Our apartment in Lima is located on the very edge of a major city that is already in the unique position of being located along the coast of South America. As a result, our “backyard” has something of a view:
This view is a gift of the Costa Verde, or the “Green Coast”. Although it is currently partly brown, Ivo tells me this is due to issues with the sensitive ecosystem that keeps the coast green; right now, the city is working hard to bring the “verde” back to the coast. When they do, I imagine this is going to be even more breathtaking.
Framing the overlook (which is just a three minute walk from our front door) is an open park composed of native greenery and dirt pathways. The dogs appreciate the area almost as much as we do; every time Ivo and I walk over, there are several dogs, usually off lead, happily tripping over themselves as they sprint circles around the grass.
One of the best attention grabbers for me is the combination of palm trees and cactuses (cacti? whatever). It seems a fairly common practice to use the cactuses to form fences here, and to be honest, I can’t imagine the kid dumb enough to think hopping that barrier would be a worthwhile idea.
Surrounding the park, which is right on the edge of the overlook, are multiple other apartment buildings. Although the architecture of our home is beautiful and the building is clearly quite new (photos to come in the near future), some of these are for folks with some serious cash to burn. The view from the top floors must be incredible! Nothing but Costa Verde and roaring ocean.
If the view itself weren’t enough, the foliage never fails to amaze. I didn’t know flowers this big and this bright actually existed in real life. The trees and plants here are just thick with color, and from what I understand, this is Peru’s fall (our seasons are exact opposites).
So far as our neighborhood goes, Ivo managed to find the most astoundingly perfect location in a giant city possible. I’m crediting him, not just the city, because even in a giant city, locations this perfect can’t occur with frequency: In short, everything I could ever need (library, dry cleaning, groceries, government buildings, pharmacies, etc) is located on a single long street. With my directional senses not being exactly what you might call… existent… this is the ideal arrangement. I can do everything I need safely, easily, quickly, and in a gorgeous environment.
The architecture in the neighborhood is still something of a puzzle for me. Ivo has explained that the houses in our area, Barranco, were built decades back by wealthy landowners who wanted something fancy and (by default) European, but who also didn’t quite fully grasp the subtleties of the relevant styles. As a result, the houses here are a mish mash of French, Dutch, and Spanish elements, often painted a cheerful pink, red, yellow, or blue.
Although the apartment has been too cozy (and the nightlife here has been too exciting) for me to get out early enough for a sunrise at the overlook, we have gotten to catch a few sunsets. The ocean here is so different from the one in Miami; instead of sandy paradise beaches with gentle rolling waters, this ocean has a rocky shoreline and imposing, intimidating waves. It’s moody and poetic, especially with the mist constantly rolling in from beyond the skyline.