The historical centre of Lima is so vast and full of exciting places to discover that it would be impossible to cover it all in just one post. Earlier last year, I ventured into Centro with my host father a few times (HERE and HERE), but unfortunately I only saw very little of what there is there, due to time restrictions, lack of knowledge of the area on my behalf and also my poor level of Spanish at the time didn't help. Before I returned to Australia though, I did have to make one last trip into Centro with my friends to really discover what it was like...
I went with the Metropolitano to the main touristy areas, as per usual, but instead of spending most of my time at Plaza San Martin, Jiron de la Union and the Plaza de Armas, I instead visited the Presidential Palace to have a photo with a very serious-looking guard (though not as serious as those at Buckingham Palace... I swear those guys are trained!). We then wandered around the side streets, trying to keep away from the bustle of the tourist markets, before heading along the madness of Abancay. For those who aren't familiar with Lima, Av. Abancay is one of the busiest roads in the city, with buses darting and stopping everywhere, traffic police trying (though unsuccessfully) to keep everything in order, vendors pushing their carts along the road, mixed with lots of pedestrian traffic. We even saw two guys walk out of a shop with a full-size soccer goal on their shoulders, who then proceeded to walk down the crowded street without a whim in the world!
Eventually, we found our way to Chinatown for lunch, which Ian and I thoroughly enjoyed, however Tami wasn't so lucky with her food, finding chicken organs diced up through her plate - mmm, que rico! Afterwards we headed down through a market, and ended up in an Indian section, much to our surprise! We got some henna done and Tami bought me the most beautiful Ganesh tapestry as an early Christmas present, which is going to look great on my wall at university!
All in all, it was a lovely day, and a fantastic last glance at one of the most concentrated cultural areas of the capital - I'm missing the chaos already!
Photos by Luis Enrique Malaga and me.