We have spent three amazing weeks in Lima, Peru; a quirky, underrated, slightly grimy metropolis of 10 million people who [mostly] welcomed us with open arms. It had its ups and downs. It will always hold a special place in our hearts.
The weather is what every San Franciscan dreads about mid-August – grey, drizzly, occasionally windy and bone chillingly cold. A cold that penetrates even the heaviest of Patagonia or North Face layers. This is the weather here in Lima – 61 and miserable for weeks, possibly months, on end. There isn’t much solace to be found indoors as heating is generally not an option for most buildings. When looking for a place to stay, air conditioning doesn’t seem to be an issue but one needs to check their AirBNB listing before booking to see if heat is an option.
It’s not pretty like Venice or Barcelona or even Joliet. Lima possesses a beauty that must be patiently waited for; coaxed out even. You need to be able to find beauty in the fruit vendor next to the squalid, squatter house or the limp potted Fuschia behind the wrought iron gate in Miraflores or in the glimpse of sunshine over the Pacific between 3:44PM and 4:02PM on that Tuesday in September. Lima is beautiful if you know where to look.
Traffic is horrible. Distances are greater than one thinks. It's loud. There isn’t anything to do. Buildings are dirty. Lavanderias won't wash underwear or socks. It’s all been said a million and half times in every travel guide and blog that touches on Peru’s “City of Kings”.
And even though the city needs a good power washing, when you look past all of that, you find a list of things that make this a city a special place. The food is fantastic. Hands down. Everywhere. It is almost impossible to have a bad meal here. People hang out just parked in their cars for hours and no one hassles them. Dogs [and I mean all dogs] wear coats. People, in spite of their predilection to honk 2 milliseconds from when the light changes, are patient and mostly friendly. And proud. In spite of some drawbacks, like being the second driest city on earth [here is looking at you Cairo] or having no potable water, Limeños are proud of the city they inhabit and make work every day. And we are proud to have been Limeños for a brief period.
There is just so much left to say about Lima and, who knows, maybe someday we will be able to get back to this blog and add to it. But, time moves forward and so do we. Next stop, a weekend break in the jungle.