Lima had a good feel to it as soon as we arrived and it proved to be our favourite city since Medellín.
We stayed at a quiet guesthouse called Casa Hualpa B&B, on the quiet side of Miraflores, an upmarket district popular with backpackers, along with neighbouring Barranco.
We were starving when we arrived, so we dumped our bags and heading straight out. We stumbled across a right posh supermarket, somewhere between a Waitrose and a Whole Foods, and bought a big roast chicken, salad and bread. We would later discover that eating out in Lima was a highlight, especially after the mainly fried fare on offer in Colombia.
Lima is a massive city of around 10 million people – about a third of Peru’s population.Lima felt like a big city and each district we came across had a unique feel. One thing that didn’t change was the eerie grey sky that hangs above Lima for much of the year, with just a few months of clear skies and sunshine.
One of the highlights of our time in Lima was the Free Walking Tour. We met in the morning close by to where we were staying in Miraflores and had a free craft beer in a local (expensive) bar, before jumping on bus for 20min to downtown Lima.
In town, we watched the changing of the guard at the president’s house in the main square or Plaza Aramas. It was a bit like being back in London for 15mins.
After we were taught about some of the most important buildings and landmarks in the city centre, before getting the chance to try Peru’s most famous drink, pisco; straight, a caramel flavoured variant, a passion fruit version, and a pisco sour. Not bad for free, though of course you tip at the end.
As Ashleigh’s best footwear for hiking the Inc Trail was a pair of worn out Nikes, we spent a chunk of time trawling Lima’s shoe shops for a pair of cheap walking boots. She found a pair for about £20 which would end up doing her proud.
We were a little surprised to find that Lima, and Peru in general, is more expensive than Colombia, especially for eating out. One of the highlights of Lima, however, was a delicious meal at the market (Mercado) in Miraflores. For 20 soles (about five quid) we shared a big plate of ceviche and a seafood rice or ‘mariscos’ as it’s known. The ceviche was especially good, served, as always in Peru, with dried corn kernels, sweet potato and chili, washed down with a nice bottle of Cusqueńa lager. I drank that stuff in posh hotels and bars in London, so it was nice to be able to get a bottle for £1.
One regret was not having a big night out in Lima, but we did have a few drinks in Miraflores one night. We also had a crap pizza on a street known as Calle de las Pizzas – best to avoid that street as despite being pizza street it’s just rubbish and so overpriced!
One random thing about Miraflores; at night the small park Parque Kennedy is closed to humans but absolutely full of cats, dozens and dozens of them cosying up on the grass or munching on the food left out for them. Makes for a weird image. I’m more of a dog man though, so didn’t spend too much time gawping.
After 4 nights in Lima, we jumped on a bus to Paracas, about four hours down the coast.