Street Art in Beautiful Bohemian Barranco - Day 521
It surpassed our expectations, especially the street art in the beautiful, bohemian Barranco, even though Tim was nearly run over by a tram!
It is strange, when we were looking at a place to stay in Lima, I read a few articles about different districts. The area of Barranco was described as bohemian, but not very complimentary. So, in the end, we stayed somewhere reasonably central so that we could travel around this city easily.
Today we decided to visit Barranco, and it's famous street art. Well, what a wonderful place. If you ever come to Lima, we highly recommend that you stay here.
The area is clean, green with delightful, interesting residential roads, charming architecture, many fabulous cafes and, of course, the street art.
Our Uber driver dropped us off and immediately in front of us was beautiful and vibrant works of art on the walls under a bridge. After taking many photos, we wandered around and came to the wooden Bridge of Signs — more delightful Street Art, plus a fantastic sculpture of a man appearing from a snakeskin.
We had a late start this morning as my blog about yesterday took quite a bit of time to write. It is a slow process typing on my phone; the laptop is still broken.
By the time we had strolled around a few of the street, it was lunchtime. I noticed a man of senior age at the door of a restaurant warmly chatting to a couple of tourists just leaving the establishment.
As they left, he greeted us and shared that the restaurant, Sóngoro Cosongo, had been in his family for the last three generations and the same family of Afro-Peruvian women, the real artists in the kitchen, were still with them, preparing exquisite Peruvian food for the family as well as the customers. We were sold.
His cousin, another elderly man, was playing on the piano and later he joined him and sang a song for us. What a delightful character and the meal was delicious.
We carried on our walk, stopping to admire more artwork adorning the walls. I read that back in 2015, the Mayor of Lima ordered over 60 murals to be covered in yellow paint as these were said not to represent the UNESCO heritage values. However, it was believed this was more of a political decision.
In response, the district of Barranco organised a street art competition Las Paredes Hablan (the walls speak) to create more spaces for creativity, cultural and artistic expression through painting.15 walls were designated to be painted by the winners. The overall winner was Jonatan Rivera who painted the fabulous "Home of Sigh" of a man holding a heart cut from his face. Sadly there is now loads of graffiti written over this stunning work of art.
Eventually, we reached MATE, a permanent display of work by Mario Testino, photographer of the famous.
There were rooms named Presence, Performance, Appearance, Radiance, Illumination and Observation, mainly of large prints of supermodels in slinky attires looking "gorgeous darling". Not really my cup of tea, I have never been interested in the world of fashion. (Can you tell?)
There was a separate exhibition with photos of local people in Cusco wearing beautiful colourful traditional costumes and also a display of the last official photo shoot of Diana, Princess of Wales that Mario took for Vanity Fair two months before her death. When the photos were sent for her approval, Diana said that her sons said that they were the most authentic likeness of her that they had seen, and Mario commented that she was a sensitive, beautiful, kind person and how privileged he was to be able to document her.
We carried on our walk. "Watch out" I cried as Tim was nearly run over by a tram. It was stationary at the time!
We came to a lovely plaza full of families enjoying the Easter break. A magician was performing with young children from the audience and had such a lovely rapport with them.
At 4 pm we were again meeting Christian. He kindly had printed off our boarding passes for our flight with budget airline Viva. ( They charged us £12 each to print the darn things off when we flew from Lima to Cusco - we were not going to get charged again!)
We had such a delightful chat with Christian, hearing more about his Fig farm, talking about fertilising the land. I did suggest he kept pigeons like my Uncle Les did and used their bird poo!
We also discovered that renting apartments here is very expensive. Christian is often in Germany and found that rent in Berlin is cheaper than Lima! Mind you, it is hard to compare the cost of living, there are too many variables to take into account.
The cafe, Las Vecinas, sold his figs, and we ate one of their yummy fig and coconut muffin. Well, it would be rude not too!
Yet again, another delightful day in Lima, it has surpassed our expectations considerably.