I have already previously written about different beaches located near Lima: Asia, Punta Hermosa, Chilca, Pulpos, Pucusana...This weekend I went to San Antonio beach, located at the km79 on Panamericana Sur. It is a private beach that belongs to Lima's Regata's Club: the access is only for members and their guests. Apart from the beach, the location has a few swimming pools, restaurants, sport facilities, water park for kids, gym...I had been there many times before, but usually just for a day. This time we were there to celebrate a birthday and we stayed two nights (the club offers different kind of housing options and there is even a camping area).
It's already autumn here, so the weather was unpredictable: on Saturday, it was sunny until lunch time and we could take advantage of the beach and the pool...
But then, the afternoon looked like this:
We did not let the changing weather conditions to ruin the party!
It's the off-season now, so San Antonio's restaurants were mostly closed. The birthday lunch was therefore a picnic style BBQ with homemade fish ceviche as a starter...
...lots of meat from the grill: lomo, chorizos...
...and salads, including an exotic combination of potato and peach (not bad!)...
I had made this cake with bananas, Brazil nuts and rhum, with Nigella Lawson's recipe (I left out raisins and frosting with chocolate chips was my own addition. It's called Forgiving Banana Cake, because it forgives you for modifying the recipe!):
Sunday was mostly cloudy, but it did not matter. It was nice to walk at the beach and watch the (big!) waves -and we even saw some dolphins!
Models, designers and collections are of course the stars of a fashion week, but it is also interesting to observe what happens offstage.
There you can observe the audience...
LIF Week 13 audience photo©Juan Martin Cabrejos
The photographers doing their job...
Photographer at LIF Week 13 photo©Juan Martin Cabrejos
Photographer at LIF Week 13 photo©Juan Martin Cabrejos
...or you can even catch a sight of a rare bird: an Academic Troll running from one show to another!
Academic Troll at LIF Week photo©Juan Martin Cabrejos
I spent last weekend (again) working intensively, but still had quite a nice fin de semana. And why not?
My dissertation advanced many, many pages, and in addition, on Friday I got beautiful flowers...
And on Saturday night I closed my books and turned off the computer to enjoy some culture. Noche en blanco cultural event took place this year in Barranco neighbourhood. From 7pm until 5am the streets, parks and galleries of Barranco were invaded by different kinds of artistic projects: exhibitions, installations, concerts...All together 24 Peruvian and 10 international artists were present.We started our itinerary at MAC (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo) and followed the crowd all the way to the park of Barranco. I probably did not see all the performances (some of the galleries, for example, were so packed that you could see absolutely nothing), but I must say my favorite was Finnish flute artist Ulla Suokko -and I'm not saying this only because she is my compatriot! I've had already previously had chance to hear Ulla at the Finnish Embassy reception, but this time I think her performance was more impressive, in open air, combining different instruments. I did not have my camera with me, but if you want to see some photos of the event you can find them here.My quick review of the event:+ Barranco with many galleries and bars is a great neighbourhood for such an event+ At least at the beginning of the evening (I stayed only until midnight) people were behaving and I did not see many people visibly drunk + Great cultural initiative -many people who normally would not go to museums and galleries had a chance to see some art work
- Far too many people, everywhere. I guess you can't avoid this...- Pickpockets were out and operating, too, as I heard.- All the prices went up: a beer can that normally costs 2,5 soles in a bodega was now suddenly 3.5!
That's it...now we can start guessing which neighbourhood will host the event next year: Surco or San Isidro?
Past months I have been quite actively working on my academic (and also some non-academic) writing projects, in order to be an academic and not just a troll. Unfortunately, intensive writing sessions can be socially isolating, because you need to avoid too many distractions. But then again, if you don't want to go stir crazy, sometimes you have to take a pause, leave your computer and go to see some other human beings. For me, this week I have been reconnecting with the humanity, and actually had so many social events that I almost feel dizzy.Thursday evening I met some fellow Finnish ladies who live Peru, with their special guests from Finland. We had dinner in San Isidro in a café called Paseo Colon. We had met there before, and everybody liked the food and the atmosphere of the place, so it was our meeting point again. I had a Baja Fish Sandwich, because I could not decide if I want to eat something light and healthy or go junk food -this felt like a compromise. It came with coleslaw, avocado and tartar sauce, and was served with homemade fries. Very good, except that I would have prefered real hamburger bread instead of pan françes, which is quite dry. The desserts in that place are huge and very delicious!
On Friday, we were invited to Keiko's and Makoto's sunny terrace in their appartment in Barranco to enjoy a Japanese lunch: a fresh salad...
...and some tofu-filled fried triangles....
...and some fish: this is toyo (tope shark) covered with some miso-based sauce. Delicious!
tope shark, Japanese style
The sun was so hot, that finally we had to move inside to finish the meal with some cold matcha tea. And it is autumn here!
The socialization continued on Saturday, when our friend Diana had a birthday party at the Arab Club. The club serves probably the best Middle Eastern food in Lima -and you can enjoy it by the pool, which is a great plus.
Birthday girl...©Juan Martin Cabrejos
The table is set...photo ©Juan Martin Cabrejos
The menu included various mezzes: hummus, pita bread, salad, falafels, kefta, stuffed bell peppers and zucchinis...
Followed, of course, by a birthday cake:
After this long weekend of relaxation with friends and good food, I'm recharged and can go back to my files and articles with renewed energy.
Hope you had a good weekend too!
This week fashion and design took over the city, as it was the time for the annual Lima Fashion Week, aka LIF Week. This year's featured designers included local talents like Sumy Kújon, Sitka Semsch, Claudia Jiménez, Amaro Casanova among many others, and this year's international guest was Agatha Ruiz de la Prada from Spain. I went to see some of the catwalks, and will write posts about them later -the photos are still in my camera! But I can already reveal that my personal favorite shows were young designers and silver jewellery from Ilaria. And of course, it was nice to observe what the local fashion birds were wearing!I am now going to enjoy my fashion cupcake, courtesy of one of the sponsors of the event, El Comercio newspaper...Have a nice weekend!
When I travel, I usually like to go shopping for some local crafts or artesanal work. I mean, when I travel OUTSIDE of Europe, where everything handmade has an insane price tag. On the other hand -as most women know - 'shopping' does not always equal buying, although it often leads to buying. Last time I had a craft shopping experience was when I was visiting a small town called Lamas near Tarapoto, in San Martín region, some months ago.
Hello World! I'm in Lamas!
Lamas itself is quite interesting place. It has at the same time very 'authentic' (whatever authenticity means these days...) feeling, and yet it has it seems like a tourist attraction. The latter perhaps because there are many souvenir shops around, and the indigenous people of Wayku community are performing music and dances at the central plaza. We were passing the group when they were having their lunch break and I wanted to buy a piece of watermelon. The musicians immediately waved us to join them and have a chat. We met them with a little bit of suspicion, knowing that for example in Cusco, a couple of words or a photo with someone in a traditional outfit usually costs you some soles. But Waykus were more curious than greedy, and we had a nice chat eating tamales (them) and watermelon (me).
Lamas being the capital of indigenous art in San Martin region, I could not leave the place without visiting the women's artesanal center and NGO called Waska Waska Warmi Wasi. It is a place where you can not only buy ceramics, but also follow the process of fabrication.
Waska Waska Warmi Wasi ceramics
What you see in the picture above is the general style of pottery found in the center. Some of them have the text 'Lamas Peru', which gives them a tourist kitch touch, but not all of them had it. There were also pots that can be used for cooking. And prices were very attractive: starting from one USD for a small deocrative pot!
Pottery in making at Waska Waska Warmi Wasi
Unglazed pottery in Lamas
Before walking back to the village, I asked if we could use the toilet there. "Quieres hacer una caquita? Is it for a little poo?" the friendly saleswoman wanted to know. No, no, it's for that other thing, we assured her, wondering if that was part of their routine questioning. Turned out not to be: there was just a little problem with the toilet! Because for a moment, I thought that maybe they collect human poo to make those pots...I ended up buying four, out of which two survived to Lima (that is not a bad score, as I am pretty clumsy). I hope to get an excuse to visit Lamas soon again to buy some more!Ps. I have been a little bit absent-minded this week, and forgot to promote my writing in Expat Blogs Writing Contest! Check out my entry here, and don't hesitate to leave a comment! There is a prize for the author with best reader comment ;)
Beach season in Lima starts generally in December and lasts until April, although you can see all year round brave surfers at Costa Verde, the coast of Lima. The best beaches are outside of the city: I have already talked in my blog about Punta Hermosa, Chilca and Pulpos. This time I want to share some photos from Asia beach, where we spent a weekend with friends some weeks ago. Asia is located at the kilometer 97,5 on Panamericana Sur highway. It is supposedly "the posh beach" of Lima, but also the beach for young and party people, as throughout the summer season all kind of festivals and concerts are organized there. You will also find there a big, open air shopping center called Boulevard de Asia with most of the shops you find in the malls in Lima. This can be handy if you came to spend a weekend at the beach, but forgot your bathing suit or just realized that your old one looked unfashionable ( and -a free tip to European men: no Speedos on Peruvian beaches, thank you. Boardshorts are the only option for a self-respecting male). And once you are done with shopping, you can relax in game areas, outdoor cafés, restaurants and night clubs. But the beach itself is where most of the movida takes place. At the time of our visit, there was a Nike Skatefest, and we got to admire some young and talented skaters...
...and then listening to a local reggae band called Laguna Pai.
All photos ©Juan Martin Cabrejos
Ps. If you are in Lima and need a plan for this weekend, I recommend a new bar that just opened last Wednesday in Barranco. It's called Victoria, and it is located in a beautiful mansion built in 1903, called Casona Cillóniz. Good selection of drinks including Belgian beers and a nice patio!
Have a nice weekend!
Lima was selected as "Plaza Mayor de la Cultura Iberoamericana" for 2014, says today's El Comercio. Congratulations to Lima!
This cultural recognisition among all the Ibero-American capital cities was awarded to Lima thanks to the city's cultural and historical patrimony, as well as the use of public space for art and artistic projects. It means that next year the whole continent's attention will be oriented towards Lima, There will be many cultural events on the agenda for 2014!I love the colonial architecture of Lima's historical center: the cathedrals, Plaza de Armas, even the crowded areas of the center such as Calle Capon, but unfortunately I don't go there very often, unless it's a Chinese New Year or something. Why? Well, I live in other side of Lima and the distances are long here, traffic is a mess...so yes, even my love for architecture knows some limits! But when Mama Troll and Papa Troll came over for a visit, I was happy to join them for a little sightseeing tour. Here are some photos!
Keiko and Makoto in Kambalache Gallery
I discovered an interesting little art gallery/craft shop/yoga, pilates and shiatsu -studio when my friend Rocio asked me to join her for a New Moon event, with a concert and meditation at Kambalache Gallery in Barranco. At this occasion I got to meet an interesting expat couple from Japan, Keiko Ando her husband Makoto, and their Peruvian partner Patricia.
How did they end up in Peru? After traveling around the world for five years (!), visiting 50 countries, they arrived in Peru in 2012 and immediately felt home in the country: "We felt very comfortable here: peace, great food, rich culture and nice people. Peru is a mix of many cultures: it's like sushi with quinoa!".
When visiting the region of Huaraz, they met a Peruvian lady called Patricia Moyano, to whom Keiko showed her drawings. Patricia in turn introduced them to Barranco neighbourhood in Lima. "Beautiful buildings of bel époque -style, slow life style, cheerful streets, watching sunsets and enjoying an infinit view over the ocean". By the poetic way they describe the neighbourhood, you can tell that they fell in love with Barranco! Now they have lived in the nieghbourhood for two months, and seems like it was exactly the kind of place they were looking for settle down.
Before their new life in Lima, Parisian born Makoto used to work in tourism, for a Japanese tour operator based in London. On weekends, he used to work as a DJ, known as DJ Jet Stream. "I played around the world, from larger festivals to smalled underground parties in cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Hongkong, Brussels, together with internationally known DJs such as Laurent Garnier, Derrick May, Damien Lazarus, Jamie Jones and more", tells Makoto. Keiko used to be a professional snowboarder (champion in 2005!) and a yoga instructor -she initially discovered yoga to support her snowboarding hobby. In Japan, she used to teach yoga and lecture and talk about yoga in radio shows. As a certified yoga teacher, she now brings her yoga knowledge to Kambalache, where you can join her yoga and pilates classes for 25 soles a class, or 160 soles for one month including eight classes.
What is Kambalache Gallery about? "We would like to offer a place that respects the environment and where people can prosper through art" explains Keiko. At the moment there is an exhibition of Keiko's drawings, and the picture frames are made of recycled plastic. "I want to raise consciousness of ecological issues with my art. These frames are so light and easy to carry, from an exhibition in Tokyo to another one in New York". There are more exhibitions to come up, and also various workshops (music, pilates, shiatsu, yoga, for children with special needs...). On the shop side, you should check out Patricia's bags and jewellery designed by Keiko and her Japanese friend Atsuko Naito (they recently had a joint exhibition in Japan).
Keiko Ando's exhibition in Kambalache
Jewellery for sale in Kambalache, Barranco
Any tips for Lima? According to Keiko and Makoto, a perfect day in Lima would be something like this: "Breakfast with tropical fruits and coffee from selva (jungle), then have lunch with ceviche and a Pilsen beer, followed by a walk at the beach to watch the sunset, ending the night in Barranco to visit some art galleries". Doesn't sound bad!If you want to visit Kambalache Gallery, you will find it at Calle 2 de Mayo, Barranco. Keiko's exhibition, Coexistencia Pacifica is still on, and 1st of March there is going to be an event called Noche de Ninja: exhibition of ninja shoes with music and sushi! For more information on events and yoga classes, send an e-mail to kambalacheperu (at) gmail.com.If you need a shiatsu massage, drop an e-mail to Makoto at makotomasajeperu (at) gmail.com or find out more on his website at Makoto Masaje.
Also, find out more about Keiko's art at Keiko Ando Art World
CHUSPA bags for sale in Kambalache, designed by Patricia Moyano
The Peruvian-Japanese team of Kambalache Gallery: Keiko, Makoto and Patricia
Here comes the first post in a new series Entrepreneuring Expats! This series is based on interviews with foreigners living in Peru with an interesting business or artistic project.
Carolina Restrepo is a designer originally from Colombia and creative director of her own brand, Puro Corazón. Carolina has lived in Peru for seven and half years, with her Belgian husband. I met Carolina in her lovely showroom in San Isidro, Lima.
Puro Corazon Showroom Photo © Juan Martin Cabrejos
Photo © Juan Martin Cabrejos
"Back in Colombia, I used to design swimwear" Carolina says. Her Belgian husband's work in development sector brought them to Peru seven and half years ago, and as many expats, Carolina had to find her own way in her new home country. She fell in love with Peru's very rich artesanal tradition, but found that in Lima there were not many shops for the kind of products she had in mind. When she first met the group of Peruvian women with who she still currently works, she fell in love with their brodery work, but she wanted to mix it with more contemporary designs, shapes and materials. She then designed her first bags and took them for sale in Dédalo (art gallery and shop in Barranco neighbourhood). Even to her own surprise, the first bags sold out within a couple of months, she needed an enterprise register number in order to pick up her pay check and that is how her enterprise was born! "Not knowing much about entrepreneuring", Carolina adds. Carolina's Tips for Lima:As her husband is a big fan of Peruvian food and gastronomy, Carolina usually takes her visitors somewhere where they can eat well, such as La Buena Muerte (Luis Aldana 127) in downtown Lima: a traditional cevicheria offering copious portions. Or to Amaz (La Paz 1079), a jungle restaurant with Amazonian fusion kitchen in Miraflores. "You never actually know what they will serve you, you just discover the plate when it's served to you". For good bread she would go to El Pan de La Chola in Miraflores (La Mar 918) and to eat churros, La 73 (Av. El Sol Oeste 175) in Barranco. Carolina also loves to shop for organic products in Bioferia organic market (in Miraflores and in Surco, on Saturday mornings).
For shopping, she loves to explore the neighbourhood around Calle Capon, where you can find everything from silver jewellery to old eyeglasses. And as Carolina loves fabrics, she does not miss an opportunity to browse some vintage fabrics in this part of Central Lima. She also likes a store called La Quinta in Larcomar (Larco 497), where you can buy t-shirts with all possible brand prints -made in Peru, of course! As her favorite Peruvian designer she mentions Andrea Llosa.
On cultural side, she suggests to get a group of four or more, and make an appointment for a tour in Galleria Enrico Poli (Lord Cochrane 466), a private collection in San Isidro. Why? "They have their own very special version of history"How about Peru? Where to travel? Carolina loves the region of Ayacucho, where her bags are made. "Paracas is a beautiful city, and I also like to go to Ica for sandsurfing."
Any advice for other expats? "Living in a new country allows you to see things that people native to that country do not see. Make most of your 'new eyes' and be open minded. Let the country or city talk to you, and you can get new ideas"
That sounds like a good advice, thank you Carolina!!!
Ps. If you feel like visiting Puro Córazon Showroom in San Isidro, you will find it in Calle Manuel Gonzales de la Rosa 235.
Carolina Restrepo Photo © Juan Martin Cabrejos
Entrance of Puro Córazon Showroom Photo © Juan Martin Cabrejos