Published: March 12th 2007March 10th 2007
Allyu - Ooh
Our excellent guesthouse, the Allyu in Miraflores.
Before we came to Lima, we had been in two minds about whether to actually stay here. We had read lots of blogs from people who have visited Peru's capital city and had a terrible time, mostly at the hands of the many muggers who prey on unsuspecting tourists. It was with extreme trepidation that we decided to spend some time in Lima but we agreed from the outset not to take any chances. Alas that has meant we haven't had quite the adventurous time of it we would have liked but like the saying goes, better safe than sorry.
We've been out and about in Miraflores, the safe district in which we are staying. It's provided us with a snapshot of the affluent Peruvian lifestyle although I'm not sure I would want to live here. Police and private security guards patrol the region making you feel both safe and secure yet simulatneously on edge as you consider the reason why they're to be seen on virtually every street corner. Nevertheless, we've explored the centre of Miraflores a few times with its laid back park, funky Inca market full of cool Peruvian souvenirs (even though most stands sell the same
An unusual church, a random statue and a supermarket ballon. And Glynn, of course.
things) and the usual suspects of western shops and eateries - they even have a TGI Friday's here although it's megabucks compared to local restaurant prices and not a bite of veggie food on the menu.
Miraflores is also situated right on the sea front with a lovely 'Park of Love' nestled close to the imposing blue and white lighthouse that looks more like a token gesture than anything of practical use. The love park is so named because of a huge clay statue of a pair of lovers locked in a passionate embrace and all around its base is a beautifully crafted mosiac-encrusted seating area, perfect for a good place to smooch with your loved one! The elevated land at the edge of the park and indeed at the entire edge of Miraflores drops suddenly into an steep and rather precarious looking set of cliffs that are easily 200 metres high. At the bottom is a road and past the road is a small strip of rough looking beach. From the clifftops it was impossible to not be shocked at the polluted state of the water as it churned in all its brownness against the rough shingle shore.
Bridge of Highs
A transparent bridge linking two parts of Miraflores. As you will soon see, this is as exciting as it gets here!
Dirty white froth floated ominously on the ocean's surface and you couldn't help but wonder at all the crazy surfers and bodyboarders vying to catch a grimy wave or two. Yuk - not my kind of beach I'm afraid.
There's a brand new shopping mall in Miraflores called the Larcomar built right into the cliffs. The shops themselves are nothing to write home about although there is an official Hello Kitty shop there, so I was happily preoccupied for an hour or so :-) What amazed us most though was that recent landslips were evident all along the bank of cliffs and no effort seemed to have been made to strengthen the rock face. In fact, it simply looked as if the cliffs had been hacked away to make way for the road, the park and the shopping mall and one heavy rainfall could be disasterous.
Thankfully the food here in Lima has been better than in Chile. We've eaten out at Govinda's, a Hare Krishna run vegetarian restaurant which is both cheap and delicious but mostly we've picked our dinner up at the Vivanda supermarket deli counter which does the best Spanish omlettes amongst other tatsy and
Back in Black
Jude and the fume-rich Miraflores skyline.
unusual stuff like deep fried yuka plant. Our room at the Allyu B&B has been so comfortable that we've been happy to eat in and chill out with some cable tv although there's not too much choice of English language stuff and I don't think I can take another episode of CSI!!
We did have a nice day out in Central Lima as well, details of which will be revealed in the next thrilling blog. Hasta luego amigos!
There are more photos below