My next two days in Lima were fortunately less eventful. I spent the majority of my mornings and evenings walking around to various hostels in Lima to carry out marketing duties with StudentUniverse.
Tuesday afternoon, I took a break to take a walk around the main shopping area in Miraflores. The main street, Av. Jose Larco, was the 5th Avenue or Champs Elysees of Lima. Of course there was no Prada shop, but there was an Apple store and a specialty clothing boutique called Alpaca. Perdy fancy.
As the sun set that day, I happened upon a small, open park in the middle of the city called El Parque Central de Mraflores. Seemingly it was the place to hang out in Lima, for young people lounged everywhere in the grass on and on the benches, talking, playing music, napping. But the real pièce de résistance of the park was the hoard of stray cats meandering through the shrubbery. When I entered the small, wooded area, I saw a man shaking a bag (presumably one full of some kind of catnip) and out of the woodwork ran to him at least twenty stray cats.
They were all different breeds, and they didn’t look emaciated — most likely because this man came to feed them everyday. They were scared of any person who approached them, which made it difficult to take pictures, but I did my best.
After hanging with the kitties for a little while, I headed back to the hotel. It was getting dark and I didn’t want to be out alone at night.
The next day, I spent all morning and early afternoon walking around to different hostels. Midday, I found myself back at el Parque del Amor, this time during the day when the sunshine was plentiful. My brightly colored sundress matched perfectly with the bright mosaic tiles and I asked a kind German tourist to snap a few photos!
I sat by the water for a while, enjoying my last day on the Pacific coast, soaking in the sunshine (meanwhile, it’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit at home and about to snow, so I definitely appreciated the warmth).
I continued on with visiting hostels, then went back to Hotel Nobility to check out. The checkout was smooth and effortless, and the hotel let me store my luggage there until my late-night flight for no extra charge. After taking care of that, I headed back out to downtown Miraflores to visit a few more hostels. Then, I stumbled upon a flyer for a bus tour of all of Lima for 25 soles (about $8 USD) run by Mirabus. It was such a steal that I had to hop on! I joined the group of fifteen or so 50+ year-old women and a few small families as we rode on the top level of a double-decker bus and explored the city.
The tour guide pointed out major historic sites and attractions as we drove through the different districts of Lima, including San Isidro, Miraflores, Barranco and Churillos. We drove all along the coast, visiting familiar sites such as el Parque del Amor and Barranquito Beach, until we finally looped back round to the pick up spot.
The tour was a fantastic way to get one last look at the beautiful, traditional city. Afterwards, I headed back to the hotel to grab my luggage and make my way to the airport.
I had a few mishaps in Lima, but overall I found the city charming, bright, charismatic and inspiring. I’ll never be able to wipe the images of the beautiful view of the water out of my head. The people (other than the man on the scooter) were friendly and congenial and made me feel welcome in a foreign city. I would recommend Lima for anyone looking to explore a beautiful, lively, traditional yet metropolitan Latin American city.