24 hours transiting through Lima, Peru

Once in a lifetime trip it was ….And what better place to celebrate 25 years of marital union with your best friend than at the long awaited and dreamed about trip to Machu Pichu.  Peru, the land of beautiful Andean Quechuas and their famous Incan kings is most recognized by the Sanctuary of Machu Pichu.  However, there is so much more to this land than that.  Twenty four hours spent in Lima, while waiting for a plane to get to The Sacred Valley on a quiet Christmas day, gave us a tiny glimpse of how the locals live.
Driving from the airport to our hotel on the quiet roads of early morning, we commented how the city looked like any Indian city but a whole lot cleaner.  We found out later in the day that there is a whole crew of locals devoted to sweeping the garbage in the city from dawn to dusk.
After a quick checkin at the JW Marriott in Miraflores, high atop a cliff overlooking the pacific, we sought out the concierge with hopes of someone laying out our entire day for us…lesson 1 – concierge service in Peru is not the same as in the US…”today is christmas, everything is closed, tour operators, taxis, church (churches? really?), yes churches).  Our instincts got the better of us and we walked down to the deserted mall and the found the lone hopon hopoff bus booth and boarded the bus in no time.
Christmas spirit albeit quiet was everywhere, from local nativity scenes to the Incan christmas tree.  We even caught a part of the mass at Lima cathedral and enjoyed the spanish rendition of Silent Nights.
High up from the double decker bus with a heavy mist translating into a drizzle on and off, the city presented itself as a contrast of beautiful monuments and squares with lovely colored buildings, or more appropriately facades (as behind the brightly colored fronts of the colonial squares lay dilapidated guts).
These squares were also in stark contrast to the modern brick buildings of the middle class residential neighborhoods.
Potato truck, no idea what but loved the” meeting in the park” statue, the flight monument to Jorge Chavez and the Lima Ruins (closed, not because of Christmas but closed on Mon and Tues)
A native mother stopping on the sidewalk to comfort, console or play with her baby

We got off the bus at Plaza Armos to enjoy the festivities including the dances and procession of baby Jesus.  Contrary to the bus driver and the concierge, the Monastery of San Francisco was open (thought the crypt was not).  There were very few tourists around and the it was nice to walk amidst the families enjoying their day off after the service.

 

The bus (price gouged) dropped us off at the hotel  and we sauntered to Parque de Amor.  It was still drizzling on and off (you will see water drop smudges on the photos below)

Rosa Nautica as viewed from Miraflores
The flavor of Parque de Amor (Love Park)

The best part of the walk was eating icecream and fruits from the local fruit trucks.  Mangoes, passion fruit, bananas and many more that are still a mystery.

The promise of  beautiful sunny 70s forecast as predicted by yahoo weather never materialized for us but certainly seemed like a possibility for those who would transit the next day as we watched the sun set over the pacific.


Heres a glimpse of a city full of brick buildings with only the front facades finished, an illusion of a desert city when viewed from the plan but in reality a rainbow of colors when viewed from the street.

I am so excited to share more from The Sacred Valley in my future entries.

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