When we chose Peru as our blockbuster #take12trips challenge, we dreamt of adventures filled with long hikes through mountains, Incan ruins and the obligatory llama sightings. Little did we know that adventure was laying just around the corner from us in the capital of Peru, Lima.
After sleeping off the jetlag at 511 Hostel in Miraflores, we meandered through the Parque de Amor on the coast. In between the mosaic love notes and the statue of the kissing couple we spied the forms of surfers and paddleboarders catching some waves.
Now considering it had been quite a while since I had been surfing, I was a little nervous about the strong current pummelling me on the rocky pier. However, the opportunity to surf one of South America’s best spots was too good good to resist, and so we hired some boards and wetsuits from Johnny and headed for the shore.
Word of advice; if you plan on surfing in Lima, make sure you rent some booties beforehand. The shores are covered in rocky pebbles and sharp rocks on the seabed – I ended up cutting my foot on one that made hiking, combined with not showering and sweating profusely for 5 days, a bit of a messy business.
Hours later I dragged myself up and the board up on the shore and rested, spending the next hour or so chatting to Johnny and his mates while John caught a few more waves.
After a gruelling surf session, we headed to Larcomar and stuffed ourselves with stacked ham and cheese sandwiches and fresh juice. Looking up, we spied parachutes soaring over the shopping centre. They circled around the peninsula and sailed back past us, towards the Parque de Amor. Although we were pretty tired from surfing, it isn’t every day you can fly around Lima and see Peru’s capital, and we quickly rocked up to the paragliding centre in the park.
My heart was racing, my head filled with various thoughts of plummeting into the sea, or smashing into the side of a cliff. As soon as I attached the harness and parachute though, the hot air immediately began to lift us up into the air. Luckily my guide, Tommy, was reassuring and explained how paragliding worked as we began flying over the beach we had only been surfing in a few hours earlier.
Peering down on the surfers below, and gazing at Lima’s various parks and monuments while the sun set, was paradoxically thrilling and relaxing at once. Either way, it was an ideal first day in Lima and prelude to the adventures we would have later on in Peru.