Lima, Peru

Founded in 1535 by the Spaniard, Francisco Pizarro, this area was actually settled long before by the Lima Culture between 200-700 AD.  Lima is now a city of around nine million.  Miraflores, one of the most popular barrios, located along the Pacific coast and featuring numerous parks, was our home for our 3-day stay in the city.  Within a 10-minute walk from our apartment, we were on the waterfront.

Paragliding from the cliffs and surfing the chilly waters are popular activities, but we stuck with
wandering throughout the district checking out galleries, shops and restaurants.  Along the malecon, a large mall provides opportunities for up-scale shopping, but there is also a six-mile stretch overlooking the water, with numerous parks as you stroll.  Parque del Amor (or Love Park) features the sculpture El Beso (The Kiss) by Victor Delfin.  The park bears a resemblance to Park Guell in Barcelona due to the wavy, colorful tile mosaics surrounding the sculpture, but here Peruvian poets' romantic phrases accompany the designs.

About one mile inland, Parque Kennedy was named for President John Kennedy in thanks for aid he sent to Peru during his presidency.  It is not only a popular spot for locals and tourists, it is also home to around 100 feral cats.  The cats are now fed and maintained by a non-profit, and are a popular draw to the park.  Surrounded by dozens of restaurants, cafes and shops, walking along the street near the eateries is somewhat like walking through a gauntlet.  Each business employs someone to convince you that their food and drinks are the best, and prices the lowest.  Competition is stiff, but the approaches are good natured.

Venturing one day to the ruins of Huaca Pucllana, we arrived just in time for the English tour.
 Remnants of the Lima Culture, adobe brick and clay pyramids, still stand at the outskirts of Miraflores surrounded by the city.  This ceremonial center was likely built around 500 AD.  Excavations are ongoing, and a small museum on site shows some of the artifacts found on the site.  We returned in the evening to eat at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant, adjacent to the lighted ruins; they serve haute cuisine prepared by internationally trained chefs.

Next, we are flying to Cusco, in preparation for our trip to Machu Picchu.

Seashell used as currency by the Lima Culture
Textiles from the Lima Culture

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