Lazy in Lima

Trip Start Jun 23, 2011
Trip End Aug 30, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Peru  , Lima,
Sunday, July 31, 2011

We arrived by plane in Lima from Cusco and got a taxi to our hotel - the JW Marriott in Miraflores, one of the nicest neighborhoods of Lima, right on the Pacific coast. Using Marriott points, weīd stayed at Marriotts for eight of the first 14 nights of the trip, and it was awesome. The Marriotts were all really nice - JW or Renaissance, which are two of their nicest brands, and we enjoyed our deluxe rooms with huge comfortable beds and executive lounges where we got free food and drinks. That was the life.

Then we set out across Argentina, Bolivia and southern Peru - almost 30 straight nights without a Marriott in our vicinity. After the four day Inca Trail, we were ready for a break. We arrived on an early morning flight, checked in, and took a nap in our comfortable bed. It was a Sunday (we always seem to arrive in new cities on Sundays), so there wasnīt a ton going on in Lima. Our hotel was on a cliff overlooking the Pacific. Right in front of us was a big, US-style mall development called Larcomar. Other than being outdoor and on a cliff overlooking the ocean, this mall could have been anywhere in the US. It had a TGI Fridays, a Tony Romas, and a Chiliīs. It felt like home. If you are in Peru for a week or two week trip, it is probably not a place that you would want to spend much time, but, if, like us, you had been trekking across the Argentine/Bolivian/Peruvian wilderness for a month, you might love it.

After our nap we headed over there to explore and get some food. We ended up at a cafe specializing in waffles (even the salads came with waffles) and we had pisco sours and waffles for brunch. I had the "Waffles Americano". They were stuffed with lots of cheese and ham, and covered in an egg over easy. Just like we always have our waffles in America! Anyway, appropriately named or not, they were delicious.

We thought about seeing a movie at the theater at Larcomarīs theater, but all they had was Capitan America and Los Pitufos (The Smurfs), neither of which interested us that much, so instead we did that most Peruvian of activities - went bowling. (The bowling alleyīs advertisment in the Marriott pointed out their "wide variety of shoes" as one of the selling points, but the selection seemed normal to me. I discovered that I am a size 44 here.) I crushed K three games to none, although she did break triple digits one time and only lost by 6. Just like at home, we ordered pitchers of beer and had a great time.

The next morning we exercised our tourist guilt by heading on the bus to the center of town to see the main squares and other sites to see. The bus was uneventful, as was the centro area. There was not a lot to see, it was quite gray and gloomy out, and it was kind of boring. After about an hour and a half of wandering down there, we decided to head home. This is when we decided to take our lives in our hands by taking a collectivo back instead of a bus.

A collectivo is a van (a full sized van - none of that mini-van crap) with bench seats in it that races from corner to corner along a certain route (in our case Avenida Arequipa). There is a driver and another guy who collects the money and hangs out of the door the whole time yelling in a sing-song voice really fast like the micromachines man the destinations of the collectivo. Ours would sing "Arequipa, Arequipa, Arequipa! Mireflores! Larcomar! Arequipa, Arequipa, Arequipa!" at every stop and in between them, too, if there were likely-looking pedestrians. Despite the dangers, we managed to get back to the hotel in one peice.

After that we had a late lunch at La Mar, recommended by Josh and Beth, and absolutely delicious. Itīs a cebecheria, and so we had cebiche, which was amazing, as well as another delicous seafood dish and some great cocktails. We had our first experience with Camu Camu, a fruit that we didnīt know about that we had a lot the next week when we arrived in the jungle. Itīs delicous. And fun to say - "Camu Camu". La Mar has been expanding itīs reach and it now has outlets in San Fransisco, Mexico City, and New York. We didnīt know about the NYC one until we got to the Lima one. This made it a little less exciting destination, since we can now go at home, but we still really enjoyed the food, and it was cool to go the original anyway.

After that we went back to the hotel, hung out, and got our laundry to pack up for our early flight to Iquitos, in the Peruvian jungle on the Amazon River, the next day.
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