April 27, 2012

Last Stop...Lima

Lima is the capital of Peru and officially our last stop in South America. We never intended to come here, but it was a mandatory layover between Cuzco and Europe, so we decided to make the most of it. Flying over the city, Lima was simply-put…brown. It reminded us of a city in the dessert along the ocean.

Lima is known as the gastronomical capital of South America, and we stayed in an upscale part of the city called Miraflores. We stopped into a grocery store and were shocked to find it verging on Whole Foods quality…a complete anomaly in South America. Miraflores is full of beautiful parks, trendy restaurants, coffee table bookstores, stray cats and American name-brand shops. They even have mobile libraries and wi-fi in the parks!

The Miraflores sub-section of Lima is by far the most American city we’ve seen in South America.

Around sunset, we headed down to the beach boardwalk. If I could remove the cell phone towers, smog and dirty ocean water, I would swear we were sitting in La Jolla. There were flowering cliff-side walkways with paragliders above and surfers below.

Lima also has a large historic center where we visited the Convento de San Francisco. Underneath the church is a labyrinth of catacombs where Lima’s original cemetery was located. It’s estimated that 25,000 people were buried there. By “buried”, I mean that their femur and skull bones are sitting out within arm’s reach. The bones were typically arranged in an artistic pattern. No cameras allowed, so here’s one from the Internet.

At night, Lima has a really cool park where 13 different fountains are lit up and set to music.

Here's Steve going through the Tunnel of Surprises.

They even had a new-age laser version of the Bellagio fountains. We were pretty impressed.

I love that on our last night on this continent, South America showed us a thing or two about technology!

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