Last stop! Lima, Peru. We just had two-and-a-half days to see the capital city of Peru. Caught a morning bus from Paracas to Lima, arrived mid-day. Our hostel turned out to be incredibly beautiful, a huge old colonial house in the fancy Miraflores neighborhood. We were so lucky to find such a cheap, beautiful old place!!
The neighborhood of Miraflores is pretty fancy and international, a world away from Camana or Cabanaconde. We were near a beautiful park, lots of fancy looking private schools and homes in old colonial buildings, some big stores like Falabela and Plaza Vea, some interesting art galleries and cultural centers.
I think at this point in our journey we were simultaneously trying to enjoy our last days of traveling and freedom, and also looking forward to our imminent move with tons of excitement and anxiety and muchas ganas de hacerlo, YA! (that is, a great desire to get this thing done already!) We had some beautiful walks around the neighborhood and passed some nice afternoons writing postcards over coffee, reading and working quietly in cafes, shopping in artesan markets and eating DELICIOUS foods. Miraflores has lots of good food to offer! We had sushi, yakitori, snails, green tea ice cream and other delights at a Japanese place near our hostel one night. Saturday we ventured into downtown Lima, which was a kind of long cab ride, we had to take the highway. It’s a whole different onda in the center, more old and colonial, much more gritty and crowded and busy. We visited the famous Chinatown, got some delicious street food (sticky buns with pork & cabbage inside, fried rolls and crunchy things) and tasty cans of lychee juice. Visited the huge Mercado Municipal nearby. Had to wait for the restaurants to open for lunch so we wasted twenty minutes and a few quarters on the slot machines at the casino on the main peatonal in Chinatown. It was the day before Chinese New Year, so the barrio was really busy and festive and we got to see a parade with lots of loud drums and dragons passing by.
A few weeks have passed now that I’m writing this… my favorite memories of Lima are that beautiful hostel, walks around Miraflores on sidewalks shaded by huge trees, admiring the colonial mansions… eating a donut and drinking lots of iced teas (both are rare delicacies for an Estadounidense in South America!)… generally trying to take it easy for a few short days after a long series of adventures! … and lots of conversations with Mike about the end of our South American exploits and how soon we’d be moving back to Maine, what we expected and hoped for in our new lives, nervousness about the big move, hopes and dreams! Big stuff.