Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014 - Peru Day 16 (Cusco / Lima)

Today we fly to Lima, stay there for 2 nights before we head back to Toronto. We have an early flight at 9:25am which should have us there for around 10:25am, giving us a day and a half in Lima.

Our chariot awaits
The breakfast at the hotel actually changed and we got a avocado and tomato starter with a toasted cheese sandwich along with a fresh pineapple juice. Overall, I really enjoyed this hotel, it is small but the staff is friendly and they have good breakfast (especially the freshly made juice).

Breakfast at Wifala
Nothing of note for our flight. The airport space is small, so there isn't much to shop around after you go through clearance/security (roughly 4 shops and 1 cafe). At first glance I thought Lima would be more like Toronto in that there are rules on the road. I was wrong. People still drive over lines but there is a method to the madness. It looks like a poor country (roads are dirty, housing isn't well kept, old cars I don't recognize) until we hit the nicer part of town which is in Miraflores where we will be staying for the next two nights.

In both Morocco and Peru, I ALWAYS had to haggle and it gets annoying. Before arriving here, we asked a few people (tourist information, the hotel) how much the cab from the airport to Miraflores would be and we were told roughly 40-50 soles. When we landed, the first taxi stand told us 120 soles, so we promptly walked away from that one. The next one told me 65 soles, to which I said 50 soles. After failed negotiations, he finally caved at 50 soles. So, if you know what you want to pay, say it and just walk away if they don't agree (although they'll usually try to meet half way even though they're still making money off you). The cab ride was longer than expected at roughly 50 minutes.

Our hotel is Tierra Viva, suggested by a friend and is the 2nd best hotel on TripAdvisor. The place is nice and clean. The staff is helpful (we asked about currency exchange and even though they have a posted rate if you do exchange with them, they suggested a shop just down the street). Our room included a giant king bed which was my first and the thing is huge (easily fit 3 people). Wifi and breakfast are included for roughly $100 USD a night.

King sized bed!
We learned that there isn't much in Miraflores other than it being the nicer part of town. There is a big mall just a 10 minute walk from our hotel. There is a museum nearby, but nothing much of note, just feels like a regular city but lacking in attractions for reasons unknown to us.

View from the mall (Lacromar) at Miraflores
Makeout statue
Atop some mosaics near makeout statue
Stopped by Bembos for lunch which is a local fast food joint at the mall. The food reminds me of Licks or Harveys. The mall reminds me of home. It has the usual suspects of Guess, Banana Republic, and more. Along the coast you can walk down for a nice stroll along the waterfront. Takes about 30 minutes from the mall to the lighthouse and back. Worth the walk to see the locals being very nonchalant about making out in public, seeing the surfers hit the waves, and just in general, enjoy the area.

Lacromar at night
Dinner was at Mangos which was suggested by a friend, a restaurant where if you sit outside, you have a nice view of the coast. Ordered the chicha moradas (a local drink), lemonade, lomos saltados, and mango ceviche. All for 94 soles, not bad. Very tasty food and a great view of the ocean.

Us at Mangos
Lomos Saltado
Tomorrow we wander the downtown area of Lima!