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Published: January 28th 2018
The Colourful Cliffs
Lima has beautiful cliffs overlooking the ocean. Much of it has beautiful greenery and flowers decorating them.
For the third year in a row, my friend and I headed down to Latin America for our annual City Tour. This year it would be Lima. We had heard great things about the food scene here, while we were in Bogota two years ago. As well, it was as far south as I could get to in one day without an overnight.
As I started to plan this trip, the one thing that did stick out was how consistent the weather is at this time of year. Nearly every day was identical with the temperature not varying more than a degree or two. What rain we did have was more like a mist. I have never seen a large international city on the ocean with such dramatic cliffs and such an arid climate.
Ironically, my arrival was on the same day as the Pope’s visit here. They call him Papa Francisco in Spanish. Traffic was more of a hassle due to all the road closures during his visit. Like Mexico City and Bogota, Lima also has a rapid bus system, which is a great way to cut through the horrible traffic. The only problem with it, though, is
Nothing like colourful balloons to attract young children.
that it has become too popular particularly during rush hour. We had this problem in Bogota as well.
I never did make an ATM withdrawal here. There was a limit of 400 soles (3 SOL to a USD) with an additional 18 to 20 SOL service charge from the participating financial institution, which makes Peru the most unfriendly country I have been to for cash withdrawals.
Peru is the home of ceviche and pisco sour. I know that Chile also claims to have created pisco sour, but the Peruvians are very passionate about this drink and about where it originated. Craft beers are also now in vogue here.
I have had a couple of tasting menus over the years with good success. With the culinary scene being so big here, I thought we would try them as well. We actually ended doing five of them! One of them was at the world famous Central (rated #5 in the world), which is well known with how it creates dishes based on the ingredients found in different ecosystems and at different elevations. We had prepaid for the 11-course tasting menu, but they gave us the 17-course menu by mistake.
There is never a shortage of interesting pictures on our trips.
I must stay I have never tasted or seen food quite like this. It was truly from a different planet. Food came out literally ¾ art and ¼ food. I will always remember the tastes and sights from that evening. It was an expensive dinner, but life is all about experiences. Right?
We did one tour this trip, and it was a combination of a wholesale food market and a garment district tour. While in the market, our guide let us try the fruit lucuma, which is native to the Andean countries. I have never had this fruit before, but I want to ensure it won’t be the last time I have it. When the fruit first hits the pallet, it tastes dry, but then turns rich and creamy like Greek yogurt. Ironically, it is used commonly in yogurts and ice cream.
Both tours were in La Victoria, which is a poor working-class neighbourhood in east Lima. No matter how many Latin American cities I go to I am always struck by the disparity of wealth. That was in full view between this neighbourhood and Miraflores, where we were staying.
I took the opportunity on our last
All Latin American cities have strong visual signs of wealth inequality. Here is a picture of a hill of homes in the Rímac neighbourhood.
day to rent a bike for a few hours and see some more of the city. This has become a bit of a habit now when I visit a new city. It is a great way to burn some of the excess calories I have put on during this trip.
Overall we enjoyed our stay in Lima. The climate is fabulous and the culinary scene off the charts. It wasn’t as inexpensive as Mexico City and Bogota, but still less expensive than home. It would have also been better to stay further apart than Barranco and Miraflores, but the city only seems to have to good neighbourhoods for tourists.
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