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October 14th 2018
Published: October 14th 2018
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Dave and I enjoyed an early morning farewell breakfast (I finally got my avocado!) at Hotel Polo in Cusco with Celia and Larry, and Kathy and Bud, before we bade our new friends farewell. Since the six of us had been separated from the rest of our Kaypi group, we were unable to say goodbye to our other new friends so if you are reading this blog, we enjoyed meeting you all and sharing this wonderful journey and we look forward to hearing of your future travel adventures.

Still nursing some symptoms of altitude sickness, we were whisked to the airport, where, while waiting for our plane to Lima, Dave sipped tea and I canvassed the elegant airport shops selling expensive and beautiful baby alpaca items, confirming my good decisions to buy from Andean Colors where, through my purchases, I not only helped women with children to begin a new life, but got beautiful handmade goods and saved some money too.

Kaypi Tours had arranged for a taxi to pick us up at the airport in Lima (all connections were flawless and on time) and to bring us back to the Hotel Allpa. Again we were greeted warmly but this time we were given a beautiful, spacious two room suite with corner windows, a living room, a large hot tub, and nice bath. But it was our last day in Peru and I had wanted to spend time in romantic Barranco, so off we went on one more adventure.

We had been burned by some “non-taxi taxi drivers” so this time I asked our hotel doorman to find a taxi to take us to Barranco, considered the most romantic and bohemian district in Lima. As is customary, the price for the ride is agreed upon before getting in the cab. The driver who brought us from the airport wanted 25 Soles one way to take us from our hotel to Barranco, about a 10-15 minute drive. This new taxi ordered by our doorman told us 8 Soles! With no Spanish and little ability to instruct the driver other than “historic Barranco”, we were dropped at the Central Plaza, or Municipal Park that dates back to 1898. Tall palm trees rose out of the paved and beautifully polished coral colored plaza dotted with shrubs and flowers, all in, about the size of a New York City block. Our eyes were drawn to the stately Biblioteca (library) with its yellow clock tower. Here, flyers were posted and volunteers sat ready to register voters for the upcoming election. At the opposite end of the plaza stood the massive Church of the Holy Cross. Without a guide, we missed the view of the Bridge of Sighs (sigh) and the surrounding historic buildings but with little time and energy left, we focused on what was nearby before finding the perfect place for lunch.

We began to explore Barranco (Spanish for ravine, referencing its location around a ravine and near a cliff) by walking past beautiful examples of historic Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture. Beautifully carved wooden doors and entryways, elaborate balustrades, small balconies, semi-circular arcades and fenestration, black iron fences with ornamental iron trim, all served to decorate and bring charm to this formerly Spanish occupied colony. I especially enjoyed the colorful potted ferns and palms that decorated the little courtyards and patios. I also enjoyed seeing the many murals and galleries in this district known for its artists, musicians, and poets.

As we were looking for a cozy cafe I saw a Starbucks and other chains that had sadly made their way into this culture, but I wanted to find a restaurant that would be locally owned where I could find the food and charm of this unique district. Luckily we stumbled upon La Boteca on Grau Ave. Inside this tiny cafe we sat at a small red checker-clothed table that was surrounded by elaborate traditional dance masks that peered down on us from their perches on the ceilings and walls. We soon discovered this unique cafe was known for their pizza, as evidenced by the choices at the next table, but we decided to order a ham sandwich with pickled onions and olives on delicious homemade bread. I think it was the perfect choice for a light afternoon snack. This district claims to have invented the renowned Pisco Sour and the Boteca claims fame for their macerated pisco but with more on my plate for the day I decided to reserve that specialty to accompany my evening dinner.

Much revived from our a late lunch we found another taxi who agreed to return us to Miraflores for 10 Soles. I left Dave in our hotel suite to rest while I went to the nearby Inca Market to buy my last minute presents for the kids at home and a T shirt for me. I returned to find Dave hungry for dinner so after a few false starts we ended up at the beautiful Amore Restaurant two doors down from our hotel. The inviting black and white checkered terrace with bright hanging lanterns and Spanish balconies lead to the inside where, although still open air, it was warmer than the terrace. We found a quiet table (near a space heater because it gets darned cold when the sun goes down). Now was the time for me to order my Pisco Sour! Dave, still suffering from the remains of his altitude sickness ordered a pot of muna tea. After my taste of the much anticipated Pisco Sour, I have to say, although it was good, strong drinks are not my cup of tea. For me a good glass of wine would have suited me better but when in Rome…. Speaking of Rome, there were a good number of international dinners offered. The osso buco with polenta and white truffles spoke to me so I happily answered. Dave, still cautious, had chicken Caesar salad that seemed to sit well with him. After dinner I floated back two doors to our spacious hotel room, and really too tired to enjoy it, I quickly fell into a deep sleep on top of the thrice folded comforter (even the suite had a bed like a rock) to wake at 5 AM for ride to the airport and our plane home.


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