Our next stop was Lima but we had to go via Santiago. We decided to fly from Mendoza to Santiago after numerous people telling us that the buses crossing the border can be pretty unpredictable this time of year and they can even close the border for several days, meaning you’d end up having to book a flight anyways. Boy are we glad we did! I don’t even think the weather was even that severe but our host in Mendoza told us it was the right decision as they did indeed close the border whilst we were travelling. Glad we didn’t risk the bus!
Our flight got in about 8pm to Santiago and our flight out to Lima was at 5 am. We decided rather than paying precious money to sleep for a few hours in a bed we’d wait it out in the airport. We ate some dinner and stayed in the cafe until we were almost shoved out the door. Cold, tiled flooring wouldn’t be my first choice of where to sleep but of course Peter slept and I didn’t…shock!
I was very happy to land in Lima and couldn’t wait to get to our hostel after that long night/day. We choose the Airport bus (approximately £5 each) which dropped us off outside our hostel called Dragonfly Hostels, located in the lovely Miraflores district of Lima.
The next day we decided to rent some bikes from http://www.biketoursoflima.com to explore the coast of Lima some more. This cost us roughy £10 each for four hours use. It was a beautiful day which made the bike ride even more enjoyable as we could eat our fresh salad from the brilliant supermarket ‘Wong’ in the sun.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t as sunny or warm the next day but at least dry. We headed towards the Huaca Pullanca ruins about a thirty minutes walk away to discover it was closed on Tuesdays. Of course it was. *Unimpressed face*. So instead we walked to Huaca Huallamarca ruins which were open. Hooray! These ruins had been built as a temple and used as a cemetery and inhabited but the Inca people in the mid fifth-teeth century. The ruins are made of ‘Adobes’ which are essentially mud bricks. The entrance to this site which included a small museum cost just over a pound each. The ruins are juxtaposed by the modern city architecture surrounding it.
In the afternoon we went for the free walking tour which was lead by Cynthia and Hugo. We were the only people on the tour! Intimate. We had to get one of the local buses to the area of Barranco. Cost – 25 pence each. We’d read these buses usually aren’t recommended to tourists and I can understand why. The buses are incredibly cramped and I felt comfort in the fact we were travelling with our tour guides.
The tour was better than we both thought it would be. Cynthia and Hugo both had great English and vast knowledge of Lima and Peru’s history especially the local area of Barranco. Of course at the end of the tour they ask for our a tip which we ended to give them anyways as they were very informative and it’s a great way to see more of where you’re staying.
Below is a video of Cynthia explaining where the rhythms found in Peruvian dances came from and the many variations of dance they have. The main dance Cynthia speaks of, the Marinera Norteña is one of the most popular traditional dances of Peru and represents a man courting a woman. The origin is unknown but there are clear Spanish, Andean and Gypsy influences. The dance is performed with handkerchiefs but can also be performed as Cynthia says with a Chalan (a director of the horse) mounted on top shown on the right.
Above are ‘Angel Trumpets’. These caught my eye as they’re the only flowers I’ve ever seen where the face of the flower doesn’t look to the sun. Something I thought my mum would like to see 🙂
Both Peter and I really liked the landscape of Miraflores and enjoyed our two days there but if recommending to anyone else we’d say that was enough time to spend there. Unless of course you’re a surfer! There’s a lot more to do in other areas of Peru which are to follow.