Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Peru Trip Timeline: Part 7 - Lima

When we finally got to Lima after waiting in Cusco for an extra 7 hours, we were greeted by our hostess, Gladys, and her daughter, Miriam. Gladys is the grandmother of one of Amy's former students whose family we have had the pleasure of getting to know over the past few months. Our new arrival time put us in Lima right in the middle of rush hour. What is normally a 30 minute drive took us over an hour.

After we got to their home, we went out for dinner at KFC. I knew that McDonald's has a huge international market, but I did not expect KFC. The spices are the same, but you can tell that they use different chickens there, though it was just as good. It was late when we got back and we were tired from the long day, but then we found out that we were going to a show.

We went to see a show called a peña (pain-ya) that showcased indigenous Peruvian dance, music, and costumes. Between choreographed dances, they opened the floor to the audience. It was a lot of fun though we were very tired and I nodded off to sleep during the taxi ride home.

The next day, we went to a museum that housed some weapons from around the world and some pre-Columbian artifacts (though there has been some question recently as to the authenticity of the collection). After walking through the museum we headed towards the Plaza de Armas (of Lima). Traffic was pretty bad around the Plaza due to a major event that weekend so we stopped at the Plaza de San Martin and then walked to the Plaza de Armas. I've waited to post the entire timeline before doing a count, but we visited 6 different Plazas de Armas—Trujillo, Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Ollantaytambo, San Blas, and Lima. While in the plaza, we caught a bus tour of the city that eventually took us up to the summit of San Cristobal. The drive was around some precarious turns, but the view was well worth it.

When we got back to the house, we had a late lunch and then took a siesta nap (I like the siesta). We went out for a late dinner and then back home.

The next day, our last full day in Peru, we stayed at the house until after lunch. Amy learned how to cook some Peruvian recipes and I attempted to learn how to spin a top from an 8-year-old. After lunch, we went out with Miriam and her two sons, Jason and John-Pierre, to see some more of Lima. We went to a park and took out a couple of paddle boats. After that park, we went to another park that was full of water fountains with different designs and lights. We then went for another late dinner. We went back to the house to get packed up and into bed for the early morning flight back to the U.S.

All in all, the visit to Lima was good. It was a blessing to be able to stay with natives. We could not have asked for a more generous and gracious family to spend our time with.

The next morning, we were up at 3 so we could get to the airport by 4 for our flight at 6. We had just enough time in the duty-free area to get some Peruvian coffee beans before getting on the flight to Miami. There was plenty of time in Miami to get through Customs and security and then get some lunch. We arrived in Raleigh at the new Terminal 2, despite departing from Terminal C. There was some standard opening day glitches with the jet bridge and baggage carousel, but we soon were greeted by my parents who had come to pick us up.

We had a lot of fun. It was an enlightening trip for me—seeing another country should be an enlightening experience. Despite the two weeks, Amy and I both determined that it wasn't long enough to truly get to know it. I'm glad that I got to visit, but I would definitely like to get to know Peru better.

Disclaimer: While in Peru, Amy and I managed to take around 2250 photos, much less than our preparations, but still over 6GB worth. The pictures that we post online are, understandably, a small subset. The ones about which we blog are an even smaller subset. If you want to see more pictures, there are a couple of links on the side-bar. I will be uploading over the span of a few days and blogging could take a couple of weeks.

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