After our adventures in the mountains and with Danny feeling slightly better, we took an overnight bus back to Lima to settle in for a few days of relaxation and regular living. It’s true, the first thing we did when we got to Lima was hit a grocery store- or ok, two, and buy all those little things we’ve been missing or can’t carry with us. For me it was hair conditioner (4 months of 2-1 really takes its toll on your hair!), body lotion and face cream and for Danny it was good local chocolate… oh and ice cream. Priorities! It was a little bit of a splurge, but considering we’ll be in the same place for more than a few nights in a row, it seemed worth it.
It’s funny, but it seems like we can accomplish so much when we’re traveling, but when we stop even for a short time all we can do is be lazy and relax. I guess its the stress on the road. Unfortunately in our first few days in Lima we did little but settle in, relax and grocery shop. We’re staying in Miraflores, an upscale neighborhood in Lima with every kind of restaurant from Peruvian to Italian to Chinese food available. Compared to every other city we’ve been to, Lima is enormous and like New York, bustling at all hours of the night. Taking the bus from downtown to our neighborhood Saturday night at 11:30 pm every intersection was jammed with people, even far from the downtown area. Crossing intersections in Lima is a little like playing frogger. Although there are stop signs and sometimes traffic lights, they are mere suggestions and we’ve been almost run over a number of times (even following our own rule to cross when the locals do!). Lima and its metropolitan area are home to 1/3 of the population of Peru, which according to some couchsurfing friends means 8 million people live in this area. Thats a lot of people!
Besides relaxing and getting through our list of things to do, we’ve been indulging in the local food. Here in Peru home cookin’ is called Criolla and the set lunches range from chicken noodle soup to lomo saltado (stir fried beef, tomatoes and onions) to anticuchos (skewered cow’s heart), pollo a la brasa (roasted chicken) and aji gallina (spicy chicken stew). Throw in a pisco sour and you’ve got lunch! Everything is served on or with potatoes, which isn’t surprising since Peru apparently has the largest variety of potatoes in the world. Every meal we’ve tried here has been delicious, but we can’t stay away from the pollerias. Like addicts, we pass by a polleria with roasting chicken in the window and immediately one of us looks at the other, raises and eyebrow and says “hungry?” Served with spicy green sauce and sometimes an aji, we can’t get enough of it. We knew this might be a problem coming into Peru, if you are from the DC area you might know a little Peruvian place off Rt.7 in Falls Church called the Chicken Place. We thought they had the best chicken in the world, until we came to Peru, and while their’s is good, its only an attempt at what they have here. Hmmm…..
On that note, its about 10am, but I think I’m going to go find some chicken…. 🙂