Farther afield today. Destination Miraflores, a district of Lima on the ocean. Everything one reads whether on the net or in a travel book mentions Miraflores. So thought we should have a look see. One of the museums we wanted to see is near by in Barranco.
Yesterday we check out taxi fares and the like and were going to take a cab until the lady at Info Peru told us it would only take one bus to get there from central Lima. It sounded easy so I thought we should try it and take a cab home. Like to see how the locals live. The bus station is a bit confusing, in order to ride the bus you have to buy a rechargeable card for S./5 and then charge it for the bus rides. Cost us double but still 1/2 cab fare. When we get on it is crowded and more people get on at every stop. Sardines. By the time our stop comes the crowd has thinned out and we have only a minor squeeze to get off.
We get to the gallery Museo de Arte Contemporaneo 4 mins after it opened. I am now officially old. I walk up to the cashier and say dos, she replies ‘general’ and I ask if there is a seniors rate. We get in for S./4 each, less than $2. The gallery itself is quite nice, utilizing separate buildings for each exhibit and all surrounded by a moat to keep out the riff raff. The art on the other hand is only OK. Some of it I’m not sure is art.
A bridge crosses the freeway to Miraflores and we see how the other 1/2 live. The sea walk is high above the ocean atop a steep cliff. It is quite a pleasent walk winding back and forth, as the cliff dictates, with very little traffic on the adjacent road. Across the street are high rise condos for the upper eschilons of Lima society.
The downtown area of Miraflores is definately middle to upper class and from a tourist point of view, is really quite sterile. The buildings are modern, most of the shops are generic to the rest of the world, it is extremely busy (Saturday noon) and the traffic is noisy. Even the spot of respite, Parque Central de Miraflores, is not much of a relief. Green yes, with a hundred or so ferel cats to entertain, it has major avenues running on both sides which takes away from any peace sought. For all it is touted Miraflores is not the area I would wish to spend my time wandering around in.
We end our walk 2 blocks from the bus stop so end up taking the bus home and amoratize the cost of the recharge card over two trips. This bus is even more sardine like than the one early today. Debbie’s grey hair nets her a seat offered by a young woman.
There are no rules for walking in Lima, at least none I can make in the two days I have been plying the streets. Usually, if driving is on the right, walking on the sidewalk follows suit. Here not so much. Either side of the walk will do. People here are not so aggressive as in Europe and when on collision course with an oncoming walker will give 1/2 way similar to the way things work in North America. People wait for the green “WALK” sign here much like we do in Edmonton but at an undeterminable time they will cross. Sometimes it is when no cars are headed towards the corner but sometimes it is a mystery. Being good and worldly tourists Debbie and I follow the number one street crossing rule, “Follow a local across”, especially if the local is herding a child or two.
In hot climates people of all ilks walk considerably slower than I do. Here for some reason, some people walk very fast. Even when Debbie and I are walking at a good clip people will pass us. Then there is the opposite end of the scale. Children, older children, in their late teens or early 20’s will walk arm in arm with one of their parents and, oh my goodness, are they slow. The parents are not that old, I think it is the journey that is important and they want to enjoy their time together. I am reading a lot into this but I have no other explanation for such a stroll.
Debbie here. After some rest and organizing for our flights tomorrow we walk across the street to Plaza San Martin to sit and watch the people. There are small groups surrounding speakers with microphones. We think it is like a speaker’s corner, where someone with an opinion or idea can just talk, and people gather to listen.
We stroll down Jiron de la Union to the restaurant we found yesterday and want to try. The crowds of people out strolling, shopping and hanging are amazing. There is a noticeable police presence. The crowds are just as large on our stroll back from eating. It has been a great day of wandering Miraflores and Lima.