Coastal inocentes part 2 (this time, with less fun!)

25 May

Another flight, another early morning. We were on the first plane out of Cusco on our way to Peru’s capita, Lima. The hour-long flight took us over mountains and mountains…and more mountains…all the way to the coast.

We’ve flown through Lima on three separate occasions, and this was our first time de-boarding and traveling into the city. As with all our other landings in Lima, we had to cut through a thick soup of clouds. The airport was only visible a few moments before we landed, the low-lying clouds obscuring everything until the last possible moment. The cloud cover, it seems, is pretty typical for Lima, which seems a shame for a coastal city. I’m sure they get their fair share of sun, but, like our cab driver said, “London is grey and so is Lima”.

After a very healthy nap, we set out for the center of Lima, the Plaza de Armas. Its lovely old structures and colorful buildings were surrounded by flocks of tourists taking photos. There was a small parade dedicated to diversity in Peru, which was bright and colorful but really, really small. Diversity parades should be…big and diverse, right? Maybe it depends on your commitment.

For lunch I made sure our first stop was complete with some delicious fish, shrimp and octopus ceviche. I also tried chicha morada, a typical Peruvian drink made of a type of red corn found in Peru. Once they make the juice from boiling the kernels, they typically mix it with a bit of sugar and lime juice to create a delicious dark purple drink.

We spent the evening in Parque Kennedy (of JFK fame) in our barrio of Miraflores. I say “our barrio” and that makes it sound quaint and close to our hotel, but Miraflores is very big, and it was a 15 minute bus ride from our hotel to the park. Regardless of its size, the parts that we came to know were lovely, especially around Parque Kenendy which was surrounded by different restaurants and coffee shops.

Parque Kennedy was also distinctive because of its cats. Cats and cats and cats, cats everywhere! In the trees! In the flower beds! Curled up under fences! The locals apparently leave food and water around for them so they don’t waste away.

Unfortunately, I was battling a cold for our entire time in Lima, probably a combination of many things (traveling in enclosed spaces, wacky sleep schedule, changing altitudes and climate, etc). The front desk staff told us that the humidity and clouds often made people sick, so I guess I can buy that, too. I’m sure there was much more to see that we missed, but it felt much better to spend the afternoons lounging around in our hotel room, watching TV or reading. It doesn’t sound that exciting (and it really wasn’t) but I think it was necessary to take a break from our vacation.

I think the real drawback of feeling less-than-100% in Lima was not being able to enjoy all of the culinary delights that the city has to offer. Sure, I had ceviche and chicha, and for dinner one night I had a sopa criolla (traditional soup with egg, noodles, tomatoes and beef) and a cob of corn with kernels the size of my eyeballs, deliciously tender and engorged (in the good way!).  All were delicious and unique, like nothing I’ve had anywhere else. But if my health had been in tip-top shape, I would have taken the city in my preferred method: by eating my way through it.

On our way back to Medellín we stopped in Quito for what was supposed to be a brief, 45 minute layover; we weren’t even supposed to de-board. But after refueling and maintenance, the airline and pilots decided “meh” and the trip was cancelled. Thus, we were able to spend another night in lovely Quito, confused, weary and with zero clean clothes. The good news, though, was that by the time we walked into our hotel, the heaviness in my chest and throat that had plagued me in Lima was almost entirely gone. Humidity, indeed.

And just like that, we have two weeks left in Colombia.

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One Response to “Coastal inocentes part 2 (this time, with less fun!)”

  1. Lea Anthony May 25, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    Traveling can be tiring with altitude changes. Humidity..what is that? I hear it can be very unomfortable. So, glad you are feeling better. Your last 2 weeks or so will be spent in Medellin?

    Certainly you will be most comfortable there and in your familiar apt too. Bittersweet 2weeks as I know you and Greg have had wonderful times during the past year, having experienced it nicely thru your blog and pictures.

    It will be so nice to have you back..remember the top of your wedding cake is waiting for you to and celebrate your first wedding anniversary.
    Prosecco and cake….yum!

    Kisses, Mom

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