Coca tea, Cusco, small pleasures
We enjoyed our two nights in Lima. What a busy, bustling place where people walk much faster than we are used to from either Ajijic or Oregon. Maybe even faster than in Chicago. We toured the monastery of San Francisco which is known for its underground crypt full of the bones of Franciscan monks and “rich, important” people who donated to the church. Alas, no photos were allowed on the tour, but I am sharing a few we took in the church (allowed).
We watched the changing of the guard at the Plaza de Armas, which evidently happens twice a day. Impressive. One of these guys pulls a hamstring, he’s out for good; the high kick Is mandatory.
We ate cebiche (see prior post) and then just wandered about the Miraflores neighborhood. It’s a fancy place (Chicago friends, think Lincoln Park; Oregon friends, think Pearl District). In the evening we sampled the Pisco Sour at a bar/restaurant called Haiti and watched people stream by. Dinner, we had along a little park where we watched the nightlife there. Animal lovers, take note that the parks have fenced green areas which are occupied by cats (someone waters and feeds them). I can imagine them running amok in the wee hours when all the people have gone to bed.
Very impressive church:
Lima, Plaza de Armas, school kids:
Lima night life:
Hot chocolate tasting. We put the chocolate into the cups and then added hot milk. Mm.
I practiced my Spanish with our various Uber drivers, only one of which took advantage of us. I learned that Peru is pretty excited about their team playing in the World Cup this year and got tips on restaurants and sites to visit.
We flew from Lima to Cusco and, after a plane delay, just made it to the briefing of our tour group. Of the 15, we are the only 2 not doing the multi-day hike to Machu Picchu and are instead taking the train. I’m sure they will have a spectacular time but we will be well-rested and see other sites (and I won’t be the person who drags the group down).
Our tour leader took us on an orientation walk and Cuzco seems extremely charming. Tiny narrow streets reminiscent of small villages in Italy. Lots of interesting buildings and more shopping than a person could shake a stick at. From a million alpaca clothing stores to NorthFace to local crafts, they’ve got it here. The restaurant scene looks fun too.
We had a chocolate and hot chocolate tasting — organic, Peruvian cacao. Delish. In building with the chocolate place, we noted Mr. Soup. Our tour leader recommended we eat light tonight to help with adjusting to the altitude (altitude sickness is a real thing and can lead to death!). We returned to Mr. Soup for dinner where this non-meat person was extremely happy to eat a giant bowl of lentil and veggie soup. Despite the altitude sickness advice, we each had a glass of wine (don’t tell) — a Peruvian Malbec which hit the spot.
The hotel offers free coca tea, which I sipped before bed. How is it related to cocaine (or is it?)? Hm.