Exploring Lima v2.1

A mixed bag of outings for me, these last couple of months in Lima. I’ve been going out mostly with my school, El Sol, for a number of cultural excursions, trying to keep pace with spoken español, and only managing to understand 15-20%.

Mercado Surquillo: The local market for everything fresh and cheap and exotic.

Casa de Aliaga: You can pass it by without ever knowing the treasures it holds within. But Casa de Aliaga is a home in Lima Centro lived in by the same family over 17 generations, over 4 centuries, and is well worth the visit.

A walk through Lima Centro: Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas. I’ve been here before, and never tire of visiting the heart of touristy Lima in these colonial neighbourhoods. A ride on the Metropolitano bus service was an experience in itself.

The Procession of Señor de los Milagros: A half-baked attempt to capture the procession of thousands of people in purple robes, but we arrived too late and ended up running away midway to get our cafe and turrón fix.

Artesanal beer tasting: Helps to understand español better, of course.

My personal favourite: Walk through the graffiti in Barranco. It made my day to see an artist in action, and realise the quantum of talent and effort and art supplies that go into a street side creation. The artist in the photos below is painting under the bridge.

Lima-9

Colours of Barranco

The bike tour from the day before opened my eyes to the Bohemian district of Barranco. While most parts of Lima look dull and grey, and Miraflores and San Isidro are well-manicured and modern, it’s Barranco that carries the labels of Bohemian, artsy and old-worldly.

The district has been preserved, mostly by the artistic community, not to the glossy levels of its upmarket neighbours, but in the most charming manner in its riot of colours. I had pre-conceived notions of what South America should look like, and Barranco satisfied some of them. I’ve also noticed that there is a concerted effort to make some of the districts safer, especially for tourists – there are information kiosks in a number of street corners, and quite a few tourism police keeping an eye on everyone. The results have been great for me – I’ve been able to walk on streets, camera in hand, without facing any trouble so far.

Enjoy!

I lunched at La Bodega Verde, close to the Puenta de Los Suspiros – a happy meal of quinoa burger with hummus. Seriously, I am now in love with quinoa.

I was lured into the MATE museum, that houses the photographs of Mario Testino. He is a world renowned Peruvian photographer, and I was fascinated by his work. I had bought a combination ticket to 3 museums, but the other 2 (Pedro de Osma & MAC) did not hold the same attraction for me, as one has a collection of religious art, and the other is contemporary, but I could understand neither. Still, the walk was fun. Gotta go back into Barranco in the evening to get a glimpse of all the colours of the night.

A Day for Adventure

Starting with a cycle ride with Bike Tours of Lima through the two most ‘happening’ districts of the city – Miraflores and Barranco:

The ride whetted my appetite to explore Barranco in my own time, but the tour in itself was informative, especially about the modern history of the city. While Miraflores is the swanky new development, Barranco is the more arty, laid-back and well-aged district.

One of the highlights was the Parque del Amor, the Love Park, an iconic section of the promenade at Miraflores. El Beso, the Kiss sculpture by Victor Delfin, of himself kissing his wife. The park is also the venue for Valentine’s day record breaking activities against a beautiful sunset.

The other was the Puento de Los Suspiros, the Bridge of Sighs – the first time you cross the bridge, make a wish and take a deep breath, then hold the breath until you cross over to the other side, to make your wish come true. Believe the myth or not, it’s a fun, silly, touristy thing to do.

If you like to play with Google Earth, check this link for my cycling path: http://share.abvio.com/e52ba8633cd284a7/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20150804-1004.kml

After the tour, it was too early for me to head back, so I thought I might walk aimlessly around Miraflores. That’s when I looked up and saw a miracle – a hint of sunshine! And there were paragliders. I thought, why not? Another item on my wish list might come true. I wasted no time rushing over to the paraport or whatever they call it, paid the money, and was quickly strapped into the harness. My pilot, Alex, was ultra-friendly and uber cool (part time baker), and made the flight super exciting. I squealed at every turn, getting plenty of thrills gliding higher than the J.W. Marriott hotel, and close to the Larcomar strip, waving at pedestrians, getting a bird’s eye view of the city and the cliffs and the waves, and too soon the flight came to an end. All done in a space of 30 minutes.

Paragliding

Paragliding

Paragliding at Miraflores

Paragliding at Miraflores

Paragliding

Paragliding