Smack-dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Miraflores, is a ruins sight that once spanned many blocks, but now only has this one block left. The ruins, were formed thousands of years ago, and once stood as a tall pyramid. What is left of them is able to be viewed by guided tours. You will see where mummies were found, and learn about the native plants to the area as well, and of course you can see some llamas and alpacas!
We spent an incredible evening walking for over an hour to the Parque de la Reserva, or as some call it, the park of fountains. All day and night for most of the week (not Monday and Tuesday) this park houses over 12 water fountains. Some are meant for gazing, and some are meant for playing, but either way the park is magical. Three times a night there is a laser light show at the Fantasia Fountain, and right next door you can find the original fountain built here in the 1920s, that gave way to all of the other fountains constructions.
We ventured outside of the city to an eco-village called Eco Truly for a few days of volunteering and relaxation. All of the housing at Eco Truly is built out of mud-bricks, and the buildings themselves are actually called trulys. We spent our morning doing yoga and meditating, and then volunteered for a few hours after breakfast, usually helping to prepare the day’s lunch.
Everyone that lived in the village permanently followed a specific Hinduism path, practicing Hare Krishna. We were able to go to their nightly temple service and experience an amazing energy from their practies. We came back to the city a little earlier than expected because we truly missed our home here in Miraflores at the Backpackers Family House hostel. If anyone is traveling to Lima, I highly suggest staying at Pedro’s quiet, clean and relaxing hostel.
Today was our last day in Lima, and we had yet to go downtown, so we hopped in a cab and headed to the main square. We briefly passed through the famous churches, catacombs, and palace, and then headed to the central market and Chinatown. Both of which were overwhelmingly crowded. We were able to grab some Chifa on the way out, which is Peruvian inspired Chinese food, but are very thankful we have been staying in Miraflores, and not downtown.
What an awesome and exhausting day!!! Diana and I woke up super early and headed down to the beach where we met Carlos’ brother and were suited up and driven in a beat-up car to a different beach where the waves were better. After walking over some treacherous rocks, which were much harder to walk on than they looked, we spent some time on the beach practicing our form and learning the basics. Then we were off into the water with our instructor Paul, and our classmate Dante, a Peruvian lawyer from Lima (who ended us driving us home, which was amazing because the steps down to the beach would have been almost impossible to climb on the way up). Anyway, we all were able to stand up and ride some waves by the end of the lesson and we had a blast while we did it! I highly recommend Carlos’ company Pukana Surf School.
The neighborhood of Lima we are staying in is Miraflores, and is located on the coast. The ocean is just a short walk from our hostel, but the actual neighborhood is very high up soooo you have to walk down what seems like a hundred flights of stairs to get to the actual beach. We headed down on Thursday to look for surf schools and found a quaint little pier with shops and a restaurant.
In one of our last of many visits to Kennedy Park, I actually brought chicken with me to feed the cats. They swarmed to us and relaxed while I fed them. I also met a few locals who feed the cats in their spare time, and learned that there must be an entire group of people who make sure the cats are fed everyday; and that the cat population was once at 300, but the government forced it to shrink. So now the cats are not quite a united tribe, and some are much more open to being pet and picked up than others. My favorite kittens were a litter we found living up in a tree. I was able to climb up it and feed them for a while with their mother.
We are staying at Backpackers Family Hostel, and are having an amazing time with the owner Pedro, and his associates. On Thursday morning Pedro gave us a two-hour interactive Spanish class, complete with stapled packets of information and a white board! We learned a vast amount of topics and some basic grammar, and then were able to practice it all at the end when we were quizzed. Later that night, Pedro made everyone in the hostel Peru’s national drink, a Pisco Sour, which is Pisco (a Peruvian brandy) mixed with fresh lime juice, topped with frothed egg whites, and sprinkled with bitters.
Today we rented bicycles from our hostel and rode all through Lima. We started along the coastline and went all the way to the tallest Christ sculpture in the world. I was towering over us, and surrounded by wild dogs, as well as slums. On the ride back home we stopped in Barranco, a quaint bohemian town with beautiful scenery. We picked up a few bracelets and then rode back to Kennedy Park where we visited our favorite cats, and had some traditional park food; fried dough with molasses and arroz con leche, or rice with milk, which was warm and super sweet!
One of my favorite things so far has been Parque Kennedy. Named after the one and only John F. Kennedy, the park has become famous for something truly original, a wild cat population, that acts like a domestic one. We saw at least 20, but there has to be more than fifty, maybe even more than a hundred there. They were in the trees, the bushes, on the benches, in the flower beds, and just wandering around. They even let you pick them up, and they range in all different colors and sizes. There are teeny tiny little kittens, and big fat cats. They just sleep all day while people walk by, and someone, I’m not sure who, feeds them with little tupperware bowls full of cat food, milk, and water. It is an amazing thing to see, and the park itself is very well kept and colorful.