Thursday, September 6, 2012

Journey of a Lifetime ( Part 12 ) - Last day in Lima

After experiencing altitude sickness and breathing problems almost everyday, I was so happy to be back in Lima. Everything has gone back to normal once more. We stayed at our first hotel when we arrived in Peru,  Hotel Antigua Miraflores. Jesus posted our schedule at the hotel lobby which read -- " farewell dinner given by tour company -- departure 7:00pm ". 

This was our last day here in Peru.. Lulu and I wanted to see Larcomar. From the information we got at our hotel, Larcomar was a 20 minute walk from our hotel. Walking along the coast we got to watch some surfers catching continuous waves, paragliders shadowing over and around the buildings lining the path and locals doing workouts whether it be cycling, outdoor gyms, running, rollerblading or climbing steps. The parks along the route were immaculate and lots of people just lay about reading or writing notes.

Upon arriving at Larcomar I was impressed!! It was an ultra-modern shopping/restaurant complex perched on the cliffs high above the ocean in the Miraflores district where we stayed.

On the first level, as you go down the stairs, you will see several shops and restaurants. Among others, there is a STARBUCKS where you can get your usual espresso, latte, etc. There are other shops and restaurants on the second level down, accessible by normal staircases or escalators.

On our way back to our hotel, we passed by El Parco del Amor ( Love Park ). Miraflores is considered one of the most exclusive districts in Lima. There are luxurios hotels, pubs, discos, restaurant and places of entertainment. Although this disctrict is not only attractive for its buildings but also for its beautiful parks and gardens. El Parco del Amor is located on the cliffs of Miraflores overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  It’s a place dedicated to all lovers and offers a stunning view over the bay of Lima.

This statue was made by Victor Delfin. It is the most impressive sculpture of Love Park and it describes two lovers in a passionate kiss. It’s normal during the day and night see couples here, kissing or snuggled close together.

That evening, our group together with Jesus and Mauricio went to El Senorio de Sulco restaurant an authentic Peruvian restaurant located in the Miraflores district overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I’ll confess. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Peruvian cuisine, although I had heard it was good and gaining global attention. I wasn’t just impressed. I was WOWed.

During our few days in the Peruvian capital, we visited a good variety of restaurants in Peru and did not have one meal that I didn’t enjoy. Some wowed me more than others, but all were all creative, enticing and satisfying.

Here was what I had:

Chupe de Langostinos - It is something like our sopa de mariscos. This was really good! A traditional Peruvian soup made with shrimp, potatoes, cheese, milk and eggs. This hearty, filling soup is a meal all in itself.

Saltadito de champignones y hongos portobello - It is a vegetarian dish made of sauteed Portobello mushrooms served with yellow potatoes with rice.

Picarones -  These look like thin doughnuts (with a biggish hole in the center) that are not perfectly round. They are a type of pumpkin fritters which are normally served with syrup on top. It is sweet, but not overly so, and it is a filling dessert.

I had my first taste of Pisco Sour -

After dinner Jesus took us to Barranco  - According to Jesus, Barranco is considered to be the city's most romantic and bohemian, being the home and working place of many of Peru's leading artists, musicians, designers and photographers.

The church of Barranco at the main square.

The Bridge of Sighs -  The walkway was bordered on both sides by grand houses. According to Jesus, there was a legend about this bridge. There was a wealthy man's daughter living in one of these grand houses fell in love with a lowly street sweeper. Her father forbade the union, and she lived out her days as a spinster, waiting at her window for a glimpse of her beloved. If you walked across this bridge -- you could hear her sighs.

The monument  honoring Chabuca Granda, the most important singer/composer in Peru.

I personally loved the houses, the colors and the activity in Barranco. The crowd seems young and vivacious. A definite must see at night!

( courtesy of Lulu Kamatoy )

My entire trip to Peru was an experience that I will never forget. I enjoyed Machu Picchu, Moray, Uros Floating Islands and the many optional tours I took throughout the countryside. I came back with more knowledge about the beautiful country ... Thank you for making the dream come true. Peru is definitely a trip of a lifetime !!

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