso back to glory. In front of Chabuca was two local musicians. The older man had a cajon. It's a box instrument played by clapping on it. It's orgins is from the African slaves. This Peruvian Mestizo played with such soul! The song and the beats were African. I gave him some Sols and he played two songs for me. My only regret was not recording them!
We next crossed the Bridge of Sighs. There are several tales with the naming of the bridge. Of course I loved the most romantic!
We next headed to the plaza and took the bus to downtown.
Lima has so many plazas. This is were people hang out. The first one was one where people come to debate politics. There are small stands in which one can address those around them. However only men are allowed to do so :(!!
We headed to another plaza in which a large stage was being set up. Alonso explained that likey a group had something planned later.
We walked down the main shopping area. Even in the middle of the day it was packed (at least to me!). Sandra stated that this was a light crowd and later in the day and on the weekends it's really crowded.
The avenue gave a great chance to admire the different styles used in building. Most are not in great shape. Some are now stores with a mix of both old and new.
As we were coming out of one, we saw a wall of police. Sandra and Alonso told me to head to the side against a building to move out of the way. Behind the police was a large group of eldery people chanting and shouting. Sandra told me they were protesting the government failure to provide the eldery housing as promise.
This was the first time ever seeing a protest group on this scale. While they were old, some with canes and walkers, they were a sight to see. After about five minutes the last of the group and more police we could move about.
We next visited one of the many churches. I love these old churchs with it's grandness and saints.
Next stop was to have the national drink, a pisco sour at the Maury hotel.
The server at the bar was proud to show a picture of him working here since the mid 60's.
The Pisco sour was strong! Now I can handle my liquor, but this baby was strong and I was light headed drinking half.
We next headed to the downtown markets and Chinatown. I wanted to take pictures,but Sandra suggested to put my camera up because to not get it taken and mark me as a tourist.
The market is so unlike ours! I feel cheated. In the US we have such a limited amount of veggies and fruits. The diversity put our selection to shame.
Chinatown was very small with several restaurants about.
We then went to a local supermarket. While Sandra and I were walking around, an old lady came to me,greeted and start talking. My Spanish is very limited and I only understood one in ten words. Sandra translated that the woman thought I was a friend's daughter from Bolivia. I thought it was sweet and told her I was from the U.S. and not Bolivia.
While standing in the checkout lane the lady behind me start talking in Spanish and also ask was I from Bolivia. I guess that maybe Bolivia need to go on my travel list.
We headed back to the hotel. It was a great day! Tomorrow, my shanty town and cemetery tour