The following morning we had to get up at 7:30 for a guided group tour around Lima. We were the first ones to be picked up, followed by a group of Americans and group of Canadians. The first place we visited was still inside Miraflores and was a very short distance from the Sonesta Miraflores as it turned out. It was a little park, and it wasn’t really anything special – it was called “El Parque de Amor” (Lover’s Park) and had a large statue in the middle. Or next stop was somewhere we didn’t get to look around, it was called Huaca Pucllana. The structure there was massive and made from mud bricks from a time that predates the Inca civilisation. Out of all the Huaca’s they’ve found, this one was found about 40 years ago by accident as it was buried underneath a hill that had collected rubbish, and people played football on it. Eventually the soil had worn down to reveal what was actually underneath the hill, and since then archaeologists have been working on the site. Some of the site however is open to the public though we did not get to go in. Here we also saw a breed of hairless dog that is unique to Peru. The next stop was at the Plaza San Martin – a memorial square dedicated to the Spanish general who liberated Peru from Spain.
After a brief stop for photographs we made another stop at another square, the Plaza de Armas where many monks and nuns from every brotherhood and sisterhood in the city were there to celebrate a religious festival. As part of the celebration they had laid out many flower petals and foodstuffs (mostly spices) into patterns on the road. I think this festival may have had something to do with Corpus Christii that was happening in Cusco at the time. From here it was a short walk round the corner, past the Presidents “house” and the train station to the Iglesias de San Francisco – a cathedral. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures inside, but we did get to go in the catacombs beneath the cathedral, where there are still many skeletons. There was also a pretty amazing library in there that they were working on restoring. Once we were done looking round, the tour coach picked us up just around the corner in a park that was built around a piece of the original city wall, and was taken down to the coast to a seafood restaurant – the Rosa Nautica.
With our tour of Lima finished we then had a 5 and a half hour drive out into the Nazca desert ready for day 3 of the trip. It really did seem a very long drive, and with it being around 500km I guess it actually was a long drive. On the way we saw many “shanty” towns where the really poor lived in hovels and did their best to survive with almost nothing.
The Nasca Lines Hotel seemed a very nice place to stay with a reasonable sized swimming pool in the centre. We never actually got to try the pool out though as we arrived at the hotel during the dark, and left the following morning before it opened. After we arrived at the hotel we went for a wander around the town and found it to have these really amazing, clean, polished granite pavements.