Travel Story #1 : Arrival in Lima
Some tips before going to Peru
Before leaving your home country, the most important part is the preparation of your suitcase. In fact, it is difficult to know what to take, when you know that you will experience different environments (forest, desert, mountain, city) and climates (from Lima to Chachapoyas, through the cites of the north coast). Therefore we got some inspiration on the page Recommandations.
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- A good flashlight with rechargeable batteries. This will be very useful to visit the caves for example, as the lamps that are provided are not very powerful. You can find good lamps for less than 10 euros, and they will illuminate 10x more than the guide’s flashlight. (who will be very jealous of your toy 🙂 !) I recommend this lamp with rechargeable batteries “Basic Amazon” are great. For the charger, I use this one that can charge with AA and AAA batteries.
- A mask (if light keeps you awake) and earplugs.
- The photo material: My boyfriend brought his reflex Canon 6D with an objective Canon EF 16-35 F4 L IS for landscapes and a Canon EF 135 F2 L for portraits. Personally, I went with a Bridge Nikon 900, its great advantage is the huge zoom! (The most powerful existing, an equivalent of 2.000 mm for the experts on the subjects). We also brought a lightweight tripod of Amazon Basic.
- Photo backpack: a Lowepro Flipside 400 AW (practical, because it opens in the back, we can also keep passports and money without risk of losing it). It is also very comfortable for walking, and the interior is adjustable (so we can put something more as the photo material!)
What we regret not having taken, and although it was on the list: Caps!! We did not think we would need it because we were traveling to the North. But this was a huge error because the sun is very strong there, and from the first day in Chachapoyas, after a few hours in the morning, we found ourselves with big sunburns (we didn’t appy any sun screen either). So we decided to invest in caps!
Lima and the gastronomic tour
After 12 hours of flight from Amsterdam, we land in Lima at 6 pm. About another 2 hours later (we get the visa, wait for the baggage and pass several luggage controls), we meet the driver sent by our hotel waiting for us outside the airport.
And here we experience for the first time the Peruvian traffic. Many cars, buses, combis that constantly change their lane, a lot of noise and a lot of horn to get there and make their way through the traffic. After an hour, we arrive at our hotel, “ Casa Nuestra”, located in the district of Barranco in a very quiet street.
We are greeted by Tess, who takes us directly to our room. The latter is very spacious, with a huge bed and several closets. Everything is very clean; the décor is very nice, and modern. Also the Wi- Fi is excellent. The bathroom is relatively small, but it is very clean and seemed to have been renovated not too long ago. Ours was shared with another room. If this causes you problem, it is obvious that there are rooms with private bathrooms. Tess suggests us to recommend a restaurant for dinner. But we are too tired from the trip, so we decide to go to bed after a well-deserved shower!
The next day, they serve breakfast from 8:30 in the morning, moment when Tess arrives to prepare everything. On the menu: eggs, bread, jam, cereal, fruit salad, coffee, tea. And – the best for the end – a honey cake (we did have another honey cake that tasty during our trip). The only thing missing was a fruit juice to make it perfect!
At 9:30 am, and after the explanations of Tess to arrive at good port, we are going to our meeting for our culinary tour organized by Lima te Lllena (this company doesn’t exist anymore). Because we have a little time, we decide to make a detour and drive along the coast to cross the many parks of Barranco and Miraflores. After an hour’s drive, we arrive at “Parque Kennedy”, the meeting place for the start of the tour.
Good surprise – we are only 2 couples on this tour: a couple of American tourists and us ! Our guide, Julian arrives just in time and we leave for the market of Surquillo, located just at a 20-minute walk. On the way Julian makes several stops to show us different fruits, drinks or dishes that are found in small stalls all around the city. When we arrive at the market, we begin the visit with the fruit and vegetable stands. Julian explains us the virtues of each fruit and makes us taste it.
At noon we stop at a small restaurant located inside the market. As neither of us 4 likes seafood, without Ceviche! On the program: Causa Limeña as entry, followed by Seco de Cabrito y Ají de Gallina as a dish. A glass of Chicha morada (drink made from black corn) is there to help us to bring everything down! The portions are so large, that we decide to share our different dishes. Everything is delicious and we make it a point of honour to eat it all!
After the meal, comes the dessert ! Julian takes us to a small room where a dozen of fruits are waiting for us, most of them from the jungle, to taste.
At the end, a small detour to the fresh fish stalls and meat, obligatory. We are impressed by the presentation of chicken that are only cut in two and you can admire the whole anatomy! The tour lasted 3 hours.
Now it is already time to return to the hotel to take our baggage and get to the bus station to catch the bus to Chachapoyas!
This article is an English translation of the article of Voyage Peru: Recit de voyage: 3 semaines au Pérou
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