Last stop: Lima, the Grey

We spent the last four days of our trip in Lima. We took a tiny plane from Andahuaylas (40 seats, 7 occupied) and it was probably one of the most spectacular flights we have ever been on! Snowcaped mountains, rivers, hills in all colors ofcthe rainbow… absolutely breathtaking! We were changing seats every five minutes to get the view down both sides of the plane. 

For Lima, we somehow expected sunshine, surfers, and bikinis, but learned pretty fast that the city is called “Lima, the grey” for a reason. In the dry period the sky is usually covered in thick clouds. So when we got close with our plane, we lost all sense of direction flying in this thick greyness that surrounds the city. 

On most days, we got some minutes and sometimes even hours of sunshine when the sun managed to break through the grey clouds. The first day, we just walked around Miraflores, the part of the city where most tourists chose to stay. Lima is really modern compared to the rest of the cities we have visited in Peru. Every  quarter has it’s own personality and it was a lot of fun to visit different areas and see the differences in architecture, people’s clothes, and atmosphere. 

We started our second day with a FREE WALKING TOUR. It started in Miraflores but was actually about the downtown Lima, which meant that all 38 people that joined the tour had to travel in two different busses to get there. It took us quite long and I imagine it to be much easier to just meet up directly in the old town. 

The tour itself was quite nice! Informative, entertaining, not too long, and with lots of free trials! We tasted some Peruvian coffee, craft beer, and three types of Pisco, which is the national liquor here in Peru. As always, the tour gave us some information about what else to see in Lima as well as the confidence to move around by ourselves. We can only recommend to take a little tour like that early after arriving in a new place! 

After the tour, we had lunch in China Town (very unexpected to find that in Lima) and then strolled through several market mazes that are scattered all over the city. In the evening, we went to the Parque de la Reserva to see the Circuito Magico de las Aguas. It’s basically lots of illuminated fountains but it’s really nicely done. In the evenings, there are three light shows (19:15, 20:15, and 21:30) which are nice but we liked walking around the park ourselves better. That might be due to the fact that during the show there was a little boy with a gigantic laser sword (featuring a real laser pointer) standing next to us, commenting very loudly everything he could see. He was basically a live commentator shouting out things like: “Lights! Dance! I like to dance! Bird! Laser! Lights! Lights! Lights!”. It was super cute but also very distracting… I was kind of scared being hit by his overly excited laser sword. 

On our third day, we wanted to visit a museum that’s highly recommended. But when we read that it’s mostly about ceramics our motivation decreased immensely. So instead, we found a hairdresser and I got my hair cut. About time! She was very nice and talked to me in a way that I managed to understand about 45 % (?) of what she said. She praised my Spanish but I think it was only to motivate me to study a little harder! 

Afterwards, we went for a stroll to the sea side and then to the neighborhood Barranco, which is very charming! Lots of colorful houses, cute cafés and stylish restaurant! And really close to the sea! We went to a place called Barra Mar (our dear friend Nicole recommended lunch here!) and ate some Cervice, a dish made with raw or shortly cooked fish. It was really good, although quite spicy! Afterwards, we had desert and coffee in a cute french bakery called La Panetteria Barranco. They make the breads and cakes in the back of the café so the whole place smelled sooo delicious! 

We walked back along the beach and spotted a small pelican and lots of gigantic crabs. There were quite some surfers in the water and surf schools offer lessons on Playa Makaha and Waikiki. We just lay down lazily on the pebbles and watched the surfers competing for the best waves. 

There are not only tons of surfers, there are also millions of skateboarders. Most of them hang out in front of the shopping center Larcomar to practice their tricks, flips, and jumps. They organize small competitions such as stacking up several boards and trying to jump over them. Pretty cool to watch! 

We spent the evening looking for souvenirs for my family (Cléments family had been covered by his parents), cursing because everything seemed a lot more expensive than in Bolivia and Cusco. As most of the stuff is probably made in Bolivia anyway, we really haggled about prices, with reasonable success. In the end, we got what we wanted! 

On our last day, we went to a small market in Surquillo and bought a football jersey for my nephew and two tshirts for Clément. The seller tried to convince us that a tshirt in size L is more expensive than a tshirt in size M because its bigger and needs more fabric. 25 instead of 20 soles! We argued with her and tried to bargain to get a better price for all three pieces but she was like the iron lady. In the end, we payed the price she asked for… We really wanted the tshirts! And we were really hungry! 

Then, during our last lunch in Lima, we received a message from Cléments brother asking if we could buy him a football jersey of the national team if Peru. Shame on me, as I talked Clément out of it when he wanted to by one from that lady art he market! By then, we had about 25 minutes left to get back to the hostel to catch the bus to the airport. So of course, Clément ran back to the market to get the jersey! 

Then off to the airport! We spent our last 13 soles on ingredients for Pisco Sour before we boarded the plane at 8 pm. The 12 hours that it took us to get to Amsterdam just flew by. No surprise as I slept for about seven hours! And before we knew it we were in Frankfurt hugging my family who came to pick us up from the airport! With a balloon