November 21, 2014: Our First Day in Lima
November 19, 2014: A Day in Cuzco
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Page Index
November 20

    Cuzco to Lima
    Our Miraflores Apartment
    An Afternoon Walk in Miraflores
    Greg's Birthday

November 20, 2014
From Cuzco to Lima
An Afternoon in Lima


Today, we will be traveling from Cuzco to Lima, transferring to the condo we will be staying in and then walking around Lima for the rest of the day.


From Cuzco to Our Lima Apartment

We had an eleven-thirty departure from the airport in Cuzco, and so our maid helped us arrange a taxi pickup about nine in the morning. The ride to the airport was uneventful, as was the check-in process for our flight.

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We got boarded by about eleven-fifteen; Fred got a window seat so he could take some photos, and there are clickable thumbnails below for three of the best that he took just prior to takeoff:

Fred decided to make a movie as we took off, and it turned out rather well, giving an excellent idea of what Cuzco and the surrounding area are like. You can use the player at left to watch his movie.

After takeoff, but while we were still fairly low, Fred took a couple of interesting pictures of two of the narrow valleys in the mountains surrounding the city, and you can have a look at those here and here.

Fred also took quite a few pictures during the one-hour flight back to Lima. He took some as we climbed out of Cuzco, a number as we flew over and alongside the snow-covered Andes between the two cities, and some as we came into Lima after a turnaround over the Pacific Ocean. You can click on the thumbnails below to see the best of these:

We landed in Lima in the early afternoon, and, of course, we had to sit and wait for our bags for a while. Once we had them, we went outside to get a taxi. I think that Greg had talked to the owner of the condo we would be staying in and the owner had arranged for a driver that he used frequently to meet us. It seemed as if the driver found us outside and seemed to know just where we needed to go.

The ride from the International Airport into and through the city and down to the upscale neighborhood of Miraflores was an interesting one. Lima is a city of some nine million people and it is quite large and spread out. My sense of direction was all off, and so I can't be at all sure of the circuitous route that we took from the airport, although I have tried to approximate it on the map at left. All I can say is that there was a lot to see along the route, and Fred took a number of pictures of whatever seemed interesting. You can use the clickable thumbnails below to have a look at some of these:

When we finally got to the condo (traffic was very heavy and the ride took about an hour), we waited for a bit until the owner of the condo showed up to give us keys, introduce us to the doorman and take us up to the 16th floor to the apartment to show us around. I will take you on a tour of the apartment a bit later on this page.

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Our Miraflores Apartment

Our lodgings here in Lima were in a relatively new high-rise building on Avenue Balta about three blocks from the ocean. I thought about doing a video tour of our Miraflores apartment, but didn't, because it was not nearly so interesting as the lodgings we had in Cuzco.

When you entered the front door from the elevator lobby, you were in a combination dining and living room, with the dining room first inside the door. In the picture at left, I am sitting facing the front door, and the living area is behind me. As you can see in that last picture, there is a small alcove kitched just off the living room.

If you will look at the picture at left again, you'll see the hallway leading to the other rooms. The three doorways you can see led to the three bedrooms- all pretty standard and fairly small. On the left of the hall there were two separate bathrooms. Also small but very functional.

The picture above, however, was taken from the stairs up to the apartment's selling point- a private deck with great views of the Miraflores neighborhood and the ocean beyond.

I found out that the building's top four floors were arranged in such a way as to provide one apartment on each of those floors with a deck like this one; the apartments on the lower floors had balconies.

Of course the views from here were tremendous, although the orientation of the building prevented us from seeing the historic center of Lima, which was actually a few miles away. But you can easily see that the views from here were indeed quite good, and each evening we brought our drinks up here to relax. Incidentally, this deck also had a laundry room and a third bathroom.

Since we were gone during the day, most of the pictures we took from here were in late afternoon or at night; you can click on the thumbnails below to see a selection of them:

Fred also took one panoramic view from the rooftop deck, and you can see it below:

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An Afternoon Walk in Miraflores

After we'd gotten settled in, we headed out to find someplace to get some lunch. Our condo building was on Avenue Balta just two blocks from the Pacific Ocean, and the first thing we did was to head down the street towards the ocean. (See the aerial view below, right.)

Avenue Balta ran along the north side of a long, thin park; we discovered later that this park began about six blocks up Balta and it sloped all the way down to go under the bridge that carried the street that ran along the ocean across that park to continue south along the coast. There was a park road that began at the top of the park and went down towards the coast, going underneath that bridge and giving access to the beach and the piers that we could see. There were sidewalks in the park and stairs that went up both sides of the ravine, plus other buildings such as a couple of eating places and an athletic club. There were high-rise buildings (mostly residential) on both sides of this park.

Click on the thumbnails below for some views of the park along Balta Avenue:

The street that runs along the top of the cliffs above the beach is named Malecon Cisneros, and when we got down to the corner we turned north to walk along Malecon Cisneros to find a place that had been recommended to us by the condo owner. It was about three or four blocks north, across the street from Parque Antonio Raimondi- Punta y Sol. We got a table on the third floor of the three-floor restaurant. I should have had our waiter take a picture of all four of us, but my picture of Greg, Fred and Yoost at Punta y Sol will have to suffice.

There was a round seating area overlooking Avenue Malecon Cisneros and the beach, so I went out there to take some pictures. First, here are views looking south and north from our restaurant along Avenue Cisneros:

Looking South

Looking North

And I also tried my had at a panoramic view from the restaurant balcony:

The View from Punta Y Sol

After lunch, we walked across the street into Parque Antonio Raimondi, where we walked north for a while and then turned back south towards our condo.

Fred and Some of Lima's Finest

The park was bounded by tall apartment buildings along the seaside avenue on the land side and sheer drop-offs down to the ocean on the other. Although it was pretty overcast, part of the reason the pictures look the way they do is that it was getting late in the afternoon, but still, it was a pleasant walk.

We took quite a few pictures; Fred and Yoost seemed to favor pictures of the ocean, while my pictures were mostly of the park and the city beyond. You can use the clickable thumbnails below to see some of the pictures we took:

We also passed an area where some people were getting ready to paraglide, but no one was taking off yet.

Fred and I each took a couple of movies as we walked through the park along the ocean. Fred made one looking southwest out to sea, concentrating on the pier and roadway down at the base of the cliffs, and some of the folks surfing or walking along the beach. I made one of a young fellow practicing some stunts on kind of a flexible high wire (although it was only three or four feet off the ground). He was one of a group of guys who were having fun with it, and I must say he had incredible balance. Use the players below to have a look at both those movies:

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A Look Below the Cliffs
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Practicing Acrobatics

At the intersection of Avenue Cisneros and Avenue Balta, right by the bridge you saw earlier, there is a separate little park called "Parque del Amor" (Love Park), and we turned to walk down into it. No sooner had we got down into the park, which was just south of where we'd seen folks preparing to paraglide, than we saw they were getting ready to hit the air, so we stopped to watch. First, you can take a look at two good movies that Fred made; he used his zoom to good advantage to focus in on the paragliders:

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Some of the gliders were solo, but there were some doubles as well; these were probably paying customers riding along with someone expert. In one good picture I took of a pair of gliders, you can see that they are using a camera extender, much like the one I have, to take pictures and movies as they are in the air. I have no idea how the camera can be controlled remotely; I doubt that the expert flyer has enough hands to deal with the camera in addition to handling the paraglider. One of these days, I will have to investigate whether there are devices to operate the camera remotely. Fred took a number of pictures of what turned out to be five or six gliders in the air; there are clickable thumbnails below for some of his pictures:

The paragliders were certainly pretty interesting, but this little pocket park was pretty neat, too. Parque del Amor is located right by the bridge that carries Malecon Cisneros over the ravine containing Parque Carossio, where it becomes Malecon de la Reserva and continues south. At first, I thought "Malecon" might mean "street", and it kind of does, but it is a special name that identifies a street or road that is at the top or bottom of an embankment; perhaps "cliff highway" might be a good translation. Both Cisneros and de la Reserva are on top of the coastal cliff, and Balta is at the top of the steep embankment that slopes down into Parque Carossio.

This small park is dedicated to all lovers and offers a great view over the bay of Lima. It's supposed to be a really romantic spot at sunrise and sunset. The walls surrounding the park are artfully decorated with mosaics. In the scrollable window at left, you can see the north walls and some of the highrises across the street at Avenue Balta.

The park is one of four that string along the seafront here in Miraflores- one of the nicest parts of Lima. In just the short amount of time we were here, I could easily see why the residents of this area like it so much- there is an incredible amount to do and see, numerous stores and restaurants and, of course, the seafront.

Being near this park with its beautiful mosaics and great views was probably one of the reasons our host bought where he did; he and his wife moved into the apartment about ten years ago. (You may wonder why they are not still occupying it. He told us that shortly after they moved in, Lima had a fairly sharp earthquake. While their building wasn't damaged at all, his wife refused to live eighteen stories up, so they moved into a much shorter building nearby.)

The park has beautiful plantings and even a small amphitheatre for outdoor performances- in addition to all the mosaics. Below are thumbnails for more pictures we took of the mosaic walls:

As we were walking through this small park, some of the paragliders came right overhead as they rode the updrafts coming up the cliff faces to the ocean side.

The centerpiece of Parque del Amor is a large sculpture entitled "El Beso" (The Kiss). It depicts the sculptor, Victor Delfín, and his wife kissing. According to local accounts, the mayor of the district holds (or used to hold) a competition for the couple who could sustain the longest kiss, and this sculpture celebrates this.

We took two more good pictures of "El Beso", one with some of the paragliders in the background that you can see here, and another showing not only the sculpture, but the amphitheatre and most of Parque del Amor which you can see here.

I also took a picture of the mosaic inscription on the base of "El Beso", although you will have to translate from the Spanish. And, finally, I took a picture of Greg, Fred and "El Beso" here at Parque del Amor.

Incidentally, Parque del Amor is supposedly inspired by Antoni Gaudí's Parc Guell in Barcelona.

We wandered through Parque del Amor for a while. It was late in the afternoon, so we decided against taking a trip into the old part of Lima, thinking we wouldn't have much time to spend there.

As I said, Parque del Amor was on the north side of a fairly deep ravine in which another park, Parque Juan Carossio, was located. As I said earlier, this ravine actually begins about eight blocks inland, and I suppose was a water channel at some point before Lima became the city it is. So from Parque del Amor, when you look south down the coast, you are looking across the mouth of that ravine.

There are two roads along the coast. One of them is down at sea level, and gives access to the beach. We found later that to get to this highway, you have to access it either a good ways north or south; there is a road through the park in the ravine, but it is not for private vehicles. The other road is, of course, up here on top of the cliffs. At the point where it must cross the ravine, the four lanes narrow down to two to cross the bridge you see in the picture at left.

This, understandably, creates a perpetual traffic jam at either end of the bridge; the only way to avoid it is to take Avenue Balta inland to the top of the ravine, cross over, and then come down one of the streets on the other side. But the bridge is pretty neat. It looks like it is completely covered over, but as you can see here, what looks like a complete cover is just an arched half-cover on either side of the roadway. Unlike Dallas "signature bridge," the builders of this one wisely allowed for sidewalks so people could cross the ravine easily as well.

We walked across the bridge and back just for grins. On the other side of the bridge, at the intersection of the road that parallels Balta on the other side of Parque Juan Carossio and its ravine (Avenue 28 July) intersects with De La Reserva (the continuation of Cisneros on the other side of the bridge), there was a particularly interesting commercial building. We came back across the bridge and started back up Balta. A short distance up the street, I took a series of three pictures of the beautiful bridge to stitch together into a panorama. They didn't fit perfectly, but the result was pretty neat nonetheless:

At night, the bridge is softly lit up, and we plan to come back to see it one evening (easily done, since we are staying only a few blocks up the street), but for now, we headed up Balta back to our condo building. We stopped in the apartment for a few minutes and then decided to go out and do some shopping for water, drinks and groceries to stock the fridge. We headed up Balta and found an indoor shopping mall just opposite from Plaza Bajada Balta, which is actually the little park area at the top of the ravine. We did our shopping and then headed back to the condo.

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Greg's Birthday

When we got back to the condo, Yoost mentioned to Fred and I that he was going to give Greg his birthday gift (which he had purchased in Cuzco) this evening, and so we planned a little party.

The Birthday Boys

Fred and I headed back up Balta to the shopping mall grocery store to find a small cake. Along the way, we passed a Peruvian fast food place called "Bembos"- kind of like a McDonald's. (There were some actual McDonald's here in town, but this chain was ubiquitous as well.) Returning to the grocery, we went up to the bakery (which had lots of good stuff) where we found a Black Forest cake we thought Greg would like.

Greg's birthday had actually been yesterday, while mine would be Sunday, the day that Greg, Fred and I will be flying back to Dallas (Yoost will fly directly from Lima to Amsterdam). So although Greg got some little gifts, the cake was for both of us.

Fred and I gave Greg some x-rated playing cards we'd found in the Cuzco bookstore, and Yoost gave him a little silverplated llama.

Both Fred and Yoost took a few pictures during the evening, and you can use the clickable thumbnails below to have a look at some of them:

We'd had a big late lunch, so no one was particularly hungry, although Fred and I went to that fast food place to try a burger and fries (OK, once we got past the difficulty of ordering from a staff that spoke no English). Tomorrow, we'll go see the historic district of Lima.

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November 21, 2014: Our First Day in Lima
November 19, 2014: A Day in Cuzco
Return to the Index for 2014