Lima is a bustling city. Especially during Semana Santa (Holy Week) during which we found ourselves maneuvering through hoards of Catholic pilgrims in our search for the city's most compelling sites. We discovered a city with a split personality, one struggling to identify itself amidst its past as a colonial imperial capital, pre-Columbian Indian homeland, and modern-day world metropolis.
Always in pursuit of adventure, Michelle introduced us to a side of Lima most tourists don't get to see. Venturing outside of the unashamedly cosmopolitan district of Miraflores - the location of our hostel - Michelle led us on an expedition to find every attraction that managed to make it in the legend of our free tourist map. Michelle, aka Sacagawea, navigated beautifully to the first several sites, but I began to lose confidence after venturing into one area in which every other person we saw gave us weird looks and muttered something about "peligroso." Remembering the instances where I've seen peligroso used - on rickety bridges, rat poisoning, and trucks carrying explosives - I knew we should consider these unsolicited greetings with seriousness. Apparently, so did Lima's finest . . . just before we were undoubtedly about to be stripped of all our belongings, 3 city police officers approached us and insisted on giving us a mile long escort back into the "safe" part of town.
We celebrated 4 glorious years of marriage while in Lima. Dane was having withdrawals of his favorite food (pizza) and Michelle wanted to approximate our tradition of eating sushi on our anniversary by trying cebiche, a fresh raw fish dish marinated in citrus juice, so we used our anniversary as an excuse to dine at one of the fine eateries in Miraflores - the only time we ate at a restaurant the entire month in South America. The food was delicioso, and Michelle enjoyed "the flavor of Peru," Inca Cola.
Our night out culminated in a stroll along Peru's west coast for a view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
Michelle commented that the majority of our conversation on this trip had something to do with food. Most of that was probably initiated by Dane upon feeling the pounds fall off his already thin body due to all the climbing and walking (in some cases 20 km a day). All the activity did provide an excuse for temporarily suspending dietary discipline and indulging in countless varieties of street food. Dane's favorite had to be the empanadas and saltenas. Michelle's was hard-boiled quail eggs.
Opting for a one hour flight over a 30 hour bus ride through winding mountain "roads," we left Lima for Cusco - "naval of the world" and the oldest continually occupied city in the Americas. Like thousands of other travelers, Cusco is our gateway to the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu.