Last Weekend in Lima

I can’t believe this was our last full weekend in Lima. The weather wasn’t that nice.On Saturday…gray and misty…so we spent a lazy morning drinking coffee, watching the waves and messing around on the iPads. After the weather cleared we walked along the water to Barranco. Sofia and Oscar could not believe that we were taking the same walk we had already done about five times but we wanted Katrina to see the area and we managed to cover some new ground. As we walked along the back streets past the crumbling colonial mansions, Sean and I both wondered how much it would cost to buy one and restore it to its original grandeur. (Maybe we are getting the itch for another project?!)

After the walk, we stopped in at the MATE Museo Mario Testino which is a small museum that mostly features the work of the Peruvian born fashion photographer. Testino is best known for his work in Vogue and was the last photographer to take official pictures of Princess Diana before she died. (He was recently the official photographer at Princess Charlotte’s christening.) The photographs were all large-scale and so beautiful. There were a couple of Kate Moss, Madonna, Giselle and a whole room dedicated to Princess Diana.

After the museum we finally made it to the Cana Ranta for a late lunch. The restaurant, a Barranco establishment, has been around for decades and is known for its fantastic seafood and casual atmosphere. There are tons of flags hanging from the ceiling and every inch of the walls are covered with soccer jerseys and photographs. The tables are wooden and rickety and half the chairs are actually stools. The waiters are cranky and busy. There are always throngs of people waiting to get in. We had tried to get into the restaurant on previous visits to the neighborhood but the line was always too long. (I know now that the line is always too long.) On Saturday, however, knowing it was our last weekend we took our number and waited nearly an hour (with beers from the bodega across the street in hand.) Oscar made sure to stand front and center with our ticket in hand.

Once we got in we feasted: tiradito, sweet shrimp in a garlicky butter sauce, fresh scallops in the shell, grilled fish and the most delicious yet simple spaghetti napolitana for Sofia. After a stop at the Dedalo Market so Katrina could buy some souvenirs, we walked back to the apartment. It was dark by the time we got home and we were all so tired. Sean and I had planned for just the two of us to go out that night and have Katrina babysit but we were too tired and full. (That was a stupid move, we should have just gone out. We haven’t had one meal or drink alone since we got to Peru. Calling all babysitters when we get home!)

On Sunday morning when we woke up, the park below was busy. We saw men in military garb walking around and there were armored cars and tanks set up along the walkway. Through the mist, a battalion of boats were heading toward us. Was Peru at war with Chile? We finally realized that it was a celebration of the military in honor of Peru’s Independence day last week and there was also going to be an airshow. People were starting to line up along the pathway along the ocean. After figuring out that we would have the best seat in the house in our own apartment, we first headed to the Marriott for brunch then raced back through the crowds. The five of us parked ourselves in front of the window and watched  one of the most unbelievable sights I have ever seen: cannons being shot from ships, helicopters flying in formation, tiny planes diving and twisting and the coolest thing of all, two fighter jets. The noise from the two planes was so loud that it set off all the car alarms in the area.

After the show we went to the restaurant Osaka in San Isidro for a late lunch and Sofia ate sashimi for the first time (salmon) and liked it. Maybe she will eventually become a pescatarian? (Fingers crossed but I think she might have just been showing off her Aunt Katrina!) The streets were quiet when we walked back to apartment. It felt good to recognize all the landmarks and made me think of how unfamiliar they looked when we first arrived. We are leaving Lima in a few days but I feel pretty to lucky to have gotten to know the city so well.

(My computer is acting up and not letting me post any pics, sorry!)


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