So today will be the first day of my tour. I am supposed to meet the group at 2pm and have already scouted out the meeting point to make sure it exists 😉 Such a ¨me¨thing to do. Anyways, I started with the medications for altitude sickness this morning and HOLY .. feeling more than a little woozy. Hope it passes!
Yesterday I ended up getting a few more things done, but decided to wait on looking for a sleeping bag as I will try to rent one in Cuzco. Same goes for a wool sweater .. though I will be buying – not renting – that :). Yesterday afternoon I ended up going to El Parque del Amor (with a sensual looking statue of intertwined lovers) and enjoyed my first fruity thing in a while! We hadn´t had much fruit other than juice in B.A, as I was too scared to buy it and get sick. I didn´t want to risk such a short stay in Argentina so figured I could manage 9 days without fruit. It was a toughie! That said, a Mango smoothie never tasted so good. For lunch, I tried to find a place recommended by my parents and also by Lonely Planet .. however, LP let me down and totally mislabelled the location on the map. I ended up just wandering back to the LarcoMar shopping centre (underground shops with walkways nestled into the hills) and went into a lovely place with a great view. Turns out, by default, I´d sat myself down at Vista al Mar – the place I was looking for. Haha, go figure. Although the ceviche is supposed to be incredible here, I wanted to be careful and figured I´d have it closer to the end of my trip. Instead, I ordered a sole stew on recommendation of my server. It came in a tomato, onion, orange and lime sauce, and had a few peices of boiled yucca mixed in. Yucca plants, which I had tried mashed in Brazil (sooo yummy), taste quite similar to potatoes. As a root vegetable they go by the name Casava. We ate lots of Casava (boiled, fried, etc.) in Uganda .. which explains my feelings of familiarity when ¨trying¨ Yucca.
The people in Lima so far have been incredibly friendly – moreso, in a sense, than in Argentina. Every police officer, security guard, store clerk and server says ¨Buenos Dias¨ with a smile. Everyone is also very helpful and tries to assist with any questions you may have. In fact, I left my two grocery bags in the money exchange and someone ran after me for 2 blocks until I realized they were calling my name! I am really interested to see if this continues throughout central Lima, as Miraflores is more touristy and well-off.
Anyways, back to today. After I checked out and before the group´s first meeting, I got to try a Peruvian specialty (the name escapes me) that had gorgeous eye appeal! It was yellow mashed potato, layered with chicken and mayo, avocado, tomato, another layer of chicken, another of avocado, and then more potato to top it off. I have to say the food here is so varied, moreso than in Argentina and Brazil, in terms of the variety of veggies (yayyy), fruits, grains, and – of course – seafood and meat, available.
keep you posted as the tour begins!