The Americas Revisted travel blog

Off after breakfast to change some US$ to soles. There is a money changer around the corner from our Hotel but he is not open yet, so we continue on to Parque Kennedy. We are hoping to remember this area from when we were in Lima in 2004. In actual fact, nothing seems familiar at all. We remember the square and restaurants but the rest ?. We exchange some money at a bank so at least we have some Peruvian cash. Then we choose one of the restaurants for a coffee and to people watch for a while. Miraflores is an affluent part of Lima with nice shops and department stores so it's interesting!

Back to our Hotel to drop off Phil's passport as he doesn't want to carry it around. We then walk a few streets north of our Hotel to the Artisan Markets. We wander along the stalls selling all things silver, alpaca and some tat! It all looks the same after a while but we manage to buy an cute alpaca jumper and little slippers for Tessa's baby. Hope it's a boy!!

It's lunch time and we are not hungry so back to our Hotel. At 2pm we are picked up by Haku Tours for a tour of Gamarra the textile area of Lima. We are driven about 20 minutes to the Gamarra area. Here there are many small high rise buildings (8 or 9 floors) full of smaller stores selling clothing, shoes, material and all the items needed to make clothing. Then there are also stores that make clothes and hats and embroider and print logos on clothes. There are approximately 60,000 people employed in this area including the ancillary staff who deliver and store goods. All the uniforms, police, fire brigade, nurses and school children are made in this area. There is no export here as it is all consumed in Peru. It is chaotic in the streets with traffic, stalls, street sellers, delivery men and people everywhere. A real buzz!!!

Further into this area we come to the witches market. Here locals can buy all their herbal medicines, offerings to the gods and even have their fortune told by the Sharman. One stall has something like a witchety grub, preserved in a jar, also on display are a snake and tortoise all sorts of potions to cure anything and everything. Another stall has all manner of offerings to the gods. For example - llama foetus to ensure a good crop or dolls that will mean love and fertility. There are also black figures that can be used to bring harm to your enemies and aloe and cactus suspended in a liquid that will help with lung problems. Quite bizarre!

We walk on to an area where fruits and flowers are sold. In one corner our guide introduces us to s Sharman, an 87yo lady who will read cocoa leaves. I go first and sit on a stool near her. She has about 20 cocoa leaves that she gathers from the small table in front of her. She then gathers them into a pile all the same way up and brings them to her mouth and mutters sofly to herself. She then moves the whole clump in a circular motion 5 or 6 times and throws them down on the table. She tells me two things, that I have had health problems and that I am going to come into some money. To Phil she tells that he has had good health but someone close to him has had a big health issue (Garry) and he is also going to come into money. The 100M Powerball X-lotto came to mind but we didn't win that! Interesting!

Our trip back close to our Hotel is by Metro. There is only one train line, from the north of Lima to south of Lima, which travels on concrete pylons above the roads. Five stops and we get off and are met by our diver who then drops us off at our Hotel. the Metro is popular and the government is planning more lines to ease the traffic problems.

After an hour we catch an Uber (PEN17) to Parque de la Reserva to the Circuito Magico del Agua which is a park with 13 water fountains that are lit with a combination of laser and coloured lights which is then coordinated in sync with music. It is very beautiful!

No restuarants in this area so back to Miraflores to cafe just down the road from our Hotel.

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