Miraflores –an oasis of affluence, beauty, and culture, in the otherwise working class bustling surrounding that is Lima– has its own appeal set apart from that of Peru’s touristy attractions like Machu Picchu, the Amazon, and Lake Titcaca. Unfortunately for me time did not allow me to visit those locales. Instead, during my stay in Peru I remained in Miraflores (with the exception of my day trip to Cañete). Since I was not going to visit Machu Picchu — one of the new world’s seven wonders — I opted for a faux photo in front of a backdrop. When I return to Peru I must take a real photo with Machu Picchu. The one below just isn’t going to cut it. But it will have to do for now.
Lima’s Public Transportion
When Duty Calls
Over two weeks I presented lessons to secondary teachers in Peru on behalf of Pearson publishing, Peru’s Ministry of Education at a winter school held at Punta Hermosa. It was serendipitous how I learned about the job opportunity that brought me to Peru. I was on board a plane equipped with wifi en route to my native Los Angeles to return to be with my family. Those plans were nixed mid-flight when I got word that Pearson Peru was hiring. After spending six days with my mother, father, nieces, and other family members, I was once again aboard a plane headed to another destination. This time, I was heading below the equator which is somewhere I had not been prior. My father asked if I would be okay with the few clothes I was bringing with me. I assured my father that I would be fine and that since Peru is situated near the equator I would have little reason to pack clothes to keep me warm. Boy was I wrong! I was travelling to Peru in the middle of winter. Hello! It was a winter camp at which I was hired. Luckily, I had a nice jacket and a couple of long pants. Unfortunately for me, I did not have the luxury at anytime during my trip to Peru to sport any of the short pants I brought with me. Bummer!
I woke early every morning (except once) to take a small bus from our hostel accommodation to the CAFAE-SE compound just off Peru’s Pacific coast at Punta Hermosa. Punta Hermosa, Punta Negra, and the like, are sleepy beach towns during the winters in Peru, but I imagine they liven up during the summer months. I awoke one morning before our bus departed to CAFAE to explore the surrounding area. I found Punta Hermosa mostly empty and quiet and decided to film the sunrise. While laying on the beach I listened to Dr. Dre’s Compton album which was released after arriving in Peru. The sun was not visible from that vantage point, however, the video was pretty cool.
On Sundays, during my two week stint in Punta Hermosa, my colleagues and I spent our time away from work in the Miraflores district of Peru’s capital, Lima. There, I found clean living replete with Sunday exercise and jogging sessions on cordoned off streets.
Sundays in Miraflores
You can find a diversity of nationals walking the well manicured streets of Miraflores. Also, at the center, not far from the beach, sits Kennedy Park. Seniors gather to Salsa there day away.
Cats also find the place cozy and will sidle up to anyone who decides to rest.
Getting Away from Miraflores
I changed my flight departing Peru to take advantage of the GOES program offered by TSA which allows travelers to enjoy speedier processing when traveling domestically. I had applied for entry into this exclusive club, paid my dues, and was dismayed to learn that if I could not attend an interview at an airport that I would have to forgo my application fee and stand in long lines of travelers on future journeys. Luckily, I found a date and time available that fit my new travel schedule. While in Detroit I was interviewed and granted membership into the program. Now I will be swiftly ushered along to all of my flights over the next five years. Hooray! Or maybe I should say: Arriba! Having changed my flight, I had three extra days to see Peru. Unfortunately, my travel options did not include flying to Cusco, Arequipa, Iquitos, or Puno. I will have to plan a longer trip to those places next year. Therefore, I decided to travel to cities I can reach within an hour or two. I was in luck because my friend lives in a quaint city that was historically and presently inhabited by Afro-Peruvians, Canete. My curiousity piqued and I was resigned to see this city if it was the last thing I did in Peru. It kind of was too. I was in luck because a TV program was being broadcast live there. I met and took a photo with the preserver of Afro-Peruvian music and culture, Mr. Alfredo Valiente.
A local street in Cañete was cordoned off for the taping of the TV program: Negros.. y Que!. The show highlighted the young talent of the kids from Cañete who are learning to preserve and represent their Afro-Peruvian heritage.
Watch to learn more about Peru’s Geography: