Peru Encompassed 2009 travel blog

Post 8.59pm Sunday May 10.

Although I had the intention to get out and about today to explore my surroundings I accidently fell asleep after my 6am breakfast. Then I accidently awoke at 6pm! I cant believe I slept that long! My hostel is nice with all the necessary amenities although I did jump straight into my premethrin soaked sleeping bag as i saw some uninvited friends on my pillow. Im trying to be mature and not gross out about it, rather turn it into a light form of entertainment when they venture onto my sheet and fall off within seconds quite pleasingly dead.

Luckily I've met a tour that just completed the same as I am about to embark on and got all the goss. Aparently the fitter peeps of the group all got altitude sickness, good news for me (he he), the others had their diamox and found that going south first helped them aclimatise. I´m to meet my group of 6 tomorrow night then head out for dinner. Well, gotta go as my pizza hut supreme has just arrived so I'm off to watch Max Payne on my IPod....

While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well preserved historical centre.

Having hopefully slept the sleep of the dead, and as my tour doesn't start until Monday I'll head out to explore Miraflores. Flanked by streets of ornate colonial mansions, palaces and churches, the Plaza Mayor was the best place to start my exploration of Lima. Walking through the old streets to get a feel for colonial life, one side of the plaza is a cathedral, which houses the remains of Lima's founder, Francisco Pizarro.

Nearby is the 16th century monastery of San Francisco which boasts a fresco of the Last Supper that has a distinctly Peruvian flavour: the disciples pictured dine on guinea pig and drink from gold Inca cups. The monastery's catacombs are the real draw-card, and have been Lima's underground general cemetery for hundreds of years.

If my feet permit, it's off to the Museo del Tribunal de la Santa Inquisicion, which gives a fascinating insight into the Spanish Inquisition and the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia which offers a look at Peru's succession of ancient cultures.

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