Published: June 21st 2012June 21st 2012
As I start my journey down the Malecon, a long stretch of path, parks and cafes that overlooks the ocean below, I cannot help but notice the peace and tranquility of my surroundings. I walk past the greenery surrounding a local cafe while usually for the most past not paying attention to my surroundings and looking over at the ocean below as the numerous surfers paddle out. Today, a more overcast day than usual, there are a great number of surfers out in the waves and even more people trying to sell surfing lessons on the beach, which is a common add on for Peru tours
On a whim, I decide to walk down to the beach, not knowing it was quite a trek, but about ten minutes later, after descending numerous stairs, following the road below the Malecon, and crossing the two wooden, creaky, and unstable bridges, I came upon the beach. Immediately as I walked down I was waved over by a man named Roberto. I tested how understandable my Spanish was and attempted to talk back to him. It worked and we struck a decent conversation until, like all of the other people lining the beach, he
tried to sell me surfing lessons. Although partial to him after our conversation, I had no money and the weather would have made for a freezing surfing experience, so I kindly said no and continued walking. After a ten-minute walk down the beach I decided to turn around and head back up to the Malecon, walking back across the rocky beach and trying to avoid any more sales encounters.
Once I reached the top again, I continued walk farther away from my temporary home, and fell upon the numerous and beautiful parks that followed the Malecon along it's winding cliff top path.
My favorite of the parks was El Parquet del Amor, and along with a large ceramic statue of two, let's just say very passionate, people kissing, the park also had the overlooking view of the ocean and the elegant greenery scattered throughout the area. It even had the architectural touch that I enjoyed so much about bigger parks in Miraflores: the stone carved seating areas that, in this case, made a large semi-circle around the large statue in the middle. The way the park is structured, it has a dirt pathway along the outer perimeter of these seats, and then a few feet farther away was a stone bench that looked over the ocean, but also wove itself around the entire perimeter of the park. This bench was beautifully crafted and as a backing it had a pristine white collage style that was brought to life by many colorful figures and sayings engraved into the bench by numerous tiles. The natural elegance of the park was astounding and before I knew it I had been relaxing on the bench and looking out at the ocean for over an hour.
Continuing my walk led me around two other parks as well as a launching spot for the hang gliders that scattered the air. Even in this over cast day they were out and about just as the surfers.
I made the decision to turn and head back once I reached another park, and although there was much more to see, I had reached the end of the Miraflores district and traveled about a half an hour away from where I started. Starting back, I couldn't help to notice that I had been through four parks, and they were all different. The first one I saw on my trip back had a lighthouse and a dog park, the second had a group of teens playing music on the lawn and hang gliders launching all around me off the cliffs, only to rise again but even higher, the third was El Parquet del Amor with it's colorful tiling and eccentric statue on a pedestal in the middle of the park, and the fourth simply had large stone structures, some benches, and a cafe.
Venturing back took all of twenty minutes, and while I walked I could not help but further enjoy the majestic scenery and calming music of the crashing waves below that seemed to overtake even the louder of the cars passing by me. It is a different experience than trekking on Inca Trail tours
, but definitly a good way to see the modern size of Peru.