As I make my way around the world traveling with a group of 24 amazing souls, I'm dedicating this series to capturing my first initial impressions and then lasting impressions in each city we visit. All will encompass observations and first-hand experiences of the city, culture, people, and vibes.
This is just one way I want to document these fleeting moments as I absorb the newness and uniqueness each city holds from the lens of yours truly.
📍Lima, Perú - Capital of Perú, one of South America’s Largest Cities, and food destination
A delicious ice cream novelty enjoyed by a friend. Being lactose intolerant, I can only devour the flavors and textures with my eyes. Whomp, whomp.
In no particular order, here are 3 of my top first impressions!
1. Lima is sooooooooo peaceful. 😌🙏☮️Unlike anywhere I’ve been before. It feels like I’m wrapped up in a massive blanket of love here in the Miraflores district of Lima. Upon waking up the first day here in my new bed, I just sat there in the stillness for several minutes rather than jumping into my routine. Something soothing, tranquil, and loving was in the air. It was like 1,000 massive hugs permeating the air. I couldn’t help but take advantage of this auspicious opportunity to extend a state of gratitude. To take the opportunity on this slow Sunday morning to just BE. I don’t think I left my apartment at all that day and was not mad about it in the slightest. I was exactly where I needed to be.
Walking the streets in the days that followed, this peaceful cloud seemed to follow me. If I didn’t know any better I would claim it to be sacred energy. Whatever you want to call it, this is surely a welcome change. As I pass faces on the hustling bustling sidewalks, I feel like I look upon kind eyes. 😊💞A strangely familiar aspect to their faces as if we are family and I had a distorting spell of amnesia.
Just sweet, kind people. My kind of people. I have this feeling I’m going to run into some soul family here. I can just feel it.
This stunning wall mural portrays this sentiment beautifully. I first gazed into the shaman's eyes containing ancient wisdom then following that down to the coca leaves. By the way, coca leaves are used in a variety of ways such as medicinally or for ceremonies, among others.
Stunning wall mural in close proximity to the Peruvian Experience center.
2. The Foooooooood. 😋🍤🥗 In 2019, Perú won Best Culinary Destination in the World, and it's easy to see why.
Such good food in every direction. We’re talking fusion of cuisines like Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Criollo, traditional Peruvian foods, and let’s not forget about the ceviche. Thank you, Micah for dishing me the advice, “Eat all the ceviche you can while you’re there because its the best you’ll ever get in the world.”
This is a fact, and yes I have started on my personal ceviche pilgrimage quest. So far, I have to say this is my fave from Punto Azúl.
An honorable mention in the categories of nutrition, botanicals, crystals, and food presentation goes to Oasis Holístico from a much-needed detox brunch.
ATTN: I interrupt this message to deliver the latest Pigeon report 🐦🐦🐦
Before we get to number three on the list, let’s talk about the pigeons because you know I’m obsessed with our feathered street friends. As captured in my impression from Santiago.
So what’s is the deal with the pigeons over there in Lima, you ask?
Photo credit: Miguel Vera León via Flickr
Well, it appears the pigeons here in Lima have returned to their familiar size prevalent in the states. This flock is definitely leaner compared to their fatter cousins in Chile. They have a sort of elegant presence to them as seen in this fleeting glimpse of one that greeted me on my way into the office one morning. All the more reason I Iove seeing them and my obsession with these cute little guys continues. LOL
Speaking of cute animals...squirrel!! These limb hangers are so dang cute!! I did not catch a snap of these busy, bushy-tailed creatures called Guayaquils. Though I would describe them as a mix between a fox, alpaca and a grey squirrel.
The first time I caught sight of one I was Facetiming my mom and dad when suddenly out the window I saw one scurry past tightrope walking an electrical line that spanned the block. I interrupted my thought and shouted “squirrel!!” (I think we both see the irony in that moment.😉) I just had to sneak a peek at him as he went about his morning.
3. Beep-Beep-beep-beep-beeeeeeeeeeeeep! 🚗🚌🚗The cars in Lima share a distinct language between one another expressed none other than by the horn—and they like to use it...a lot.
You see, getting across intersections and navigating cross-directional traffic flows is a challenge for any driver. If they didn’t lead far into the intersection before proceeding through, or abruptly cut others off, they would never get anywhere. The overall unsaid 'rules of the road' is this: If it’s open; go for it.
Otherwise, wait for your turn and assert yourself with confidence, asking no mercy.
Amusing depiction of the traffic in Lima from Peru Telegraph 😂
After experiencing this phenomenon on the ground as a pedestrian as well as in the back of Ubers, I have a deep level of respect for what the drivers of Lima have to endure in these gridlock, congested areas.
Motorcyclists, being slim and nimble, take full advantage of their size and just sort of do what they want. You'll see them weave between cars, ride up the middle of lanes, zoom up the shoulder of the road, or what have you. It’s no wonder the street feels more like a circus at times!!
As a pedestrian, I immediately took notice I did not necessarily have the right of way. So the rule of survival is this: Look a full 180-degree radius before crossing, TWICE. And watch out for those sneaky motorcyclists, scooters or bikers!!
So now that you understand the rules of the road, let’s get back to the beeps.
Walking alone on the street I got the double-beep from taxis and buses who vied for business. Or, for seemingly no reason at all, other motorists would beep just to let me know they were driving by. Like a neutral, “Hi, I’m here.”
In either case, I actually find this steady morse code of the city to be comforting in a strange way. Like hearing the pulse and heartbeat of the city. It’s not Lima without that constant background noise.
That's it for my initial impressions of this city!!
Lima, I love you. Thank you for having me. Thank you for hosting me. I look forward to seeing what lasting impressions this city leaves on my heart and soul.
Stay tuned for my wrap up of this city adventure coming soon. Chau for now!