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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

A night in Lima

PERU | Sunday, 30 December 2007 | Views [469]

I can't believe I've been to four continents and I'm only 23. Three more to go! I've also now been to 10 countries! As I was flying into Lima earlier it looked like a dusty city filled with unfinished buildings, or a sort of "mausoleum of modernity" as I learned in my Latin American geography class. Felix, my CouchSurfing host met me at the airport and then we hopped in the nearest taxi. He whisked me past all the haranguing hustlers in the process. Lima isn't as bad as San Jose but it's still rather depressing. Little kids came up to the taxi asking for change and there si the stench of fuel exhaust everywhere. It sees to be pretty much a huge, dusty capital without the sparkling charm of a city like Reykjavik or Sydney. Felix and his family live in a gated apartment complex. When I asked about Margarita, he said she wasn't coming over. Margarita is a CouchSurfer whom I chatted with before getting here, although she wasn't able to host me. She seems like a nice girl although we wouldn't meet up today. Felix and I went to a restaurant called El Corralito and had tasty carne asada with papas fritas (french fries). Food is definitely a highlight of travel! Felix then asked if I wanted to take a taxi or a bus to downtown, and I enthusiastically reply "bus" because they're a better way to get the feel of a place. We visited the Monasterio de San Francisco, home to the catacombs of Lima.

The tour was 5 soles (about $1.66) and no photos were allowed inside. More than 70,000 skeletons are stored here, and the bones are mostly sorted, with skulls in one pile, femurs in another, etc. The ceilings are very low so you'll be ducking the whole while underground. The catacombs aren't for the faint-hearted but they're definitely an experience. The world's most famous catacombs are in Paris. I didn't see Felix immediately but I found him after 10 minutes of searching. We walked through the Plaza de Armas where there was a parade in front of the presidential palace.

The police carry machine guns, so this is one place to avoid trouble! We then took the bus back to Felix' apartment where I met his mother and grandmother, practicing my Spanish with them. Felix himself speaks almost no English. He asked if I wanted to join he and his friends for New Year's tomorrow evening but I'm heading up to Huancayo in the morning. Whilst I'm practically at sea level here in Lima, tomorrow afternoon I'll be higher than I've ever been! 

Tags: catacombs, cities

 

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