Barranco

We had a rare treat this weekend… a day off! Actually, we technically had two days off (a normal weekend… imagine that!), but Debbie and I had to do some prep for class today, so maybe we’ll settle at a day and a half.

A cool but also semi creepy mural…

In celebration of our vacation, we planned a trip into Lima on Saturday. Debbie and Julie’s favorite part of town is the Barranco district, described by them as “hipster Lima”. It’s the part of the city where a lot of artists and musicians live, and you can definitely feel the artsy vibe (plus there are murals everywhere). There is also a famous 19th century bridge, the Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs), that crosses a ravine (“Barranco” = ravine) turned walkway to the beach (called the Bajada de los Baños). As you might imagine, this part of the district is very popular, especially during the summer months as people are actually going to the beach. The beaches in the area are PACKED, and the waves are decent so there are also a lot of surfers (fun fact: the “shores of Peru” are given a shout out in the Beach Boys song, Surfin’ Safari).

Heading down to the beach

The cliffs and the remaining part of the walkway to get all the way down to the beach

Looking at the way back up


Headed back up…

The church next to the main plaza: Parroquia La Santísima Cruz

I’m getting a little ahead of myself though… As I was saying, we decided to go into Lima, but not until around noon so that we could sleep in!! I got a whole 10 hours of sleep! Plus I had time to accomplish things before we left. It takes about an hour to get into that part of Lima from where we are, and after we got to Barranco, we ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant and did the walk down to the beach. The way down is nice and scenic, and the way up is nice and steep. As a reward for our good walk, we got some gelato and watched some spectacle that was going on in the main plaza. No one in our group seemed to know exactly what it was, but there were a bunch of groups dressed in traditional attire (someone said they were from the highlands but who knows) and doing dances. I wish I had any idea of what was going on/that we were a little closer, but it was still cool to see everyone’s outfits.

Bike ride!

Our last stop of the day was Larcomar, a shopping mall in the Miraflores district of Lima. We rented bikes, per my request, because I’m working on a bucket list goal of biking on every continent (shout out to Kristine who came up with the idea for herself and allowed it to be stolen by me). I only have Oceania/Australia and Antarctica left, and don’t even ask me how I’m going to accomplish that last one.

Early sunset from Parque del Amor

Late sunset from elsewhere along the cliffs

We biked down the road that runs along the cliffs to “Parque del Amor” (Love Park) and then paused and found a good spot to watch the sunset. The sunsets here are pretty amazing, and there are people lined up along all the good lookout spots on the cliffs (Miraflores is basically city, cliffs, beach, ocean) to enjoy the view. You can’t go wrong when you end a day by watching an awesome sunset! Afterwards, we headed back to the mall to return the bikes and then to the car to make the trek home. By the time we got back, I was wiped out. Good thing too because our neighbors kept up their perfect record of Saturday night parties, but I was so tired that I fell asleep without a problem.

Today was the usual Sunday schedule – church, grocery shopping, some relaxation time, and class planning with Debbie. As much as I’ve enjoyed teaching this class, I also won’t be too upset when we don’t have to prep for it anymore! Teaching is a lot of work! The last week of summer school starts tomorrow, so we only have 2 more classes to finish off the robot and city projects. We can do it! I think. I hope.

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