It's a creekmore world

Peru Day 14-15 Lima and back home

Lima, Peru

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It’s been a fantastic trip, possibly our best.  Today is our last day in Peru.  We wake up in the same hotel we stayed on on our first night in Peru – Mami Panchitas.  It’s a fantastic B&B style hotel with attentive staff and solid service.

Our plant doesn’t leave until very late tonight, 10pm.  It’s a 7 hour red-eye back to Miami.   So we have the better part of a day in Lima, Peru’s capital.

Electricity, Internet, hot water and brewed coffee

Tired at the end of a long trip
After five days in the Amazon, we decide to take a half-day just to clean-up, recharge and rest.  This itinerary has been our most ambitious.

By comparison, our Middle East trip was slow-paced because we were both working at the same time.   Mexico was a car-travel trip and there was a fair amount of down time.  Italy was also fast-paced, but it was still Italy – not that hard.

It’s true the kids are older and more capable every year.  But this was the first trip we backpacked – with all our gear on our backs, using a lot of busses.   They have had more to carry.  And Trish is still recovering from cancer and surgery.

It feels like we’ve been gone longer than 2 weeks and we’re ready to get home.

The Plaza mayor, Lima.

Sunny Lima?

Noon rolls around and we’ve had enough how shower, internet and brewed coffee.  We have the capital of Peru to see today!

Lima gets a bad reputation for it’s 9 months of grey weather, during which it makes San Francisco seem like Phoenix, Arizona by comparison.   Today isn’t so bad, the seasons are changing I guess.  We’re more disappointed by the smog and endless traffic.

That's the archbishops house on the left.
At the Plaza de Armas, the main square, are several beautiful buildings of colonial origin including the archbishops house and government palace.    In colonial times, this plaza had a gallows and bull fighting ring.  Heretics were burned at the stake here during the inquisition.

The historic district has a lot of shops that seem to be for locals, not tourists.  I assume that there are a lot of government offices still here.   At a local restaurant we get prix fixe businessman’s lunch which is authentic and pretty tasty.

The catacombs

What is it about decoratively arranged bones that we find so exciting?  The family went to Santa Maria Immaculata in Rome with bones that the priests arranged in exotic patterns.  We loved it.

Chasing pigons at the Curch of San Francisco in Lima
Here in Lima, in the deep recesses of the large catholic Church of San Francisco, are also a lot of bones from people that were buried there before they began to use graveyards.

The bones are not as impressive as in Rome.  ,Most are just laid out next to each other.  One very large group is laid out at the bottom of a deep well.

Dust covered human bones
We didn’t want a tour guide, but it’s the only way to see the Church.  You can’t go in alone.  He really rushes through the speech, looking annoyed that he has to do this in English.  And he watches Trish like a hawk when he suspects she is taking photos, which is against the rules.  And of course she is.

The catacombs themselves are great – deep, creepy, tunnels beneath the church.  At certain points you can look up to the church rectory, which is cool.

The stunning library at the Church of San Francisco in Lima
The highlight, however, is the library filled with old books.  It’s absolutely stunning with the sun shining on old manuscripts, music stands and the circular stairs to the narrow second level of bookshelves.  Trish had to snap this shot from the hip to avoid detection and it came out beautifully.

He motions the group of 15 tourists through a large gate as if there is another thing to see, but bolts the door behind us and walks away.  I guess the tour is over.  Maybe he’s just mad that he couldn’t catch Trish taking pictures.

A little bit of fail to end the trip

I had promised the girls ice cream, and agree with Emma that we should find some in a cone.  There has to be some nearby because a pack of young girls round the corner with ice cream cones in hand.

But we can’t find anything.  And Trish gets hit hard with a bout of dysentery, unexpectedly.  So we skip our attempt at the Art museum, which is going to close soon anyway.

A beautiful Canna
Instead we head to the fountains at Parque de la Reserva, a series of vegas-style water, light and sound shows that are supposed to be corny but fun.   It’s about 5pm, and sun still shines brightly.  They are better at night lit up, I’m sure.

As we exit the cab, it appears we are in the wrong place because there are gates in between us and the entrance turnstyles.  Nothing inside seems to be happening.

An old woman missing most of her teeth shuffles by and yells “Cerrado!  Cerrado!”  Only later do I realize this is for us.  next door is a flower market which is mostly for funerals.  It’s sort of sad but we walk through.

Just hanging out in Lima
Trish groans with pain as we look for the open enterance.  It’s hard to find.  No one is around here, which we begin to realize is because it’s closed.  Finally Trish reads the sign and musters all her high-school spanish to figure out that it’s only open on weekends.  Today is Tuesday.

Doh.  And we still havn’t gotten ice cream.  And Trish is getting sicker.  This is fail.

Nearby is a mini-mart, and the kids grab weird foreign ice creams, although by this part of the trip they have sampled most of the major brands and know what they like.

We eat in a park, which must be near a university because there are what look like dorms nearby.  And the park benches are filled with young Peruvians making out.

And so our amazing trip ended with a fizz, but we don’t care.  Lima was never a top destination for us and after everything we’ve seen, we can handle a mediocre day.

Passed out at Miami AIrport
The way home

Trish starts to feel better with some immodium and we spend a few more hours on the couch at the hotel using all our devices.  We only went out for a few hours after all.

At the big airport food court, the girls go order Papa Johns pizza for themselves.  It makes me proud that at 8 and 11 I can give them foreign currency and they can go fend for themselves at a spanish-speaking airport.  I admit I keep my eye on them and worry a minute or two when I can’t spot them.  But the line is just long and they are lost in the crowd.

The red-eye to Miami is easy.  Waiting in the Miami airport for 7 hours is less easy.  We corner a bunch of outlets and try to pass the time.  I pass out on the floor.  I can sleep anywhere.

We get the last bag from our trip.
And then it’s done.  We are back home in national airport as our last bag is spotted.  Our girls, especially Emma, misses our dog a lot.  He knows when we are leaving and gets very nervous, so we know he’s glad when we get back.

Another 2 weeks abroad!  I love this family.  Next up, Thailand, China and Cambodia in June.

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