Today is shopping day. We make a respectably early start and head for the markets along Avenida Petit Thouars, north of Ovalo and the central market. The range of goods is much better than what we saw last night and we are all soon bargain-hunting. I do not take long to find two brightly coloured woollen tapestries depicting Peruvian village scenes. Bargaining starts at 48 soles each, and I finally secure the two for 75 soles. Haggling is much harder work than in Pisac market, although the prices seem to start a little lower.
At noon, we have a rendez-vous with Barry and Anthea in the park. They are interested to hear what we have been up to, and take us to a favourite haunt of theirs, a pancake restaurant. The food is excellent and extremely filling, and they serve quite the best lemonade that I have ever tasted. When we have eaten our fill, we return to the markets together. John had earlier spied a tea set and wants Anthea to come and translate for him in the negotiations. In the event though, he seems somewhat put out of his stride by her presence.
At this point, James decides to return to the hotel for a break, while the rest of us (five) squeeze into a taxi to visit the Museum of the Nation. Barry and Anthea bid us farewell outside. The museum is well laid out and covers the various cultures of Peru from the earliest to the time of the Incas. Sadly, our lack of Spanish means that we get less out of it than we might have done.
It is as we are soon to leave that I feel a sudden and overwhelming need to visit the lavatory. Hurrying to the information desk, I ask where the nearest one might be located. I few moments later I am back, with an increased expression of urgency, to ask if they can find any loo paper. In the event I am forced avail myself of pages 403ff of the guidebook—South-west Bolivia.
We eat dinner in an inexpensive restaurant in a back street near the hotel, recommended in the Rough Guide. At only 12 soles each, it is also considerably more tastey than the previous night’s expensive effort. However, we finish up (at James’ suggestion) in Lima’s very own Kentucky Fried Chicken. Carefully watching the centimos to avoid either a surfeit or a deficit of soles when we reach the airport, we calculate that we can just stretch to a coffee and ice-cream.