About two hours outside Lima, is the little town of Antioquia. We recently drove there on a Saturday morning, tired of overcast skies and bleak Lima weather. As soon as we crossed the first hills, about 20 minutes from home, the white skies were suddenly blue, with bright sunlight bathing the brown hills and green river valley. We drove past Cieneguilla, our usual weekend day trip, and continued on a pretty awful road. Just when I was about to say something about the rearrangement of my internal organs, there was a relatively new and smooth road that started in the middle of no-where. (Welcome to Peru.)
The road follows a river valley with plenty of agriculture, where we identified everything from aji amarillo, to quince, to the small peruvian apples, to what we think was potato plants. The road crosses several rather… well, frightening Indiana-Jones-ish, bridges. Unless you are a small boy with a sense of adventure, or the father of said small boys. All three my boys screamed “weeeeee!” at every downhill and every bridge.
The town is famous for its murals. The buildings are bright white – in sharp contrast to the dusty mountains and fertile valley. The favorite themes seemed to be flowers, fruit, and birds of all sorts. The village church was definitely worth a second look.
Unfortunately there is not many places you can park a typical american SUV. (Even though ours, a Jeep Liberty, is on the smaller end.) We ended up not walking around as much, as we had two sleeping boys in the car, no place to park, and wanted to find a place to eat before waking the sleeping monsters! Most of these pictures were taking from the car.
We had lunch at a campesino restaurant next to a canal , where there was plenty of space for little people to stretch their legs, play with sticks, and enjoy an honest to goodness tire swing! Lunch was a parillada – beef, pork, chicken, served with salads, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and the andean version of tamales, called humitas. Delicious! The whole meal was Sol/80 (about $30)
I look forward to making the trip again – this time with a wide angle lens for the incredible mountainous terrain and more time to walk around. Definitely worth the two rather bumpy hours! I would however suggest that you leave there early enough to make the return trip in daylight.