July 25, 2016 | Our journey through Lima featured attractions both easily and not-so-easily accessed by tourists.
“Tim!!!!!” Fanny exclaimed joyously. She had spotted him as she descended the stairs towards us. A national champion dancer of the Marinera, Fanny carries herself gracefully and smiles at us warmly from several steps away. “And you speak Spanish, too?!” she asks me, and I nod. “Qué bien!” is her response, followed by a bear hug and the traditional kiss on one cheek.
Fanny Viacava and her husband, Luis, both native Peruvians, teach Spanish with Tim’s uncle John at Groton School in Massachusetts. A few days prior, Tim and Fanny had arranged for us to meet up at Larcomar shopping center before exploring the city together.
We arrived a bit early and took everything in: the misty gray sky, a few hang gliders floating lazily over the beach, storefronts flaunting brand names such as Banana Republic, Guess, and Adidas. It presented a stark contrast to the markets, filled with local goods, that we had frequently seen in Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo.
Fanny, Luis, and their teenage son, Stefano, guided us around the city and through the gates of a super exclusive community called Club de Regatas. What started in 1875 as a single-location rowing club has become an impressive chain of country clubs sprinkled throughout the coastline of Peru, featuring amenities such as Olympic-size pools, high performance training facilities, gourmet restaurants, daycare centers, spas, barber shops, and plenty of lounge chairs along the shoreline. The entire complex is inaccessible to non-members, and we felt as if we had walked through a portal into a different world hidden within the heart of Lima.
The highlights of the day were speaking tons of Spanish with the Viacavas, breathing in fresh ocean air along the pier, and eating delicious chifa (Peruvian-style Chinese food) while gazing out over the South Pacific.