Miraflores and Downtown Lima
Wednesday was a very long day but it was an exciting and eventful one. Gerry went to play golf early, I left the house and walked down to catch a bus into the square of Lima. Not knowing what bus went where, I was using broken Spanish to ask, thankfully I was able to find one that was heading where I needed to go. It took about 25-30 min to get to the square and the bus only cost $/1 sol which equals about .30 cents. As we got closer to the square the bus filled up and was getting crowded. A woman came on with a speaker box and started to sing, not very well I might add. She tried asking for money, I shook my head no. I jumped off the bus and walked to the square.
The square is filled with people, you can tell it is a major attraction because the American people that were walking around (not a lot, but more then I’ve seen so far). Around the square are shops and places to eat; I stuck to taking pictures and video. I did buy one thing of water, which I realized after purchasing and opening it that it was Soda Water. The fucking thing blew up all over me. Great..
There were police with Riot shields in the square, but they were just standing there. I guess as a precautionary measure, but I didn’t see the need for them. The buildings were very nice, great architecture and structures. Saints and sculptures of Jesus and Mary and other religious figures on the buildings and around town. I sat in front of the Chapel waiting for Gerry to pick me up. We had planned to meet around 1pm. Before he could swing by an American (Jack, from Indiana had just graduated and was traveling South America) had asked me to take his picture. We got to talking and shot the shit for a little bit, exchanged emails, then I left.
Gerry took me to the Center House, which is the headquarters for Lima for all the priests and sisters. It is like a monastery, front gate with a few buildings for office work. There are little huts with 2-3 bedrooms and 1 bath in each. This is where the people stay while traveling or visiting the main part of the Country. Gerry had his own hut and gave me one of the rooms. We went to the commons area to eat dinner(they call it dinner but it was only 2pm). The Center House cooks one large meal and you can come and eat as you please, buffet style, but with access to a full kitchen and anything you could possibly want. The landscape of the Center House was absolutely beautiful, it was nice to see after being surrounded by dirt and grit since the time I’ve been here. After we ate, Gerry took his usual siesta and I left to walk around the town.
The town was a suburb like place with parks and school children walking around. Nice homes with clean sidewalks and buildings. Roads seemed to be in pretty good condition as well. After doing a loop I went back to the Center House to nap before Gerry and I headed off to Miraflores.
We walked down to the Metropolitano; the Public Bus system- similar to a subway- it has its own bus lane, and own stations that it stops at with a waiting platform. You pay per ride and it takes you up and down until you exit.
Miraflores is awesome! If you end up coming to Peru you need to stop here. It is like NYC, people walking all around, big buildings, loud noises, shops up and down the sidewalks, Casinos(one called Atlantic City), etc. The best part about this place, just walk west and the city sits on a cliff that overlooks the ocean. All the buildings sit across from the cliff side so there is no obstruction of the view. You can look out at the low sitting clouds and the LONG swell periods. The waves look like they form about a mile and a half out, you can see the sets come in one after another. They say that Peru has the longest break in the world and I can understand why.
On top of the cliff there is a walking path that looks over the edge. Along the path there are resting spots, and at one place there were parachuters who took people for rides. They use the sea breeze to lift straight up, and can hang in the air until they get bored or fall asleep. Its like a reverse skydive, they go up instead of floating down. They travel up and down the coastline, back and forth up and down. I’m going to do this before I leave, I didn’t get the chance to do it this time.
(Side note: Next Day: When I went back the day after. There is a little mall built into the cliffside, with expensive tourist places. I didn’t feel the need to shop or go in any. I just used it as a place to people watch. I got bored and walked the streets until I found a small coffee shop and posted up there. The waitress was nice and helped me with my spanish, thank god she was patient with me or else I would have never gotten anything. I saw the kid Jack that I met the day before walking by, funny how that works. We chatted for a bit and he left to see the cliff side. I sat here for about two hours until I got bored and headed back home.)
Gerry and I headed back to the Center House, and he wanted to see the new 007. He looked at the paper and saw one with Subtitles. I was looking forward to seeing one in spanish, thinking it would help my language skills. We got to the theater and the movie was dubbed in spanish. Good thing I like action movies because I had no idea what they were saying, besides a few parts here and there. Thankfully it was in spanish and I wasn’t interested in the movie that much because the people in there were fucking terrible. If this happened in a theater back home people would start fighting. The girl behind me started having a full blown conversation on her cell phone, people chatting here and there, kids running around, the emergency exit door opened up and some maintenance girl and guy started working on it. Fucking awful. Gerry said that was a good night, I couldn’t imagine a bad one.
After a day and a half in the city I’m back in the country side. Miraflores will definitely be visited again before I leave.
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“The Center Square and Ocean City of Peru”