As a world traveler, lover of art, and mother, I feel that I failed Central Lima. Elise and I were holed up in our hotel there for two days – venturing out only for a quick meal in the mall next door. We could have and should have visited the Museo Nacional – or at least strolled the 2km between the main plazas, but a combination of fatigue, noise aversion, and having read that Central Lima was not the safest place to wander put a temporary dent in my Wanderlust. We did, however, manage to get a few impressions of the suburb of Miraflores. We took in the splendid views of the Pacific Ocean from a hillside mall, lunched on sushi and yucca fries near the sidewalk art gallery at JFK Park, and bought our bus tickets to Ica/Huacachina, as well as art supplies for Elise (she was in heaven – Miraflores was ground zero for art shops!)
We also sampled delicious Peruvian caramel and pecan chocolates. If we happen upon another store selling the same treats, my Christmas shopping for my entire family in the US will be done.
On our way to the pre-Incan Huaca Pucllana ruins, we came upon a tiny princess in white. We applauded her fancy dress and gave her a coin to celebrate her special day. (It wasn’t exactly clear to us what that day was, however. She was too young for First Communion, but might have been flower girl.)
We were too late to take a tour of the ruins, but were still able to see how the handmade adobe bricks were carefully shaped and stacked, which helped protect the structures against seismic activity over the past 1,500 years.
Alas, when traveling one cannot See Everything. It is important to know what one loves and values and focus on that. I am much happier on remote islands or in mountain villages than in most big cities (and Elise seems happiest anywhere she can swim, lol). It may seem odd – even though we are traveling for a year, we don’t actually have infinite time on our hands and I don’t want to squander time in places that don’t excite/inspire/spark the imagination. Next time we need to pass through a big city, I’ll make sure we either hit the museums and noteworthy neighborhoods or move on quickly to our next destination.