We were given some free time to walk about, so Marie Hélène and I headed towards the Rimac river with its rock bridge and the remains of a colonial market before we entered the 15th century Church of Santo Domingo, where a mass would soon be held before we joined the group again, so as to continue "exploring" the city.
We stopped at the "Desamparados" Station named after the church of Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados, which has been adapted to an exhibition hall now.
Fairly close to it there was Parque de la Muralla, whose restored 300 metre wall remains we had the possibility to see, as well as a small on-site Museum displaying pieces and artefacts found during the excavation process.
We then walked towards the Convent of San Francisco, considered one of the best preserved colonial churches in Lima, located just one block Northeast from the Plaza Mayor, which has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The 17th century porch, a high example of Spanish Baroque style was really impressive with its stone filigree-like work dressing the thick yellow walls.
I managed to take two photos of its interior until I was stopped by a vilgilant once I didn't realise they were forbidden (like in most churches we came across).
We drove through the extremelly dense city traffic up to the National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History located in the Pueblo Libre district.
Despite going through some reconstruction works (not allowing one's access to the History, Human remains and organic galleries) it still provided us with an insight into part of the history of human occupation in what is now Peru.
It was clear from the beginning that it would be difficult to follow the guide's thorough explanation and be able to absorb such a wide amount of information regarding the diverse migrating peoples, particularly because the Museum houses a numerous quantity of archaeological pieces and artefacts from different areas of Peru and every period of the country's cultural history with objects dating back to 12.000 B.C.
I was particularly enthusiastic with the Ceramics department displaying 65.000 pieces from the Chavin, Paracas, Pukara, Nazca, Moche, Lima, Tiwanaku, Wari, Lambayeque, Chincha, Chimu, Chankay and Inca culture.
I couldn't help photographing some of those, though I wish we had had time to photograph many more.
The Venus from Curayacu (left). Salinar (300 B.C. - 100 A.D.) - transition between the Cupisnique and Moche from the Northern region - said to have marked the first representation pertaining to the pre- Hispanic period (right).
Vicus (200 B.C. - 800 A.D. ), whose upper Piura river society had the peculiarity of having been tied to the upper Andes (Equator) and Central Andes (Peru) - to be seen on the right, left and underneath.
Two different perspectives from a the same cup pertaining to the Wari culture.
Late Ychsma (left).
Chimu Inca (right).
We had our first Peruvian lunch, which though fairly late was really worth it. If all the other meals would be half as good as this one, then we would all be looking forward to them.
It does take time to get used to foreign cuisine sometimes, but I don't know whether it was the Pisco drink, the corn "entrées" or the fact that we were feeling tired and hungry that added up to the whole thing, but we all enjoyed the meal.
We slowly drove back to the hotel, once the traffic was really jammed, to finally get hold of our rooms, as in the morning we had not had the chance to check in, though not much time was left to do anything but get ourselves a good warm shower after such a long day (almost two days since we had left Paris) and get down to have yet another dinner surprise at the hotel restaurant (some really good "empanadas") and a well deserved night sleep.