So after a really great time in the Sacred Valley, it was time to get our last long over night bus to our final South American destination, Lima (sob!). It’s always fun going to a new place, but we both were reluctant as we knew it would be our last. We’d heard very mixed things about Lima. A Colombian family we met in Potosí, Bolivia said that it was really dangerous and we needed to be really careful. Others had said it was just okay, much like any other metropolitan city in the world. Luckily it wasn’t quite the place the Colombians had made it out to be, but it wasn’t at all like the rest of Peru. We were staying in Miraflores, a middle class, fancier part of the city (in a remarkably cheap hostel, though) and the area was said to be safe both day and night. However, much like São Paulo, it seems to be a rather large and quite soulless city, with few authentic and unique attractions.
We decided to go on the free walking tour of the city (surprise, surprise!) as we were struggling to come up with many things to do for ourselves. Our tour guide was excellent and really enthusiastic, as they usually are, and he took us on the bus from Miraflores into the centre of the city. He walked us through the historic centre and pointed out the important cathedrals and government buildings of the city. This was where the ornate buildings were, but unfortunately they didn’t stretch far beyond the very centre. The tour was really interesting, but a lot of the information overlapped with previous walking tours we’d been on, so we didn’t learn much new information. The tour ended with pisco tasting, which was really good. We got to try passion fruit, crema (a bit like Baileys) and then puro (the really strong, pure pisco). It was good fun and a nice end to the tour and to our time in Peru.
We spent the rest of our time in Lima wandering around the city, mainly in Miraflores. We walked down to the seafront, which we were hoping would be a nice place to wander around, but it was all a bit grey and the beach was not only right next to a motorway, but there were cars actually driving on the beach. Not a spot for sunbathing. Built into the cliff, overlooking the sea, is a modern shopping centre. We had a little wander around but became depressed fairly quickly as it was completely full of designer American shops and wealthy tourists.
In my opinion, there’s really no point in coming all the way to Peru to just go to Lima. Miraflores especially is very, very Americanised. It’s a nice enough place to spend a few days and the weather was nice, but it does not feel Peruvian at all, which is such a shame. It would’ve been an anticlimactic end to our South American trip if we had expected something different, but we didn’t have hugely high hopes of Lima anyway! But we stayed in a really nice hostel and it was a relaxed environment to sort out all of our travel bits and bobs before we left. I’m now writing this from LA airport after an 8 hour flight here from Lima. In a few hours we will be getting on our next flight to Fiji, where a new adventure will begin! Let’s hope the next continent was as diverse, interesting and exciting as the last…