Gamarra Shopping Center – Gamarra Centro Comercial
Posted June 5, 2010on:
Last Saturday my friend Pedro asked me if I wanted to go with him and some friends to Gamarra. I had never heard of Gamarra before but once he told me it was a place to go shopping I said “count me in!”. Gamarra is located in the district of La Victoria and is the biggest textile market in all of Peru. It spans an entire block and is a Peruvian-style shopping mall, with small modules for microbusinesses.
Pedro’s advice to me was don’t carry a purse and wear running shoes! There are a lot of people at Gamarra on the weekends and the streets are very crowded. Apparently there is a lot of theft here so they warned me to be careful with my things and keep my camera hidden while we were in the street. However, I managed to sneak my camera out and take a couple of pictures in the street.
There are numerous gallerías that you can enter such as Salomon, Centro Gamarra, Generales, Santa Rosa, Santa Lucia and so on and so on all the way down the street. I am not exactly sure which one we went into but they told me it was the biggest one there.
Each gallería is composed of hundreds and hundreds of little stores. Inside it is like a labyrinth that just keeps going and going, floor after floor. Clothes here are inexpensive and there is a huge selection of everything imaginable for woman, men and children. There are also shoes and accessories. I bought two sweaters and a robe. I think the sweaters were around 20 soles each ($8) and the robe, which came with a nightgown, was 25 soles ($10). Jeans are also 25 soles and there are lots of different styles and colors of denim to choose from. The next time I go back I hope to buy some jeans!
From the upper floor of the gallería there is an interesting view of a hill called El Cerro San Cristóbal. Pedro told me this is an important historic place. It is situated close to the Rimac river and was a site of confrontation between the Spanish and the indigenous populations in the 16h Century. The conqueror Francisco Pizarro named the hill and erected a wooden cross at the peak. Unfortunately, the cross isn’t visible in my photo. From the top of the hill there is supposed to be a great view of the entire city. I will have to go one day and check it out.
I enjoyed my day at Gamarra. It was the first time I left Miraflores with someone other than Luis and I met some new people who were very nice. In addition to Pedro and I, there were his friends Ernesto and Gabe and a friends of Gabe’s whose name I never caught.
Gabe’s friend is from Venezuela and Ernesto grew up in the selva (the jungle near the Amazon) so over lunch we had an interesting conversation about the different kinds of fruits and vegetables that are common in each place and the typical dishes that come from each region. Apparently there a lot of different types of bananas in the selva and each one has a specific purpose or is used in a specific dish. For lunch both Pedro and Ernesto had Juane con Tacacho which is a typical dish from the selva. Tacacho is made from plátanos verdes and cerdo (green bananas and pork) and Juane is made up of rice, chicken, eggs and olives mixed together and cooked in hojas de bijao (leaves that are similar to banana leaves). I tried a bite and it was different but tasty.