Nine million people? Who knew. Lima is a surfer’s paradise, to the extent that it receives an honorable mention in Surfin’ Safari. Geographically it resembles the bluffs of LA where they meet the ocean around Palisades Park. It is the only city that we’ve ever visited located abutting an ocean that has literally zero rainfall. We’ve had worse weather in San Diego and as we all know it never rains in Southern California. Two nights were scheduled for Lima; we checked into the Miraflores Andina Private Collection Hotel. As Lori pointed out, the hotel sounds like it should be situated in the garment district. Lovely place, and for once getting hear was not an ordeal. Smooth sailing.
|Lori’s welcoming committee|
One of the girls who was charged with looking after us during our Cusco stay, Amelia, was a Liman. She had recommended this cool club in the Barranca district,
Lima’s bohemian answer to Plateau or Mile End, to have a few drinks and some yum food. It was called Ayahuasca which is also the name of this hallucinatory potion prepared and administered by Peruvian shamans. Aside from cleansing out the system through multiple rounds of vomiting and diarrhea (just the sort of thing I’d be interested in experiencing while attaining an otherworldly consciousness) it apparently puts one in touch with the soul. But as any veteran psychedelic traveler knows, heaven is in your mind. Still sounds like it may be worth a shot, though. The club is located in a magnificent former home with two staircases framing the main entrance and possibly a third one going nowhere at all.
The place was like a combo of Night Magic and Bijou for those of you Montrealers old enough to relate. We found a cushioned seat on the terrace and I did my best to engage in cultural exchange with those seated next to us. A few Pisco Sours later and we were all having a grand old time, especially me.
Make no bones about it, Lima is certainly a city worth visiting.
A tour of the city followed the next morning where we saw Lovers Park featuring a local sculpture
and mosaic walls that were an obvious tribute to Gaudi.
A visit to the local cathedral was next on the agenda, featuring the usual opulence and perverse values.
It seems that which ever church we visit, this annoying kid and his parents are always hanging out there too. Every church, every city. It’s gotten downright creepy.
Eventually I lost it, turned around and yelled -“Jesus Christ, will you leave us alone?!” He answered – “Once you put it that way…” and we haven’t seen them since.
A large mural featuring St. John the Baptist in less than his happiest moment is predominant.
I explained to the missus the origin of ‘Bring me his Head on a Platter’ with plenty of visual teaching aids to accompany the lecture.
The architecture in Lima is a huge mix.
The plethora of influences include
There a a multitude of town squares featuring baroque architecture and contemporary styles.
The mix works and various elements have been used to brighten up a city that suffers from a grey overcast pall much of the time. The government has helped in a program to allow the locals to obtain paint and paint their homes an assortment of bright pastel tones.
We wandered the streets to a bit killing some time until a scheduled 4:00 tea with two Canadian government ex-pats arrived. David and Bernadette were referred to us through Michelle, of of the women that Lori has come to know through her TMR art group, TRAM. We sat in a long standing meeting spot in the Miraflores Ovale and as the case when travelers get together, conversation flowed.
They were a delightful couple full of adventure and experience and before we knew it a few hours had passed. I had a local desert which translates as the Breath of Lima.The timing was apt since earlier in the afternoon, we crossed the Bridge of Sighs in Barranco. Legend has it that if you hold your breath while crossing the bridge all your wishes will come true. Apparently Lima can leave you breathless.
Dinner was at a resto situated 3 minutes from the hotel. It was called Astrid y Gaston.
If you ever have a weekend to kill, it’s worth flying to Lima for dinner. Without question, one of the finest meals we have had the pleasure to ingest. Presentation, staff attention, decor, taste, selection, wine list, all 10’s.
Lori wanted a picture of the open kitchen. Upon her request she was ushered in and met the main chef. The owners are expanding and pesently have 5 or so brands, including one that will be opening soon in NY. If you don’t have enough time to get to Peru, look up the American branch and go. If they carry it off with the same level of aplomb, your taste buds will never be the same.We rolled back to the hotel stuffed like Strasbourg geese and crawled into bed, ready for yet another early wake up call for Paracas, where we are presently holed up in our last resort near the Nazca lines. More on this tomorrow.