Really since Cusco I’ve been pretty lazy about the whole tourist thing. I mean, who says you have to always do everything you’re “supposed” to do? That’s the beauty of solo travel! So here in Lima I’ve basically stayed only in Miraflores. And why not? It is a really beautiful area, and it keeps me liking Lima despite all the bad things people say about it.
Miraflores, for one, does live it to it’s name. I mean I am always walking around thinking, “Mira! Flores!” (“Look! Flowers!”) and it’s spring so the flowers are blooming and gorgeous. And everywhere you go there are parks, parks, and more parks. It’s wonderful. At first I was a bit disappointed that they’d taken this beautiful coastal cliff and slapped a mall down on it. Then I walked a bit further along the coast and realized there are little parks everywhere along the coastline.
The other day I just spent hours park-hopping along the coast. There’s el Parque del Amor, which is basically a mini Parc Güell, with benches decorated with broken ceramic, etc. And a giant somewhat promiscuous lovers statue in the middle of the park. And also a ton of Peruvians making out.
Then there’s a park around a lighthouse, a small park with just a bunch of benches, one with weird sculptures, and on and on. Eventually I walked my way out to a huge park that was filled with just locals. It had tons of places to sit and watch the ocean and a big playground for kids. I sat there for a long time, just thinking.
It was then that the thought actually struck me that, whoa, I was here in this place soooo far from home, all on my own. And I had been for almost two months. It was really weird to think about it, because it just didn’t feel like a big deal. I guess partly because though I may wander around in the day by myself, every evening I’m always meeting new people and I never feel alone. And I have (knock on wood) yet to face any really huge difficulties with traveling on my own. Hopefully it stays that way!
Anyways, I did celebrate Halloween here in Lima. It was pretty fun, though nothing overly special. We eventually went to a party at another hostel where at least almost everyone was dressed up, and I ran into a couple Irish guys that I had known in Cusco.
Also, I suppose due in part to my laziness and occasional tendency to indulge myself because I’m alone, I have been embracing the obsession Lima seems to have with fast food. I can now expertly tell you that though they have every fast food chain here that we have in America (except apparently Wendy’s and Taco Bell), the food is NOT the same. For one, Burger King, KFC, and McDonald’s all have the same generic french fries. Very sad for me who loves Burger King fries and KFC wedges. Pizza Hut breadsticks and pizza just taste like butter, and their dipping sauce is this weird unappealing pink sauce. Also Pizza Hut here has invented the absolutely weirdest fast food thing ever. I wanted the cheapest thing they had, which was called a “Pizza Roll.” It turned out to be pizza bread with two hot dogs, cheese, and mustard baked inside it. So gross!
But despite all that, Lima isn’t a bad place to hang out for a few days. Especially now that the spring has come, it’s warm and beautiful out. Though I have had problems with allergies — not sure if it’s because it’s spring or because the city is a bit smoggy. But so many people skip out on Lima, and I think they should reconsider. Miraflores is beautiful and the coast is a really nice place to go. Plus there’s surfing and tons of paragliding if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous!