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Sunday, September 4, 2011

El Puente de los Suspiros - Barranco, Lima






If you are touring Lima, Peru, be sure to make the short trip out to Barranco, a part of the greater city of Lima located along the coast. It is famous as the part of town where many artists have made their home. Today the area is populated with homes, restaurants and a nice beach at the base of the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A trip to Barranco at night will give you the opportunity to see many old houses and restaurants with all their beautiful lights. For geocachers the highlight might be the micro hidden somewhere around the "Bridge of Sighs", or as it is known in Spanish, Puente de los Suspiros (GC2ZQG8). Along with sumajhuarmi we started out around Avenida Javier Prado and the Via Expresa. From there we took the Metro bus, which travels down the express way, passing under the intersections and avoiding stoplights. We got off at Plaza Flores, which is the end of the line for this bus/trolley. I got out my GPSr and found that we were .97 miles from the cache. Off we went walking down a residential street headed towards Barranco. Slowly the architecture started to change as we headed further south. It went from modern construction to old houses built in the 1800's. Another thing that caught our eye was that some of the houses are painted in different bright colors. This is particularly nice given the fact that Lima is cloud covered for months at a time. The color adds some life to the street! Within about 1/5 of a mile of the cache we spotted a park down a street to the right so we headed towards it. There it was! A wooden bridge spanning a ravine that descends towards the ocean. The bridge connects a small plaza area and an outdoor staircase between two restaurants with a street and a beautiful yellow Catholic Church building on the other side of the ravine. There were tourist there with their guide. He was explaining the history of the bridge. According to him and the legend he was drawing from a rich man's daughter fell in love with a poor young man. He father would not allow her to marry him. As the story goes she sat at her window overlooking the bridge watching for her love each day. She did so for many years. The bridge became known as the "bridge of sighs". Did it really happen? Who knows. It's a nice bridge in a beautiful part of town. Underneath the bridge a small road descents towards the coast. It is lined with homes and restaurants. Many of the restaurants have balconies where you can eat your meal and watch the people pass by. At the bottom of the ravine a set of steps will take you all the way to the beach. While standing around listening to the guide and scanning the area the cache hint told us to consider sumajhuarmi announced to me that she saw it. We waited just a few minutes to when no one was watching to retrieve the cache. We sat in the little park below the bridge to sign the log sheet. It took a little longer to hide the cache again as a new group of tourist were on the bridge. We had a great time in Barranco. Be sure to come visit and don't forget to visit the bridge and the cache.
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