First impressions on arrival in the big city of Lima, the capital of Peru, was of a hectic modern city, lots of traffic, new cars and some high rise buildings. Neither of us were overly keen to be here, but as all buses go to Lima to access northern Peru we thought we would spend a few days exploring.
The city is right on the coast line, once the morning sea fog has cleared you could see the crashing waves all along the shore. This helped make you forget it is a city of nearly 8 million people.
A bicycle tour to the bay areas of Miraflores, Barranco and Chorrillos, on a great sunny day, helped us to see the beautiful side of Lima. We cycled down lovely pretty back streets with gorgeous painted colonial buildings. We even got to make a wish whilst crossing the bridge of sighs holding our breath. With lots of stops at parks and view points our great guide Claudia filled us in on the history of the city, with all its corruption and terrorism of the past. We learnt about how the whole highway and beach area are all man made additions and took since the 1960's to be completed. This was mainly due to the city's turbulent times in the past.
A highlight of the bustling down town central area of Lima was the Monastery of San Francisco with its beautiful library (though the humidity and sea air is constant threat for the upkeep of the books) and fascinating but eery subterranean catacombs.
We considered trying our hand at surfing here as it was very handy from Miraflores, but decided to delay this until Huanchaco as we were unsure about the giant pebble beach and unknown pollution levels so close to such a massive city.