JW MARRIOTT LIMA
I want to visit the center city this morning, complete a Lima Church walk I mapped-out in my Lonely Planet guide last night – I just don’t want to pay for a Mercedes to go there. On the other hand, I’m not really up for being kidnapped and raped today, either. The JW Marriott valets call Pablo for me.
Pablo Luis Rios Venegas
Taxi a su servicio – Seguridad y Garantia
Telf. Dom.: 582-3025
Pablo speaks no English. I speak very limited Spanish. We attempt conversation on our way to Central and I think we kind of get each other. I ask for a return ride back to the hotel and he asks me (I think) at what time.
Commit? He wants me to commit? Did we list commitment issues among my various psychological maladies a few posts ago? If not, we need to add commitmentphobia to the running tally.
“Noon,” I tell Pablo. But I’ve crossed my fingers behind my back.
A LIMA CHURCH WALK
Iglesia de Santo Domingo
Starting at the Plaza de Armas, walk northwest on Conde de Superunda to Camaná. The Iglesia de Santo Domingo lies on the corner. Don’t let the pretty pastel décor fool you: this Lima church houses (and displays) the skulls of San Martín and Santa Rosa.
Iglesia de San Agustín
Walk southwest on Camaná two blocks to the Iglesia de San Agustín at Ucayali. This Lima church — flanked on both sides by red concrete — is fairly foreboding from the outside…
But the interior is soothing…
Iglesia de Merced
Exit the Iglesia de San Agustín and head one block further on Camaná, turn left onto Miró Quesada and arrive another block later at the Iglesia de Merced. You will be rewarded with at least two dozen ornate and magnificent baroque and renaissance-style altars. And the crazy thing is, there are no other tourists in this place to wander into your frame and spoil your photo!
Monasterio de San Francisco
After exiting the Iglesia de Merced, keep going down Miró Quesada for three blocks, then take a left onto Azángaro and go another three blocks to the popular (too popular?) Monasterio de San Francisco, the final stop on this Lima church walk.
Photos of the monastery are permitted, but photos of the famous catacombs are not, which is fine with me: the catacombs are not sufficiently gruesome to be very photogenic while the churchy area has more personality. Anyway, it’s very pretty and the graphic, geometrical red and white designs please my visual sensibilities quite a lot.
So you’ve completed my Lima church walk. Now what? You in the mood for some torture?