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
Photo by @ruben305rosado
In no particular order, here are 5 of my lasting impressions!
1. Sacred Energy. 🙏😌💓this is somewhat of a continuation from my initial impressions.
Despite not seeing the sun for the most of 4 weeks during our visit, I felt like with all the peaceful loving energy in the air, I didn’t even need that bright ball of energy to replenish and re-energize me. As someone who thrives in warm, sunny climates I thought overcast skies would present a challenge but I was able to find my vibe with my tribe.
Outside of Lima, we took a trip up to Rupac where I felt the same peaceful, warm and inviting energy in the Huaytapallana mountain range. Several others in the Imani pack echoed this same sentiment from their own unique experiences in Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lima as well.
2. Exotic fruits. 😋🍈👌I had my first taste of exotic fruits from South America!! With a fellow travel mate who is an exotic fruit fanatic, he presented at least 3 of these from the list below. In addition to our mini fruit tasting, I got to sample a couple of others. Here's a good handful of these new, sweet, and surprising mouth discoveries I made during my stay.
• Cherimoya - This sweet, creamy blessing from the god is like a piña colada in fleshy almost squashlike texture is known as “the most delicious fruit known to man” by writer Mark Twain.
• Lúcuma - A cross between a mango, peach, avocado...and egg. Hahhaa
• Aguaymanto - These little guys are like small cherry tomatoes but with a bright, tangy citrus flavor. To me, it was like a cross between a cherry tomato, grapefruit, and tangerine.
• Pacay - Okay, this was sooooo interesting to me and gave me a down-under-Crocodile-Dundee vibe for some reason. We got one on the way to Rupac as it is known to grow in the Andes regions. Seeds wrapped in fruit flesh packaged in a large natural bean stalk-like casing. It is known as “ice-cream bean” and that taste descriptor is pretty accurate. It reminded me of a banana combined with the vanilla creamy taste of a chirimoya.
• Last but not least...(don't worry, there is more to come in Colombia), the Granadilla. I wouldn’t say you eat this fruit to get full because it’s mostly seeds - but it is sweet and slimy. The crunchy texture of the seeds in your mouth is like Pop Rocks - a popping party in your mouth.
If you get to go to Perú, I highly recommend you try any of these and don’t hold back!!!
3. Cleansliness. 🚫💨❇️ It was quite impressive how clean Lima liked to keep their dwellings and the city.
In the morning you would find store owners, homeowners, city workers, groundskeepers, and the likes sweeping up the sidewalks and streets corners of dust and debris.
I observed city workers on nearly every block busy meticulously pruning the landscaping, collecting trash, and dusting the sidewalks and entrances. Not once but several times throughout the day.
The efforts they make to keep their city clean definitely left a lasting impression on me!
4. Going right into the landscape, 🌿similar to the Chileans, they also love to adorn their spaces with succulents—only with the added mix of tropical plants as well as cactii. For the entire month, my eyes spied beautiful gardenscapes in residential and commercial settings. I was even introduced to a few new plants I had never seen before and have to say, I love them all!!
But you should know by now I'm a plant enthusiast. Whoa, check out this cactus tree. :)
Being in the neighborhood Miraflores, they honored the name by having multiple motifs of flowers arranged in color to form designs or words in some cases. As an artist and plant lover, I could appreciate the creativity of expression here.
Another observation made was there was virtually no homeless people living off the streets. I have no direct answer for this without diving into social demographic research paper but I couldn’t drive too far in Nashville without seeing on them on the corner.
5. On a final note, one lasting impression: 💗🤗I just can’t get over how nice and incredibly patient the service or retail staff has been during my time the Miraflores / Barraco area.
I once dropped into a Farmacía to try and find a remedy for my face that suffered a massive breakout. Changing climates and environments have an immediate and often adverse effect on my skin. Needless to say, you could read the desperation and despair on y face when I walked in. A kind lady approached me who did not speak English but making every attempt to try and help me find what I needed. This was not an easy task in a region where acne-prone skin is not so common. I must have been there at least 30 mins in a small tienda—and after all that, she even hooked me up so graciously with trial sizes of other acne meds. What an angel.
I just simply love Lima and the kind people I've interacted with.
That's it for my initial impressions of this city.
I won't lie, I got a little misty-eyed upon my departure because I didn't want to leave. At the same time, I look forward to the city of eternal spring and a longly awaited tropical paradise. Excited to see what impressions Medellín, Colombia leaves upon my heart and soul.