Today’s title is lifted straight from the Sinatra standard Come Fly With Me, the lyric coming straight after “Come fly with me, Let’s float down to Peru,” which is where we now find ourselves on Wednesday, 27th March. It’s now four months since we departed the UK and the time is flying by. Having said that, we’re not yet halfway through the trip so we will continue to enjoy each day as it comes along.
Our friendly hotelier here at Huaca Wasi welcomed us down to breakfast. He provided a delicious fruit bowl of mango and watermelon followed by a ham, onion and pepper omelette. This set us up nicely for the day ahead which Ishbel had planned for us. She had sourced a self-guided walking tour of Miraflores that would allow us to familiarise ourselves with our immediate area and get a look at the Pacific Ocean into the bargain.
We had been driven in from the airport in the dark last night, but it was clear that Lima is a city of interesting geography. We had descended from urban clifftops along hairpin bends to travel along a coastal road before gaining height once again and arriving at Miraflores. We wanted to see what this city looked like in the daylight.
Our route took us through a couple of parks towards the shore. The parks displayed signs advising that they were designated safe zones in the event of earthquake, tsunami, fire, or other emergency. I’m not sure what other emergency they envision. Maybe they just don’t want to say Zombie Apocalypse or Alien Invasion. Who knows? Fortunately, no emergency arose during our stroll and we reached the front safely. Well, not really the front.
We remained a couple of hundred metres away from the beach, vertically. It’s odd that the main parts of the city are constructed on these cliffs with a road and a strip of beach at the foot. But the beaches seem to be well used and Lima has a renowned and thriving surfer community. It’s renowned for consistent waves and different beaches offer surf for different skill sets. Just below Miraflores is ideal for beginners, apparently. No, we weren’t tempted.
The cliffs are topped by a series of parks that we wandered along, enjoying the cooling sea breeze but acutely aware of the blazing sun above. With a latitude of just 12° S, this is the closest we will be to the equator at any point in our travels so we need to protect our pasty Scottish complexions. Eventually, we took refuge in the Larcomar shopping centre to enjoy some air conditioning and, since we were here, grab a light lunch. We each had a salad, which was very healthy. Then we shared a dessert called Ponderacion, which was all pastry, ice cream, and the ubiquitous dulce de leche, which was less healthy but damn delicious.
We considered taking an Uber back to the hotel, but we’d spent a lot of the previous day cooped up on the plane so decided to walk back. This gave us the chance to see some of the commercial streets of the area. There’s an odd juxtaposition of high-end luxury and low-end tat as you stroll through the streets. Peru seems to be a country of contradictions. Hopefully we’ll find out more as our week here progresses.