I’m alive! Yes I’m alive!
Excuse me for the extended radio silence on my blog, but on a brighter note: I’m back in Lima again for another week of volunteering on a medical mission with Heart Care International. As you all know by now, anything that involves me getting dropped off at the airport, checking in and boarding a plane en route to halfway around the world reawakens my soul like no other.
After getting picked up from the Lima airport on our way to the hotel in the district of San Isidro, I couldn’t help but feel this comforting feeling, this feeling of familiarity. This is my fourth time in Peru’s capital within a span of 18 months and it really is starting to feel like home.
From the gritty streets of Callao to the almost unbearable traffic and diesel fumes, nothing seems to phase us anymore. We do, however, always look forward to enjoying our favorite Peruvian foods, maracuya Pisco Sours, the camaraderie amongst other volunteers, and meeting the children undergoing open heart surgeries.
To start off my week here in Lima, I wanted to do a quick photo essay on Barranco.
Barranco is a tiny, bohemian seaside district in Lima to the south of the famous Miraflores. Back in the days, this part of town used to be a famous beach resort for the wealthy citizens of Lima. Nowadays this district is the artists’ enclave, including creative designers, photographers, entrepreneurs, and expats.
It’s “bohemian“, it’s “artsy”, it’s “trendy“. The food and drinks are “cheaper“. “A must visit!”
I’ve read and heard about this place many times over from other volunteers and taxi drivers but never found the time to visit and explore it on foot.
FInally one early evening last October, a couple of us nurses took a cab out to Barranco and had some drinks and tapas at an impressive place called Ayahuasca – an old colonial house turned into a beautiful lounge. This place came highly recommended and we understood why when we got there. From the drinks to the tapas and the music, everything was amazeballs!
We never got to explore the neighborhood that same night because we were too worried about Hurricane Sandy. We wanted to be back in the hotel, our eyes and ears glued to CNN, and make sure New York was still all in one piece.
On my last day in Lima that time around, I finally found some time to escape the hospital-San Isidro-Miraflores bubble that we often get stuck on. I was longing for a change of scenery and Barranco proved to be the change I was looking for.
The colonial buildings and houses were very well-preserved and brightly colored. The neighborhood seemed very calm, very peaceful except for a few touts at some of the nearby restaurants. The heat was bearable thanks to the comfortable Pacific Ocean breeze.
‘Is there some secret spot I didn’t know about? Did I miss the memo? Is there only a certain time of the day or night wherein Barranco comes to life? Should I just find my way back to Ayahuasca?‘
There is so much hype about this neighborhood from the other volunteers to guidebooks and TripAdvisor that I started to wonder if I was even in the right place. Sure enough, after talking to the owner of the restaurant I ate lunch in he filled me in on the deets.
Barranco, indeed, comes alive at night and over the weekends. Clearly I should have known that one!
Regardless I took as many shots to my heart’s desire. I’m a big fan of Lima’s colorful surroundings and anything that’s bright & bold captures the eye.
Of course, wherever a lot of artists hang out and mingle together, I know I’m always bound to stumble upon my favorite obsession – street art!