On Sunday, June 8, we got up and headed to DIA for our flight to Peru. We boarded the flight about 10:40 am and ended up in Atlanta about 3 hours later. Once in Atlanta, we met up with Greg and Rich and then looked at Greg's pictures from his recent "Tiger Cruise" on the USS Nimitz while we had a 3 hour layover.
We then boarded the plane from Atlanta to Miami. On board the plane, we met some more people on our tour: Pam, Trish, Carol, and Dana and chatted with them for part of the time. We then arrived in Miami where we had another long layover. Greg, Rich, Carol, Dana, Andrea, and I all went to find some food, only to discover that the Burger King outside of security was about the only place still open in the airport. With 3 hours to kill, we went ahead and went through, ate, and then returned back to our gate to await the LAN flight to Peru.
The flight left Miami at about 2:45 am and we arrived in Lima around 7:30 am on June 9th. We all cleared customs, and met our guide, Edwin, in the airport waiting area. The porters took all of our luggage to the buses and we rode from the airport in Callao to our hotel, La Hacienda Hotel and Casino, in Miraflores. Once back at the hotel, we had a chance to eat breakfast and take a shower.
The rest of the morning until about 2 pm was supposed to be time to relax, but we didn't want to spend it in the hotel, so Andrea, Greg, Rich, and I walked down to the LarcoMar shopping center and then walked along the series of parks along the sea. We stopped for a while at the Parque Amor, and then continued on down the cliffs to a lighthouse that we had passed on our way in. The lighthouse was originally from a military marina but had been relocated to this park on the cliffs.
We then headed back to the hotel where we got our first taste of the Peruvian national drink, the Pisco Sour, before heading out on our guided city tour. Our guide on the city tour was named Elzinha. She was ok, but had a tendency to move and talk only to small groups before the whole group caught up. During the city tour, we stopped at Parque Amor, then drove by a number of the city monuments including a huge pre-Columbian pyramid before stopping again in the Plaza de Armas. In the Plaza de Armas we toured the Lima Cathedral, then took a brief walk over to the Convent of San Francisco.
The tour then dropped us off near Parque Kennedy in Miraflores for our first dinner in Peru at Cafe de la Paz at 6 pm. The dinner started with Chicha de Maiz Morado Andino, a juice made from purple corn, and a cream of asparagus soup. For the main course, we had Lomo Saltado a la Criolla, a traditional Peruvian steak, potato, and rice dish. Finally dessert was Bursselina de Lucuma, an angel food style cake filled with lucuma and chocolate fudge.
After dinner the group walked back to the hotel for instructions about the next morning, then we walked back to Parque Kennedy with Greg, Greg M, Elena, Monica, and Debby. We got to the park around 8:30 and spent about an hour looking at the small market, the local church, and the statue of JFK in the park. We then walked over and spent about half an hour in the nearby Metro grocery store exploring all of the local foods before heading back to the hotel for bed.