Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Three days in Lima…

…three sunless, cold, damp dreary days in Lima. We always enjoy our visits to Lima. There is so much to see and do there, but our previous visits have always been in pleasant weather. The weather this time was not so pleasant – in fact it was just plain disagreeable. We were cold both outdoors and inside. In our apartment we watched television at night covered with a blanket. Even the normally interesting view from the apartment was a bit depressing. In bright sunlight Lima has the look of a vibrant, modern big city. Seen through a cold drizzle, the row after row of pasty grey-white condos and office buildings take on a brooding, forlorn, ‘abandon all hope ye who enter here’ appearance. In addition to the weather, things just generally didn’t seem to work out for us this time around.

There were highlights – there always are. One of them was having dinner with our friends Sonia and her husband at the La Carreta restaurant on the first full day or our arrival. They had promised that I would finally find a steak to rival those I missed from the States, and they were right. Smothered in sautéed mushrooms and onions, I savored every bite. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Lima. Check out their web page if you’d like.

Regrettably we won’t be having dinner with these folks any time in the near future. Soon they will be leaving the country; for a while at least. In Sonia and her husband Peru is losing a class act.

Given the weather it seemed the smart thing to do for our remaining two days was indoor activities, so Monday we rode a combi to Museo del ejercito “Real Felipe” – which was an 18th century fort and is now a museum. Unfortunately for us we discovered the museum is closed on Mondays. But not to worry…the Naval Museum is only three blocks away so we took the five minute walk to find the museum is…closed on Mondays. We ate a so-so lunch at a nearby so-so restaurant and went back to the apartment to regroup. The best we could come up with was walking around the Larcomar shopping center and taking in a movie – The Prince of Persia. Brian liked it; Maribel thought it was okay. I enjoyed the popcorn while wondering how a fine actor like Ben Kingsley could have fallen to such depths.

The next day the zipper on my jacket broke. Not wanting to have it constantly flapping in the wind, I pinned it in several strategic places, which made for a fun activity every time I needed to take it off and put it on. Not to mention that I was sure everyone on the streets was looking at me and whispering nasty comments to their companions about the gringo nerd.

Another highlight was visiting Maribel’s old apartment. She had lived and worked in Lima for many years, leaving for Chiclayo some 18 years ago. She enjoyed seeing her old neighborhood again. Call it coincidence if you will, but I think some other power was at work when a contractor working on the building showed up as we were leaving and invited us in to look around.

On the final day of our visit we visited Barranco; a suburb of Lima. It’s well worth seeing, though it’s not a place that words and one or two photos can describe. Sections of it have a definite bohemian look and feel, which makes me think it really comes alive at night.

There’s a little electricity museum that was surprisingly informative and entertaining. We even had the pleasure of depositing one ‘sol’ in an old Wurlitzer juke box and listening to the Beetles ‘Strawberry Fields’ on a scratchy old 45rpm.

Now we’re back in Chiclayo, and as I type this the sun is shining, the patio door is open and a warm breeze is circulating through the apartment. It feels good to be home.



  1. Dude. :(

    Next time you come to Lima, let me know! I'd love to get together sometime.

    Also, if you ever make it back to the Real Felipe, there's a restaurant just a couple blocks down from it, called La Terraza that has the most excellent sea food. They also make a lomo saltado from 'lomo fino' that is melt in your mouth delicious.

    And for heaven's sake - get your jacket fixed! ;)

  2. Sorry Kelly – this trip was not one of my better efforts. As an example, I obviously did no research or would have known the museums were closed on Mondays. I also misfired on seeing some other good friends in Lima. Next trip I promise to get my act together.

    The good news is my jacket zipper is fixed. :)


  3. Pity you didn't bring much of that Chiclayo sun with you!