Today was my free day in Lima. I started the day by walking towards the Oval of Miraflores. There was nothing significant about the area except that it was where the bus stop was to go to downtown Lima. Prior to heading back to downtown, I decided to stop by the market that one of the hotel’s receptionist told me about thinking I might be able to find my mum’s magnet but to my surprise, it was mostly fresh meat and produce. It was an interesting experience to say the least. It was apparent that the majority of the shoppers here are locals. Shoppers almost always knew the names of the vendors.
I headed back towards the Oval and queued at the bus stop where I met two gals from the UK. It was refreshing to hear English being spoken. The whole journey took almost half an hour because of the frequent stops and traffic. In between, I saw sales pitches and singing inside the bus. Not knowing exactly where to get off, I missed my stop. The gals I met earlier did the same and we ended up getting off in one of the city’s oldest and poorest areas. It was a bit uncomfortable, but somehow it felt more like the real Lima there than anywhere else I had been so far. Anyway, we just walked back towards the main avenue, keeping a close eye on our belongings, and headed towards Plaza de Armas.
It was a holiday in Lima and a weekend to boot. The streets were crowded with shoppers and church goers especially in downtown where there was a multitude of shopping centers and churches. Once we reached Plaza de Armas, the girls and I parted ways. I walked south towards Plaza San Martin, a square dedicated Peru’s liberator, Jose de San Martin, and took some pictures before walking back towards the bus stop.
That afternoon, after a brief stop at the hotel to rest, I headed towards the seaside parks, fully intending to see the ocean and hear the waves before I leave the city. The weather turned cloudy so the views weren’t as great, but it was still a good experience nonetheless. The city of Lima sits atop cliffs that drop anywhere from 100 to 150 feet above the Pacific, resulting in some pretty spectacular views.
Dinner was at a traditional Peruvian parilla. The restaurant had a nice ambiance and the food was good though it wasn’t what I expected. I would have loved to try a traditional Peruvian cuisine rather than just breaded chicken.
Tomorrow, I leave for the Sacred Valley. Can’t wait!