The city of Lima came in two stages for us…the first was when Jeromy had to come here by himself for 17 days to be at sea level after his severe elevation sickness in Cusco. The second is the week we spent here together after finishing our bus ride through the southern part of the country.
Some Alone Time for Jeromy
The first week or so in Lima by himself, Jeromy was feeling pretty good. After being together 24/7 for 11 months, he was enjoying his personal space! It didn’t hurt that there were tons of great restaurants and the weather was 75 and sunny every day either.
After a week though, the extrovert in him was getting pretty lonely. Not only was he by himself, he couldn’t communicate with anyone he did meet because he didn’t speak enough Spanish. It was hard enough ordering food let alone having a conversation!
He managed to keep busy with city tours, a few more Facetimes to family at home, working on some business ideas for when he returns home, and seeing the sights around Lima.
The most exciting thing he did was a 17 hour day trip to see The Nazca Lines. These are a series of giant ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert. There are all kinds of conspiracy theories about how they got there (ancient aliens is a favorite choice) but the most likely and agreed upon theory is that they were made between 500 BC and 500 AD by the people living in the region. They were created by removing the upper red rock layer and revealing the white rocks beneath. Hundreds are geometric shapes, more than 70 are shapes of animals, and some are of trees and flowers. They are huge; the largest ones up to 1200 ft long! Due to their immense size, to see them properly you need to do so from an airplane. So, after a long bus ride, Jeromy hopped into a small propeller airplane and was able to have an amazing view of the Nazca lines.
As part of the tour, he was picked up at his hotel in Lima at 4:00 AM, and took a 6 hour bus ride to the small beach hamlet of Paracas, Peru. From Paracas, he took a boat ride out to the beautiful Ballestas Islands, a national reserve that is home to a wealth of marine life, including sea lions and many species of birds. The islands are home to a huge variety of avian life and hundreds of sea lions. He really enjoyed the boat ride and fresh air after the long bus ride!
After his visit to the Ballestas Islands and flight to the Nazca Lines, he had some incredible Ceviche back in Paracas and hopped back on the bus for the 6-hour ride back to Lima!
Family Time in Lima
When we all arrived in Miraflores (the section of Lima we stayed in), Jeromy was excited to show us around his old stomping grounds! He had scoped out all the good restaurants and parks for us to visit, and found us a cute little apartment right in the center of things to stay at.
While there are ancient Incan sites to visit in Lima, we had seen our fill over that past month in Peru and were excited to see how modern-day Peruvians spent their time.
We had a fun time riding bikes along the cliffs on the Miraflores Boardwalk. Not only were we able to see some amazing views…
And some historic sites…
We were also able to see how the residents of Lima spend their time on a daily basis.
We loved spending an evening at the Parque de la Reserva, and seeing the amazing Magic Water Circuit fountain show. There was a laser show that was really great and then you could spend another hour or two walking through the park seeing the 13 fountains that make up what The Guinness Book of World Records has recorded as, “The World’s Largest Water Fountain Complex in a Public Park.” My expectations were low, but I was pleasantly surprised by the show and then all the beautiful fountains which came in a variety of shapes and sizes. Our favorite, of course, were the ones you could play in, and our boys got soaked, which made for a pretty uncomfortable taxi ride home!
We were also able to visit some friends while we were in Lima. We know three different couples who were serving missions at the Lima Peru LDS Temple and truly enjoyed their gracious welcome to us into their homes. It was also inspiring to hear the stories of the modern-day pioneers who save for years and travel for days just to receive the blessings offered within the walls of the temple.
After too many months away from a temple ourselves, we were happy to attend and feel the peace it brings. Parker was even able to join a group performing baptisms. Although no one spoke English, he was able to make it through and have a really great experience.
Perhaps the best thing for us in Lima was all the delicious food! While I never developed a taste for Chicha Morada, a purple corn drink found everywhere that Jeromy loved, we were able to try so many other amazing things.
Lima is known as one of the top cities in the world for its cuisine, boasting the #4 (Central) , #8 (Maido), and #33 (Astrid y Gaston) restaurants in the world. We left the kids at home and were able to get reservations at Maido for lunch. While we were only able to select from a few options because of the timing, the food was incredible. We didn’t think far enough in advance to even get a lunch seating at Central, and our attempts at the wait list were unsuccessful.
We were fortunate enough to get reservations for Jeromy and I at Astrid y Gaston where we had the best meal we have probably ever eaten. With 17 different courses (4 of them dessert!) it was definitely the fanciest. We had things I had never heard of, or thought of eating (guinea pig), but the presentation was stunning and the food delicious. Each course was a miniature work of art, that you almost felt guilty wasting by eating it!
Lima, was a great opportunity to have a glimpse into modern-day Peru, and big city living before we headed out for our last week in the country, traveling to a remote region of the Amazon Rainforest.