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Livin' La Vida Lima

A week in Peru’s capital starring Mum and Dad

sunny 20 °C

A few months ago Mum and Dad decided they’d had enough of reading about our adventures and decided they’d come join us in Peru to share in the fun. So, in the wee hours of April 4th the two of them met us in a swish little apartment in Peru’s capital, Lima. I’d chosen to stay in the area of Miraflores, which almost gave Brayden and I a sense of reverse culture shock. Parts of it were so posh and perfect it almost seemed like a movie set.

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— The coastal city of Lima is home to almost 9 million people. It's actually the world's largest desert city after Cairo.

The first morning together was spent catching up on news from back home and hearing about Mum and Dad’s previous two weeks in Argentina and Brazil. Miraflores boasts the most spectacular walkway along the cliff tops, complete with manicured gardens and an uninterrupted view of the Pacific Ocean. Along the path is the most impressive shopping complex built right into the cliffs and the stunning Parque del Amor (park of love).

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— Reunited after 10 months away.

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— A walk along the Malecon leads to the very romantic Parque del Amor.

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— Taking in the amazing view.

The colonial centre of Lima is not to be missed. By now Brayden and I have seen so many beautiful squares rich in old Spanish architecture, but Lima’s Plaza de Armas still managed to excite. It has the lovely Lima Cathedral, the imposing Government Palace and several buildings painted a very happy shade of yellow. We caught the midday changing of the guard at the Government Palace. It was quite the spectacle, complete with a marching band and dozens of soldiers in exquisite uniforms yielding sparkling swords and bayonets.

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— The Government Palace before the fanfare. This is where Peru's president gets down to business.

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— The changing of the guard takes place everyday at 12pm.

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— Every man and his beanie wearing dog was there!

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— Mum and Dad and the joyful Plaza de Armas.

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— The Cathedral of Lima

Around the corner from the plaza, you’ll find the very interesting Monastery of San Francisco. A guided tour leads you around the 300 (+) year old complex including the huge library with centuries old texts and the spooky underground catacombs chock full of old human bones. Experts believe more than 70 thousand burials took place these underground cemeteries. Creeping around, breathing in the stale air and witnessing the thousands of skulls and bones arranged in spirals makes for one very chilling experience!

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— Monastery of San Francisco

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— Some of the bones belong to 70,000 people....creepy.

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— Also around the corner from Plaza de Armas are the foundations of this house built in the 1600s!

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The four of us had some great nights out. Brayden and I experienced our best meal since leaving home when Mum and Dad took us to a fancy restaurant specialising in traditional Peruvian food with a modern twist. I had read Lima is one of the culinary capitals of South America and had high expectations but boy were we impressed. We feasted on delicious seafood including ceviche and seared swordfish. And check out this appetizer – a take on Peruvian causa, a dish made from seasoned mashed potato. It was such a work of art it seemed a shame to eat it. Nevertheless, after a brief pause to take a photo we dived in, leaving no crumbs behind.

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— Our entre at restaurant Pampa de Amancaes. Lima is considered the gastronomic capital of South America.

We also had a top night at the Circuito Magico del Agua – a park featuring about a dozen fountains making it the world’s largest fountain complex! Each fountain has its own quirk. There are some that produce optical illusions and others that are accompanied by music or illuminated with lights and lasers. Mine and Dad’s favourite was an interactive one. The objective: to get to the centre without looking like a drowned rat. In true champion fashion we escaped with just a few drops.

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— My favourite fountain. Entrance to The Magic Water Circuit is only about $2.

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— We made it! In the centre and not a drop on us.

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Museo Larco was a fabulous place to visit. This museum is in an old mansion and is set out like a beautiful art gallery. It features all kinds of pre-Columbian treasures including thousands upon thousands of pots. Don’t miss the collection of erotic pots! In these rooms you’ll learn everything you could ever want to know about the sexual practices of the ancient Peruvians. Hmmm…

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— The Larco Museum.

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— A child mummy!

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— Thousands of centuries old pots in storage.

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— A relatively G rated pot in the erotic pottery exhibition.

We also enjoyed a stroll to the super stylish and arty neighbourhood of Barranco which neighbours Miraflores. It was nice to see it in the sunshine but we’re told the night is when Barranco shines.

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— Barranco, once home to the country's best writers and intellectuals.

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On our last morning Dad and took a bike ride along the coastal cliffs. The bicycle path is five star and despite Lima’s characteristic fog cancelling our sea views, it was still a top ride. Rollerscaters, bladers, scateboarders, segue riders, tandem bikers – you’ll see them all whizzing past calling out hola! on a Sunday morning - the atmosphere is great.

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— The bike path goes for something like 20 kilometres.

After five great days with my parents we had to say our goodbyes. Bray and I handed in the keys to our swish little apartment and like two Cinderellas home from the ball, checked into a basic backpacker hostel nearby.

Thankfully we’ll be seeing Mum and Dad again in Cuzco in just over a week. In the meantime they’ll be going down south with their tour group and we’ll be preparing for next week’s 4-day Inca trail.

Stay posted.

Posted by elyshahickey 18:42 Archived in Peru Tagged museums culture history peru colonial bike_riding

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At last we're in the picture with lysh and brayden. Eat your hearts out everyone! What great memories...

by robert hickey

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