The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.Shirley MacLaine
Jan 6-10 2017
Our next destination was Lima, Peru. It would be just a quick four-day visit as it was the cheapest city to depart South America from at the time. It ended up being just enough time to take in some of the sites and get a taste for the Peruvian culture (we plan to go back to visit the rest of the country during our next South American leg, to include Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia).
We arrived just after midnight and caught a taxi for our first hotel stay of the trip, which made sense since we were getting in so late, making an AirBnb check-in difficult. The hotel was in the Miraflores neighborhood, a pretty modern area of the city and a major shopping and entertainment district. After getting a good night’s rest we woke up and checked out the beautiful Parque Kennedy, full of well-manicured lawns and floral displays- including several dozen cats which are all well taken care of and an attraction in itself.
We then caught the city metro bus into Centro to check out the main squares of Lima and the San Francisco Monastery. We took a tour of the beautiful monastery and also toured the catacombs beneath, the final resting place of over 25,000 of Lima’s earliest residents.
It was then time to head to the bohemian Barranco neighborhood, where we would check into our AirBnb to spend the next few nights. Since it was Saturday we decided to visit some of the neighborhood bars and have some drinks. While not a very large area, it was quaint and a safe place to stay.
The next day we began walking through Barranco back towards Miraflores, stopping at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) along the way. It was a small, but modern museum, at the time displaying work by the famous art critic, Juan Acha.
Following the museum and lunch we visited the Huaca Pucllana pyramid, predating the Inca’s and built by the Lima people around 500 AD. It was a pretty fascinating site where we learned about the construction, purpose, and sacrifices made during the time. After the pyramid we headed for the coastline and walked along the boardwalk, a chain of parks, as we watched the sunset over the pacific. The highlight was coming across a pair of skateboarding bulldogs!
Next, as dusk was approaching, we headed back towards the city center to Parque de la Reserva, the home of the Magic Water Circuit, a collection of 12 fountains and water features that you can interact with, full of light and sound, including the main fountain which consisted of a laser and light extravaganza taking place a few times each night (Wed-Sun). It definitely gave the show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas a run for its money, while the park as a whole was certainly unique and unlike and other park we’ve been to.
Our last day in Lima, Maggie spent the majority of the day working while I strolled around the Barranco waterfront, then back downtown, browsing the various bookstores, hanging out in the plazas, and venturing around the hectic Barrio Chino, Lima’s Chinatown. In the evening we met up and had one last meal before we called it a night, bringing out first leg of our RTW trip to a close. The next morning, we would be leaving South America, Maggie heading back to the Bay Area to check in with her work and visit her family for a couple of weeks, while I was heading to Mexico City to spend a week, before meeting up again in Oakland and continuing on to Asia together.