Peru was one of those places we’ve always had on our bucketlist…strictly for Machu Picchu, but we put it off our first time around the world because we thought it was overdone or wouldn’t be as good as people say. Just felt a little too “mandatory” as a destination for us, so we dodged it with no regret.
We arrived from Colombia and stayed in Lima for 2 weeks, and ate our way through the city. The food is insanely good, and we ate ourselves physically ill everyday. We had no idea, but Lima is the 3 time and current “Best Food Destination” in the world. http://www.peru.travel/en-au/what-to-do/Peru-of-today/food/awards/worlds-best-culinary-destination.aspx That says a lot considering that, generally, I’m extremely bored by the food in South America - the flavors are so bland and NOTHING is spicy. Coming from Jamaica, the land of jerk, basically everything in SA tastes like damp cardboard to me. But in Peru, and specifically Lima, they do food really well. French, Italian, Spanish, American, Japanese, you name it - and they Peruvify it; adding in seafoods, lime, incredible chutneys, breads, omm non nommmmm! Bring your spork and adult diapers when you visit lima.
Best Places to Eat in Lima:
Sandwiches (all day & late night) - La Lucha
Dinner/Lunch (Heavy): El 10 Carnes Y Vinos (Miraflores)
Dinner (Ceviche/Sea): Punto Azul (puntoazulrestaurante.com)
We partied a fair bit too, in true A&A nature. One night on the way home from Barranco at around 2am, we were thoroughly marinated and acquired our ceremonial sloppy melty greasy late-night food. We took it to go, cause duh. As we merrily floated along the sidewalk, we took notice of a guy and girl walking towards us and made a mutual decision (without verbal corroboration) that they need to try our delicious food. We both start blabbering what was probably incomprehensible, but to us sounded like — YOOOOO YOU NEED TO TRY THIS, IT’S SO GOOD, WALK RIGHT IN THERE, BUY IT, IT’S CHEAP AND IT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY. They say nothing as we shout hot breath into the air, but give each other a few looks. Four steps later, we’re face to face and Adrienne offers a bite of her sandwich up into the ether, and the girl looked at us sideways for half a second, just assessing whether or not this was actually happening, and then squared right up and took a monster bite out of it. Bad ass. I love a good stranger with no regard for normalcy. "Ok, bye now!" And off we went home. Little did we know, we’d meet these people again 2 days later waiting inline at the airport for the same flight, then getting delayed, then just joining in waiting misery together, an hour goes by, our flight get canceled and we discover that the next flight is 24 hours later, then we obviously decided to book an airbnb together and become best friends for life. Big ups Cassidy & Peter! See people, when you feed people, miracles happen. Next time, give a stranger a bite of your 3am shawarma.
Apart from eat and drink, we visited some old pyramid-like ruins in the middle of the city (yeah, WTF?! pyramid-ish things made of mud bricks from the year ~700ish right in the middle of Lima!!!). Google Huaca Pucllana, why is this not a thing?
If you’re in Lima, definitely check out John F. Kennedy Park after eating at the greatest sandwich shop in the entire universe, La Lucha (see above), and then put down a few Pisco sours (THE Peruvian Drink) at any adjacent watering hole. I promise you, when you see what we saw, your jaw will drop, and you’ll likely waste a couple of hours playing on the ground wandering around this park. HUNDREDS OF STRAY CATS. HUNDREDS. And not your standard issue eastern Mediterranean mangey wild feline, these are beautiful, well fed and groomed cats…so wtf are they doing here? People don’t want their cat anymore (cause, duh, who would want a cat? It’s a decision that you’ll regret after 6 months of everything getting peed on.) and the just bring it here and leave it. And EVERYBODY takes care of these cats, the park is filled with locals petting and sitting with them, feeding them cat food, playing with them. It’s so weird, but I like it. It’s like an instant stress reliever when you walk into this part, sit on a bench and 20 cats cuddle up to you for warmth and love. You finally matter to someone, for this first time if your life, you matter. Haha. We don’t really like cats (we had to evict one after 8 months of cohabitation in SF a few years back, but we found it a great home where it still is. We named our cat “Cat,” no joke.)
Go to Lima, eat and drink your face off, and touch cats. The End.