Lima, Peru: Inka Plaza & Real Plaza Salaverry [Days 34 – 35]

Day 34 | Saturday, November 26, 2016

Today we are wandering back to the Inka Plaza in Miraflores to purchase a painting, some finger puppets, and anything else we think we need to remind us of Peru.

The Plaza is not nearly as overwhelming now that we have travelled to a few different cities in Peru, taken a few tours and gotten a little history lesson. So many of the items make since and have so much more meaning now. 

We saw a painting, that we have decided that we really like and want to make a part of our collection, the first Saturday that we shopped the Inka Plaza. We are hoping they still have it.

Unfortunately, the stall where we saw the painting at appears to be closed today. We aren’t sure if it is permanently closed or just for today. They still have stacks of paintings out so we are hoping it is just for today. We figure we might as well go through the stacks and see if we can find the painting we are looking for. Usually this triggers someone from another stall to come over and help you. Sure enough here comes a gentleman from a couple of stalls over. He realizes that we aren’t finding what we want so he motions for us to follow him. He takes us a couple of aisles over to a locked stall and opens it to reveal a space about 7 feet by 12 feet chocked full of paintings. We look around but don’t see anything in the style we are looking for. We thank him and wander on. We had both noticed a stall near the first one we were at that had similar paintings to the one we were looking for. We made our way to the stall and looked around. We found one that was very similar and inquired about the price. Same price as the previous one we had looked at. We thanked the stall attendant and said that we wanted to look around. 

After walking the whole plaza and coming up with only one other painting that was similar but they wanted twice as much we wandered across the street to the Indian Market.

The first day that we shopped the Indian Market Steve discovered the finger puppets that many of the vendors stock. He was hooked. This is just the kind of kitschy thing that draws him in. I have to admit they are fun. Wandering through the Indian Market labyrinth we stopped at stall after stall and dug through their assortment of finger puppets. Some stalls yielded great scores others yielded nothing. We are still on the look out for a painting too. We have seen a couple but they aren’t quite what we are looking for and they are often more expensive than the one we saw at the Inka Plaza today. Finally after winding our way through the entire market we decide we have a decent collection of finger puppets and that we are going to head back to the Inka Plaza to purchase the painting.

We are now the proud owners of a Cusco inspired painting. It will be a great addition to our collection.

The large bag on the ground out in front of this stall is full of finger puppets. This is how all the vendors stock them. Some have a few out on display but really you just have to dig for them.

Now for some “lunch” (at 4:30 pm) and that is a wrap for today.

Day 35 | Sunday, November 27, 2016

When strategizing how to get all of our belongings into a regulation carry-on and a backpack for each of us Steve decided to invest in some compression bags. They have worked out really well and we have decided that we would like some more. We might be searching for a needle in a hay stack though. We did some googling and have found a couple of luggage stores in the area so today we are going to venture out to a mall that is nearby but in an area we haven’t been to yet. It is only about a 20 minute walk from our apartment. We shall see what we find.

As has been my experience so far with malls in Lima, Real Plaza Salaverry is impressive. It is a large mall with 4 floors of shops and 1 floor dedicated to the food court. It has a wide range of stores ranging from anchor stores like Ripley and Saga Falabella to small local shops like Agua Clara, Andean, and ILARIA. It also has a ton of American brand stores like: Adidas, Banana Republic, Columbia, Converse, Volcom,  Sketchers, and The North Face. Plus a bunch of great restaurants.

My favorite part is that the mall is all decked out for Christmas. The focal point being a giant Christmas tree with a train for kids to ride circling it and a human wielding claw machine in which you can take home a Christmas prize.

None of the 3 luggage stores yielded any compression bags and although the other stores are fun to look in we just don’t have room to buy things.

After grabbing some lunch at a restaurant called, LongHorn, we made our way back towards our apartment. 

On our way to the mall we had passed a store called Tatoo that looked like it might be an outdoor gear store. We decided to stop and take a look. Sure enough this is the REI of Peru. It is smaller than the REI stores we have back home but it is really well stocked for the size store it is. Believe it or not I have found the needle in the haystack. They have one 3-pack set of compression bags by Lewis’n Clark and for a fair price (not always the case with imported brands). They aren’t the same brand as the ones we currently have but I think this is as good as it is going to get in Peru.

Well we are going to consider that a successful conclusion to our day.

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