Lima La Gris (Lima The Gray). Saying exists for a reason. Not a whole lot of the sun in the city, but a few hauls out and a heck of an awesome day in the sand dunes made up for the lows in Lima.
- Peru has 28 of the world’s 32 climates, leading to a lot of biodiversity and their ability to grow almost any food. Some new fruits I’ve been introduced to here: chirimoya (super delicious), lucuma, camu camu, tuna (yes, it’s really called that), cocona. aguaymanto (a mix between an orange and a cherry tomato, v interesting) Side note: lemons here are called limas and limes are called limons. Google will tell you the opposite, it’s a Peru thing.
- Peru has over 3,000 varieties of potato. Who identified and named that many potatoes? I have no idea. Camote, sweet potatoes, are among my favs.
- Anemia is a big issue in Peruvian children. Foods high in iron are expensive. The government provides iron supplements, but you have to eat them with other food that will absorb it. I spoke with someone who works to educate Peruvians on how to get your necessary iron.
- Peru has three levels of subdivision: regions, provinces, and districts. And because this is not confusing at all, there’s a Lima for each one. So, if you’re in the city’s Plaza de Armas, you’re in Lima region, Lima province, Lima district. I live in Lima region, Lima province, Miraflores district. People from Lima are called Liminians…sounds like ‘le minions’ hehe. Peruvians are referred to as ‘Peruanas’
- Outside of Lima center, you will notice lots of unfinished homes. This isn’t necessarily because the owners don’t have the money to finish it, but rather there are no property taxes on buildings that are under construction. Many of the homes have completed livable first floors, and just the studs for the second floor.
- Also outside the city, suburbs are filled of mototaxis. Imported from India, they all look so funny scootin’ through intersections and every which way.
- Lima is full offfff casinos. My favorite. *eye roll* They have the best exchange rate if you’re looking to change money though!
- Pollo is chicken, gallina is hen. They always differentiate between the two on menus.
- 7/11s are no more, hello ‘Tambo’, for all your late night binge eating needs or for when you just need some chocolate with a side of cough drops.
- Fun fact: Lentils (lentejas) are eaten on Mondays for good luck.
- Monday night well spent with a meal at La Lucha, a must stop sandwicheria, famous for their chicharron (fried pork). Food followed by a game of cards with fellow remotes. For those that don’t know, I played a lot of cards growing up, made me nostalgic.
- Morning run to Chorrillos, a port town south of Barranco in Lima. Nothing too special, but their fish port is what they’re known for
- Visit to Mercado No 1, a local produce market in Miraflores. Complete with hanging, whole chickens, cow hearts, and every variety of fruit you never knew existed
- Day trip with Lindsay and her parents to Caral, a UNESCO archeological site about 100 miles north of Lima, 15 miles inland from the coast:
- Took us 4 hours to drive their in a van with a guide, the last hour of which was on unpaved road
- Things notable from the drive: Peru is HELLA dry (water comes from the highlands), the suburbs of Lima all look similar to where we did PI, simple houses getting simpler as you stray from the town center, buses all over to take you to downtown Lima or other regions, most of the buildings were unfinished (read above for reason)
- Lots of produce and cattle along the way
- Caral was discovered 25 years ago by drone/from the air, but is thought to have had inhabitants 5,000 years ago (the oldest site found so far). It is one of 18 archeological sites in the area, of which only 12 are currently being investigated and 3 are open for visitors
- Bring sunscreen if you’re gonna visit because ya, you exposed.
- Lunch in the town of Huacho before the long haul back
- Nice to spend time with Lindsay and fam but mmmm lot of driving for not a lot of activity. Cool to see, but only if you’re in the area in my opinion
- Jackbox game night after live streaming my brother’s soccer game in NY (gotta love techonology!)
Saturday- RY TRACKS WEEKEND
- RY offered a ‘Reloaded’ version of the normal, included Track day. Took of early with most of the group to the coastal town Paracas, Ica, Peru, about 3 hours south of Lima.
- Boat tour to Ballestas Islands, ‘the poor man’s Galapagos’, complete with penguins, sea lions, birds, LOTS of bird poop with an unwavering odor, and a tiny bit of sea-sickness. The vendors literally sold bucket hats before the tour to protect from the bird poop, not the blazing sun, or so it was advertised. And the quote of the day was our tour guide highlighting the laying sea lions were ‘only sleeping, not dead!’
- Lunch at Tacama Vineyard, South America’s first vineyard. The estate was beautiful, reminiscent of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and it was a perfect day weather wise
- Vineyard tour and wine tasting that was more like a chemistry class. We were brought into a dark room, only lit by little LEDs at each tasting station, with auditorium style seating and sinks at each seat. And if that wasn’t enough, the PowerPoint presentation with the anatomy of a tongue sealed the deal. Ok so maybe I’m not the wine tasting type…
- Try three varieties of wine and one pisco. Pisco is distilled from wine and has around 40% alcohol. Ever sipped a shot of tequila before? Yeah, this tasting was up there with that. Some things you just don’t do. And you know it’s not a good sign when the host says ‘believe me, the second sip you can start to enjoy it’.
- Chill time before a delicious homemade dinner at our bnb for the night, prepared fresh by the host in her cozy home in Ica.
- Finished the night with a game of Exploding Kittens, you laugh but have you every played??
Sunday- RY TRACKS WEEKEND
- Slow morning at the bnb spent by the pool soaking in the sun and the view of the sand dunes, followed by another delicious meal
- Take off for the dunes of Huacachina with the whole Parea squad and load up into dune buggies
- Our driver’s name was Arturo and he was known for being the craziest…lived up to the hype, pretty sure I peed a little that’s how exhilarating the ride through the dunes was. He would fly up the dunes and we’d catch a little air before cruising down them. So. Much. Fun.
- To add to the adrenaline, we then grabbed sandboards and rode them face first down the huge hills. Got COVERED in sand that I’m still finding in weird places, but so worth it. Felt like a little kid.
- Topped off the night with a spectacular sunset, before the 3+ hour ride home. Best track so far.
Few days of rest before I take off for another adventure. Aiight Peru, starting to see what the hype is all about.