Peru continued - A day in Lima (Instalment Two)

I’m sure I’d only slept for three minutes when that alarm went off. My body was too heavy to lift out of bed, so I rolled into the shower. The 11th floor was the location for breakfast and what a magnificent view! We were presented a rainbow of delights in the all-inclusive buffet: cured meats, local cheeses, Danish pastries, cereals, fruit, and a smorgasbord of cooked meals. I could see 5kg sitting on my gut already. A three-course breakfast of treats with views to match was an invigorating start to the day.  

Breakfast view. Terrible, I know.

Marven was our guide for the morning. A knowledgeable and interesting fellow, he taught us about the history of Lima, showed us the gorgeous parks and gardens, Lima’s historic downtown including Paseo de la Republica, Plaza San Martin, the Main Plaza, Presedential Palace, Cathedrals, San Francisco Convent and the list goes on. The buildings alone were a magnificent site – in Australia we are such a young country in terms of historical monuments (important indigenous places of interest aside) so I was enthralled by the architecture and sheer size of these monstrosities. I love a good plaza too! A city square is the beating heart of a metropolis; a common gathering ground for all walks of life.

Dropped back at our hotel right on lunchtime with a list of suggested eateries in hand, we made our way to the nearest shopping arcade: Centro Comercial Larcomar. More American–style than Peruvian but a show-stopper of a location on the side of a cliff! I was amused by the outdoor escalator; clearly this is a city that rarely has rain! We ate at Tanta – a restaurant with gorgeous views however my Spanish was not at menu standard and we ordered an array of local dishes, all served with an egg inside or on top. I have an aversion to eggs, some may call a phobia, so I had a lovely glass of champagne for lunch followed by an ice cream at Gelarti! Bonus is, I relearned the word for eggs: huevos.

We visited the supermarket; we love to see all the different products available, and bought some local chocolate, chips and jerky (yes, health was our priority). Back to the hotel for a wee rest (jetlag was hitting hard by this stage), then we walked into Lima to the markets that attract a million other tourists but I wanted to get a feel for what was on offer before we headed off to the next destination on our itinerary. We bargained and joked with local vendors in our broken Spanish and bought a few bits and pieces. Dinner was at the gorgeous restaurant attached to our hotel – TRAGALUZ. A beautiful ambience and fantastic artwork on the wall, incredibly friendly and helpful staff and the food was magnificent. My husband is on a quest to find the best Crème Brulee and Tragaluz’s Brulee is in his top 2!

Back to bed ready for another early morning flight, to Cusco!

We survived Peru! Our 10 day Trip...(Instalment One)

And who thought we wouldn't?

To say it was brilliant and amazing would not be enough. Life-changing? I'm not sure I'd go that far. Life-refreshing certainly.

To go back to the start, we left on May 3rd, a teary goodbye to the children and my parents as we embarked on ten whole, entire kid-free days, (mostly) paid for by my winning 25 words.

Overnight at an airport hotel in Sydney, I wanted to order room service. It’s a novelty for those of us who rarely travel, but for the business-travel-weary like my travel companion, who preferred to have a real dinner that was actually hot and served at a table, not on your bed. So hotel restaurant it was and I have to say, room service would have been on par if we were judging on temperature alone…

An early start on May 4th only to discover the flight was already delayed by four hours. This would cost us our connecting flight from Santiago to Lima. Without kids to wrangle, I didn’t really care. Although, given I'd been deprived of a rare sleep-in there may have been some swearing under my breath – couldn’t the airline alert all passengers to the delay so we weren’t busting our cracks to check-in early?

I read a book. An entire novel. I had a hot cup of tea, and then another. Nobody asked me for food, to go to the toilet, or tugged on my jumper telling me they were bored. No-one! Not even my husband.

The epic journey finally embarked: Sydney to Auckland. Auckland to Santiago. Seven painful hours in Santiago airport and finally we were on a plane to our destination: Lima.

Met at the airport at one am by a cheerful chap, we were driven down the dark and deserted streets of Lima to our first hotel, Miraflores Park Hotel. Greeted by effervescent staff (who the hell is that bubbly at 2am?) and led to our room, we were limp, lifeless and covered in airplane funk courtesy of too many hours in transit. A quick shower, call home and off to bed in the universe’s biggest bed!

Miraflores Park Hotel. A dump, right? 

Miraflores Park Hotel. A dump, right? 

Alarm set for 6am, as a morning tour of Lima was scheduled...