Sunday, August 3, 2008

El Olivar

As our days in Lima wound down we fulfilled a request from Nico and spent an afternoon strolling through the El Olivar Park in San Isidro after visiting Huallamarca. El Olivar is a 400-year old olive grove in the middle of San Isidro district and an oasis of calm and nature in the midst of the city. It was established in the late 1500s from seedlings brought from Spain, and some of those original trees still survive on the grounds, which were once the domain of the Counts of San Isidro.

One of El Olivar's more endearing features is that its 23 hectare extension offers a haven for multitudes of birds, and the park features bird identification charts along its central walkway.

For the more history-minded there survive the ancient press and a huge earthenware porongo once used in olive oil production at the site.

We rounded off the afternoon by walking a couple of blocks to the San Isidro traffic circle (ovalo) and a stop for coffee and hot chocolate at the Casa Hacienda Moreyra.

This restaurant is located in what was once the main house, built in the 1700s, of the hacienda of the Counts of San Isidro, and later of the Paz Soldan and Moreyra-Paz Soldan families. The place is filled with antiques and the exudes a sense of luxury from days gone by.

The food is reputed to be quite good. I think someday we'll have to return for a real meal in this wonderful setting.

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