Barranco the bohemian art district of Lima is perfect for some weekend fun of shopping, gallery visiting, eating, and views! Just ask Lynn…
This article was originally published on the blog John has a new contract!
John and I went to Barranco last weekend; one of the 43 districts in Lima, known for its art murals, bohemian and romantic atmosphere. It’s right beside Miraflores where we live and we don’t seem to get there often, but it’s always lovely.
There were two big reasons we were there last weekend.
The number one reason was to visit La Zapateria, a quaint shop that sells handmade shoes and boots!!!
I had heard about this place from one of my friends here. John heard about the same place from one of his co-workers (side note, I think now almost all of John’s ex-pat co-workers have been and ordered from the store!)
Off we went to check it out and buy some custom made shoes. We weren’t able to bring in our favourite style of shoe and ask for it to be re-created, but we were able to choose a style we liked, the leather we wanted, and the stitching we wanted. John bought a pair of boots and I bought a pair of sandals. Selection does change and I’ll be back to see about a new pair of boots!
The shoe shop. Check out all those wooden shoe forms, and I’m lusting for that leather!
Bought the sandals on the right and going back for those boots, but in a different colour combo – because I can!
Reason number 2, last Saturday was International Pisco Sour Day!
And since Peru is the birthplace of the Pisco Sour, it is only fitting to have a competition on who makes the best Pisco Sour. The friendly competition was hosted by Traveling & Living in Peru (local ex-pat newspaper) and Internations (a worldwide organization about connecting people). Essentially a reason to act immature and drink in the late afternoon!
Fierce competition; 8 contestants coming from all over the world (Argentina, Venezuela, Chile England, Scotland and the States). One competitor used an electric screwdriver to mix his drink (no blenders were allowed!). Two of the competitors had never made a Pisco Sour (first time at the competition.) The winner had been in the competition before, (always the bridesmaid, but never the bride).
The funniest part, when we went to the competition locale, a young lady asked if I was Lynn. Come to find out this is the editor for Traveling & Living in Peru and who I’ve been sending my blogs to. I’m always so surprised when I see somebody I know/or in this case was recognized. A city of 10 million people and I say I know nobody here. But maybe I’m not quite so anonymous after all.
Some of the competitors and the Pisco Sours.
A few of the other places we’ve been to in Barranco: Dedalo, a local art gallery I always check out.
They have some lovely pieces – jewelry, some killer textiles (really would love one of their coats), and lots of fabulous wood pieces. Whoever does the buying for their shop has a fabulous eye.
On our Barranco adventure, we also checked out MATE or the Mario Testino museum.
Mario is best known as a fashion photographer from Peru (has photographed Princess Di and local indigenous people), though maybe his bigger claim to fame right now is being part of the #metoo movement (though as a predator). Regardless, the pictures are incredible and it was a great visit.
And one cannot leave Barranco without visiting the Bridge of sighs; “hold your breath the entire length of the bridge and all your wishes come true”, or at least this is the legend.
Under the bridge are some of the many art murals in the city. Plus of course, the food to be checked out. My favourite place to go (also considered a hidden local hotspot) is Burrito Bar; huge burrito and a shockingly good margarita!
We’re so “local” now, it’s easier to take the bus into Barranco rather than hailing a cab.
The bus is always interesting – it can be a bit “earthy”, but always fascinating people watching. One of the interesting bits are the people who come onto the bus to sell a product. I still miss the majority of what they are selling, but I am slowly catching a word or two. Today’s seller was hawking chocolate (2 for 1 sole), he was from Venezuela (lots of Venezuelans in the country trying to make a living as it is desperate in Venezuela.)
Last week a fellow was selling books – a medical book with maybe local remedies? 10 soles, regular price in bookstores 16 soles. (Don’t be too impressed I know some of the details, John needs to fill in the gaps for me!) Even more interesting when the bookseller was on the bus, I noticed another busker was getting ready to come onto the bus (guitar and amp) but saw the bookseller and didn’t get on – no compete clause? When we got off the bus today a busker asked if he could come onto the bus and sell his product. The sellers will get on, give their pitch, got to all the passengers to see if they might be interested and then get off the bus. Repeat. That’s a tough way to make a living.