After a whole month of exploring, discovering and constantly expecting the unfamiliar, it’s strange to be sitting still, staring at a screen and trying to put into words exactly what the last few weeks have looked, sounded, smelled, tasted and felt like. It’s nearly impossible!
Nonetheless, I’m going to start with the first stop on my journey: A glimpse of Lima, Peru through my eyes.
I wasn’t able to properly discover Lima as it was just a short stop before moving on to the rest of Peru so all I have are some scattered snapshots of my one day in the city. I also unfortunately landed on a rather cloudy and chilly day (so much for all those shorts I packed!) so my time here was gray and cold.
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru with around 9 million inhabitants. I was staying in Miraflores which is one of the more upscale areas of Lima, with luxury hotels, restaurants, shops and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A popular destination in Miraflores is Larco Mar which is a fancy shopping and entertainment center. Do stop by Tanta for a spot of fresh Ceviche (when in Peru, right?) if you’re ever here.
Taking a stroll through the neighbouring areas of Miraflores, you will find several colonial influences in the city’s architecture. It’s also peppered with several parks and green areas which are always full of people – young couples, children on their way home from school and families enjoying the outdoors.
Something that I wasn’t expecting to see was the amount of poverty. In my mind Lima was the capital and biggest city in Peru and therefore, prosperous but unlike Miraflores, the rest of the city was a stark contrast. Broken down or unfinished housing and buildings covered in graffiti, hawkers at every corner selling fake or poor quality goods and children running around on open streets.
As my journey through South America continued, the concept of poverty actually became more and more real. The inequality between indigenous immigrants from own and neighbouring countries and ‘new money’ from current economic growth is vast and evident in every single place I visited.
Over the next few weeks, I hope I’m able to do justice to everything I was fortunate enough to experience in this continent; the good and the bad.
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