Tasty Lima

Posted on January 25, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Lima is a big, loud, messy, busy place crammed with people. Our first experience on the ground was a taxi ride through the city from the airport out West to our guesthouse in the South. Much like South East Asia, on leaving the transport hub (in this case, the airport), we were assaulted by cries of 'Taxi! Taxi!' and the even more insidious 'No, no, you want official taxi? You come this way'. Our guesthouse had arranged a taxi for us before we had left Chile, but our flight had been delayed on the ground in Santiago by an hour. We were afraid we'd have to stubbornly resist these random advances until we could find a phone and the phone number and apologise for being late.

However, as with everything to do with <a href=”http://casa667.blogspot.com&#8221; >Casa 667</a> – the aforementioned guesthouse – it worked out beautifully. Miguel, the taxi driver, had been informed of our late departure and so hadn't been waiting around for ages. He hove into our view with our names on a sign, and we followed him out through the throng of taxi drivers to his car outside. Even on the way outside (with Miguel within earshot), we were being propositioned by drivers.

It turns out driving in Peru is like driving in India – chaotic, noisy and filled with near misses. Lanes don't exist for long; the constant merging and remerging of traffic creates a flow of almost accidents that gives you a respect for the exacting knowledge of the size of their cars that Peruvian drivers have. This is where he took us, Casa 667:

The first afternoon our host, Mabel, showed us around the local district (Miraflores), including a local market. In Lima, the cost of fish and seafood is almost as low as the cost of vegetables – and that's saying something. We also had our first menú del dia in a local restaurant. Holy potatoes, the food in Peru is unbelievable. And cheap. For example, my starter was a simple thing: papas a la Huancaina the "Huancaina" referring to a simple spiced sauce, and the papas being potatoes. The total cost for the menu was 6 soles – GBP 1.28 – which also included a main course and a drink. Yum.

Later in the day we walked down to the waterfront to try and catch the sunset – but due to Lima's almost omnipresent cloud (but no rain), we were forced to have another excellent meal instead, and walk home along a street fronted by jewellery stores.

The next day was Sunday and a new arrival in the house was Agathe, a wonderfully enthusiastic French woman who had decided to take a short holiday from her work in New York. Mabel invited us all out to lunch with her and her friends at a fish restaurant in the untouristed district of Chorrillos. There we were introduced to Peruvian pisco, in the form of a pisco sour cocktail, chicha morada (made from purple corn) and ceviche, one of Peru's national dishes (I had a fish only version which was lip-smackingly delicious, and pleasingly spicy).

After lunch we went for a walk through the bohemian Barranco district which was filled with smiling moments: Rachel bartered for a necklace and with Agathe was able to get a great deal, we passed a cinema that specializes in art house films, passed works of the Cow Parade and we darted across a dangerous highway to get back home.

On our final full day in town, we visited Lima central, which has most of the obvious tourist attractions in the city. On the way there, our taxi driver discovered that Rachel was Irish, and started lamenting Theirry Henry's apparently infamous handball. These South Americans are fútbal mad I tells ya.

The Plaza des Armas (central square) sports some incredible architecture, we had a tasty and filling S./5 menu del dia and walked down the city's major shopping street which is pleasingly pedestrianised. We tried to head for the art museum, but it was closed for refurbishment work. Interestingly, there was still a huge crowd of limeños (folks from Lima) inside. We asked later and found that they were cueing for summer art classes, varying from guitar playing to oil painting. Awesome stuff.

Our new French friend Agathe left the Casa early in the morning, and we followed in the afternoon, bound for Cusco (the ancient Inca capital) and the Inca Trail! Our time in Lima had been amazing, and it was in no small part due to the lovely family at Casa 667. If you ever visit Lima on holiday, stay with them. They're lovely.

James

Posted via email from dreadpiratesarcas

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nice post, keep on posting \m/


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