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Travel Diary: Lima

February 3, 2014

A friend of ours arrived to Lima a couple days before we did, and her report from the front line was less than enthusiastic.

“Only come here if you need to for your fashion stuff,” she warned. She described a gritty scene that included unpleasant encounters and a few dead dogs (I know, I know) on the beach. But we cruised into Lima with excitement anyhow, and quickly realized our comrade had only been met with unfortunate first impressions. It can happen in any city, right?

I quickly fell in love with the spectrum of colorful buildings, sprawling palms, misty sea side air and hectic, exciting markets. After reclining in Arequipa and climbing through Cuzco, Lima felt more like good old NYC, with bustling streets, trendy shops, and pretty great nightlife.

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We stayed in Jesus Maria, in this beautiful old house. I loved coming back to it after exploring the city all day.

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Pink pink pink! The kitschy, cute colors reminded me of San Francisco.

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One of many massive towers of fast fashion and production resources in Gamara, Lima’s garment district.

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Sampling pisco-infused emolientes (remember emolientes?) was our evening activity of choice. We found both hole-in-the-wall lounge style emolienterias in Barranco and larger, happening ones full of college kids and electro in Miraflores (the Peruvian equivalent of the East Village).

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It was winter in Lima but luckily winter requires a thin coat and a scarf at most. We still got to hang out by the beach and watch a few boats on the misty water.

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Saw this on the beach. Maria is one lucky girl! Her man could have stopped at drawing her name in the sand, but he ombre-painted rocks and underlined the artwork in red spray paint. That’s love.

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Barranco was my absolute favorite place in Lima. Let’s call it the antique, ornate Lower East Side, with one gorgeous, iced-cake mini mansion after another in faded pastel hues. This is where we visited the MATE museum.

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The night before we left we were invited to see Bareto at the infamous Sargento Pimienta. In case you don’t know, I love me some vintage Peruvian cumbia from the Amazon (also called Chicha). Bareto revived this genre for a whole new generation. This was our third time seeing them, and as always, they were awesome.

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From Lima, we caught our plane back to NYC (but not before sharing emolientes with our cab driver). Long story short? Lima was good to me. And though not pictured above, I recommend having a burger at Bembos at least once. ;}

While we partied our faces off in Bogota on the way to Peru, the way back was more about sleeping in airports, frothy hot tea, and seriously potent Colombian cold meds.

As we landed on the East Coast of the USA, I knew I’d only addressed the tip of my wanderlust iceberg. But because family and friends were waiting for us, it was good to be back home.

I cannot wait for my next trip to South America. Thanks for letting me share this one with you.

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