Lima is a bustling city full of things to see and do. It’s sad because it often gets overlooked by its more popular neighbour Cusco, but what people are missing are the hidden things that takes time to discover.
I’d been in Lima for a few days and was starting to get a feel for my area Miraflores. This was the fancy, well-developed area of Lima – the rich persons holiday destination you could say. It perched on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and was a popular place for surfers, para-gliders and sun bakers alike. Though Miraflores can lead you into a false sense of how Lima really is. It doesn’t feel like a South American city as its safe, relatively orderly and clean. However as an introduction to Peru for yours truly, it was perfect.
As I had two weeks in the city, I took my time ticking off the tourist attractions. It was a nice way to travel especially after the super busy time in Hawaii. One night when I didn’t have to work, I went with some new friends from the hostel to the Parque de la Reserva to see the Guinness Book of Records largest water fountain complex – Circuito Mágico del Agua.
The circuit consists of 13 different water fountains which come alive at night and change colour schemes continuously. Founded by the mayor of Lima, Dr. Luis Castańeda Lossio, this project was controversial due to the huge sum of money it cost to create. Over 13 million dollars was spent to reconstruct the park – which also caused drama because the park is considered historically significant. However over 2 million people have visited the park and the money made from the entrance fees to the park have gone towards re-opening the Municipal Theatre of Lima so criticism has been swiftly shut down.
Walking around the park its hard not to be impressed with the sheer extragvagence of it all. The largest fountain, the 120m-long Fuente de la Fantasía (Fantasy Fountain) is mesmerising as it shoots water high into the air and changes colour from yellow to pink to blue. While the park probably is more targeted to families, we still had a blast here. The group favourite was definitely the water fountain tunnel which you could walk through. Of course the idea is to not get wet, but we did. It was too hard to resist!
We spent over an hour in the park which was more than enough time to see the entire circuit. Afterwards we went in search for dinner nearby and came across an outdoor food market. We found a spare table and ordered the special on the menu plus bulk cervezas and proceeded to talk a lot of shit. We were random bunch, two English, a Canadian, a Kiwi, a Dutch and an Aussie but the banter was endless. Our food arrived and we hooked in, devouring the delicious meat that was unidentifiable. After demolishing the whole platter, we asked the waitress what kind of meat we had just eaten and she said cow and pointed to her stomach. After some confusion we realised we had just eaten cow intestines! Cue grossed out looks and big gulps of beer! Ah nothing like trying new things!
After digesting the cows intestines we caught a cab back to Dragonfly Hostel and walked to a club down the street which was supposedly really good. Walking into the main area it took about two minutes to realise we had walked straight into a gay bar. Flamboyant looking men were twerking way better than I ever could and as six Caucasian tourists, we stood out like a dogs hind leg! Not worried in the slightest we bought Pisco sours and kept them flowing, dancing the night away. It was a hilarious and fun night and one of the reasons why I love travel. You could start your evening playing in water fountains and end up dancing in a gay bar.