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Published: September 6th 2019
For the last full day of our holiday, we decided to wander around Barranco, the funkiest and most attractive part of Lima we have found. Like St Kilda, it was once a seaside resort when the city was contained in what is now the centre, buy today its old buildings have been converted into restaurants, bars and galleries and in the streets are filled with street art, bougainvillea and bohemian young people. There are several small museums and galleries. We visited MATE, the gallery of photographer Mario Testino. He is best known for his glamorous celebrity shoots and fashion photography, including the last portraits of Princess Diana, and those works are certainly impressive. But our favourites were his stylised colourful images of traditional Andean costume - which makes anything b the modern fashion world invents seen full in comparison.
We also enjoyed Museo Pedro de Osma, a lavish neo-Colonial mansion exquisitely restored and packed with colonial religious art. Most interesting is the work of the Cusco school, which fused Inca imagery with Catholic in an effort to win over the natives. Think the Virgin Mary, shaped like a mountain with a spiky halo that looks suspiciously like an Inca sun and a dress heavily embroidered with Andean designs. Or a portrait of a little girl spinning Andean -style which has been recast as the Virgin Mary as a child.
The fusion theme extended into lunch. We ate at a Japanese restaurant which gave a Peruvian take to some of the cuisine: fried rice with plantains and a Bento Box which included a sweet potato, avocado and chicken stack which is typically Peruvian. Not something one would see in an Australian Japanese restaurant, let alone in Japan.
We caught up with Perla again for coffee at another funky Lima joint - the only place in the city with decent bread apparently - and finished our evening with hot chocolate and churros because it seemed inappropriate to leave Peru without at least one indulgence in the national treat.
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