Also important to note, we withdrew some Peruvian currency in the airport. They are called “Nuevo Soles”, or just “soles”. Singular it’s “sol”, or sun, which sounds very similar as one might imagine to the English “soul”. The rest of the trip was filled with puns about people owing each other their souls, or how the dinner cost me my soul. Very entertaining!
The next day we woke up and took a taxi downtown to the main square, Plaza de Armas, and toured the area. We paid for an English tour of the nearby Franciscan Cathedral which is also famous for the catacombs that lie beneath the building. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an actual human skull in real life before and I couldn’t help but shudder when we were taken by a neatly arranged pile of them. After that we walked back to the Plaza to await the changing of the guard which happens everyday at noon at the government palace located on the main square. Looking around at some of the other churches, we ran into the rest of our group which had stayed in a hotel the night before. The fanfare that goes into the changing of the guard is pretty extensive and I am amazed that they do it everyday. A band comes out and plays and the ordeal involves many soldiers in historic garb high stepping to the beat of the drums. It was also interesting to see the contrast between the historic soldiers and the actual military/police in camo that were guarding the politic area.
For lunch, we walked down toward the Plaza de San Marin looking for a restaurant serving ceviche, or cebiche, a famous Puruvian dish made from raw fish essentially “cooked” or pickled in lemon juice. We found a restaurant on the square itself serving an entre and an appetizer and drink for 6 soles. The fish was very good but had an interesting texture considering it isn’t cooked. After our food adventure, we took a taxi to the
Once outside, we were greeted by the chorus of car, taxi, and bus horns that were our constant companion while in the city of
Later that night, after returning to our hostel for some relaxation before another planned gathering with the entire group, one of my friends, Sarah, and I went out for a walk along the ocean’s edge. Now I didn’t say “beach,” because the shoreline of
For dinner we caught a taxi to the hotel our friends were staying at downtown and walked to a nearby Chili’s restaurant for dinner. You have no idea how much people can miss chips and salsa when you go out to eat, but let me tell you, once you don’t have it for 3 months, it’s pretty nice. The food was very good and the atmosphere very conducive to conversation and having a good time. Then, my roommate Mark has a tradition of taking pictures at Starbuck’s coffee shops that he finds in foreign countries that he and his parents travel to. After that, it was back to the hostel for a much needed night of sleep. However, to our dismay, it was even hotter than the night before, and sleep was hard to come by.