A gray blanket of clouds hangs above Lima, as it does during most winter. They look like they portend rain, but they rarely do. Even with the clouds, the view of the city sprawls for miles. Houses cover the mountainsides and hills east of the coastline.
A few moments ago I plugged my head phones in and turned on some epic music—M83\‘s "Hurry Up, We\‘re Dreaming." I came up to Morro Solar—the hill in the south of Lima with the giant lighted cross and the statue of Jesus—after a walk along the beach from the Barranco district. I hadn\‘t planned on it, but I was in exploring mood and had some time to kill.
The giant cross looms over a small worship area and a monument to the Virgin Mary, unlit now during the day. Spread across the hill are other monuments: the planetary observatory, a few obelisks with statues of soldiers and names of the fallen, and the enormous figure of Jesus. Not many people are here: one or two selling drinks and other small candies and a few other people offering to take your photo in front of Jesus.
Lima\‘s new Jesus statue (Max Brown)
After walking the area, listening to my music and taking in the incredible view of Lima, I head down the hill, away from the city. On the other side of Morro Solar, the coastline is fascinating. Large rectangles of rock jut from the ocean at a slant, and waves crash over them. A restaurant is perched upon one of these slabs, with a perfect view of the coast.
A road follows the coast here. To the west, it leads around the base of the hill and back to Chorrillos. To the east is the Playa La Herradura: a collection of restaurants, a few abandoned buildings and what looks to be an excellent surfing area. The landscape is beautiful, and I\‘m not the least bit disappointed I came out here.
As I head towards Herradura, I see small fins poking through the waves. Then a dolphin breaches the water, spinning elegantly as it descends back into the water. As I scan the water I notice about four pods of dolphins circling in the bay. A local fisherman explains to me that they are feeding.
The restaurant, El Salto del Fraile—The Priest’s Leap- is a little expensive, but worth a visit. The location is stunning, and as I sip my coffee, I notice a monk waving his hands as he stands at the edge of one of these stone slabs. After a moment he leaps from the side, into the rough ocean below. He climbs back up and grabs a small tip basket and begins making the rounds to the few guests at the restaurant.