Our first stop on our South American journey and we couldn’t have had a warmer welcome, with our new friends welcoming us with open paws on the plane journey itself and introducing us to quinoa – which is very tasty, especially when popped and eaten with yoghurt – (such a shame you can’t buy it here in London), and indeed everyone we met there was so friendly and nice.
We stayed at the cutest hotel full of azulejos tiles and lovely honey for breakfast. The city itself is very easy to get around, and we took a bus into town to see the government palace at the Plaza de Armas, the Church and Sanctuary of Santa Rosa de Lima, and the nearby Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, home to Saint Martin de Porres’ relics, which houses beautiful cloisters with a lovely serene atmosphere.
I think we may even have seen Christopher Columbus there, although I’m not entirely sure about that, but there were some lovely stained-glass projections on the walls.
One of our favourite places in Lima was the Friar’s Leap, an outcrop of rock on the beautiful Pacific coastline where a professional diver (please don’t try this at home!) recreates the famous legend of Lima’s Friar Franciso, who launched himself into the ocean so as not to be separated from his love, Clara. The diver, dressed in monk’s robes, and accompanied to the sounds of a Latin band, drums up a crowd by waving his hands in the air and clapping before leaping headlong into the crashing waves – miraculously avoiding the rocks – to reappear unharmed to a cheering crowd (and grateful donations). You’ll need a car to get here though, as it is off the beaten track, and it was only because of our lovely friend and his brother, that we were able to find it.
There are great places to eat in Lima, and of course, one has to try the traditional dessert, Picarones, yummy sweet potato in a yeast dough, deep fried and coated in cane sugar called chacaca.
In the evening, head to where all the locals head, and visit Parque de la Reserve – the fountain park, where you’ll get totally drenched, and meet lots of locals also getting totally drenched. Tipsy of course, opted not to wander right into the fountains, but she would recommend it nonetheless, and advises, that if you go, take a change of clothes.
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