Making Pisco sours in the Maury Hotel
Lima conjours up many images. A city of complete contrasts and contradictions. Once terrorised by communist groups such as the Shining Path it´s now a thriving metropolis full of life and tourists! It´s the only capital city in South America that sits on the Pacific Ocean and it´s truly spectacular as again the Andes sit right behind it. We pulled in through the colourful shanty towns and took a taxi to the Maury Hotel in downtown Lima, the historical centre and home to the Pisco Sour. It was our tour leader, Elvis´s birthday, so we hit the town and the Pisco Sours, well it would have been rude not to!
The bar in the hotel is very Parisien in it´s feel, rich mahogany wood, lots of mirrors and of course here in South America, lots of smoke! The Pisco Sours were unreal and we were dancing down the streets already to the salsa club where we spent most of the night, until German Rock started playing? The following day we had agreed to take a cycling tour of the city through MiraFlores, Barranco and Chrillos.
These are the areas on the coast and the heartbeat of Lima. We started in a rather wobbly state at the top of a grade 2 cliff with just a mounatin bike and god to help....eeek! Fortunately i made it down with no scars and we cycled happily away for 4 hours through some beautiful parts of Lima. Barranco is the bohemian part of the city complete with its own Bridge of Sighs, if you cross the bridge with your partner it´s said you will spend the rest of your life together! Reminded me of Balmain lots. Miraflores was a great area, lots of cafes and shops and i kind of wished we´d stayed here rather than downtown, but hey it´s more local downtown which is why we´re here! We ended in the Olive parks which are protected by the local government and are really beautiful, no olives though!
Next day was the last day in Lima, wish we had had more time.
At the top of Lima
We went to the San Francisco monestary and catacombs which was fascinating and had some beautiful pieces of art that had been restored. The catacombs here hold over 25,000 bodies so was slightly eerie being down there. We went through the main plaza and witnessed the Lord of the Miracles ceremony and huge parade. Years ago when Lima suffered a huge earthquake a painting done by a poor man on a wall in a badly affected area survived the quake. The wall survives and they parade it through the streets of Lima each October and wear purple robes with white belts. It´s quite a sight!
Though Lima ísn´t my favourite place in Peru, i wish i had longer to explore, 1.5 days simply wasn´t enough but onwards and upwards!