September 16-17, 2015
We arrived in Lima and took a bus to Mira Flores, a wealthy suburb of Lima. This is where all the ‘action’ is. We went to a handful of hostels and shopped around the best rate. We ended up getting a room with 7 beds, but we were the only two booked…so we essentially had our own room for the price of a shared room.
We walked to Parque Central and Kennedy Park—well maintained parks in the center of the Mira Flores district. The parks had dozens, if not hundreds of cats all over. Cats were in trees, in the flowers, on benches, in the middle of the sidewalks. These cats were so friendly they would come up to people and plot down right in their laps. We saw a few people sitting in the park reading the paper petting a couple cats that had sat on their laps.
We walked along the coast, to Parque del Amor, and a mall. We zigzagged our way back to our hostel admiring all the modern construction and restaurants. Lima has been the first city we’ve been to since being in Latin America that felt like a ‘real’ city. There seems to be restaurants that offer cuisine other than just friend chicken. We saw a couple dozen surfers off the coast negotiating the waves.
We went out a nice dinner in a heavily touristy area in Mira Flores and we ate a meat plate. It was real meat…and at least 6 different types! Score!
The next morning Sylvie and I booked some buses and a few hostels for the upcoming days. The second day in Lima we spend walking through Central Lima and China Town. It was nice, but felt like a generic city. The restaurants in Central Lima were not as nice and as diverse as in Mira Flores. Central Lima seemed to offer a lot of Chinese food. They call it Chifa. The Chinese food at all the places seems to be the same. After giving up on trying to find something healthy we just sat down and ate some Chifa. It was good, but by US standards it was on par with Panda Express.
After a long day of walking in Central Lima we walked back in the direction of Mira Flores and passed through several parks and museums. The parks were beautiful and the buildings were stunning. We passed by their soccer stadium and finally got to our final destination…the Magic Water Circuit. We made it in time for the 7:15pm show. It was only $1.25 a ticket and the show lasted 45 minute. I read a review of a woman stating that the water show was better than the Bellagio’s. Well, after seeing both shows I can honestly say she’s full of shit. The show was a huge gimmick! Although the fountains and structures were beautiful the actual show was lame! They basically just sprayed water into the air and projected a video into the mist. I feel the show cheapened the entire experience.
It was nice coming to a city that had, and mostly obeyed, traffic laws. What I didn’t like was how NO taxis are regulated. We had to negotiate every single taxi ride we took. This is true for all of Peru. When we arrived from Piura to Lima a taxi driver quoted us 25 soles to drive us into Mira Flores. I got him down to 18 before I told him to ‘bugger off’. The next two drivers only went as low as 15 soles. I finally found a driver to take us into town for 10. It has typically taken us 3 to 4 attempts every time we need to take a taxi somewhere…how exhausting! It’s funny to think that we are only negotiating over a few dollars here and there, but doing that every day has large implications when daily expenses are relatively low.